Holiday Book Ideas for Yoga Enthusiasts

MD's Holiday Book Ideas

Originally Published December 7, 2020


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My absolute favorite Christmas gift to give and get is a book. And…I often get asked what my favorite yoga books are. So this year I thought I would get on the holiday list bandwagon and share some of them with you.

But you might notice one thing about the list—there are no "yoga" books on it.


This is intentional. We all win when we step out of our box, even just a little bit, for knowledge. It makes us draw lines and connect dots that are not always so obvious. I picked each of these books because the topics they cover including: embodiment, race, anger, anatomy, and toxic positivity, are important ones for any student or teacher of Modern Postural Yoga. Plus, they are all really good reads-I promise!

Keep It Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life

By Twyla Tharp

Everyone who is agining (that means everyone) should read this. It’s short and packed with wisdom on how to continue living in a body that gets older without losing your joie de vivre. It is a self-help book that doesn’t feel like one. Tharp is a master of showing not telling, which makes you more likely to heed to her advice and keep moving! This is a delightful and fun read:)


Love and Rage

By Lama Rod Owens

This is a wonderful book on so many levels. Lama Rod Owens tells us his story in an incredibly generous way in order for us to learn from it. He invites us into his experience and covers a myriad of topics including: race, sexuality, teacher/student relationships, politics, embodiment, meditation, love and anger, and through it all gives us solid practices for learning how to recognize that anger in ourselves and others is often warranted, useful and indelibly human.

Bright-sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America

By Barbara Ehrenreich

Ehrenreich’s prose is blunt and brilliant, and this is a topic that sure could use more of that. Bright-sided shows the subversive side of the positive thinking movement and its propensity towards looking away from anything that is dark, dirty, or fully human. She writes of her own experience with cancer in a culture that is trending towards laying the blame on the sick for not being powerful enough to heal themselves. This trend is only getting worse since this book’s publication in 2009, and this holds up as both an insightful memoir and cautionary tale.

The Body: A Guide for Occupants

By Bill Bryson

I think more yoga and movement teachers would benefit from reading books like. Our shelves are often full of of anatomy books which focus mostly on the mechanics of our bodies and fall short of marveling in its design. Bryson, one the best non-fiction writers out there, takes us on a fascinating journey into the mysteries and myths of the human body, without ever letting us forget that we live in one.

The Body in Motion: Its Evolution and Design

By Theodore Dimon (Author) & G David Brown (Illustrator)

Which brings be to my favorite anatomy book…

I read this a while back when I was preparing to teach the anatomy section of a 200 and I could not put it down. It is now the book I assign because it is so engaging and so useful. It tells the fascinating story of our bodies in the context of evolution. What we learn is that as much as we make of the world, it has made us.

Staying Healthy With The Seasons

By Elson M. Haas, MD

This a wonderful book on how to harmonize with your surroundings as an important practice of health and wellbeing. I come back to this book often, especially when I am exhausted by life and need techniques to sync up with nature. It also offers us an understanding of how we all are operating within a system of great nature and all it’s cycles and patterns. A disclaimer that I don’t adhere to 100% of the books suggestions (hard pass on fasting for now). But I do think there is a lot of interesting and very useful information here.



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