There are so many books available, both ancient and from current times that can lend much inspiration and guidance. The advice and perspective can be life changing, and a part of daily practice. I have returned to many of the books below again and again..... I also do a weekly newsletter that contains teachings from these resources, and other practical tips and practices to incorporate into a daily routine.
Recommended Inspirational Reads
"Yoga for Emotional Balance"
This book provides therapeutic yoga practices for anxiety and depression. It is easy to read with actionable information. Forbes is a Phsychologist and Yoga Therapist.
This is a book of 26 prose poetry fables. It is filled with nuggets and bits of wisdom in story form. Kahlil Gibran was a Lebanese artist, writer, philsopher and poet. This book was published in 1923.
"Loving What Is", Who Would You Be Without Your Story", "I need Your Love - Is that True?"
I recommend any and all of her books. They are life changing. She also has a great website with free resources www.thework.com.
"A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life"
This book is mainly about meditation and it provides a lot of great mediation ideas. But really it is just a great book with a lot of inspirational stories and good advice that is applicable to anyone even non-mediators. He has written other books, I'm sure they are all great and helpful, but this is the only one I own. It is another one I reference repeatedly.
"The Breathing Cure", "Close Your Mouth"
McKeown is an expert on proper functional breathing, and helps folks with chronic illness conditions related to breathing. He teaches a couple breathing methodologies, Buteyko Breathing and Oxygen Advantage. He has a bunch of other books and is prolific in his work on breathing. He also provides a lot of tactical information and breathing exercises anyone can add into a routine.
Translations of "Bhagavad Gita" and "Tao Te Ching"
He does a nice clear job of translating these ancient texts. Incidentally, he's married to Byron Katie.
Anthony de Mello
"Awareness: the Perils and Opportunities of Reality"
This is a book about waking up. It is not gentle and easy, more brute force approach but really impactful. This book will make you questions your entire perspective on life and relationships with others
"Yoga Sutras of Patanjali" (translation), "Structural Yoga Therapy"
He is the teacher of my yoga teacher. He has a great easy to read translation of the Sutras that we use in Yoga therapy training. He also has a great book about apply yoga therapy techniques that we use extensively as well. Even a non yoga teacher would benefit from the book.
Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.
"The Body Keeps the Score"
This is a compelling book about the impact of trauma on the body by a Psychiatrist. Van Der Kolk became disillusioned with the use of pharmaceuticals as the only treatment of the effects of trauma such as severe depression and other mental health issues. He discusses the use of other treatment modalities that of course includes yoga. Note that at times he talks about his patients and their histories, which often includes hard to read details related to sexual and physical abuse. This could be triggering for someone with a history of trauma.