Yoga Books

Yoga Vidya

Yoga Vidya (Vidya is Sanskrit for wisdom) is an independent publishing company of the classic Sanskrit yoga texts, translated into the English language.

We were recently sent Yoga’s complete set of paperback books for review: Bhagavad Gita, Gheranda Samhita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and Shiva Samhita.

Bhagavad Gita – Translated by Lars Martin Fosse

Bhagavad Gita, meaning “Song of God” is a Hindu scripture praised by the likes of Gandhi, Carl Jung and even Albert Einstein. This edition is unprecedentedly clear, and names and nicknames are thoroughly defined in the book’s appendix.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika – Translated by Brian Dana Akers

The oldest surviving text on Hatha Yoga, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, was written by Svami Svatmarama. It is considered the classic work on Hatha Yoga – along with Gheranda Samhita and Shiva Samhita. Hatha Yoga Pradipika consists of four chapters, and topics include includes asanas, pranayama, mudras, and samadhi. An excellent, concise edition for all students of yoga.

Shiva Samhita – Translated by James Mallinson

Shiva Samhita, meaning “Shiva’s Collection” was written by an unknown author. This very readable edition is addressed by the Hindu god Shiva to his consort Parvati.  The Shiva Samhita is a very comprehensive and reliable discourse on Hatha Yoga.

Gheranda Samhita – Translated by James Mallinson

Gheranda Samhita, meaning “Gheranda’s Collection” is a yoga manual taught by Gheranda to Chanda Kapali. Unlike other Hatha Yoga texts, the Gheranda Samhita speaks of a sevenfold yoga, which can be conceptualized as: purification, strengthening, steadying, calming, lightness, perception, and isolation. This text is also clear, concise and very informative.

Yoga Vidya books are different from other translations because they include the original, complete and correct Sanskrit writing above the accurate and informative English translation. The books also provide excellent photographers for easy reference of asanas and mudras.

If you’re interested in learning more about these classic texts, we would definitely recommend these books. Paperback and hardcover editions can be ordered directly from the company at

Namaste 🙂

Book Review: The Yoga Bible by Christina Brown

I was pleased to see a copy of my favourite yoga book at the Semperviva Sun Studio the other day. Now that everybody is in a Christmas list mode, I would definitely suggest it if you want to make a yogi friend happy.

The Yoga Bible (c) 2003 Godsfield Press

A friend gave it to me for my birthday two years ago and it follows me everywhere. I take it from one room to the other and has become a bit of a comforter blanket. Whenever I feel bored, I just reach for it and flip through it until I find something that draws my attention: a posture, a breathing technique, a mudra, or even the introduction.

It serves as a reminder of things I have heard or read many times, but tend to forget. It deepens my knowledge of asanas, gives me ideas for my self-practice and whenever I’m in doubt, I refer to it.

It’s simple to use and can be read in many ways. Its main section describes and illustrates over 170 asanas. The author always suggests ways to make postures more or less challenging depending on your level. I find the last section incredibly useful as it offers different tools: ideas for meditation, a selection of mudras, a guide to bandhas and drishtis, but also, ‘yoga with a special focus’ i.e. what asanas are more suitable if you suffer from insomnia, stress, indigestion, back pain, jet lag, etc.

Spine and covers are resistant to everyday read and tear and its format makes it easy to carry around everywhere: on the mat, on the sofa, on a road trip,  to the coffee shop, and to the beach in the summer!

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