More recommended reading
This list of books is highly recommended, both for teacher trainees entering the Vajrasati School of Yoga and yogis who would like to extend their experience above and beyond asana class to evolve a more holistic approach to their yoga practice. Bookmark this page as it will be regularly updated for new inspiration.
Mukunda Stiles translation of the yoga sutras is a great introduction to the sutras for any student of yoga, whether someone with a passing interest or a more serious ‘life-dedicated’ yogin.
This translation is really accessible in language and very beautifully written in the poetic manner I have no doubt the sutras should be read in. Each section (pada) is explained in a quick reference guide at the back of the book with a brief sentence explaining the meaning of the paragraphs, which is great as a reference tool for yoga teachers and trainees.
There is also an extremely useful word for word Sanskrit-English translation at the back which is great for contemplating the meaning of the sutra or a more personal translation. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in yoga, meditation or eastern philosophies or of course anyone with an interest in a deeper contemplation of life in general.
I’ve yet to read the whole of this book cover to cover, so I’m not sure how appropriate this review is. However, the reason that I haven’t finished the book is that it warrants so much re-reading. It contains a wealth of wisdom drawn from a lifetime of experience and I want to absorb every last drop of it. The book is divided into chapters based on the kosas or sheaths of being, and layer by layer guides us on a journey inward, guiding us skillfully around obstacles, both internal and external, that we encounter on our journey towards spiritual bliss.
Iyengar’s approach is straightforward and direct, but at the same time warm and encouraging, and each time I open the book I feel like I am opening a private audience with a great master, each paragraph I read bringing a new dimension to my practice. I would recommend this book to anyone, since the gems within are relevant not only to yoga practice and progress along that path, but to the human condition in general.
Royalties from the sale of this book are donated by Mr Iyengar to fund health, education and development projects in Bellur, India, where he was born.
Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar
The definitive guide to the philosophy and practice of Yoga – the ancient healing discipline for body and mind – by its greatest living teacher. Light on Yoga provides complete descriptions and illustrations of all the asanas and breathing exercises.
Iyengar once again draws upon the wealth of his extensive practice to clearly and insightfully explain the art of pranayama.
Called the ‘jewel of the Mahayana Sutras’, this book presents the major teachings of Mahayana Buddhism in a precise, dramatic, and even humorous form. For two millennia this Sutra has enjoyed immense popularity among Mahayana Buddhists in India, central and southeast Asia, Japan, and especially China, where its incidents were the basis for a style in art and literature prevalent during several centuries.