Great Books for Yoga Teachers

3 min read

Teaching yoga has been around a lot longer than formal education, and some of what’s been learned in the past century about how people know best can certainly complement the ancient teachings of yoga.

These five books can help you improve your communication skills, your outreach, and your inclusiveness in your yoga classes.

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy for the Oppressed

Freire’s groundbreaking work on education as a liberation tool reminds us that humility is important in our teaching, and we should not see ourselves as saving our students. His teaching philosophy is based on the praxis, defined by Freire as “reflection upon and action in the world to transform it.”

Teachers must, however, trust their students’ knowledge and experience and work together with them in partnership to achieve self-realization. Freire’s work is important and timely in light of the controversy surrounding warped guru/student relationships.

The Edison Gene: ADHD, and the Gift of the Hunter Child By Thom Hartmann

I was one of those students who went to their first yoga class in order to calm their overactive mind. You might encounter students with ADHD diagnoses or those who identify themselves as such.

Hartmann has the gift of seeing ADHD as a mismatch in our educational system between bright, curious minds and ADHD. You’ll better understand these students after reading this book.

Hartmann claims that Thomas Edison would have likely been diagnosed with ADHD today if he were alive.

The Brain Rules of John Medina

In our 200-hour training, many of us studied basic anatomy, physiology, and psychology, including the chakras. The brain is a complex and powerful organ, so it makes sense to go further.

Medina is a molecular biologist who makes neuroscience accessible and fun. You will learn about the effects of stress on the learning process, as well as the importance of fitness for cognitive flexibility.

Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Pausch was a professor at college who wrote this book while battling terminal cancer. Pausch offers this book as a final lesson to his college students. But the irony is that it is more than just a lecture. It is a guide for living.

This book contains great quotes which could be used in your next classroom. It includes reminders that life is messy and that you should follow your dreams and create a legacy based on love and light.

Universal Principles of Design By William Lidwell and Jill Butler

This book is relevant and useful for all types of educators. It contains two-page summaries on the most important design theories, like biophilia, which claims that spending time in nature can improve focus.

Maybe it will inspire you to bring nature pictures into your studio or take your next class outdoors. The Desire Line Theory will help with class scheduling, while the Advance Organizer Theory will help you create powerful cues for your flow.

The tips here will help you create visually appealing materials if, like many studio owners and teachers, you design your website.

Do you have a list of books that you recommend to yoga teachers? Comment below to share your list!

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