Recommended Reading List

Recommended Reading

All these books may be obtained from: or

Modern Works

  • Iyengar, B K S, Light on Yoga (Thorsons 2001; first published 1966) This is the ‘Yoga Bible’ of the Iyengar method, giving instructions for some 200 postures from simple to advanced.
  • Iyengar, B K S, Light on Pranayama (Crossroad 1998) This is a definitive work on Yogic Breath Control.
  • Iyengar, Geeta S, Yoga: A Gem for Women (Timeless Books 2002) By B K S Iyengar’s daughter, this addresses women’s issues and includine practice for menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.
  • Mehta, Silva, Mira Shyam, Yoga: The Iyengar Way (Dorling Kindersley 1990) This gives step by step techniques of 100 postures and has become a classic textbook used the world over by teachers and students.
  • Mehta, Mira, How to Use Yoga (Anness 1994)
    This is a book for beginners giving simple sequences for home practice. It also gives Yoga programmes for various ailments and pains.
  • Mehta, Mira, Health through Yoga (Thorsons 2002) This explains the principles of Ayurveda and how these help in the understanding of Yoga. It gives practice routines for the health of the body as well as readings for the health of the mind.
  • Mehta, Mira Arjunwadkar, Krishna S, Yoga Explained (Kyle Cathie 2004) This is a foundation course in Yoga which gives a series of lessons in practice and philosophy.
  • Arjunwadkar, K S, Introduction to Yoga: A Fresh Study of the Literature in English (in Nagojibhatta (Ed) The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune, 2006) This is a short survey of the rational (philosophy-based) and non-rational (mystic- and magic-based) schools of Yoga, covering major works and topics. (Not available at

Source Texts :

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

This 2,000-year-old treatise summarises the practices and philosophy of Yoga in 194 aphorisms. It is best understood with the help of commentaries, the first being a 4th century AD one by Vyasa.

  • Yardi, M R, (Tr) The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune, 1979) or by a rare book search on and
  • Ranganathan, Shyam, (Tr) Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra (Penguin Classics 2009)
  • Vivekananda, Swami, (Tr & Ed) Yoga Sutra of Patanjali (Watkins Publishing 2007)
  • Hartranft, Chip, (Tr) The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali (Shambala 2003)
  • Bhaduri, Saugata, (Tr) The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali (D K Printworld Ltd 2006)
  • Bailey, Alice, The Light of the Soul: its Science and Effect: Paraphrase of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Lucis Publishing 1988)
  • Dvivedi, M N, (Tr) The Yoga Sutra of Patnjali (Sri Satguru Publications 2001)
  • Rama Prasada, M A, (Tr) Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra with the commentary of Vyasa and the gloss of Vachaspati Misra (Oriental Books Reprint Corporation 1912)

Hatha Yoga Pradipika

This is mediaeval manual on Yoga practices containing information on postures, breath control and meditation as well as esoteric practices for advanced Yogins.

  • Akers, Brian Dana, (Tr) The Hatha Yoga Pradipika of Svatmarama ( 2002)
  • Vishnu-Devananda, Swami, (Tr) The Hatha Yoga Pradipika of Svatmarama  (Om Lotus Publishing 1997)

Bhagavad Gita

This is a spiritual classic. Within a story of war and personal conflict it expounds teachings of the soul and selfless action, describing various paths of spiritual endeavour. Each is described as a Yoga.

  • Sargeant, Winthrop, (Tr), The Bhagavad Gita  (SUNY 2009)
  • Arnold, Edwin, The Song of Songs (Bastian Books 2008)
  • Yardi, M R, The Bhagavad Gita as a Synthesis (Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute 1991)
  • Brian Hodgkinson, Bhagavad Gita: Verse Transaltion Hardcover – (15 Jul 2009)


These are ancient Indo-European compendia of spiritual teaching and enquiry into the universe. They contain seeds of thought which later became elaborated into distinct philosophical schools. Some important concepts of Yoga philosophy are found in these works.

  • Jacobs, A , (Tr) Sacred Texts: The Principal Upanishads. (Watkins Publishing 2007)
  • Purohit, Swami & Yeats W.B. (Trs) 10 Principal Upanishads (Faber 1937)
  • Radhakrishnan, S, (Tr  & Ed) The Principal Upanishads (Oxford University Press 1989)
  • Olivelle, Patrick, (Tr & Ed) The Early Upanishads (Oxford World Classics 1999)