Ask the Expert: What Are 3 Must-Reads for Beginner Yogis?

Answers to your questions about poses for foot pain, immune boosters, hot yoga, and more.

I’m new to yoga. What are the must-reads? Try these three books suggested by Douglas Brooks, PhD, Professor of religion, University of Rochester, New York,  for a careful study 
of the history of modern yoga and its relationship 
to the South Asian traditions of yoga.

  • The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography

    The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography

    (Princeton University Press, 2014), by David Gordon White, a religious studies professor at UC Santa Barbara

    White reviews the various interpretations of the 
ancient sutras (aphorisms that inform yoga practice) written by the Indian sage Patanjali and investigates how yoga today differs from yoga at its origins. (amazon.com)

    See also Patanjali Never Said Anything About Alignment

  • Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture 
Practice

    Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture 
Practice

    (Oxford University Press, 2010), by Mark 
Singleton, a yoga researcher

    Singleton investigates how the Western adoption of posture-based yoga can be traced from colonialism to an intersection of modern fitness goals and a desire for greater spirituality. (amazon.com)

    See also 5 Ways Yoga Is Not Just For Fitness

  • The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, 
Philosophy and Practice

    The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, 
Philosophy and Practice

    (Hohm Press, 3rd edition, 2001), by Georg Feuerstein, PhD, a preeminent yoga scholar

    It’s a friendly historical and psychological survey of different yoga styles—even the more obscure practices—and schools of thought. (amazon.com)

    See also Use Other Yoga Styles to Enhance Your Teaching