MamaSpace Yoga® Prenatal Prescriptions Reading List

In addition to all the books you probably have already read about pregnancy and bodywork for pregnancy, here are a few specifically about prenatal yoga:

Labor Love and Liberation by Tina Lilly is an amazing book for prenatal yoga teachers to read and recommend to students. It is by far the best book I have read about moving through pregnancy and preparing for birth the yoga way. It is an eloquently-written part memoir and part guide. This book is about walking the talk through pregnancy and birth. It’s a must-read.

Yoga: A Gem for Women by Geeta S. Iyengar is a wonderful book about yoga for women at all stages of life. She’s B.K.S. Iyengar’s daughter, BTW. You gotta have it on your shelf and, better yet, in your hands – read it.
The Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health: A Lifelong Guide to Wellness by Linda Sparrowe and Patricia Walden is another Iyengar-inspired yoga text just for women. It has useful information about healing women’s bodies and, of course, pregnancy sequences.
Yoga Mama by Linda Sparrowe is written for yogis who want to continue appropriate practice during pregnancy birth and postpartum. I like this book because it gave me some ideas about sequencing and flow. It has recommendations for each trimester.
Iyengar Yoga for Motherhood: Safe Practice for Expectant & New Mothers by Geeta S. Iyengar, Rita Keller and Kerstin Khattab – I love the illustrations in this book. I love the way the material is organized. The instructions are clear. This is THE book – really comprehensive. At first I was overwhelmed by all the props, but over time I have become accustomed to using many of them in my prenatal yoga classes. When B.K.S. Iyengar began teaching yoga to Westerners he found that they had difficulty with the practice. He used ordinary stuff from around the house to help – stuff like blankets, chairs, cushions, belts, books, benches, etc. This was the origin of the standard props we see in yoga studios today. So even if you don’t have all of this stuff you can improvise.
Inner Beauty, Inner Light: Yoga for Pregnant Women is a classic text. The text is beautiful to read. French Obstetrician, Frederick Leboyer wrote the book and took the photographs himself. The women is Vanita, B.K.S. Iyengar’s daughter. She gave birth a few days after the photos were taken. The photos depict her daily yoga practice.
Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful by Gurmukh is a lovely book born from the Kundalini Yoga tradition.  It  offers advice and inspiration for pregnancy and birth. The meditations and exercises are designed to help people prepare for birth and parenting – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I especially like the meditations.

These books are your anatomical/biomechanical guides:

Pelvic Liberation by (my teacher) Leslie Howard is my new favorite book all about pelvic health. It incorporates lots of yoga (my favorite). It’s good for professionals and good for a self-help recommendation, too.
Preparing for a Gentle Birth: The Pelvis in Pregnancy by Blandine Calais-Germain. This book is amazing. Really amazing. The illustrations are fantastic. It takes us through all of the possible pelvic movements and explains their relevance to the birth process. I might make this REQUIRED reading for this class.
The Female Pelvis  by Blandine Calais-Germain is accessible, accurate and has an emphasis on pregnancy and birth. It also has illustrated, clearly explained exercises to help women maintain good pelvic health.
The Belly Mapping Workbook  by Gail Tully is written for mothers to help them figure out the position of their babies in utero. This is also an essential skill for us.
Woman: An Intimate Georgaphy by Natalie Angier. This book was updated and republished in 2014. I don’t know how the first version got past me. This is a spectacular book about women’s bodies and how they work. It is READABLE and scientific – written by a Pulitzer Prize winning author who writes about biology for The New York Times. It’s a little long. Read it anyway.

Walk your talk:

The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice  by Deborah Adeleis is a must-read for understanding and embracing the yoga way of life. It’s well-written and understandable. This is the basic guide for walking the talk.

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