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Essential Yoga Books

When I first started regularly practicing yoga, I realized how much more it was than what physically happened on the mat. The connection I felt intrigued me SO much, and I wanted to dive face first into every book/article/blog post/YouTube video that I could possibly find. It was super overwhelming at first, so many topics, books, ancient texts... The internet had SO MUCH to offer!

So I thought I could write a list of some of my favorite books that I recommend for yogi's! There are so many out there with so many different topics, but these are great for deepening your understanding about the vast and profound wisdom that comes from the practice.

Light on Yoga By BKS Iyengar

Known as the "bible of Asana's" this book written by the great BKS Iyengar is a yogi must. This is a heavy read but definitely one that is great for reference if you are curious about a certain pose, breathing practice, or the general philosophy of the practice. Packed with illustrations, tutorials, and even sequences for specific ailments.

The Yama's & Niyama's: Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice By Deborah Adele

This is one of my favorite books that one of my yogi friends (thanks Kels!!) recommended to me back in my first teacher training. Deborah Adele takes the first two limbs of Patanjali's Eight Limbed Path and writes an entire book about the ethical practices that sometimes can get overlooked. The Yama's and Niyama's are such an important part of the journey and the way she writes and explains them in a modern way is beautiful and reader-friendly.

The Yoga Sutra's of Patanjali: A New Translation with Commentary By Chip Hartranft

The Yoga Sutra's of Patanjali is the door-way into understanding the vast and incredible wisdom that lies within the yoga practice. If you have ever heard of the Eight Limbed Path... This is it, and the Yoga Sutra's of Patanjali is the baseboard for most yoga philosophy taught today. There are MANY versions of this book, so shop around if your interested!

How Yoga Works: Healing Yourself and Others with the Yoga Sutra By Michael Roach

The only fiction book on the list, this book came into my life during my second training and it is honestly one of my favorites. The writer tells an incredible story of a young woman traveling from Tibet to India, and with her she carries the "masters book"... Which we find out to be the Yoga Sutra's of Patanjali. The writer takes the teachings of yoga as told by Patanjali and turns it into a comprehensible, enjoyable, and beautiful story.

The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners By Jack Hawley

The Gita is a story beyond words. Coming from the Hindu Epic Mahabharata, this tale is an ancient prize that has been gifted to people all over the world for thousands and thousands of years. In this book specifically, Jack Hawley takes the Sanskrit words of the Gita and translates it into an understandable story. Just like the Yoga Sutras, there are many translations and commentaries of the Bhagavad Gita so shop around for this one too!

Yoga & Ayurveda: Self-Healing & Self-Realization By David Frawley

Oh, this book. I love it. Ayurveda is often an overlooked part of this vast and incredible wisdom that comes from the Veda's, which is where the yoga practice originated from. Ayurveda is truly yoga's "sister science" and the author takes both practices and intertwines them beautifully. If you are looking for a much deeper look into philosophy and the teachings of the Veda's, I VERY much recommend this one! A great reference too.

Autobiography of a Yogi By Paramahansa Yogananda

If you haven't heard of Paramahansa Yogananda, I definitely recommend looking him up. This book is an internationally renowned autobiography, of a true yogi and guru's life and existence. Yogananda was the second guru (Swami Vivekanana being the first) to bring his teachings over to the Western World. The science of Kriya Yoga were the foundation of his teachings, Kriya yoga essentially means union with the infinite through a certain action or right (kriya). He founded the Self-Realization Fellowship and has a center based in Encita's, California.

Happy Reading Yogi's!

Xo Jess

About the Author

Jessica Jayne is a yoga teacher, creator, writer, and lover of life. She is known for her fierce devotion, compassion, and ability to connect with her students and guide them to a place of self-discovery and exploration. Yoga has given Jess many things; unconditional love, radical acceptance, wholeness, empowerment and compassion... Yet most importantly, the practice gave Jessica a second chance at life, and she now believes it is her destiny to share this healing lifestyle with the rest of the world. When she isn't teaching, she can usually be found self-expressing through movement, writing, or making her latest handcrafted creation. Check out her latest and greatest at jessicajayneyoga.com.

  

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Ahimsa celebrates 6 years!

