Category Archives: Advanced Yoga

5 Classical Yoga Books All Yogis Should Read

Here is a simple but mighty selection of 5 classical yoga books all yogis should read. These top recommended classical and dharmic yoga texts help guide both the brand new yogi and the seasoned spiritual seeker into the true essence of yoga, gain inspiration on the spiritual  journey, and deepen one’s understanding of this Timeless Wisdom Tradition.

1. Essential Teachings of Yoga – Shri Ramananda Mayi

The Essential Teachings of Yoga poetically, simply and perfectly outlines the four classical paths of yoga from the Upadesa Saram, one of the greatest treasures of yogic literature. It condenses within its instructions thousands of years of spiritual wisdom. The insight it offers clears many of the doubts and confusion that spiritual seekers encounter on their inner journey towards Truth.

This clear and lucid rendition into English, from the original work of Shri Ramana Maharshi, is sure to illuminate and inspire.

2. Autobiography of a Yogi – Paramahamsa Yogananda

Autobiography of a Yogi is at once a beautifully written account of an exceptional life and a profound introduction to the ancient science of Yoga and its time-honored tradition of meditation. Profoundly inspiring, it is at the same time vastly entertaining, warmly humorous and filled with extraordinary personages. A must read for all yogis!

3. Living With the Himalayan Masters – Swami Rama

In this classical spiritual autobiography, enjoy inspirational stories of Swama Rama’s, one of the greatest sages of the 20th century as he shares his personal quest for enlightenment and gives profound insight into the living wisdom that is the core of his spiritual mission and legacy.

Discover the rich experiences and lessons learned with the great teachers who guided his life including Sri Bengali Baba, Mahatma Gandhi, Tagore, and other spiritual luminaries— have a glimpse into the living tradition of the Himalayan Masters.

4. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Sri Swami Satchitananda

This valuable classical text provides a complete manual for the study and practice of Raja Yoga, the path of self-discipline, concentration and meditation. These timeless teachings are a treasure to be read and referred to again and again by seekers treading the spiritual path. The ancient Sutras cover the yogic teachings on ethics, meditation, and physical postures, and provide directions for dealing with situations in daily life.

5. The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita – Paramahamsa Yogananda

With penetrating insight, Paramahamsa Yogananda sheds a clarifying light on the deeper meaning of the Bhagavad Gita’s symbology, and the true intent of India’s timeless and universal scripture.

An inspiring and concise introduction to the spiritual truths of India’s most beloved scripture— the Bhagavad Gita explains the step-by-step methods of yoga meditation and right action to achieve union with Spirit and ultimate liberation.


Dharma books contain the sacred yoga teachings of Great Sages and Awakened Ones and have the power to show the way towards total Freedom and Bliss. They contain deep and vast wisdom that help guide us Home on this journey of Life— to the Truth of who we Really Are.

As such, they should be treated with respect and reverence. To help preserve the sacred knowledge within these book and out of respect please:

+ Treat books with care, respect and mindfulness.
+ Never place them directly on the floor, step over them, point your feet at them or take them into the bathroom.
+ Keep in a clean place, and ideally should be covered by fabric when transported.
+ No other mundane objects should be placed on top of them (cell phones, keys, water bottles etc.)
+ If you should one day need to dispose of them, it is best to give them away to a library, or immerse them in a lake, river or ocean rather than throwing them in the trash.

Thank-you for your understanding, love and care of these classical yoga books.

Yoga and the Soul

“You yourself are eternity; you yourself are infinity; you yourself are immortality.”  –Amma Shri Karunamayi

If you are reading this, like me, you’ve encountered the rare and precious gift of being born as a human. Like many great wisdom traditions around the world, yoga teaches us that “I” and you are simply soul manifested in the form of a human— energy descended into matter.

Not only have you been blessed with this human experience, but you’ve also found the path of yoga and dharma. The greatest blessing and purpose of this human experience is for the heart to open and the soul to evolve— to become Self-Aware. There are many paths to this one Truth; and from the fruits of positive karma from countless lives, you’ve been blessed to find the incredible path of yoga. In the shape of a human, you’ve been blessed with conscious awareness, the capacity to Be and recognize your own existence, to and the ability to realize or remember who you really are at your essence.

The timeless teachings of yoga teach us that we are Atman— immortal and eternal, embodiments of Spirit. The soul is the absolute essence of you— it is who you really are. The soul is the True Self; your True Nature. It is the answer and Truth to one of the greatest questions yoga asks us— “Who Am I?” And when we trace this question back to it’s source, we find the simple but profound Bliss of Nothingness, Oneness and Infinity simultaneously. We discover that who we really are is Pure Divinity, Infinity, Immortality— Pure Bliss.

You are pure Consciousness, pure Energy, pure Being. You are timeless. Boundless and Eternal. You are a piece of Spirit or God or Source—a spark of divine light and love, a fragment of Absolute Perfection.

