5 favorite books for yoga teacher training

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My 5 Favorite Books for Yoga Teacher Training

I’m going to share with you 5 five favorite books for yoga teacher training. Plus two bonus books that were instrumental in the development of the 200-hour training program.

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Hard to believe it’s been twenty years since I taught the first training session. Even harder to believe that many of the books I started with, I still recommend and use today.

Prefer videos? Watch My 5 Favorite Books for Yoga Teacher Training:

The heart of yoga

The first book that I want to recommend is the Heart of Yoga by TKV Desikachar. You can see that my copy is well-used and well-loved. The Heart of Yoga has been the backbone of yoga teacher training since day one.

There was no Amazon or any way to order books online, so I had to go to my local bookstore and scour the shelves. I found this one book on yoga on a bottom shelf in a corner.

I feel I got lucky with the lone book on yoga because I absolutely love it. The lessons provided the backbone for yoga teacher training.

Anatomy of a spirit

The second book that I use in teacher training is Anatomy of it by Carolyn Myss.

This book gives an introduction into the energy of your body. Then the author goes into details on the seven chakras. Again, this is another book that I’ve had almost from day one.

It’s one of those that as a new yoga teacher you you may have heard or or as a yoga participant, you may have heard a teacher talk about chakras or talk about energy, but not really have a firm grasp on it.

With Anatomy of a Spirit you can expand your knowledge on the chakras and bodily energy.

four agreements

A more recent addition, in the last ten years, is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

This book was introduced to me by one of my graduates. When I read it, I was like “yes, this needs to be a part of training.”

It’s four simple statement that can have life-changing effects. Everybody who has read the book all agree that it’s a way of changing up your perspective that then has far-reaching effects in all parts of your life.

Key muscles of yoga

The last book I recommend in yoga teacher training is The Key Muscles of Yoga by Ray Long.

This book I use as more of a reference. It’s full color illustrations and you can see what muscles are being activated in the different postures.

In the back, it discusses chakras and which one is being innervated based on the postures you’re doing.

teaching yoga

The next book I want to recommend is Teaching Yoga by Becca Hewes.

Becca is a former student of mine. She went through yoga teacher training with me during the first or second year I was doing it. She drove down from Oklahoma to Texas  for both her 200-hour and 300-hour because there weren’t any programs in her area.

Not long after Becca started her own teacher training, and last year she published this book. It’s a really great dive into sequencing, which if you’ve followed me at all you know how much I love sequencing, how important it is to me, and why I believe it’s important.

In Teaching Yoga, Becca goes a little deeper into sequencing and she gives you some really great tips and ways to put sequences together. So I highly recommend you put this on your list.

bonus books i used in yoga training

For fun, I wanted to share two additional books instrumental in teacher training; however don’t go looking for it because it’s no longer in print. It’s Dancing on the Body of Light by Dona Holleman.

This book gave me the foundation for mountain posture. If you go through teacher training with me, or go back through other blogs, you’ll see that I have I’ve dedicated time to talking about mountain posture and how important it is.

This books is the reason.

She uses seven pages, and I don’t know if you can see that, big pages with little type and she uses seven pages to talk about the importance of alignment in mountain.

The Yoga Handbook by Stephanie Keach was another book I used to bring teacher training together.

I have no idea if it’s still available (it is!), or if it’s been updated. Stephanie did a great job with postures and pictures.

👉 Edited to add: I checked Amazon and both books are available.

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Shannon with Purple Lotus Yoga
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For 20 years, I’ve helped women of all ages and sizes to realize their dreams of becoming inspiring yoga teachers. 

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