Anatomy of Spirit: The seven stages of Power and Healing (1996) This is such a lovely book, written by Caroline Myss, Ph.D, and discusses our chakra system, it's development and how it is related to the 7 sacraments in the church. I highly recommend this book, I first listened to it in audio form, and then got the print version. This coupled with the developmental discussion that Judith uses in her book, Eastern Body, Western Mind (reviewed later in this section) explain the interaction of our energy bodies/chakra system and how they influence our interactions with others quite well. Caroline Myss is a world renowned speaker on metpahysics and is a medical intuitive.
Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha (1996) Written by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, this book breaks down the physical practice of yoga into an easy to understand, descriptive fashion. Asana is the sanskrit word for pose, Pranayama is sanskrit for the breathwork used in yoga, Mudra are the hand positions and Bandhas are energy locks. All of these components are used in the practice of yoga. He has the book broken down into levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced) and in each section the kind of asanas such as back bending, twists etc....each pose is described in detail, from the physical move to what chakra and organ system is being affected and how the breath is controlled in the pose. The last few chapters are on shatkarma (ways to purify the body), the psychology of yoga, and a therapeutic index which lists diseases and ailments and lists the asanas, shatkarmas, pranayamas and diet to use to help these ailments, and of course an index to help you find your way. Swami Satyananda Saraswati studied under Swami Sivananda Saraswati, and later became a wandering mendicant. He founded the International Yoga Fellowship in 1956 and the Bihar school in 1963, and has authored over 80 books. He know lives as a monk. This book was used in my first yoga teacher training, and I refer to it often. For this thesis it has helped me find the poses and their influences on the energetic bodies. When I did my second teacher training we refined this knowledge so some of the references are from that as well.
Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra Sytem as a Path to the Self (2004) Written by Anodea Judith, this book was used in my advanced teacher training, and truth be told was part of the reason I chose that training. It is a thick in depth book that brings together the chakra system, and developmental psychology. It discusses how our bodies react to the imbalances of our chakra systems, how things affect us differently depending on where we are in our development and how this affects how we see and react to the world. It also gives affirmations and suggestions for bringing balance. I highly recommend this book, but feel that her other book Wheels of Life (reviewed further down the page) should be read first.
Heal your Body: The Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Way to Overcome Them (1982) Written by Louise L. Hay, this is a small reference book that I have kept by my desk for years. It has three short introductions to guide the practitioner in recognizing and changing old habits and ways of thinking and then just list illness, or body parts, or injuries and the psychological reason behind it and then an affirmation to help. Everyone should have this book! It has never failed me.
Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom (1996) written by B.K.S. Iyengar, this book is a combination of his life story and a really good explanation of the yogic path. He does a wonderful job of describing the koshas, and the mental aspects of yoga. We used this book in my advanced teacher training and I loved it. I especially love that he in adamant about embracing your life and incorporating your spiritual path into your life. He was not a well man as a youth and yoga was what gave him his health back and his strength.
Mindfulness and the Brain: A Professional Training in the Science & Practice of Meditative Awareness (2010). This was recorded on April 28, this is a lecture about how our brains react to meditation and mindfulness. It is with Jack Kornfield, Ph.D, one of the leading Buddhist meditation teachers, and Daniel J. Siegel, MD, an inter-relationship neuro biologist, and gives an indepth look at the brain and, its functions and how meditation practice affects and impact our brains. It explains how we can create new patterns in our brain with our spiritual practice.
The Subtle Body: an Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy (2009) By Cyndi Dale. This is a nice compilation of the latest research and findings about our energetic bodies.
The Tantric Way: Art*Science*Ritual (1977) Written by Ajit Mookerjee, and Madhu Khanna, this book gives an overview of Tantra, often cited as the mother of yoga, it has a great introduction that describes the practice of tantra, what it is in reality, versus the bad rep it has gotten. Goes on to show the art, science and ritual of it.
Wheels of Life: A User's Guide to the Chakra System(1978) by Anodea Judith. This book is a great, deep descriptive explanation of the chakra systems. This was one of the first indepth books about the chakras and gives ideas on how to balance and clear your chakras, and how to raise children with healthy chakras. Ms. Judith has a Ph.D in health and human services, an M.A. In clinical psychology, and additional training in bioenergetics, trauma recovery, yoga therapy, and shamanism. She give workshops all over the world and has also written Chakra Balancing, The Seven Fold Journey: Reclaiming Mind, Body and Spirit through the Chakras, Waking the Global Heart: Humanity's Rite of Passage from Love of Power to the Power of Love, Contact: the Yoga of Relationships and many other others.
Yoga and Ayurveda: Self-Healing and Self-Realization (1999) by David Frawley. Ayruveda is the sister science to yoga, it is the more medicinal side, it offers us prescriptions of how to live a healthy, balanced life, one that is aligned with our dharma (truth). In this book Frawley goes into detail describing Ayurveda, it's philosophy, our doshas (there are great little tests in many chapters to help find your dosha and other things), how prana and asana affect our bodies, and the eight limbs of yoga and how to incorporate these into our lives to find self-realization and healing. We used this book in my first teacher training and I would very much like to take some classes with Mr. Frawley. This book is well written and easy to understand and apply the appropriate knowledge to your life.