When it comes to yoga poses, seeing is relieving, intriguing, and believing. Most of us are highly visual creatures and viewing a body in an asana is the first step to understanding + assimilation. This prepares us for the deeper step of feeling the pose in our own bodies and exploring it from there. Having a rich library of illustrated yoga poses books is key for any practice level — perfect for study, creating sequences, reference, and learning alignment, prep poses, pose benefits, contraindications, Sanskrit names, and more. The yoga pose books here were mindfully selected for high-quality illustrative photography paired with a wealth of intelligently presented information. Enjoy poring over the poses! (New books + lists are added often — subscribe to stay updated!)
by Silva, Mira, and Shyam Mehta
A brilliant manual of 81 yoga poses in both color + black and white. The detail here is exquisite — pose names are shown in Sanskrit and Devanagari, with the root words translated to English, front + back views are displayed, and there’s a special “Work in the Posture” section. A must-have.
by Martin Kirk
Detailed info on 77 asanas, including a stellar photographic pose index. The collection strikes a good balance between female + male demonstrators, showing the starting, intermediate, and final positions with step-by-step instructions. Also: mental + physical benefits, contraindications, counterposes, drishti, and variations. A favorite for its clean simplicity.
by Linda Sparrowe
A yoga pose book for inspiration and the appreciation of asana beauty, rather than in-depth pose instruction. David Martinez’s photography is absolutely gorgeous. Many, many familiar faces in American yoga, including Ana Forrest, Rod Stryker, Annie Carpenter, Rodney Yee, and Patricia Walden.
by Sivananda Vedanta Centre
If you are extremely visually-oriented, this is a perfecto addition to your burgeoning yoga library. EVERYTHING is illustrated in color, including gorgeous shots with multiple angles of the body and highlights on specific body parts, mudras, common problems, variations, prep exercises, and much more. A gem.
by Dharma Mittra
“There are an infinite number of poses — this is what makes yoga a living tradition. . . . In the 35 years I have been teaching, I have developed many poses, but in yoga no one puts his or her name on a pose, because in reality I didn’t do anything. I am just a body through which the intuition has passed.” Two words: EPIC ASANA.
by Jessie Chapman
Another selection more for inspo than actual instruction. Dhyan’s photography is artful and the poses are elegantly captured.
by Swami Vishnu-devananda
Has a more traditional structure and feel, as the book was written in 1960. Shots are black + white and have a delightful “vintage” feel (though true vintage yoga would be extremely old and not camera-capturable!). The perspective is interesting and a sort of dramatic snapshot in time.
by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre
The focus here is home practice and overall lifestyle. Includes recipes, a menu of 20/40/60 minute yoga sequences, and a very cool section that shows musculature + bones in certain poses.