Philosophy: Although there are more ancient texts such as Bhagavad Gita to name one, the main text associated with Yoga philosophy today is Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra – there are many commentaries on it. One to consider as it is short and simpler than others:
The Eight Limbs of Yoga: A Handbook for Living Yoga Philosophy (by Stuart Ray Sarbacker)
Asana/Postures: When beginning you may want a book – I would suggest one with descriptive instructions and pictures/photos. Alignment style would be recommended; I also suggest ones that use props:
- Yoga: The Iyengar Way: The New Definitive Illustrated Guide (by Silva Mehta)
- How to Use Yoga: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Iyengar Method of Yoga for Relaxation, Health and Well-Being Shown in 450 Photographs (by Silva Mehta)
- A Chair for Yoga: A complete guide to Iyengar Yoga practice with a chair (by Eyal Shifroni) – note this does have some advanced postures
- B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health (by BKS Iyengar)
You might also enjoy videos. There are many online and some will require subscription (YogaWorks, Gaia, Yoga Download – I have seen deals e.g., Groupon for some of these if you want to try for a short time), you could also check things like Netflix, Amazon, On-Demand TV to see if they include yoga videos. Also check out YouTube. A few channels I like are: Roads to Bliss and Ekhart Yoga.
Pranayama (Breathing): There are often instructions in many yoga asana books/videos. Here is a website which reviews several (including ones we will have done in class: Nadi Sodhana/Alternate Nostril; Bhramari/Bumble Bee; Ujjayi/Victorious breath).
Meditation: Most important to remember is that mediation is not as much about wiping the mind of though as it is about being in the present moment and quieting the mind’s chatter. There are several top experts that you may have heard about and you might enjoy their book/audio:
- How to Meditate (Pema Chodron) – the CD is great because it leads you through sessions
- Mindfulness for Beginners (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
- Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle)
If you would like to try meditation out, Deepak and Oprah run several 21-day meditations series each year. I have completed a few of these before. Sign up to access (it is free but you will get emails about purchasing CDs). There is also an app called Headspace that offers some free (subscription will allow you access to others). If you want to go it alone, you might enjoy a timer app – I use Insight Timer.