Here are some of my favorite books, not really in a particular order and by no means an exhaustive list. I especially like to listen to audiobooks read by the author as it gives the book a certain depth that can only come from the person that wrote it. Have you read one or more of these books and want to talk about it? Comment below, let’s talk.
1. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
Probably the single most influential book of my life. I credit it with sparking my interest in yoga.
2. Bossypants by Tina Fey — love everything about her, total crush. I love how she uses the improv principle of “Yes, and” to teach us how to live in the present moment.
3. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle; also check out Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and anything else he has written or recorded. There are several of his seminars available on Audible and its fun to hear him talk off the cuff about living in the now.
4. You’re It! On Hiding, Seeking, and Being Found by Alan Watts
5. Spontaneous Awakening by Adyashanti
6. Noble Heart by Pema Chodron
7. Be Love Now by Ram Dass
8. Eat, Pray, Love by Liz Gilbert
9. Loving What Is by Byron Katie; also check out I Need Your Love – Is That True?: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead by Byron Katie
10. The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire by Deepak Chopra; also check out Life After Death by Deepak Chopra or just about anything else Deepak Chopra has ever written.
11. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
12. The Bhagavad Gita
13. Dying to be Me Anita Moorjani
14. The Nature of Personal Reality: Specific, Practical Techniques for Solving Everyday Problems and Enriching the Life You Know by Jane Roberts (channeling Seth)
15. The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho. A work of metaphorical fiction where Coelho teaches us to find our own “personal legend” as we follow the journey of a soul-seeking adventurer who comes to the realization that “there is no place like home.”
16. Girl Walks into a Bar by Rachel Dratch
17. Guruji: A Portrait of Shri K. Pattabhi Jois by Guy Donahaye and Eddie Stern
18. Moola Bandha, the Master Key by Swami Buddhananda
19. The Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. Favorite translation by Mukunda Stiles
20. Opening the Door of Your Heart by Ajahnm Brahm
21. The Bhagavad Gita by Ved Vyasa. This book and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras should be required reading for any serious yogi. Both describe the practice of yoga in beautiful and simple terms. And I didn’t realize ’til just now that I also listed it as number 12 on this list. It is that important.
22. Garuda, the Eagle Who Soared with Ahimsa by Ally Ford. I love this children’s book from good friend Ally Ford. It teaches kids about non-judgment, gratitude, and loving kindness and includes yoga poses kids can do to act out the story of Garuda.
23. Yes Please! by Amy Poehler. Her career wisdom was a source of inspiration in my own career and she is hysterical. I love her advice to treat your career with dispassion, the same way you would treat “a shitty boyfriend.”
24. Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander. He is a neuroscientist and self-described non-believer who had a near-death experience after meningitis left him in a coma.
25. Practicing the Presence, The Art of Spiritual Healing, The Art of Meditation, and probably any other word ever written by Joel. S. Goldsmith. A turn-of-the-century Christian Mystic who teaches a contemplative practice for connecting to the divine within.
26. The Interior Castle by Saint Teresa of Avila. Saint Teresa was a Catholic mystic who lived in the late 1500s in Spain. She writes of the “prayer of the quiet” which is strikingly similar to yogic meditation practices. She describes her inner journey with humility and simplicity. I particularly enjoyed reading about her challenges and failures on her path, as it helped me feel better about my own missteps in my personal quest of awakening.