5 Nonfiction Wellness Reads For International Yoga Day

Yoga reminds us to tend to both mind and body. To help with the former, here are 5 reads to keep you centered amidst the chaos.

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In 2014, a United Nations proposal deemed June 21st the International Day of Yoga. Since then, each year’s celebration has correlated around a specific theme. This year, it is “Yoga for Humanity,” which looks to explore the benefit of yoga on our mental health. Specifically in “fighting social isolation and depression.”

Recognizing the emotional turmoil stemming from a pandemic, this year’s celebration looks to promote peace and healing to individuals by raising awareness about the interconnected role of mind and body in promoting general well-being.

To celebrate this timely message, here are five insightful and versatile nonfiction reads that are sure to keep your mind at ease during challenging times.

1. The Practice is the Path: Lessons and Reflections on the Transformative Power of Yoga by Tias Little

Cover for the practice is the path - transformative power of yoga

In this 2020 release, well-renowned yoga instructor, Tias Little, implores the value of the mind-body connection in yoga. He approaches yoga not just as a means of physical exercise but as a spiritual path. Little’s chapters are short, approachable, and candidly reveal his personal struggles and realizations about the yoga path sure to resonate with readers.

2. Do Your Om Thing: Bending Yoga Tradition to Fit Your Modern Life by Rebecca Pacheco

Book cover for Do Your Om Thing

Rebecca Pacheco’s 2015 release takes into account the full, overwhelming reality of the daily grind. Modern life, in many ways, doesn’t seem conducive to the slower, calm, meditative state tied to a fruitful yoga practice. Exploring this modern contradiction, Pacheco writes a personal, relatable, and empowering account of how to take the beauty of yogic philosophy off the mat and into our everyday lives.

3. Yoga Gems: A Treasury of Practical and Spiritual Wisdom from Ancient and Modern Masters by Georg Feuerstein

Book Cover for Yoga Gems

Dr. Georg Feuerstein provides a convenient and accessible introduction to the long-stretching wisdom behind the yoga practice. Inspiring a vision of inner peace, this read is perfect for both experienced yogis and those who want to start cultivating a new interest. Some of the notable themes touched upon include self-discipline, how to meditate, working through grief, loss, and suffering, as well as finding joy in everyday life.

4. Restorative Yoga: Reduce Stress, Gain Energy, and Find Balance by Ulrica Norberg


This read is an excellent reminder that yoga is not all about challenging, swift vinyasa sequences; its abundant benefits also come from simple, restorative postures. In Norberg’s how-to guide for restorative yoga, readers gain a great introductory insight into how to incorporate various relaxing asanas into a self-care routine. Made complete by guiding images, this is a quick and effective read to promote full-body wellness.

5. Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison

Book Cover for Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga

Rounding out our list is Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison’s nifty meditation guide. Composed of 365 daily reflections, this is your go-to mindfulness resource that will help unite mind and body year-round. This read can be used to enhance your existing yoga practice or begin building one day by day. No matter how you apply it, these daily doses of inspiration are sure to keep you grounded.

visual of a meditation yoga posture

The baseline of International Yoga Day is raising awareness about the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of the practice. What better way to gain more knowledge and inspiration about yoga than by reading? It’s a perfect means of tending to the first half of the vital mind-body connection, which can have transformative effects on our day-to-day lives!

So whether you’re looking to kickstart or enhance your yoga journey, take up a meditation practice, or find some general wellness-related inspiration, this versatile self-care selection truly holds something for everyone.

Finally, for more book recommendations on fostering mind and body wellness, click here.