Giving Tree Yoga Recommends Books on Yoga, Meditation, Anatomy, Mindfulness, etc...

Giving Tree's Recommended Books on Yoga, Meditation, Anatomy, Mindfulness, etc...


Yoga book collection

I recently asked the teachers of Giving Tree to offer suggestions and commentary on their favorite books that could serve as a nice reference guide to anyone wishing to expand their knowledge and library. Some of the teachers provided a good set of reads that cover everything from Yoga, Meditation, Anatomy, Philosophy, Mythology, Mindfulness and Holistic care. We hope you enjoy this list and find the books to be as helpful and inspiring as we do. I've included book description from Amazon and links out to Amazon, but feel free to search elsewhere if you like. Let us know if you have any questions or comments. We'd love to chat...


Melissa's Picks

Light On Yoga - B.K.S. 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 positions and breathing exercises.

A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle - With his bestselling spiritual guide The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle inspired millions of readers to discover the freedom and joy of a life lived “in the now.” In A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence. Illuminating, enlightening, and uplifting, A New Earth is a profoundly spiritual manifesto for a better way of life—and for building a better world.

Daily Mindfulness 365 Day of Present, Calm, Exquisite Living - Life can be exquisite, but too often its savor is lost in the rut of routine living. The path to leaving the mundane and finding joy and purpose is mindfulness. Pause, breathe, reconnect with the present, and discover all over again the thrill of being alive. With 365 daily quotes, stunning full-color photography, and a handy ribbon to mark your place, Daily Mindfulness invites you to calm your mind, live now, and experience a richer, fuller life.

Living Buddha, Living Christ - Thich Nhat Hanh - Nominated by Martin Luther King, Jr. for a Nobel Peace Prize, Thich Nhat Hanh is one of today’s leading sources of wisdom, peace, compassion and comfort.

The 20th anniversary edition of the classic text, updated, revised, and featuring a Mindful Living Journal.

Buddha and Christ, perhaps the two most pivotal figures in the history of humankind, each left behind a legacy of teachings and practices that have shaped the lives of billions of people over two millennia. If they were to meet on the road today, what would each think of the other's spiritual views and practices?  Thich Nhat Hanh has been part of a decades-long dialogue between two great contemplative traditions, and brings to Christianity an appreciation of its beauty that could be conveyed only by an outsider. IN lucid, meditative prose, he explores the crossroads of compassion and holiness at which the two traditions meet, and he reawakens our understanding of both. "On the altar in my hermitage," he says, "are images of Buddha and Jesus, and I touch both of them as my spiritual ancestors."

Medical Medium - Anthony William - Anthony William, Medical Medium, has helped tens of thousands of people heal from ailments that have been misdiagnosed or ineffectively treated or that doctors can’t resolve. He’s done this by listening to a divine voice that literally speaks into his ear, telling him what lies at the root of people’s pain or illness, and what they need to do to restore their health. His methods achieve spectacular results, even for those who have spent years and many thousands of dollars on all forms of medicine before turning to him. Now, in this revolutionary book, he opens the door to all he has learned over his 25 years of bringing people’s lives back: a massive amount of healing information, much of which science won’t discover for decades and most of which has never appeared anywhere before.Medical Medium reveals the root causes of diseases and conditions that medical communities either misunderstand or struggle to understand at all. It explores all-natural solutions for dozens of the illnesses that plague us, including Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, hormonal imbalances, Hashimoto’s disease, multiple sclerosis, depression, neurological conditions, chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease, blood-sugar imbalances, colitis and other digestive disorders, and more. It also offers solutions for restoring the soul and spirit after illness has torn at our emotional fabric. Whether you’ve been given a diagnosis you don’t understand, or you have symptoms you don’t know how to name, or someone you love is sick, or you want to care for your own patients better, Medical Medium offers the answers you need. It’s also a guidebook for everyone seeking the secrets to living longer, healthier lives. "The truth about the world, ourselves, life, purpose—it all comes down to healing," Anthony William writes. "And the truth about healing is now in your hands."


Angela's Picks

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Sri Swami Satchidananda - This valuable book provides a complete manual for the study and practice of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation. This new edition of these timeless teachings is a treasure to be read and referred to again and again by seekers treading the spiritual path. The classic Sutras (thought-threads), at least 4,000 years old, cover the yogic teachings on ethics, meditation, and physical postures, and provide directions for dealing with situations in daily life. The Sutras are presented here in the purest form, with the original Sanskrit and with translation, transliteration, and commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda, one of the most respected and revered contemporary Yoga masters. In this classic context, Sri Swamiji offers practical advice based on his own experience for mastering the mind and achieving physical, mental and emotional harmony.

