How Yoga Works

I am often asked what books I recommend to new students as they are starting to develop their practice. In an earlier post of mine, you can find a comprehensive reading list that will most certainly get you going on your yoga reading journey; but today I wanted to highlight a particular book, as it’s truly one of my favorites to return to, in all of it’s potent simplicity.

Most books that you pick up on yoga will either fall into the category of ‘yoga text’ or ‘memoir’. Now I enjoy both of these genres, and I take great delight in reading ancient texts as well as learning of people’s personal yoga journeys. This book though is unusual as it’s written in the form of a novel.

The main character, Friday is a young woman traveling from her home country in Tibet carrying the ‘Great Book of Yoga’ (the yoga sutras) from her teacher to India. She gets stopped at the border by an officer of the law and is apprehended and taken to the local jail. It is there that she is presented to the Captain of the station. The Captain doesn’t understand why a young woman is carrying this text and is uncertain as to whether she stole it, or if it is rightfully hers. The Captain suffers from back problems, so he decides to have Friday teach him the art of yoga to prove to him that the text is hers. That’s all that I’ll give you as far as a synapse is concerned.

The yoga sutras are weaved in throughout and great lessons are taught in a tangible life way. Although the writing itself seems geared towards a younger audience, I have found that my students fly through this book and return to me with great feedback. It gets the mind thinking about yoga in a way that doesn’t require you to take notes in order to memorize or follow along, and/or purchase a plane ticket halfway around the globe in search of yoga. It’s actually a great reminder that yoga is with us wherever we are; As yoga itself is not simply a practice of postures, but a life science.

You can easily pick this up on or search out your local book stores to see if they can find you a copy.

Happy reading!

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