What are your foundational yoga books? The ones you seem to go back to over and over again.....

While traveling now in Australia, I have had many ask me about my yoga library…what do I own, which books do I go back to the most, what am I reading now. I realized as I started to make a directory of my favorite yoga books, I realized that I am such a “book” person. I like the feel and the comfort a book has in my hands. I love libraries. I love everything about books— even the smell and the sound they make when you open them. With all of that said I have listed below my foundational yoga books, and yes — they are the real hard and soft bound books, that I have hyperlinked my favorites for convenience to Amazon. These are the books, from my interdisciplinary perspective, that I continue to go back to for one reason or another. They are not necessarily for the beginning yoga teacher, although some of them could be, with the exceptions of Light on Yoga and all of Ray Long’s books, as I return to those often, even after 30 years of teaching. I hope this small part of my library may shed light on your yoga journey. Please let me know if you have any questions. Namasté

J. Renée DeTar


Ashtanga & Vinyasa




Meditation, Prayer & Introduction to the Himalayan Institute & Teachings

Philosophy, History and Ethics

Yoga Therapy



 “*” marked books are books that I continually refer to, even now.

“**” marked books are books that are used for Sanskrit references and Yoga Sutra commentary.

When it comes to specific teachings (The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, etc) I prefer to get in front of senior teachers so I can ask questions. My favorite teachers are Pandit Rajmani Tigunait and Rolf Sovik from the Himalayan Institute and Jack Self (ex-Buddhist monk) who will be in Kansas City for a workshop with his lovely wife Paula Tortalano, one of my Iyengar mentors. I hope you are inspired to go deeper. Oṁ namaḥ śivāya - ॐ नमः शिवाय