The best yoga books to read this year

Find your zen and perfect your poses with these fantastic reads.

Woman reading yoga book

by Eleanor Weaver |

Despite being over 5,000 years old, yoga has certainly grown in popularity over recent years and boomed as a fitness trend to try at home.

It’s been increasingly popular with celebrities and royalty too – in an interview with California’s Best Heath Magazine, Meghan Markle shared that ‘yoga was her thing’ and something she’d practiced since a young age.

If you’re a practiced yogi, a complete beginner, or want to expand your learning outside the fitness studio, read on for our pick of the best yoga books to help you grow.

What is yoga?

Yoga is an ancient mind and body practice using Indian philosophy, designed to boost your physical and mental wellbeing.

It uses breathing techniques, postures and movements to increase strength and flexibility and meditation to help focus and harmonise your mind.

What are the benefits of yoga?

According to the NHS, yoga is suggested to be a safe and effective way to increase your physical fitness. It has also been seen to:

• Increase flexibility

• Increase strength and reduce risk of injury

• Improve respiration and vitality

• Improve your circulatory and cardio health

• Increase balance

• Alleviate anxiety

• Alleviate stress and in turn improve sleep and concentration

So if you’re looking to improve your body or mind, take a look at these yoga books to help you build on the basics and find what’s best for you.

Beginner Yoga terms demystified

Across these yoga books you’ll be introduced to terms for different parts of the practice. We’ve whipped up a short glossary to help navigate which book is right for you.

Hatha Yoga: this refers to the typical type of yoga that teaches physical postures and the most prominent variation in the West

Yin Yoga: this refers to a slow pace style of yoga in which poses are held for a longer period of time

Asana: the name for a posture adopted in yoga

Bandha: the practice of locking off the energy flow to part of the body in order to regulate and direct the flow of it

Chakra: this refers to energy points in the body, thought of as spinning discs that should stay aligned

Mudra: a symbolic gesture used to stimulate different parts of the body

Pranayama: this refers to a breathing exercise used to free the flow of energy and overcome any physical or emotional obstacles

Vinyasa: a sequence of poses or asana with a focus on the smooth transition between them

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