Swami Ramananda


After reading Swami Satchidananda's classic translation of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali in 1978, Ramananda quit his counseling job and moved to the author's Yogaville ashram in Buckingham, Virginia. Now president of the New York Integral Yoga Institute, Ramananda continues to seek inspiration through the written word. "When one book gets finished, another two get added in."

Ramananda's most recent picks include Kathleen Norris's The Cloister Walk, a memoir about the author's prayerful retreats to a Benedictine monastery; Ruth Beebe Hill's Hanta Yo, a novel that depicts the life and culture of the Dakota Sioux; and Wayne Muller's Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives. He also recommends Thich Nhat Hahn's Peace Is Every Step, Jack Kornfield's A Path with Heart, and Rachel Naomi Remen's My Grandfather's Blessings, which he says is "full of brief stories of ordinary people who find deep meaning, growth, and even blessings as they face the uncertainty and suffering that life brings."