Radical Acceptance - Tara Brach - For many of us, feelings of deficiency are right around the corner. It doesn’t take much--just hearing of someone else’s accomplishments, being criticized, getting into an argument, making a mistake at work--to make us feel that we are not okay. Beginning to understand how our lives have become ensnared in this trance of unworthiness is our first step toward reconnecting with who we really are and what it means to live fully. --from Radical Acceptance

Yoga Mind, Body &Spirit - Donna Farhi - A user-friendly guide illustrated with 240 two-color photographs and illustrations, Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit sets forth the tenets of this gentle yet rigorous exercise as no other book has. Integrating the teachings of every tradition, internationally renowned yoga instructor Donna Farhi reveals how yoga enhances the connections between the mind, body, and spirit. She outlines the seven simple movement principles that underlie all human motion and provides exercises to help readers understand how they can achieve all yoga postures. She also discusses the ten ethical precepts that are the foundation of all yoga teachings and explains how to incorporate them into a spiritually and emotionally rewarding inner practice.

At the heart of Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit are more than seventy-five yoga asanas or postures. Each is one pictured and described in detail, and they are arranged into related groups--including standing postures, sitting postures, arm balances, and breathing practices--or easy reference. A selection of yoga practices of varying lengths and levels of difficulty provides challenges and inspiration for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students.

A huge resurgence of interest in yoga is sweeping the country. With its broad scope and holistic approach, Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit is the ideal book for today's mainstream audience.


Sonya's Pick

The Inner Tradition of Yoga - Michael Stone - A wise, accesible guide that makes the spiritual and ethical teachings of the yogic tradition immediately relatable to our practice on the mat--and in our everyday relationships and activities. Now revised and updated.

“There is no daily practice without some formal training; and there is no deep spiritual training without the mess of relational life. The two are one,” says Michael Stone. This wise, accessible guide—now revised and updated—makes the spiritual and ethical teachings of the yogic tradition immediately relatable to our practice on the mat and in our everyday relationships and activities. Stone draws from numerous disciplines—including Buddhism and psychotherapy—to provide an in-depth, completely clear explanation of yogic philosophy, along with teachings on how to work with the conditions of our life and fully appreciate yoga as a practice of being intimate with moment-to-moment reality.


Kristin's Picks

Meditation as Medicine by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa and Cameron Stauth - Proven effective by scientific research and presented here by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa and Cameron Stauth, the practice of Medical Meditation revolutionizes the healing process. By balancing and regenerating the body's ethereal and physical energies through simple meditations, Medical Meditation unites the mind, body, and spirit into a powerful triad. Each Medical Meditation here has a specific physiological effect, targeting afflictions from arthritis to ulcers to cancer. Dr. Khalsa details the five unique attributes that endow this type of meditation with far more power than standard meditation. The combination of special postures and movements; exact positioning of the hands and fingers; particular mantras; specific breathing patterns; and a unique focus of concentration can change your entire biochemical profile, easing you into a calm, healing state. Practiced in conjunction with conventional or alternative medical treatments, cutting-edge Medical Meditation activates the healing force within you.

I Am That: The Science of Hamsa from the Vijnana Bhairava - In this commentary on verse 24 of the Vijnana Bhairava, a classic text of the nondual Shaivism of Kashmir, Swami Muktananda teaches about the power and practice of the hamsa mantra—the mantra that arises naturally and spontaneously with the breath. Swami Muktananda reveals the mystical secrets of this form of mantra repetition and explains how, through dedicated practice, one becomes established in the unwavering experience of inner divinity. The book includes an introduction by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, the spiritual head of the Siddha Yoga path.


Jes's Picks

Path of the Yoga Sutras - Yoga is an exercise and meditation philosophy that has been taking the United States by storm over the past several decades. Yet many are unaware that there is an entire, ancient religion that prefaces this phenomenon. Yoga is one of six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, and the “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” contains 196 aphorisms that form the basis of Raja Yoga. Patanjali uses his text to explain different facets of the philosophy, leading people to achieve Kaivalya, the ultimate goal of detachment. The sutras begin with the most basic concentration, and then progresses to discipline, manifestation, and finally, emancipation of the transcendental ego. Patanjali also explains how one can find the path to Kaivayla with the eight limbs of Yoga; non-violent thoughts, cleanliness, healthy living, meditation, and others are explained as essential actions to achieving self-liberation. Patanjali lived sometime between the 1st century BCE and the 5th century BCE. While all critics agree that Patanjali is the great compiler of the Yoga Sutras, many deliberate about whether or not he created the meditational philosophy. Some even speculate that Patanjali borrowed some of his sutras from other authors. Regardless, the “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” is now considered to be one of the most important textual sources for the practice of yoga. This edition is printed on premium acid-free paper and is translated with a preface by William Q. Judge.

The Yamas & Niyamas - Deborah Adele - The first two limbs of the eight-fold path of yoga sutras—the basic text for classical yoga—are examined in this spiritual guide to the practice of yoga. Foundational to all yogic thought, they are considered to be the guidelines to the yoga way of living that free individuals to take ownership of their lives, direct them toward the fulfillment they seek, and gain the skills to choose attitude, thought, and action. The first five guidelines are referred to as the yamas—a Sanskrit word that translates to "restraints"—and encompass nonviolence, truthfulness, not stealing, non-excess, and non-possessiveness. The last five are referred to as the niyamas, or observances—purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender. A self-study section at the end of each chapter may also be used by instructors for group discussion.


