Originating in ancient India, yoga is a diverse group of mental, physical, and spiritual disciplines or practices that help millions of people all over the world control their thoughts, feelings, bodies, and minds.
Everyone uses yoga in different ways. Some simply use it as a way to reflect on their day, while others see it as a form of stretching. Some use yoga to deep dive into the world of meditation, others use it to combat anxiety.
Whatever reason you have to take part in the practice of yoga, you’re sure to reap the rewards. However, if you’ve never taken part in the practice before, where do you start?
With so many different disciplines to choose from and a wide variety of classes, learning the basics can seem pretty daunting. The solution? A beginner yoga book.
Luckily for you, we have the best books for you in this article!
We’ve done the research and found the best beginner yoga books on the market. In this article, we’ll review each one.
OUR TOP PICK
Let’s kick things off with a fantastic option for anyone looking to master basic yoga techniques.
Written by Sandra Anderson and Rolf Sovik, Psy.D., this book covers everything you need to master the basic disciplines behind yoga. Inside, you’ll find breathing techniques, postures, meditation, lifestyle, and relaxation techniques.
Extremely detailed, easy-to-follow, and well-written, this book helps you seamlessly enter the world of yoga, even if you have no idea what you're doing.
One thing we love about the book is the introduction to the yoga philosophy. This will help you not only understand how to take part in yoga but also what yoga is all about, and why it’s important.
In terms of what else you can expect from the book, Anderson and Sovik have included two illustrated yoga sequences and more than 400 photographs. You’ll find that this makes the learning process a lot easier for you.
One of the sequences included is the Asana sequence. Poses are conveniently organized into groups by type of posture, helping you quickly find the type of posture you’re looking for.
This also helps you target specific body parts when necessary.
- Easy to follow - Learning about yoga has never been easier.
- Photographs included - This book contains over 400 photographs.
- Split into categories - Poses are conveniently split into categories.
- No digital version - Unfortunately, this book is only available in paperback format.
Also available at: Betterworldbooks.com
If you’re on the lookout for a super simple, yet detailed beginners book that will help you practice yoga in no time, 30 Essential Yoga Poses by Judith Lasater could be absolutely perfect for you.
Super easy-to-read, detailed, and full of helpful images, this book does nothing more than show you how to perform 30 essential yoga poses. From experience, this is all you need to take up yoga and start your journey.
The beauty of containing just 30 poses means that each pose can be shown in detail. Every pose has approximately 4 to 5 pages worth of information, useful photographs that demonstrate each pose, and multiple variations of each pose.
When we reviewed Lasater’s yoga book, we were impressed with how large and clear the photographs were and just how easy it was to learn each pose.
The simple descriptions of each photograph, along with breathing technique pointers are incredibly helpful.
We also appreciate how Judith Lasater has included interesting information regarding the benefit of each yoga pose and shown readers sequences to follow in a pinch.
- Super simple - Easily learn 30 yoga poses.
- Sequences included - Lasater has included helpful sequencing recommendations.
- Detailed - Each pose has 4 to 5 dedicated pages.
- Missing poses - Some of the most common poses are missing from the book
Also available at: Shambhala.com
Next up, we have the Yoga Beginner’s Bible. With a name like Beginner’s Bible, we can only expect the best.
This book is ideal for any beginners looking to do their homework on yoga before they hit their first class.
Featuring clear illustrations of poses, detailed explanations about how to do each one, and easier variations, this book will help you start your journey.
The pose variations detailed in this book are one of the things we love most. When you first take up yoga, you might not be as bendy as others.
These simple variations ensure you can still do the stretches without overstretching.
You could even perform these simpler variations in your first class if you struggle with the original versions.
That’s not all this book offers!
Inside the Yoga Beginner’s Bible, you’ll also find detailed information regarding yoga techniques. This includes breathing exercises that will help you develop a better technique.
Overall, we can see why this book is so highly thought of. It’s informative, interesting, perfect for newbies, and comes with everything a beginner needs to know.
- Perfect for beginners - This is the perfect starter book.
- Available digitally - Buy the book in Kindle format.
- Affordable - Thanks to the Kindle version, this book is wonderfully priced.
- Photos would be better - All images in this book are illustrated
Available in paperback, audiobook, and Kindle format, Yoga For Everyone by yogi Dianne Bondy focuses heavily on the belief that yoga is a practice anyone can and should participate in.
The book celebrates this idea by promoting the fact that no matter how old you are, what your body is capable of, the physical abilities you have, or your weight, you can take part in yoga.
Helping thousands of people join the yoga movement, Dianne Bondy has produced a detailed yoga book that helps those who feel left out or left behind join the health and fitness community.
A breath of fresh air, this book contains 50 unique poses, all of which can be adapted to suit any individual's needs and requirements.
Each pose in the book comes with multiple photographs, multiple variations, and a detailed explanation of how to perform each pose.
On top of that, each pose also comes with an explanation as to why the pose is beneficial and what part of the body you’re working.
When we took a look at this book, we loved how Dianne has taken things a step further by showing readers how they can implement the poses into their daily lives.
- Detailed sequences - Effective sequences are included.
- Available in three formats - Purchase this book as an audiobook, Kindle book, or paperback.
- Good range of poses - The book contains 50 poses.
- Suits those with restrictions better - More athletic people might not benefit as much from this book.
The final book on our list is a little different from the ones we’ve already looked at, but it's still perfect for yoga beginners.
Written by scholar Mark Singleton, this is another book available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook format. You can also purchase it in hardcover.
