Yoga Books, Toys and Shopping
Books This aims to be an annotated bibliography of great and not-so-great yoga books and tapes / CDs / videos. It's obviously still under construction, so bear with me!!
Yoga Music Tapes and CDs (under construction)
Yoga Toys (aka, Yoga Shopping)
Creative Yoga Companion - written by Jody Myers, a Halifax-based Kripalu Yoga teacher. An excellent book for students wanting to develop their practice at home. Includes posture flow charts as well as instruction on individual postures. Highly recommended.
Baxter, Christopher Ken. Kripalu Hatha Yoga (1998, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health).
Great asana sheets. Series of basic Kripalu yoga asanas. Basic, simple introduction to yoga for a home practice. Available only through www.kripalushop.org
Bouanchaud, Bernard. The Essence of Yoga: Reflections on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. (1997, Rudra Press)
Each sutra is accompanied by related questions to ask yourself, in order to deepen understanding of the teaching. Includes reflections or meditations on the meaning of each sutra, a literal translation of the Sanskrit words, as well as a more literary rendering of the sutra's meaning. An excellent introduction to Patanjali's Yoga Sutra.
Christensen, Alice. Easy Does It Yoga: The Safe and Gentle Way to Health and Well-being. (1999, Fireside Books)
Calls itself "A complete fitness program for those challenged by age, illness, injury or inactivity", which it certainly is. Explains contraindications, benefits and modifications of each asana.
Desikachar, T.K.V. The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice. (1995, Inner Traditions International).
Great book on yoga philosophy. Includes a basic introduction to asana practice, as well as a translation and commentary on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, and Krishnamacharya's own teachings, presented in the form of his composition, Yoganjalisaram. Highly recommended.
Dworkis, Sam. Recovery Yoga: A practical guide for chronically ill, injured and postoperative people. (1997, Three Rivers Press)
- good information on modifying poses. Includes cautions.
Feuerstein, Georg. The Yoga tradition: It's history, literature, philosophy and practice. (1998, Hohm Press).
A huge volume which I had to read for my teacher training. Chock full of information but a bit hard to slog through.
Gach, Michael Reed (with Carolyn Marco). Acu-Yoga: The Acupressure Stress Management Book Designed to Relieve Stress and Tension (1981, Japan Publications Inc.)
Ties in acupressure meridians with the practice of yoga. Has an extensive section on treatment of specific conditions, and balancing exercises for each meridian.
Iyengar, B.K.S. The Tree of Yoga (1989, Shambhala).
The first book I read on yogic philosophy. I was captivated by the image of the eight-fold path of yoga as analogous to a tree, a theme to which almost half of this book is devoted. Some of the chapters leave a bit to be desired; take what works for you and leave the rest. But I strongly recommend you read this book.
Iyengar, B.K.S. Light on Yoga (1966, Schocken Books)
A classic I'm not so crazy about. Lots of info but so poorly organized it frustrates me time and again.
Iyengar, B.K.S. Light on Pranayama (1981, Thorsons).
Another classic. Tons of information, but again, not so accessible.
Iyengar, B.K.S. . Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (1993, Thorsons)
Another classic, but one I haven't read.
Judith, Anodea, and Selene Vega. The Sevenfold Journey: Reclaiming mind, body and spirit through the chakras. (1993, The Crossing Press).
An experiential workbook for becoming familiar with the chakra system through yoga postures, as well as other activities such as journalling and ritual.
Judith, Anodea Wheels of Life: A User's Guide to the Chakra System (1995, Llewellyn Publications).
Rich with information. Includes yoga asanas for each chakra.
Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness. (1990, Delta)
Contains complete information about the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre. Awesome book. Not so much about yoga, but about one of its underlying principles, mindfulness. Very highly recommended.
Mehta, Mira. How To Use Yoga: A step-by-step guide to the Iyengar method of yoga for relaxation, health and well-being. (1998, Rodmell Press)
- a great self-teaching manual - really a yoga class in book form. Includes lesson plans. Also makes a good reference book for teachers. Beautiful photos, lots of variations for postures.
Ohlig, Adelheid Luna Yoga: Vital Fertility and Sexuality (1994, Ash Tree Publishing, Box 64, Woodstock, NY, 12498)
A very different approach to yoga. Woman-focussed. Very interesting reading, and great descriptions of gentle yoga postures. Highly recommended.
