I love to exercise. I love the feeling it gives me. That rush of adrenaline and endorphins that just can’t be spoiled or topped, whatever the day.
The thing is that I definitely don’t exercise as much as I should. I recently quit going to the gym because it was no longer anywhere near where I was and I need to save money at the moment, but I do miss it. I miss going when it was dark outside and everything inside was silent.
One of the things that holds me back about exercise is that I find it to be a very private affair. Exercising with other people can be really fun, but I find I only really get in the zone when I’m alone. This is the same with yoga, my favourite exercising activity. I’ve never been to classes and I probably never will, because I find it such a personal experience, especially meditation.
I have previously tried yoga tutorials from Pinterest and YouTube, but the noise of someone else speaking or having to scroll down the page can ruin the whole thing for me. I also feel like having an electronic device at the end of my mat is totally not in the spirit of yoga at all.
Therefore, I rely on books to teach myself. Not even on my Kindle, hard copy books I can flick through the pages of and hold in my hand. I’ve spent ages looking for the perfect books to see me through my practice and can confirm that I’ve found them.
So if you’re an experienced yogi, or you just want to get started, here are the books I would more than recommend.
Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen – The best for inspiration
When I first got this book I was sceptical because I thought it might be a bit overly aspirational. What I actually found was that I got to know someone really genuine who has gone through a lot of hardship in her life and gone on a real spiritual journey to find happiness and yoga has become a part of that for her. As well as the actual interesting autobiographical storyline, I found it so inspiring to use yoga to improve my own life and get to know myself a little bit better. The book also includes tips for yoga and meditation as well as recipes and general take-home advice for life. I would definitely read it again and take notes this time!
Yoga For You by Tara Fraser – The best for learning
When I was first starting out with yoga this was the first book I ever bought and I still use it in every practice. I basically taught myself with a mixture of YouTube tutorials and this book. It’s such a comprehensive guide to positions and basic flows such as sun salutation. It includes some of my favourite ever flows in the back as well as guides on breathing, what to eat and how to live a generally yoga-centric lifestyle, so it’s really all encompassing. This is the perfect book for beginners because none of the poses are too difficult but there is room to advance as you work your way up with the positions.
Yoga Twists and Turns by Emma Silverman – The best for flows
I spent ages looking for a book that was just a whole load of ready made flows. I love following flows on paper because I’m useless at making them up myself. This book is great for taking your practice to the next level if you’ve already mastered the basics and just want to keep improving your practice while switching up the kind of flows you do. Whatever your level of expertise, there’s a flow for everyone in this book and it’s an essential item I have with me at every practice.
If you have any favourite yoga books, I’d love to hear about them and give them a test. (Any excuse to buy a book.) If you try any of these books, please let me know what you think! x