Summer reads: 16 books to enhance your yoga mind

The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen by Talya Lutzker
The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen

If you’re curious about Ayurveda cooking and follow a mostly plant-based diet, The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen by Talya Lutzker is a great place to start. The book breaks down the principles of Ayurveda, explains the doshas and features 120 healing recipes to help you balance your body. We love that every recipe indicates which doshas it balances, increases or decreases. 

Hell-Bent by Benjamin Lorr
Hell-Bent

If you’re fascinated by the world of Bikram yoga and yoga competitions, you must pick up Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga by Benjamin Lorr. Lorr gets deep into the world of hardcore Bikram yogis and his insider look is fascinating. But it’s not all shock and awe – he also gets into the science of yoga and how the practice helped transform his health.

Superfood Smoothies by Julie Morris
Superfood Smoothies

We thought we couldn’t be more fascinated by superfoods…and then we read Julie Morris’ first book, Superfood Kitchen. Her new book Superfood Smoothies: 100 Delicious, Energizing and Nutrient Dense Smoothies is a must-read for those looking to dive into the world of green smoothies, interested in an easy, approachable detox program or just curious about superfoods.

Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton
Awakening Shakti

If you’re curious about Hindu mythology, interested in the sacred feminine and can’t resist stories about strong female archetypes, you’ll love Sally Kempton’s Awakening Shakti. In this book, Kempton tells the story of the yoga goddesses (Kali, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Radha, Parvati and Bhuvaneshari) and includes meditations, mantras and visualizations to help you invoke the divine feminine in your everyday life.

Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi by Brian Leaf
Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

If you or someone you know has turned to yoga to heal an ailment, you’ll likely relate and find inspiration in Brian Leaf’s Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi: My Humble Quest to Heal My Colitis, Calm My ADD and Find Happiness. Leaf shares personal stories that will make you laugh, touch your heart and inspire you to get on the mat.

Beauty Detox Foods by Kimberly Snyder
The Beauty Detox Foods

Model, yogini and clinical nutritionist Kimberly Snyder made a name for herself introducing celebs to the benefits of green smoothies and a clean vegan diet. In The Beauty Detox Foods, the follow up to her first book, The Beauty Detox Solution, Kimberly shares the best beautifying foods and delicious recipes to help you lose weight and get rid of acne, wrinkles, cellulite and bloating (just to name a few). Kimberly truly believes in a high raw vegan diet, but also provides transitional recipes and meal plans for those looking to make gradual changes. 

Woman Code by Alisa Vitti
Woman Code

Alisa Vitti’s new book Woman Code: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive and Become a Power House teaches women how to balance hormones and look their best through proper diet. Vitti’s program is praised by health gurus such as Kris Carr, Tara Stiles, Gabrielle Bernstein and Latham Thomas for its easy to understand and holistic approach.

Mind over medicine by Dr. Lissa Rankin
Mind Over Medicine

Dr. Lissa Rankin is the kind of MD we wish everyone had access to. In her latest book, Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof that You Can Heal Yourself, she shares findings that the human body has an innate ability to repair itself and shares her unique program that helps you discover the true source of why things are out of whack in your life so you can properly heal. Yoginis looking for sound women's health advice shoudl also check out her book What’s Up Down There?.

May I Be Happy by Cyndi Lee
May I Be Happy

Cyndi Lee, one of the women responsible for shaping New York’s robust yoga scene, gets real about her insecurities in May I Be Happy: A Memoir of Love, Yoga and Changing My Mind. Go on a journey with Lee as she looks to make peace with her body. It’s a relatable topic for many people and might just provide some new inspiration for your yoga practice.

VB6 by Mark Bittman
VB6

Struggling with the idea of an ahimsa diet? New York Times food writer Mark Bittman’s new book might help. In VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health…for Good, Bittman shares how eating at least two plant-based meals a day helped him transform his health. He believes his eating plan allows people to have long-term success on a mostly meat-free, dairy-free diet. 

21st Century Yoga by Carol Horton
21st Century Yoga

Yoga in America has evolved into something almost completely different from the ancient practice from India. 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice by Carol Horton explores this metamorphosis and yoga’s relevance to social issues (recovery, activism, body image) through essays and photos from teachers, ministers, activists and spiritual thinkers. 

A Mindful Nation by Senator Tim Ryan
A Mindful Nation

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan thinks America would be in a much better place if we’d all just meditate. In his book, A Mindful Nation: How A Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance and Recapture the American Spirit, he presents scientific evidence that shows the effectiveness of mindfulness and how it could be helpful for improving America. A great gift for anyone curious about meditation or family and friends who think meditation is a weird hippie thing.

Fierce Medicine by Ana Forrest
Fierce Medicine

There’s a good reason why your Forrest yoga-loving friend has been trying to get you to read Ana Forrest’s book Fierce Medicine for months. Ana shares her story of how yoga helped heal her and shares tips on how to break free of fear, get in touch with your body, heal yourself and increase your intuition. You’ll have a whole new appreciation for that insanely challenging abs section in your Forest yoga class after reading this book.

Yoga Bitch by Suzanne Morrison
Yoga Bitch

Two months in Bali on a spiritual retreat with yogis who drink their own urine? That’s what Suzanne Morrison got herself into on her quest to become a calm, spiritual goddess. In Yoga Bitch: One Woman’s Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment, you’ll go on Morrison’s hilarious and honest journey to find inner peace.

Tales from the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell
Tales from the Yoga Studio

Fans of Lifetime movies will get a kick out of Tales from the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell. This novel tells the story of a group of diverse LA women who form a deep friendship and work through their personal problems at their local yoga studio. It’s kind of like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for the yoga crowd.  

The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen by Talya Lutzker
Hell-Bent by Benjamin Lorr
Superfood Smoothies by Julie Morris
Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton
Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi by Brian Leaf
Beauty Detox Foods by Kimberly Snyder
Woman Code by Alisa Vitti
Mind over medicine by Dr. Lissa Rankin
May I Be Happy by Cyndi Lee
VB6 by Mark Bittman
21st Century Yoga by Carol Horton
A Mindful Nation by Senator Tim Ryan
Fierce Medicine by Ana Forrest
Yoga Bitch by Suzanne Morrison
Tales from the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell
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Comments

The Yoga Novel

Great book list! And may I recommend, for those who enjoy learning through story: Wally and Kali, by Peter Ferko, available at Amazon.com