By: Macaila Britton

Last week Ahimsa celebrated 6 years from when we opened the first studio. We decided to take it back to the very beginning and celebrate at the Oak Park studio.  We loved seeing all the familiar (and new!) faces for our anniversary classes. The Ahimsa community is incredible! Here are a few photos from the day, achievements and memories of Ahimsa Yoga Studios.

Masin ans Kelly

Masin ans Kelly

In six years, we have expanded from one studio, to four! We have locations in Berwyn, Elmhurst and now La Grange. Also, we added a whole slew of incredible teachers to our team and have our very own yoga teacher training program. In between teaching, having fun and mastering new poses, we are planning picturesque and relaxing yoga retreats for you!

Kelly was reminiscing about the first Ahimsa shirt design and how much it has changed. She sported the very first tank top designed, while Masin opted for the updated tee. Besides the updates logos, the store has expanded the merchandise by addeding new trinkets and art to the studio! One of our favorites is the colorful "namaste y'all" painting on the hanging clothing display. 

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This was the perfect day for celebrating. The weather was spectacular- the sun was out and it started to feel like summer. The rays of sunshine flooded the studio, adding to our happiness and brightening up the studio making photos even more fun.

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We had a busy morning- classes sold out and there was so much energy in the air! Thank you to Masin and all of our teachers for leading our anniversary practices!

 The celebration wasn't complete until the balloons were blown up. 

 The celebration wasn't complete until the balloons were blown up. 

Lastly, all of this could not have been possible without you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for joining us on the mat and on this journey. We love you, Ahimsa family!


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MACAILA BRITTON

Macaila is a yoga teacher in training, writer and photographer. She likes meeting new people, is passionate about helping the community and also enjoys traveling, all kinds of dessert and cheesy jokes. She aspires to become the best version of herself by investing in others. Yoga has helped her become more centered and focused on serving her higher purpose. To keep up with her latest adventures, visit MacailaBritton.com

16 Motivational Yoga Quotes

By: Macaila Britton

Quotes are a powerful tool used to help invoke inspiration, hope, happiness and more. Adding a quote into a yoga practice helps to achieve total awareness. There is something so powerful about someone sharing their wisdom. If you include motivational quotes into your practice, we would love to know which ones inspire you. There is never a wrong time to use these. For total serenity, I read/ say a quote at the end of my practice after savassana. I like doing this before I step off the mat because it is something I can carry with me back into the busy working world. Ending with a quote is also good for reflection and to pull inspiration from for the remainder of the day. Below are 16 motivational quotes that can easily fit into any style and level of yoga. Enjoy!

1)Peace Pilgrim

"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others." 

2)Erich Schiffman

“It is not arrogant or egotistical to feel good inside. You had nothing to do with it. It’s simply the honest response to clearly perceived reality.”  

3)Eckhart Tolle

"Accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. It is part of the isness of the Now. You can't argue with what is. Well, you can, but if you do, you suffer." 

4)Albert Einstein

"A person experiences life as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of oneness." 

5)Osho

"Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move.”

6)Julie Weiland

“Change is not only inevitable, but always happening. When you truly embrace this concept of change being constant, the only thing left to do is grow, detach, venture inwards, touch the spirit and find your source — the one responsible for keeping you grounded through the ever-changing seasons of life.” 

7)Rolf Gates

"Yoga is not a work-out, it is a work-in. And this is the point of spiritual practice; to make us teachable; to open up our hearts and focus our awareness so that we can know what we already know and be who we already are.”

8)Deepak Chopra

"In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you." 

9)Oprah

"With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice."

10)The Bhagavad Gita

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.”

11)B.K.S. Iyengar

“Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together.”

12)Ghandi

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

13)C.S. Lewis

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."

14)Oprah

"Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment."

15)Yoga Sutras

Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.”

16)Eckhart Tolle

"Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”

Related Post: Tips For Practicing Yoga Outside The Studio


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:MACAILA BRITTON

Macaila is a yoga teacher in training, writer and photographer. She likes meeting new people, is passionate about helping the community and also enjoys traveling, all kinds of dessert and cheesy jokes. She aspires to become the best version of herself by investing in others. Yoga has helped her become more centered and focused on serving her higher purpose. To keep up with her latest adventures, visit MacailaBritton.com