The Book List: Recommended Reading For Yoga Teacher Training Students

Pavones Yoga Center Yoga Teacher Training

Our Yoga Teacher Training students often request reading material for the upcoming months as a way to mentally, physically and soulfully prepare for our program. This is a recommended reading list and is not required for the course.  The list includes fiction because stories are as crucial to the heart as books of fact and history are to the knowledge we collect in the mind. As one character in The Night Circus puts it: “It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of your words…. There are many kinds of magic, after all.”

At their core, the Pavones Yoga Center yoga teacher trainings are multidimensional. This approach explores yoga as a practice that has the potential to influence and transform not only our physical selves, but our minds and hearts as well. In that spirit, our reading list is subdivided into different koshas (layers of self) … we will talk at length about the koshas during our time together. One way to start exploring the koshas is to examine what layer of self you are most interested in at this moment by witnessing which books most catch your intrigue in the here and now. Each book will of course impact all koshas, and some of these would actually more accurately be placed in all three categories (Schiffmann, Barasch). Also note: there are five koshas, we’ll get into the details of how that works too.


  • The Power of Myth; Joseph Campbell
  • Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of The Earth; edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
  • Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age; Sherry Turkle
  • Yoga And The Quest For The True Self; Stephen Cope
  • The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living; Stephen Cope
  • The Only Dance There Is; Ram Dass
  • The Heart of Yoga; T.K.V. Desikachar
  • Maturity: The Responsibility of Being Oneself; Osho


  • The Compassionate Life; Marc Ian Barasch (2010)
  • Rewire Your Brain; John B Arden

Physical Body

Soulful Fiction

  • The Night Circus; Erin Morgenstern (2011)
  • Ishmael; Daniel Quinn (1992)
  • Jayber Crow; Wendell Berry (2000) (read ANYTHING by Wendell Berry!)
  • Theories of Everything; Brian Andreas (2012)

3 thoughts on “The Book List: Recommended Reading For Yoga Teacher Training Students

  1. MiMi says:

    Thanks for the reading list. I always look forward to reading books you have recommended, like Cutting for Stone. Wonderful story.


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