Quote Originally Posted by FlipAsso View Post
Hi there. I'd like some begginers books on Raja Yoga.

I've got a translation of the Yoga Sutras, but I don't like it very much.
Maybe there are better translations.

I thought of buying the e-Book Eight Limbs of Yoga, by Yogani, do you know if it's any good?
I was also planning on buying the Tantra book by the same author.

I would like a begginers book that explains the Yama's and Niyamas as well as other angas of the ashtanga.

Do you recommend taking classes?
I don't think there are strict Raja Yoga classes, just some hatha yoga and other kinds in my town. I've took some so I've got an Idea of the pranayama, asana and samyama.

BTW - I've read an excelent article on Yama and Niyama, but it was a very extremist opinion and he gave not much room towards a gradual development. His opinion on Satya(?) (truthfulness) was a very strict one, which at some point I agreed with, but seemed a bit extremist...
I would apreciate if your recomendations were more moderate in tone.

Thanks in advance

As far as books on the theory, I would go with Swami Sivananda and Swami Vivekananda's books as recommended above. As far as practice, the only book I can personally vouch for is "A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya" by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. It's basically integral yoga which incorporates practices from all the different branches - hatha, raja, karma, bhakti, jnana, kriya, etc. Emphasis is on the practice though and there's a lot of it. I've had wonderful results with it personally and I've hardly gotten through a quarter of the book. It certainly seems to avoid extremist points of view.

But as far as extreme opinions go, I think it's always good to read books with different perspectives, even if they're too intense for you to implement. Sri Swami Sivananda's books generally take such an approach but that's what makes them inspiring to me. He has that stop-wasting-your-life-and-meditate tone which can be a little imposing but sometimes it's exactly what I need. It's always good to read a wide selection of opinions.

Yogani is probably the most moderate in this sense and his e-books are very inexpensive so you won't lose much in any case. What I've read of his I found to be generally informative. Maybe it was a little short and oversimplified in parts, and he takes a lot of heat for not having a 'genuine' lineage, but he's got some real gems in his writing if you read through some of it. His tip on getting into khechari mudra was priceless, I haven't found anything like it anywhere else, I would have never thought to use a finger to push the tongue past the uvula. All the other books just said to find a guru. I'm sure they're probably right because I have a feeling there's much more to khechari than just having your tongue in the nasal pharynx, but I'll take what I can get for now.

I've never seen a raja yoga class but as far as I understand, raja yoga is basically concentration that leads to meditation and samadhi. So perhaps any meditation class can serve that purpose for a beginner. Like someone mentioned before, hatha yoga is generally practiced first so you could always look into that if you're a beginner to yoga in general.