The other books on our list look at showing beginners the best yoga poses they can do at home. This book is different, unlike the other books on our list, Yoga Body explores the history of yoga asana.
This may seem like something beginners don’t particularly need, however, if you plan on taking part in yoga regularly, it’s nice to first learn about its origins.
Diving deeper into the predecessors of Western yoga, the book goes beyond yoga’s roots and into its ancient Indian history.
Aside from being extremely interesting and informative, Mark Singleton’s book is wonderfully thought-provoking.
You’ll find yourself questioning a wide range of things, and taking a different perspective regarding the conventional wisdom you hear in your yoga classes.
We love everything about this book and strongly believe that it's one every yoga enthusiast should read.
- Different - This book takes a different, more interesting approach.
- A great listen - Settling down in the evening to this audiobook is a great way to relax the mind.
- Great educational value - Improve your knowledge of yoga.
- No poses - If you want to learn yoga poses, this isn’t the book for you.
Also available at: Waterstones.com
Best Yoga Books For Beginners Buying Guide
Now we've run through our list, it’s time to start thinking about which book or books you want to buy.
However, things aren’t quite as simple as picking the first book you see. Instead, you need to think about what you need, what you like, and how much you’re willing to pay.
If you don’t think about these things, you could be left with a book you spent too much money on or don’t even want to read.
To help, we’ve put together this buyer’s guide. In this buyer’s guide, you’ll find everything you need to think about.
One of the most important things to think about when buying any book is the topic it relates to. It could be argued that this is even more important with yoga books as yoga serves multiple purposes and has many different disciplines.
Some people turn to yoga for exercise, while others turn to yoga for meditation. Therefore, you need to think about what type of book you want.
Do you want a book that shows you how to keep fit with yoga, one that focuses on meditation, or one that looks at its history?
Once you’ve decided what type of book you want, you can start looking for books that suit your needs.
You also need to think about how long the book you want is. Do you have time to sit down and read the whole thing? Or will you benefit more from a shorter book that gets straight to the point?
Alternatively, do you want a book you can read once, or would you prefer a book you can pick up and read at any time? The amount of time you have, and how you want to use the book will determine the length of the book you decide to buy.
For beginners, we recommend picking a detailed book that you can use as a reference. That way, you can come back to the book whenever you need it.
In a world of evolving technology and more accessibility, you should also take into account the availability of the book you want. If you simply want a paperback book, you’ll have no issues with this.
However, if you prefer a book in audiobook or Kindle format, you need to carefully think about which book you buy.
Sadly, not all books are available in Kindle or audiobook format so your decision could be affected when you come to buy the book.
The best thing about Kindle books is that they usually cost a lot less. This is very beneficial to those of you that want to save money. On top of that, they arrive immediately, unlike paperback books that have to be delivered.
If you seek convenience, Kindle format is the way forward.
Illustrations Or Images
A lot of people are visual learners so they benefit from the addition of images and illustrations in yoga books that demonstrate poses. However, which is better? Illustrations or images?
When it comes to applying yoga poses in real life, we strongly recommend buying a book that has at least one of these things. Nothing teaches you better than a detailed image showing the movement you need to make.
However, for us, images are better. Despite still being accurate and visually pleasing, illustrations just aren’t the same as photographs. Photographs show an actual human performing the pose, giving you a much clearer idea of what it should look like.
Something often overlooked by people buying yoga books, or any book for that matter, is author reliability. Just because someone has written a book about yoga, doesn’t necessarily mean they're the best source.
To avoid unreliable information, we advise you to look for an author that’s a qualified source. If the author doesn’t have credentials, we’d recommend steering clear.
You can look for an author's credentials and experience by looking for their Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) certificate. The greater the number of certifications, the more experience the author has. Look out for numbers in the region of 200, 500, or 600.
Finally, you should think carefully about your budget. Generally speaking, books are pretty cheap, however, that doesn’t mean everyone has the extra money lying around to buy one. If you’re one of those people, don’t panic, you can still buy a book.
If you have a tight budget, Kindle books are a great option. Super cheap and easy to access, you can sometimes find Kindle books selling for 10% of the original price. This is the perfect option for anyone needing to save money.
This is also a good option for someone that wants to buy multiple books but doesn't have a big enough budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can A Yoga Book Help Me Become A Yoga Teacher?
Yoga books can be a useful resource when training to become a yoga teacher. In fact, most people enrolled in yoga teacher training courses will be required to read specific books during the training process.
What Will I Learn From Yoga Books?
In terms of what you’ll learn from yoga books, the possibilities are endless. Of course, what you learn will also depend on the book you read. You could learn anything from the science behind yoga and history to the best poses and benefits of yoga.
Is Yoga Expensive?
One of the best things about yoga is that it can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. On one hand, you can spend lots of money on classes, equipment, and books.
On the other hand, you can do it without any equipment in the comfort of your own home using free resources.
There you have the best yoga books for beginners. Yoga is a hugely popular practice, consisting of a wide range of disciplines and classes. This can make it hard for beginners to get into it, with many even feeling quite overwhelmed.
That’s why a beginner's book is so useful. With a beginners book, individuals wanting to join the yoga community can learn all the basics and history before taking their first steps into a class.
They are the perfect resource for building confidence and understanding.
In this article, we’ve shown you 5 awesome options. Whether you’re looking for a book that shows you all the best poses or one that tells you more about yoga’s history, we have a book for you on our list.
The books on our list may vary slightly in terms of what they offer and how they can help, but we’re extremely confident that they all help develop a love for the practice.
With our list and buyer’s guide at your fingertips, take some time to narrow down your options and buy your first yoga book.