Scaravelli, Vanda. Awakening the Spine:The stress-free yoga that works with the body to restore health, vitality and energy. (1991, HarperSanFrancisco).
Lots of really good ideas about how to "think about" yoga, with some photos and drawings of asanas. Scaravelli just died recently, a dedicated yoga practitioner until her death at something like 90 years of age.
Schaeffer, Rachel. Yoga for your Spiritual Muscles: A Complete Yoga program to Strengthen Body and Spirit. (1998, Quest Books).
A beautiful book, both to look at and to read. Asanas are grouped by themes such as Compassion, Energy, and Playfulness. Rachel is a Kripalu alum.
Schiffman, Eric. The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness (1996, Pocket Books).
Great yoga theory. Rich with information. Wonderful, explicit, step-by-step instructions and photos for the asanas, as well as descriptions of their benefits.
Weller, Stella. Yoga for Children. (1996, Thorsons)
- written for children to practice alone. Information about how to do the posture, its benefits, special notes and precautions, all written in language kids can understand. My nine-year-old duaghter loves it and uses it for her practice.
Shiva Rea. Yoga Sanctuary. (1997, Yogadventures)
This excellent CD was the foundation of my yoga practice for quite a while. I have other friends who swear by it, too. Each track includes a group of postures (e.g., full body warm-up, forward bends and twists, balancing poses, etc.) that flow into one another quite nicely. You combine the groups of postures into a complete yoga practice to suit your needs - the combinations are limitless. Shiva Rea is a great instructor and the background musice by Lisbeth Scott enhances your asana experience. Highly recommended. Available from www.yogadventures.com
Swami Janakananda. Experience Yoga Nidra. (1996, Bindu Publishers)
Yoga Nidra (meaning yogic sleep) is another dimension of the yogic experience. It is also called deep, meditative relaxation, during which the practitioner experiences another state of consciousness. In this pactice, both body and mind reach the meditative state. As a result of regular practice of yoga nidra, many people who feel they are unable to relax can learn to do so, and can also improve their concentration with this practice. I use, my daughter uses it, another teacher friend of mine uses it for herslef, her students and her family, and one of my teachers uses it. They all swear by it. Highly recommended. Available from www.scand-yoga.org.
YOGO - in Ottawa - Comfortable cotton alternatives to spandex and lycra.
Karma Care Products for Yoga - Toronto - 1-866-MATYOGA
Dream Designs - "great people making quality yoga and meditation products in Vancouver since 1981."
SADLY, the Yoga Store has gone out of business The Yoga Store - A Canadian supplier of all things yoga - mats, blankets, bolsters, straps, blocks, meditation cushions, videos, books, music, etc.
Yogadanam - yoga bookstore in Britain with an excellent selection of books for Viniyoga students, as well as in other traditions. (I ordered a book and tape from them and it was delivered within 2 weeks. The British pound is worth about $2CDN.)
Yoga Research and Education Centre has a store
Yoga Essentials - Their advertising says: "We are very excited about the yoga products we carry, such as neti pots, tongue cleaners, mala beads, jewelry (oms, hatha and yin-yang bracelets), Deities, and stone and wood carvings. Our experience is that these items are often hard to come across at a fair price, so we have endeavored to supply them from India and Bali.
Living Arts - they have a neat "yoga starter kit" with two bricks, a strap, a mat and a yoga video, packaged in a box.
The Yoga Site has a retail section
Sivananda also has a store
Kripalu store sells Kripalu-produced books, CDs, tapes and videos, and other yoga resources.
Yoga Journal sells books, videos, CDs, etc.
OM Yoga Centre - also has a Yoga-in-a-box kit, includes class CD, music CD, 68 asana flash cards, yoga belt, candle and incense. They sell Om t-shirts, too.
Samadhi Cushions - supports the retreatants at Karme Choling Buddhist Centre in Northern Vermont.
Synchronicity Foundation - home of Master Charles' famous continuous OM CD, "OM - the Reverberation of Source" and other great yoga and meditation music.
Mindful Threads - Om and asana t-shirts
Seaside Designs - has yoga cats t-shirts
T-shirt Planet - Om hats, t-shirts, knapsacks, sweatshirts, etc.