What are top 10 books to read before going for yoga teacher training?

Books are a treasure trove of knowledge, no matter what your subject is. If you are wishing to become a yoga trainer and are all set to undergo a yoga teacher training course in Bali, there are a few books that you must read to gain some useful and unique insights about yoga to get a deeper understanding of this age-old craft. 

As we all know, yoga originated in ancient India. It was a time when most of the knowledge was passed from one generation to another through an oral tradition. It was only later that the sacred Indian texts articulated this insightful knowledge in written form. So, it wouldn’t be unsafe to say that the Indian Vedas are the real treasure trove of the original yoga philosophy. 

Having said that, you might not always be able to get your hands on Vedas or understand them fully even if you do manage to acquire one. But there are several amazing books written by established thinkers and yoga philosophers that impart a deep understanding of yoga and why training to become a yoga teacher is important. 

In this article, we will tell you about the top ten books that you must read before going for a yoga teacher training course in Bali:

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  1. The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath EaswaranThe Bhagvat Gita, translated by Eknath Easwaran is one of the most widely heralded translations of this ancient Indian scripture that brings out the universality and timelessness of its teachings. Eknath says that the real purpose of the Gita is way beyond it. This meaning is a perfect precursor to learning yoga, a similar philosophy towards life that emphasizes harmony, balance, self-control and having a meaningful, fulfilling and worthwhile existence. 
  2. Light on Yoga by B.K.S. IyengarThis book by B.K.S. Iyengar talks about the spiritual and emotional impact of yoga. Citing wisdom and stories of his own life, Iyengar reveals how yoga can lead to holistic internal development. It also tells how yoga helps in overcoming internal challenges and helps us lead a wholesome life. 
  3. The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. DesikacharComing from the learnings, experience and expertise of one of the greatest yogis who wrote on yoga, this book emphasizes Desikachar’s concept of viniyoga, which says that yoga practice should be continually adapted to an individual’s changing needs. This allows a person to reap the maximum benefits of yoga and its therapeutic value. 
  4. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami SatchidanandaTalking about the ancient yogic philosophy relevant to our daily lives, ethics, spirituality and meditation, Yoga Sutras was written almost 4,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest available texts on yoga. It continues to be the most relied-on text on yogic philosophy.
  5. Hatha Yoga Pradipika by SvatmaramaOne of the oldest written pieces of literature on yoga, the Hatha yoga Pradipika, written by yogi Svatmarama originally wrote it in Sanskrit, drawing knowledge and understanding of yoga through his own experiences. It is one of the best books for students of yoga and those planning to undergo yoga teacher training. It comes with pictures of asanas, explaining of chakras, kundalini, mudras, nadis, shakti, bandhas and a lot more.
  6. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega Series by OshoIn this series, Osho emphasizes that yoga has one sole purpose and that is to use the mind in the best possible manner. Through the Sutras of Patanjali, Osho takes the reader on a journey to understand the mind, which he says that if used rightly, can lead to a real awakening and if not, can make you go insane. 
  7. Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit by Donna FarhiOne of the most popular books on yoga by internationally renowned teacher Donna Farhi reveals how to enhance the connection between the mind, body and soul through yoga practice. It also talks about the seven basic human motions and suggests exercises that help readers achieve the best yoga poses. 
  8. The Yoga of Breath by Richard RosenThe Yoga of Breath talks about Pranayam, one of the most common and widely practised yoga exercises. It is a guide to the fundamentals of Pranayam and how one can incorporate it into their yoga practice to reap the several benefits it provides. 
  9. Yoga for Wellness by Gary KraftsowThis is an apt book for people who are looking to get a better understanding of basic alignment and building their own practice. It is a book for yoga teacher training and demonstrates different practices for those looking to build virility and those suffering from depression. 
  10. Awakening the Spine by Vanda ScaravelliVanda Scaravelli is known for her yoga practice of the proper alignment of the spine. This book is all about the practices she suggested and mastering bodily alignment. She propagated that one must listen to the body and work with it instead of working against it. Her ideas of using gravity, grounding and breathing to improve health were much revered.