Written by Nishil, Guest Writer
Yoga is much more than a set of physical exercises to stretch and relax, it’s an experience that can fundamentally alter your life, as any regular, devoted yoga practitioner would tell you. It broadens your perspectives, and makes you more understanding of your own self and the world around you. One of the best ways to learn about yoga, whether you’re a beginner or a regular practitioner, is by reading books on it.
These books help you provide a larger context and knowledge of yoga, while also highlighting the rich historical and philosophical backgrounds of the practice. The bending into different shapes and poses that usually passes off as yoga in the media is just one of the eight paths of practicing yoga. And these books help you understand the vast knowledge and wisdom that comes with this practice, and help you in expanding your horizons in the process.
With all that being said, let’s dive straight into our topic of today, and look at the top 6 yoga audiobooks every yoga lover should listen to:
1. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: The Book of the Spiritual Man by Patanjali
Get it straight from one of those texts which started it all: Patanjali’s Sutras. There are numerous reasons for why anyone who’s new to Yoga or has been practicing it for a while must read this foundational book. The primary one being understanding the true purpose of Yoga, which is not just to stretch your body or improve your health, but to lay still the mind’s fluctuations.
The book helps you understand yourself and the world around you, and how to let go, and in that lies the true purpose of Yoga. It also helps you identify the different hindrances that come between a serene state of mind, and how to overcome them. With the book, the listener is also made aware of the centuries of history and lineage that the practice carries with itself.
The book also helps you realize the true essence of the practice, beyond the physical routines and exercises. It helps you imbibe yoga in a way that is sustainable throughout your entire life, and through which you can breathe and live yoga at all moments, bringing a sense of balance and calmness to your every day.
This is a book that’s worth reading and re-reading, for the insights it offers and the wisdom that it imparts, not to mention that you get to learn something new each time.
2. Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self by Anodea Judith, Ph.D.
There’s a high likelihood that you’ve seen images of the different chakras or heard about them somewhere, and wonder what they really are. Judith’s book is all about that: what the different chakras are, what they represent, and how to use them for your inner development.
As the title suggests, she takes the wisdom and knowledge of the eastern philosophies and seamlessly combines them with the modern beliefs and attitudes of the western mind. Using the chakra system to map out her book, Anodea explains the different characteristics of each chakra, and then exploring the various patterns attached, concluding with ideas on how to maintain balance and heal from within.
Filled with anecdotes and examples, Judith seeks to combine science, philosophy, psychology, spirituality in here and does so effectively, that holds the power to alter your perspectives and help you be in harmony with your mind. It helps you understand the depths of Eastern philosophy that, in turn, helps you appreciate the practice of Yoga even more.
3. The Heart Of Yoga Wisdom From The Bhagavata Purana by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Shrimat Bhagvatham, or the Bhagavata Purana, is one of the most sacred texts of Hinduism and contains innumerable pearls of wisdom and philosophical teachings in its 332 chapters and 18000 verses. The non-linear format of storytelling, and the myriad of plots, characters, and passionate dialogues make it a compelling piece of literature and a classic in every sense of the word. It combines stories with philosophy in a way that keeps you racing through each word while soaking in the depth of every passage.
Within it all lies the secrets to life: detachments, fulfillments, surrendering yourself and much more. And this is what Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati aims to explore and teach through this piece. He delves into the several aspects of Yoga using the principles of Bhagavata Purana and tells the several ways in which you can apply that to your own life.
We’ve already talked several times about the vast expanse of yoga beyond the mere physical regimes, and this book is all about that: the mental, the metaphysical. It helps you understand the deeper concepts of life, and how to face the unavoidable problems of life, of living. And through this, it provides a broader understanding of the philosophy that lies at the core of the practice that is Yoga.
Narrated delightfully with musical scores by Jagannatha Dasa And Company, the audiobook is an experience to go through, and further enriches what the text contains.
4. Meditations on Intention and Being: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga, Mindfulness, and Compassion by Rolf Gates
Divided into 365 small passages, each talking about yamas or ethical principles, and niyamas or observations, Meditations on Intention and Being is, at its core, about taking yoga and applying it to all spheres of life. He tries to see where the different yamas and niyamas can fit into the modern lifestyle, and how they can enrich your life and make you more mindful and compassionate towards your surroundings.
Using over twenty years of his experience in yoga, Gates tries to show how this practice is useful outside the mat and the different physical exertions, and how it can make your life better in different ways. Whether one’s a long time practitioner or a beginner to this practice, this book can help them achieve a better experience and a better relationship with their own body and mind, alongwith their external surroundings.
As the title suggests, it helps the reader practice yoga with intention and their full being, and understand its different concepts and philosophies. The book’s narrated by Kevin Kenerly with a tranquil voice and a calm atmosphere, so that you can experience the book in an even better manner.
5. Yoga Mind: Journey Beyond the Physical, 30 Days to Enhance your Practice and Revolutionize Your Life From the Inside Out by Susan Colón
As Suzan shows, through this book, yoga is actually a spiritual concept and technology from ancient times that’s even more relevant in today’s stressful environment, and her book helps the reader to truly explore that for themselves. Today, meditation and mindfulness are practices that not everyone can include in their lives, just because of how restless most of us are, at most times.
In this book, Suzan shares thirty concepts that can help you be more balanced and aware in your day-to-day life: whether you’re stuck in traffic or in your office or doing your house chores. She shows how yoga and its principles can be used to relieve oneself of tension, gain inner strength, and have better relationships with people around you.
Containing a comprehensive 30 day program that seeks to change and cultivate little habits that can change your awareness and attitude and build a better you. Both for those who practice yoga and those who don’t, the book and the included program helps create an impact on yourself that brings more calm and happiness.
Voiced by Janina Edwards, the audiobook perfectly complements the essence of the book with its atmospheric and calm narration that helps you immerse yourself deeper.
6. Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison
Considered one of the most authoritative and important foundational texts, Meditations from the Mat is for everyone who’s ever tried meditating and not been able to persist through. This can be considered an excellent sequel to the other book by Gates above: Meditations on Intention and Being, as it shows how you can put the different yamas and niyamas into practice.
The book’s more about understanding what yoga is and imbibing its various concepts into your life, rather than performing different asanas. The book shows 365 different ways of meditating that can be done at any time of the day: whether in the morning to start your day with some peace of mind, or in the night, to end the day with some serenity. Whether you’re on a mat doing yoga exercises, or sitting in your room doing nothing, these meditative techniques can be carried out whenever you have some chunk of free time.
Narrated poignantly by Kevin Kenerly, the audiobook renders the words of Gates and Kenison even more effective and filled with wisdom. It’s sure to help anyone in any stage of their yogic practice, and push them towards a less stressful and more peaceful life.
About the Author
Article made possible by Nishil. Nishil is a passionate writer, hungry for new innovation. New trends fill him with tons of enthusiasm to uncover hidden topics. Speakaudible covers a wide range of subjects related to audiobooks. Check out our latest published article on health and nutrition here.