When studying for yoga teacher training you will be recommended a few important texts to study. Whilst the choice of yoga teacher training material will depend on the style of yoga you are studying to teach, there are many books that are relevant to all. Most are available these days in printed or digital form to read on any device.

This list of suggestions for 15 yoga teacher training books contains a good mixture for all forms of YTTC. These yoga books cover many topics that all combine together for a good introduction to the many tools of yoga. Covering yoga philosophy, anatomy, asana, pranayama, meditation, chakras, teaching, adjusting, yoga therapy, spirituality and general reading.

These books should have you covered for years to come.

Heart of Yoga Book by TKV Desikachar

The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice by TKV Desikachar

Based on the teachings of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and written by his son T. K. V. Desikachar who established the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandrim (KYM) in Chennai India. This was our yoga teacher training text book for Viniyoga. It teaches not only about asana, but about all the concepts of yoga and also includes the first two chapters of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Desikachar discusses yoga poses and counterposes, conscious breathing, meditation, and philosophy and shows how the yoga student may develop a practice tailored to his or her current state of health, age, occupation, and lifestyle.

bks iyengar light on yoga book

Light on Yoga: The Classic Guide to Yoga by the World’s Foremost Authority by BKS Iyengar

Light On Yoga is a classic text on the philosophy and practice of Yoga. Aimed at beginners as well as advanced practitioners of Yoga. The book begins a foreword by Yehudi Menhuin, a famous violinist and a friend of the author. It is divided into three parts. The first part contains an introduction to Yoga, tracing its historical origin to ancient India. The second part is dedicated to yogasanas, bandhas, and kriyas. It covers numerous asanas or poses in great detail. Each asana is illustrated by a photograph. This is followed by step-by-step instructions that will help with perfecting the asana. The benefits of each pose, the ailments it cures, and the precautions it requires are also included. The third part of the book is dedicated to the concept of Pranayama.

Asana, Pranayama, Mudra and Bandha yoga book by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Asana, Pranayama, Mudra and Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha is recognized internationally as one of the most systematic yoga manuals available today. Since its first publication by the Bihar School of Yoga in 1969, it has been reprinted 21 times and translated into many languages. It is the main reference text used by yoga teachers and students of BIHAR YOGA® within the International Yoga Fellowship Movement, and many other traditions as well.

This comprehensive text provides clear illustrations, step by step directions and details of chakra awareness. It guides the practitioner or teacher from the simplest to the most advanced practices of the hatha yoga system. This book successfully brings the exposition of yoga practices to the standard of a university text.

The Yoga Tradition by Georg Feuerstein

Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice by Georg Feuerstein

A little bit of a more heavy read! From the foremost living authority on Yoga comes the most comprehensive and reliable treatment of the subject available today. This is a work of impeccable scholarship by a person who has dedicated his life to the understanding and practice of yoga. The book offers a complete overview of every Yogic tradition, from the familiar to the lesser-known forms. It also covers all aspects of Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina Yoga, including history, philosophy, literature, psychology and practice. In addition, included are translations of twenty Yoga treatises and the first translation of the Goraksha Paddhati.

the bhagavad gita by eknath easwaran

The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran

Easwaran’s best-selling translation of the Bhagavad Gita is reliable, readable, and profound. His 55-page introduction places the Gita in its historical context, presents key concepts, and brings out the universality and timelessness of its teachings. This edition includes chapter introductions, notes and a Sanskrit glossary. Easwaran grew up in the Hindu tradition in India, learned Sanskrit from a young age, and became a professor of English literature before coming to the West. He is a gifted teacher and an authority on the Indian classics and world mysticism. The Gita opens, dramatically, on a battlefield, as the warrior Arjuna turns in anguish to his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, for answers to the fundamental questions of life. Yet the Gita is not what it seems – it’s not a dialogue between two mythical figures at the dawn of Indian history. “The battlefield is a perfect backdrop, but the Gita’s subject is the war within, the struggle for self-mastery that every human being must wage if he or she is to emerge from life victorious.”

Hatha Yoga Pradipika yoga book

Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Swami Muktibodhananda

Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Light on Hatha Yoga) includes the original Sanskrit text compiled by Maharshi Swatmarama with a translation and thorough commentary in english by Swami Satyananda and Swami Muktibodhananda. This text elucidates the entire science of hatha yoga (asana, pranayama, shatkarma, mudra and bandha) as it was conceived and practised not only for health and fitness but for awakening the vital energies: pranas, chakras and kundalini shakti.It points out that hatha yoga is not just a physical practice but a process of cellular transmutation from gross to subtle to divine.Thus hatha yoga was considered to be the foundation of all higher yogas. Line drawings and diagrams illustrate the text.

Light on the Yoga Sutras by BKS Iyengar

Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by B K S Iyengar

BKS Iyengar’s translation and commentary on these ancient yoga sutras has been described as the “bible” of yoga. This new edition of the classic text contains a new introduction by BKS Iyengar, as well as a foreword by Godfrey Devereux, author of Dynamic Yoga. Patanjali wrote this collection of yoga wisdom over 2,000 years ago. They are amongst the world’s most revered and ancient teachings and are the earliest, most holy yoga reference. The Sutras are short and to the point – each being only a line or two long. BKS Iyengar has translated each one, and provided his own insightful commentary and explanation for modern readers. The Sutras show the reader how we can transform ourselves through the practice of yoga, gradually developing the mind, body and emotions, so we can become spiritually evolved. The Sutras are also a wonderful introduction to the spiritual philosophy that is the foundation of yoga practise. The book is thoroughly cross-referenced, and indexed, resulting in an accessible and helpful book that is of immense value both to students of Indian philosophy and practitioners of yoga.

the key muscles of yoga book by ray long

The Key Muscles of Yoga: Scientific Keys by Ray Long

I love the illustrations in these books. This book offers a scientific approach to understanding the practice of hatha yoga. Through four-color, three-dimensional illustrations of major muscles, tendons, and ligaments, Ray Long describes the practice and benefits of hatha yoga. Specific anatomical and physiological descriptions highlight the agonist, antagonist, and synergist muscles that come into play with each pose. Volume I of the series describes the key muscles of hatha yoga and how they are utilized. From beginners to experts, this book will become a constant companion.

