Episode 117: Jason’s Favorite (Non-Asana) Yoga Books

Bhagavad Gita quote | Yoga Philosophy Podcast | Yoga Podcast

When I have Jason on the show, we talk a lot about postures and technique, so I thought it would be interesting to talk yoga philosophy on the podcast this week. I asked Jason to share his favorite yoga books (that are not focused on the physical practice). These are just a few of his favorites, spanning yoga philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, and neuroscience.

Books mentioned in this episode:

The Upanishads  with commentary by Eknath Easwaran

The Bhagavad Gita translated by Eknath Easwaran

How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who shared their favorite non-asana yoga books through Instagram #yogalandstories. I compiled a list of YOUR favorites, which are listed below.

The Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele

Healing Mantras: Using Sound Affirmation for Personal Power, Creativity, and Healing by Thom Ashley-Farrand

Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul by Melodie Beattie

Mindfulness and Surfing: Reflections for the Saltwater Soul by Sam Bleakley

The Essence of Yoga: Reflections on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali translation by Bernard Bouanchaud

The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living by Stephen Cope

Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope

Journey of Awakening: A Meditator’s Guide Book by Ram Dass

The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras by Nischala Joy Devi

The Breathing Book: Good Breath and Vitality Through Essential Breathwork by Donna Farhi

Yoga and Ayurveda by David Frawley 

Dharma Delight: A Visionary Post Pop Comic Guide to Buddhist and Zen by Rodney Alan Greenblat

Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice in an Unjust World by Michelle Cassandra Johnson

Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self by Anodea Judith

A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life by Jack Kornfield

True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment by Jennie Lee

The Roots of Yoga by James Mallinson and Mark Singleton

Tending the Heart Fire: Living in the Flow and Pulse of Life by Shiva Rea

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Living Gita: The Complete Bhagavhad Gita, a Commentary for Modern Readers by Sri Swami Satchidananda

Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom by Rod Stryker


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  1. woow! I’d be honest and say that I like Jason’s classes for the saving me that spiritual and philosophy part of Yoga classes. It was really strange listen to him about transcendence and states of the soul/mind/body. The amazing thing is that he always finds the way to explain any topic in a very easy and interesting way! I’ve got really interested on the teaching applications for the Bhagavad Gita.. now I’m really curious to read it and see what ideas I can apply on my teaching! As always thank you both for sharing everything about Yoga! You guys are awesome!

    • Thank you, Aline! Glad to hear it resonated even if it was not what you usually expect. Andrea

  2. I loved the discussion and joy between you both. It is authentic, you can feel that. I have a couple of the books from teacher training that were recommended and have not ready them yet, Buddha’s Brain and Gita. I will delve in soon. I read a book last summer called How Yoga Works. It was a fun read and brought to light so many of the teachings and philosophy of the sutras. Not sure if you have ever ready this but for yogis and teachers it is a great book.

    • Thanks, Cathy. I haven’t read that one — will check it out! Andrea

  3. Loved this episode. Thanks guys!

  4. Love your podcast and particularly podcasts that feature you both together. If ever you have the opportunity please Interview James Boag. He is a teaches Yoga Philosophy and asana Internationally. His teachings are engaging, enlightening, practical and based on reading the scriptures in their original language, Sanskrit. In some ways he is coming from the same place as Jason with his (teaching people how to move in a way that allows them to continue practicing for as long as possible) but he comes at this from a completely different angle. Thanks for another great podcast!

    • Thank you, Natalie! I will look him up!


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