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Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers and Practitioners Paperback – Illustrated, 4 Mar 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 622 pages
  • Publisher: Body and Breath; 1st Edition edition (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097070061X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970700612
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

First few pages are very infuriating to read through as the print on the back side of those pages are so dark that the super emboss the current read. Luckily only few came out that way... making me not bother to return the same... Hope it's taken into account... Cheers!!! The book on the other hand is extremely well written & totally guides someone like me who has just started practicing yoga 1 month now... Helps me understand the concepts & the core true meaning behind each & every move... Only for me to perform better... --Satish Nimmagadda

As hatha yoga approaches the "Granola Standard" of public acceptance -- it's not just for aging hippies and health nuts anymore --there's a growing need for foundational work in the anatomic and physiological effects of the discipline. It may still be a while before our leading medical schools issue texts examining yoga in detail, so former anatomy professor and dedicated yogi H. David Coulter, Ph.D. has done them a favor (and they, along with every HMO, hospital, and preventive-care clinic in the country should order copies now). In this exhaustive guide to the ups, downs, twists and turns of most fundamental asanas (and a few advanced ones), Coulter tells you a lot more than your recently certified yoga teacher may know about exactly what's going on with your body during the yogic experience. (Yoga teachers, you should order now too!) And the author has the seasoning to issue knowledgeable warnings about the fact that, poorly practiced, yoga can certainly be bad for you: "Cultivate a frolicsome enthusiasm in the morning to counter stiffness, and cautiousness in the evening to avoid hurting yourself. And at any time, if you start feeling uncommonly strong, flexible, and frisky, be careful. That's when it?s easy to go too far." In these days when most books are more cheaply made than ever, it's nice to see a volume like this that's built to last; the glossy text paper gives the book the physical heft and authority to match the value of the content. The pricetag is what you're used to seeing on the latest computer books, but when you consider that this tome will be timely for years instead of months, it's a real bargain. -- --p.miller

Coulter's comprehensive book provides a new bridge between the empirical traditions of yoga science, and Western physiology and anatomy. He uses his deep knowledge of both sides of the divide to provide detailed accounts of what is happening during yoga asanas and pranayama breathing. While I had expected this to be useful in providing answers for questions that I, my colleagues and students have had, trying to fit yoga into a Western scientific context, I have been delighted to find that there is a feedback loop, with the Western analysis making it easier to maintain the detailed instructions I had previously learned from teachers and other books. This is an impressively detailed and exhaustive book, including coverage of movement and posture, breathing, many categories of asana, and relaxation and meditation. In each case, the physiological information is linked to practice, and often different levels of the posture are discussed. The writing style is clear and informal. There are anatomical diagrams, charts of breathing patterns, and photographs of the poses, but this is a long way from the current trend towards thumbnail pictures of every stage of a pose. In such a thorough and dense volume (over 600 pages in all) the major challenge is easy access to specific information when you need it. There are two indexes, by anatomical term and by specific practices, but I would have welcomed more context within the indexes (for example, to direct me to the most appropriate of 12 mentions of the synovial joint). I think my carping on this topic will diminish my familiarity with the content grows, as I use the book more over the months and years -- which I certainly intend to do. Highly recommended. --escaravelha

About the Author

H. David Coulter received a Ph.D. in anatomy from the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences in 1968. Dr. Coulter has been practicing yoga since 1974. He was initiated by Swami Veda, trained under Swami Rama and studied under Pandit Rajmani Tigunait at the Himalayan Institute since 1988.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I got this book when I was on the teacher training programme, at the time i didn't have the time to read it, just flicking through the pages. Now my course is over I have stuck my head into it and cannot get it back out. What a brilliant tool!! As a teacher it has helped my understanding of the asanas, breathing etc and as a yogi, it has helped my understanding of both my body in action and of the whys. if your serious about learning how you body moves and why your body restricts your practice etc then you'd better get this book...I cannot reccomend it enough.
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Format: Hardcover
When I ordered this book I had some idea that it explained yoga according to its effects on one's body. I had imagined it would be a big A4 Dorling Kindersley style hardback. Instead I was met with a squat, fat, 625-page tome, bristling with pictures.
By combining the instruction of how to perform the various yoga asanas with all the medical explanations and nomenclature that you would expect, this book is able to demystify yoga. I didn't doubt yoga before, but this book gives me extra belief that it is working.
The book is thorough in explaining variants of many positions. Almost each is illustrated. This is invariable when, either, you find a position too hard or ineffective, or you are becoming adept at a position to the point where it is too easy for you. In either case, the book is easy to use to adapt one's practice to suit.
With illustrations and instructions on the various positions and the actual physical anatomy of the body, the book begins with movement and posture, thereafter covering breathing, before moving on to abdominopelvic exercises, standing posutres, backbending postures, forward bending postures, and twisting postures. A chapter each is devoted to the headstand and shoulderstand, followed by a chapter on relaxation and meditation. The book also comes with a good glossary of anatomical terms, the book also covers the contraindications (don't dos) for various medical conditions.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is essential for those who are really willing to know what is behind each posture and each exercise of the yoga practice. It analyses, illustratevely, the physical benefits and functionality of every physical movement in yoga. It is speciallized in Hatha Yoga, one of the very interesting sub divisions of the great Raja Yoga. Great manual indeed... Worthy purchasing it. I'm happy with mine in my mini library at home.. ;)
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Format: Hardcover
Coming from a medical back ground I was keen to get down to the anatomical details of Hatha having practised it for two years. This book is heavy going for the beginner but a great deal of info is included for those with a curious mind keen to know the true inner workings of Yoga.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't finished the book yet. But so far it's exactly what I was looking for. Precise, thorough anatomy from the beginning (but definitely not just for beginners) that is always referred back to in a yoga context. I don't have prior understanding of anatomy and there are some sections I've had to skim over (the book suggests to do this) but there is useful information for all levels of understanding, and I imagine that as my knowledge grows I'll refer back to the book and continue to learn something new from the book and expand my knowledge each time I pick it up.

I bought this book as well as Kaminoff's Yoga Anatomy. So far I feel Kaminoff's book is more suited to discussing the specific muscles and alignment involved asana by asana. This book is a lot deeper, teaching you more specifically where the muscles are and more importantly how they work together (lots of great diagrams). Also how the whole body works in relation to yoga, explaining everything in yoga physically/physiologically. So far I've found a few things yoga teachers have said in the past that I've never known why it's important or where they've come from. For example why it's bad physically/physiologically to hold your breath in asana practice, and why you might want to do certain types of abdominal exercises with a relaxed abdomen. There's also lots of little exercise for you to try yourself to understand experientially what the book is discussing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An absolutely marvellous book for any teacher or serious student of Hatha Yoga - I would go so far as to say it's a "must have". (I can't understand why it wasn't on the core list of books when I did my yoga teacher training.) The author describes it as "how to do yoga postures using anatomically precise terminology [and] how these postures are realized in some of the great systems of the body". It combines precision with experiential awareness, and caters for beginner, intermediate and advanced practice. Breathing and meditation is covered as well as postures grouped usefully into categories such as "twisting", "abdomino-pelvic", "back-bending", "standing" and "forward bending", while the key postures of headstand and shoulder stand get chapters in their own right. He demonstrates that there are usually several ways of doing what outwardly looks like the same posture, but how those various ways are working the body differently. Lots of photos and diagrams that precisely illustrate what he's saying. The textual content is very dense but absolutely riveting if you are seriously into working with the human body - your own and other people's! I can't praise this book highly enough. However, I wish it hadn't been printed on shiny paper as it's difficult to annotate with pencil...
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