6 Must-Read Books For Yoga Teacher Training

Books to read for Yoga Teacher Training
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Are you eagerly awaiting your upcoming yoga teacher training course and wondering how to start preparing?

I’m a massive book worm so one of the first things I did after booking my YTT was order some yoga books. I found there are many excellent books for yoga teacher training and they definitely helped me set a foundation of yoga knowledge that I would then build on during my course which made it less overwhelming.

As well as the theoretical books I also read some more light-hearted yoga books, from personal memoirs and travelogues about studying yoga in India and self-discovery in Bali, to autobiographies about the gurus who brought yoga to the West. These make great reads whether preparing for yoga teacher training or just to relax when your there.

The Ultimate Yoga Teacher Training Reading List

I went a bit OTT and read TONS of yoga books before and after my course. But don’t worry, you don’t have to do the same. Here are the six best books for yoga teachers that, in my opinion, are the must reads!

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1. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

As most TTCS are 200 hours long, they rarely have the time to dive deep into the sutras. However, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is an essential text for every new yoga teacher and, without a doubt, is one of the first books for yoga teacher training you should buy.

The Sutras are the backbone of yoga philosophy; they explain the original purpose and goal of Yoga and how ancient yogis united their bodies, minds, and souls. This book is particularly important nowadays as modern Yoga has moved far from its original form.

By reading the yoga sutras, you’ll gain a much deeper understanding of the authentic practice of Yoga and learn the many ways to practise it off the mat. This will make you both a better yogi and a more informed yoga teacher.

There are many different editions of these writings. Have a look at Amazon’s selection.

2. Light On Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar 

Light on Yoga is often referred to as the bible of modern Yoga, written by one of the most famous yoga teachers worldwide, B.K.S Iyengar. While he is the godfather of Iyengar yoga, Light on Yoga is one of the best books to read for yoga teacher training, regardless of your chosen style.

Light on Yoga features thorough descriptions and explanations of how to do all the most common Yoga poses, along with illustrations. It also details the traditional pranayama breathing techniques and introduces the 8 limbs of Yoga taught by Patanjali.

Light on Yoga is a super easy read, no matter how much yoga experience you have. This is why it’s one of the most common books schools include on their suggested yoga teacher training reading list.

Available as paperback and spiral-bound editions on Amazon.

3. The Heart Of Yoga by T. K. V. Desikachar

The Heart of Yoga is written by another of the most renowned yoga teachers and thus is easily one of the best yoga teaching books for new yogis. T. K. V. Desikachar is the son of Krishnamacharya, the grandfather of yoga, so as you would expect, this book is jam-packed with incredible insights and teachings.

In The Heart of Yoga, Desikachar details his father’s original teaching method along with his unique take on the practice. What makes it different from most other yoga books is that it is structured as a step-by-step sequence to achieve the goal of yoga. 

The book features hundreds of photos and descriptions of the traditional asanas. It also includes info on how to breathe correctly during practice, counterposes to use, and aspects of meditation and philosophy.

Available on Amazon in print and digital editions.

Books to read for Yoga Teacher Training

4. Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff 

For me, anatomy was the part of yoga I understood the least. I read several books on the subject, but “Yoga Anatomy” stood out the most. 

In this book, Leslie Kaminoff clearly explains what happens in our bodies when we hold each yoga pose. One of the things I found the most helpful was the large colour illustrations showing the specific muscles stretched and strengthened during each asana.

The book also explains how posture and breathing are linked, how adjustments can reduce or enhance the effectiveness of the pose, and many more eye-opening insights. You may not learn all the scientific muscle names, but you’ll gain a much deeper understanding of what happens in your body physically when practising yoga.

Available in print, digital and audiobook in several languages on Amazon.

5. Wheels Of Life by Anodea Judith

Chakras are a significant part of yoga philosophy and something you will likely learn about during your YTT. I already had a strong interest in chakras before my first YTT and had read several books on the subject. However, Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith is one of my favourites. 

Chakras can be a very complex topic, but Anodea Judith does a fantastic job explaining what they are and why we need to understand them. I particularly liked how she focuses on how they relate to our modern-day lives.

The book’s layout is also fab, as there is a chapter on each chakra, so you can reread it multiple times to fully understand the energy centre’s role before moving on. Moreover, it’s full of drawings, pictures, diagrams, and tables.

It’s also one of the most comprehensive books about chakras. It doesn’t just give a brief overview of the seven chakras and their associations, but it explains in depth how they can affect our emotions, mindset, and life when balanced or unbalanced. 

Wheels of Life also included yoga postures and meditation techniques for each of the seven major chakras. So if you find chakras fascinating like me, you’ll gain many ideas for incorporating their teachings into your classes.

Published in multiple formats and available on Amazon.

6. The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle

While it’s not explicitly a yoga book, I could not conclude this list without mentioning The Power Of Now. Eckhart Tolle is a self-help and spiritual teacher who experienced a spiritual awakening in his late twenties. 

In The Power of Now, Tolle takes us through his journey to spiritual enlightenment, detailing the common obstacles yogis and meditators face on the spiritual path. He explains things in an easy-to-digest way, such as how our ego works, how to become more self-aware, and practical ways to find presence in everyday life.

The Power Of Now is also full of thought-provoking insights on presence, inner peace, and the connection to the universal power within us. Wherever you are on your spiritual path, this book will guide you through it and help you understand things much more. I’ve mentioned many of Tolle’s teachings in my yoga classes, too, as they apply both on and off the mat.

Read an except and buy from Tolle’s website. All formats are also available to buy on Amazon.

Friends studying yoga philosophy books for Yoga Teacher Training

Final Thoughts On Best Books For Yoga Teacher Training

These six books for yoga teacher training will give you vital knowledge and understanding of the poses, breathing techniques, philosophy, and more.

Reading these books is a great way to help you prepare for yoga teacher training so you’ll arrive at your course feeling knowledgeable, confident, and ready to begin the beautiful journey of teaching Yoga.

While these are some of the best yoga books for yoga teachers out there, check with your yoga school if they have a specific recommended yoga teacher training reading list for the course you are doing. It might differ slightly from this list depending on the focus of the course and style of yoga taught.

If you haven’t already got a Kindle or other e-reader, I’d really recommend getting one and downloading your books for yoga teacher training onto it. E-readers are a super light and convenient way to carry around all your books and save space in your suitcase. Plus wherever you are in the world you can add whatever book you fancy right there and then.

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