Christy's Picks

Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates and Katerina Kenison - 365 daily reflections offering a way to integrate the mindfulness that yoga teaches into everyday life, from the acclaimed yoga teacher, Rolf Gates. As more and more people in the West pursue yoga in its various forms, whether at traditional centers, in the high-powered atmosphere of sports clubs, or on their own, they begin to realize that far from being just another exercise routine, yoga is a discipline of the body and the mind. Whether used in the morning to set the tone for the day, during yoga exercise itself, or at the end of the day, during evening reflection, the daily reflections in Meditations from the Mat will support and enhance anyone’s yoga journey.

The Path of the Yoga Sutras by Nicolas Bachman - One of the great gifts of the yogic path is that it returns us to a life of simplicity, even as we go about our lives in a world of growing complexity. Through practice, we ultimately find the freedom to be who we really are, and allow others do the same.

This was Patañjali's original intention when he penned his legendary sutras. But when a text is over 2,000 years old, important things can get lost in translation. For today's yoga student looking to take their practice “off the mat and into the world,” Nicolai Bachman presents The Path of the Yoga Sutras.

By organizing the sutras into 51 core concepts that support the Western student in germinating and blossoming these potent “seed” teachings, Bachman has created a breakthrough tool for integrating yoga philosophy and practice, whatever your level of experience.

Living Your Yoga by Judith Hanson Lasater - If you think that you have to retreat to a cave in the Himalayas to find the enlightenment that yoga promises, think again. In this second edition of Living Your Yoga, Judith Hanson Lasater stretches the meaning of yoga beyond its familiar poses and breathing techniques to include the events of daily life—all of them—as ways to practice. This edition includes three new chapters (Relaxation, Empathy, and Worship), a full index, and new interior and cover designs. Using the time-honored wisdom of the Yoga Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita to steer the course, she serves up off-the-mat practices to guide you in deepening your relationships with yourself, your family and friends, and the world around you. Inspiring and practical, she blends her heartfelt knowledge of an ancient tradition with her life experiences as a daughter, sister, partner, mother, friend, and yoga practitioner and teacher. The result: a new yoga that beckons you to find the spiritual in everyday life.


Will's Picks

Be Here Now by Ram Dass - In March 1961, Professor Richard Alpert – later renamed Ram Dass – held appointments in four departments at Harvard University. He published books, drove a Mercedes and regularly vacationed in the Caribbean. By most societal standards, he had achieved great success... And yet he couldn’t escape the feeling that something was missing.  Psilocybin and LSD changed that. During a period of experimentation, Alpert peeled away each layer of his identity, disassociating from himself as a professor, a social cosmopolite, and lastly, as a physical being. Fear turned into exaltation upon the realization that at his truest, he was just his inner-self: a luminous being that he could trust indefinitely and love infinitely. And thus, a spiritual journey commenced. Alpert headed to India where his guru renamed him Baba Ram Dass – “servant of God.” He was introduced to mindful breathing exercises, hatha yoga, and Eastern philosophy. If he found himself reminiscing or planning, he was reminded to “Be Here Now. He started upon the path of enlightenment, and has been journeying along it ever since. Be Here Now is a vehicle for sharing the true message, and a guide to self-determination. With over 150 pages of metaphysical illustrations, practical advice on how to implement a yogic regiment, and a chapter dedicated to quotes and book recommendations, Be Here Now is sure to enrich your emotional, physical, and spiritual life.

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda - Regarded as one of the most spiritual books of all time “Autobiography of a Yogi” is the story of Paramahansa Yogananda told in his own words. As Walter Y. Evans-Wentz remarks in his preface to the book “The value of Yogananda’s ‘Autobiography’ is greatly enhanced by the fact that it is one of the few books in English about the wise men of India which has been written, not by a journalist or foreigner, but by one of their own race and training—in short, a book about yogis by a yogi.” This work takes the reader along on Yogananda’s spiritual journey from his upbringing in Gorakhpur, India, to his search for his spiritual guru, Yukteswar Giri, and ultimately to the founding of the Self-Realization Fellowship in the United States. Not only a great chronicle of a deeply spiritual life, “Autobiography of a Yogi” has also been hugely influential in disseminating the spiritual ideas of yoga and meditation in the Western world. Cited as an influence for such luminaries as Steve Jobs and George Harrison, “Autobiography of a Yogi”, will surely inspire readers for years to come. This edition is printed on premium acid-free paper and reproduces the original 1946 edition.

The First and Last Freedom by J. Krishnamurti - Krishnamurti is a leading spiritual teacher of our century. In The First and Last Freedom he cuts away symbols and false associations in the search for pure truth and perfect freedom. Through discussions on suffering, fear, gossip, sex and other topics, Krishnamurti’s quest becomes the readers, an undertaking of tremendous significance.


Emily's Picks

The Key Muscles of Yoga and The Key Poses of Yoga by Ray Long

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 II of the series illustrates the correct muscle use during key poses of hatha yoga. From beginners to experts, this book will become a constant companion.

The Words I Read To You by Reanna Livingston - A collection of readings that empower, inspire and create room for self-discovery. Words that fire up your inner truth, inspire the mind, and relax the restless soul.




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