References on Yoga

I. The active practice of Yoga

B. K. S. Iyengar. Light on Yoga (revised edition), New York: Schoken Books, 1976.

Sliva Mehta and Mira Mehta. Yoga the Iyengar Way. New York: Alfred A. Knopf Publishers. B. K. S. Iyengar. Light on Pranayama. London: George Allan and Unwin, 1981. (This occupies the same position among books on the rhythmic control of the breath the Light on Yoga does on the practice of poses. Please note pranayama is an advanced practice that should not be attempted by beginners.)

Gehta Iyengar. Yoga: A Gem for Women. Timeless Books, 1990

B. K. S. Iyengar. Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 2001. (This book is not on the general practice of yoga, but rather is on the therapeutic aspects of yoga. It should not be used as a guide to the practice of poses. Although it does have helpful illustrations on props use and the poses photographed from all angles).

II. Yoga as a System of Philosophy

B. K. S. Iyengar. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patnajali, London: Thorsons, 1993. [a translation and commentary of the yoga sutras from the perspective of a master practitioner]

Barbara Stoller Miller. Yoga: Discipline of Freedom. New York: Bantam Books, 1998. [a translation and commentary of the yoga sutras from the perspective of and academic scholar]

note: the yoga sutras are a collection of aphorisms collected in four sections, generally considered to be the first attempt to systematize and record a philosophical account of yoga.

Christopher Chapple. "The Unseen Seer and the Field: Consciousness in Samkhya and Yoga," in Robert K. C. Forman, ed., The Problem of Pure Consciousness: Mysticism and Philosophy, New York: Oxford University Press, 1990, 53-70.

Steven Collins. Selfless Persons, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Heinrich Zimmer. Philosophies of India, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. [a scholarly introduction to the six orthodox philosophies of Hinduism, of which Yoga is one, and the heterodox philosophies of Buddhism, Jainism, etc.]

III. Mythology and sacred texts relevant for Yoga

Bhagavad Gita (tran. Barbara Stoller Miller) New York: Bantam Books. [a section of the Mahabaratha, the great Indian war epic in which the god Krishna offers discipline, duty and yoga to Arjuna]

Valmiki. Ramayana (tran. William Buck) Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981. [an epic poem about King Rama]

Swati and Rajiv Chanchani. Yoga for Children. New Dehli and London: UBS Publishers, 1995. [a guide to teaching yoga which has very accessible explanations of Yogic philosophy as well as the stories behind the names of asanas.]