Yoga anatomy yoga book by Leslie Kaminoff

Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews

This is the ultimate reference for yoga practitioners, instructors and enthusiasts alike! The best-selling anatomy guide for yoga is now updated, expanded and better than ever! With more asanas, vinyasas, full-colour anatomical illustrations and in-depth information, the second edition of “Yoga Anatomy” provides you with a deeper understanding of the structures and principles underlying each movement and of yoga itself. From breathing to inversions to standing poses, see how specific muscles respond to the movements of the joints; how alterations of a pose can enhance or reduce effectiveness and how the spine, breathing and body position are all fundamentally linked. With “Yoga Anatomy”, authors Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews both internationally recognised experts and teachers in anatomy, breathing and bodywork, have created the ultimate reference for yoga practitioners, instructors and enthusiasts alike.

anatomy of hatha yoga by H. David Coulter

Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers, and Practitioners by H. David Coulter

Anatomy of Hatha Yoga–revised and updated with full color illustrations and photos–is the most comprehensive and authoritative work available correlating the study of hatha yoga with anatomy and physiology. It is a must-have for anyone who is serious about studying or teaching yoga, and an invaluable resource for anyone in a field relating to physical conditioning. The author holds a PhD in Anatomy and was a sought-after professor, teacher and yoga practitioner for over thirty years. He lived and taught at the Himalayan Institute for Yoga Science and Philosophy, and the University of Minnesota and Columbia University medical schools.

Teaching Yoga by Donna-Farhi

Teaching Yoga Exploring The Teacher Student Relationship by Donna Farhi

Teaching Yoga explores with depth and compassion a variety of topics both practical and philosophical, including:

  • how to create healthy boundaries
  • the student-teacher relationship (including whether a sexual relationship is acceptable)
  • how to create physical and emotional safety for the student
  • what is a reasonable class size; how much a class should cost
  • and how to conduct the business of teaching while upholding the integrity of Yoga as a philosophy, a science, and an art.
  • A bonus CD features Donna speaking about yoga ethics at a 2002 conference.
teaching yoga by Mark Stephens

Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques by Mark Stephens

Teaching Yoga is an essential resource for new and experienced teachers as well as a guide for all yoga students interested in refining their skills and knowledge. Addressing 100% of the teacher training curriculum standards set by Yoga Alliance, the world’s leading registry and accreditation source for yoga teachers and schools, Teaching Yoga is also ideal for use as a core textbook in yoga teacher training programs.

Drawing on a wide spectrum of perspectives, and featuring more than 150 photographs and illustrations, the book covers fundamental topics of yoga philosophy and history, including a historical presentation of classical yoga literature: the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras of Pataljali, and the main historical sources on tantra and early hatha yoga. Each of the eleven major styles of contemporary yoga is described, with a brief history of its development and the distinguishing elements of its teachings. Exploring traditional and modern aspects of anatomy and physiology, the book provides extensive support and tools for teaching 108 yoga poses (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation. Teaching Yoga offers practical advice for classroom setup, planning and sequencing classes, as well as the process involved in becoming a teacher and sustaining oneself in the profession.

Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes by Mark Stephens

Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes by Mark Stephens

Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes presents the essential principles and methods for planning and sequencing yoga classes. Addressing one of the most popular topics in the yoga profession, this book offers sixty-seven model sequences of yoga poses (asanas) that cover the broad range of yoga student experience, including multiple sequences for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students; yoga for kids, teens, women across the life cycle, and seniors; classes to relieve depression and anxiety; and sequences for each of the major chakras and ayurvedic constitutions. Each sequence provides guidance for teaching the different breathing (pranayama) and meditation techniques that give yoga its transformative power.

Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann

Yoga The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann

World-renowned yoga master Erich Schiffmann now offers an easy-to-follow, exciting new technique – the first to combine hatha yoga and meditation – to all who are seeking healthful beauty and inner peace. Through simple instruction and essential illustrations, Yoga reveals more than one hundred poses and yoga routines for all levels of ability that will slow or even reverse aging, increase stamina and strength, and slim and tone the body; a complete program of meditation to promote self-realization, decrease stress, and promote creativity and love; yoga’s secrets of stillness and movement that will enable you to radiate energy and feel an inner luminescence throughout your body; exercises that will awaken joy, allowing you to feel good about yourself and experience happiness; and techniques for mindful breathing and conscious physical immobility to wonderfully transform your perception of yourself and your world. Discover how to feel balanced, centred, and coordinated, increase flexibility, eliminate pain, and become free of life’s negativity through the spirit and practice of Yoga.

Ashtanga Primary Series Yoga Flash Cards Yoga Book Cover Image

Yoga Flash Card yoga books – digital ebooks and printed cards by Yoga by Design

Our yoga flash card yoga books are originally designed with yoga teacher training in mind. In fact, I designed them for my own yoga teacher training studies. Flash cards are a great way to teach yourself the asana names and simple instructions. You can just look at a few cards a day wherever you are. Read them on the commute to work, or have them open on your desk or kitchen workbench! Learn anywhere, anytime. View them on your iphone, ipad or computer. Viniyoga Asana I is also available as printed cards. Printed books are also soon to be available.