This same essence resides in all living Beings everywhere. In this way we are the same. There is Oneness only. This is the meaning of Namaste— recognizing and bowing to the divinity, the Love, the Absolute Consciousness and Perfection that exists within all Beings, and witnessing and serving all beings as embodiments and manifestations of the Spirit that we all Are.

Like you, all is Spirit. All is Love. All is One. All that you see in this world is Spirit manifest. All of this is the phenomenal expression of Divinity. Life’s joy, sorrows, happiness, challenges and grief is all perfect—for Life will always give us the gift of precisely what we need in each and every moment for our hearts to open and our soul to evolve. May we see with the eyes of Love, speak with the words of Love, and act from Love’s Grace. May we see Spirit in the eyes of all Beings. And remember our unity always.

“Life on this Earth teaches everyone many lessons. The wise ones take these lessons to heart and experience inner awakening.” – Amma Shri Karunamayi

One of the greatest gifts of this human experience is that the soul that we are evolves— through the experiences of life, mundane, joyful and challenging. All these experiences are the fruits of previous karmas that are written in the contract of our soul for this lifetime. This is the gift of Being here— to experience life as it is. To be as we are— steeping in the Perfection of each and every moment. Resting in the Bliss of who we really are. To awaken to the Truth of where we’ve come from, where we’re going, and why we’re here. To remember Reality so we may all come home to the Love that is our True Nature.

May you enjoy the bliss of this human experience. May you enjoy this moment exactly as it is in it’s absolute perfection—as it is the only one there is and has ever been. May you rise up to the challenges of life— allow all experiences, and people you encounter to be your teachers so your soul may evolve and awaken to the Truth. Meditate to deepen your remembrance of your own Divine Nature.

Devote your time while in this temple of flesh and bone to Awakening; Remembering; Realizing your own Divinity— so you may be truly Happy and Free.

The Secret Power of Mantra

Mantras are powerful sacred sound vibrations from the ancient Sanskrit language that are traditionally chanted during spiritual practices in the yogic tradition.

The word Mantra comes from the Sanskrit root words “manas” = mind, and “tra” = to protect. Mantra means that which protects the mind from both internal and external negative influences.

Mantras are composed of Sanskrit letters, each infused with unique frequencies— much like scientific formulas of sound vibration known to have unique qualities, effects and energies. Similarly, Mantras act like a secret password to various aspects of our inner dimension. They are said to hold subtle knowledge in their vibration, and cleanse the body, mind and spirit.

Repetition of a Mantra is proven to have incredible benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. They are scientifically proven to help calm the mind, balance the nervous system, evoke knowledge, assist in healing the body and mind, increase physiological alertness and synchronicity of certain biorhythms, increase health and well-being and create a single-pointed, concentrated awareness in the mind.

Additionally, Mantras are considered indestructible positive energies— meaning they remain in the cosmos indefinitely for the greater good of all; helping to reduce negative karmas.

The physical, mental, spiritual benefits and positive effects of chanting sacred mantras are infinite and powerful for both the individual and all beings everywhere.

Here are a few yoga secrets to unlocking the true potential of mantras.

1) Intention

Chanting Mantra with the deepest integrity of intent— with devotion, love, concentration, faith, awareness, commitment and sincerity catalyzes the positive effects of the vibrations and are made more powerful than chanting mechanically. Close your eyes and chant Mantra straight from your heart.

2) Open with Om

Om, the Pranava Mantra, is an incredibly simple but powerful sacred Mantra. It is traditionally chanted before and after spiritual practices in the yogic tradition. Om is known as the sacred primordial sound, it is said in the yogic tradition that all sound is born from Om.

Chanting Om before chanting other Mantras acts as a primer for the others. Its resonance activates all other Mantras and makes them more powerful. It’s vibration is like turning on a switch to receiving cosmic energy— it is the transmission of pure Divine Love. It is necessary to both chant Om before and after spiritual practices to both initiate and seal the energy, as well as before chanting other mantras to have the full effect.

3) Correctness

Mantras may be chanted aloud, whispered at the lips or silently within, and are made more impactful when recited with correct pronunciation, rhythm and pace. Learning from a highly knowledgeable teacher or guru can help you understand how to chant mantras correctly so you can receive more from your Mantra practices.

4) Repetition

The yogic tradition has specific numbers that are considered auspicious for chanting mantra. Repeating your mantra 3, 9, 27, 54 or 108 times is considered ideal and complete in the yogic tradition for many reasons with great symbolism. Authentic prayer beads (Malas,) will have 54 or 108 beads to help you count to higher numbers of mantra repetition.

5) Initiation

When you are initiated to a mantra from a realized teacher or guru, the power of the mantra is increased immensely. Initiation is like unlocking the gate to the mantras full energetic potential and attunes the initiated one to its divine energies.

6) Practice

Create a daily Mantra Sadhana (daily mantra spiritual practice) to increase the power of the mantras. You may chant mantra during your daily yoga or meditation practice or as its own practice.

With love, practice, and intention invite the secret power of mantras into your daily practice and life and witness great benefit for yourself and all beings everywhere.

Want to learn more? Check out these 7 Sacred Mantras for Spiritual Illumination!