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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 10 October 2012
This is not an introduction to anatomy. This is anatomy applied to yoga. It does cover the basic anatomical theory and terms used to describe the postures, including skeletal and muscular actions. However a prior understanding of the muscles; their names and perhaps how they are linked, would make sure you got the most out of this book book.

The revised edition is clearer and better structured than the first edition.

The first 4 chapters cover:
-Beautiful introduction discussing how intrinsic the basic yogic concepts are in the body, before we even start asana.
-How breathing effects the shape of the body/spine and how this relates to yoga (why we inhale and exhale with certain movements).
-The spine including it's development and range of motion.
-The skeletal system including how to describe actions of the of the joints and bones.
-The muscular system including how to describe muscle contractions, briefly what are agonist-antagonist pairs, and a little about how flexibility and strength relate to the muscles.

The author relates everything to the basic concepts of yoga discussed at the beginning.
None of this is in depth, but enough to basically understand what is happening in each posture anatomically.

From chapter 5 it begins to apply this anatomy clearly and thoroughly to asana. The book does NOT cover the names of muscles but obviously, DOES use them. Previous knowledge or another book will be needed to understand the names of muscles and where the muscles are exactly.

For example: (view "look inside" to get a better idea)
"Concentric contraction. To stabilize and abduct shoulder joint: Rotator cuff, biceps brachii (long head), deltoid."
From the book you will understand what concentric contraction is and what abduct the shoulder means, i.e. you will understand how to describe the muscular and skeletal actions. However without prior knowledge, you won't find out what or where the rotator cuff, biceps brachii (long head) or deltoid are, or get an idea of how they are linked and work together. Some of the muscles are labeled in the images, but not all muscles involved are labelled, and not in all of the postures, and there's no specific section teaching muscle names or position.
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on 22 January 2012
Yoga Anatomy is a book that gives the reader a look inside the human body as it is put in various yoga positions.

Chapter 1 covers the dynamics of breathing and actually covers some breathing physiology as well. Chapter 2 talks about the spine and gives some pretty detailed spinal information. Chapter 3 is short and covers the asanas.

The rest of the book, Chapters 4 through 9, make up the "meat" of the book and contains most of the anatomy information most readers probably bought the book for- what muscles are used in what poses. The way the book gives you the information is quite handy- it has a section on standing poses, sitting poses, kneeling poses, on-your-stomach poses, on-your-back poses, and arm supported poses. Sooo, all you have to do is pick a position/pose, and there you'll find pictures of what muscles are involved (and let me say, they show you some great angles of the poses to make sure the reader can see ALL the muscles that are involved). In addition to learing what muscles are involved, the book also tells you what joint actions are involved, as well as what body parts are working AND which ones are lengthening- neat!

A great reference book, its simply perfect for the yoga enthusiast that has become acquainted over time with muscles they never knew they had- but will now after reading this book! Also recommend The 5-Minute Plantar Fasciitis Solution if plantar fasciitis pain keeps you from doing your yoga.
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on 17 February 2012
I'm a yoga teacher and was looking for something to delve deeply into the anatomy of the postures. This book describes the anatomy beautifully and goes into detail. It's detailed but clear enough for a layperson like me to understand. I also found little Youtube links by the same author which give snippets about yoga anatomy. I'd highly recommend this book to yoga teacher and practitioners who want to look beneath the surface to see what is happening while moveing into and out of the yoga postures.
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on 19 February 2016
I am not disappointed with the book. It explains the anatomy joined with yoga practice. Photographs are very helpful as are the descriptions of muscles that work in each pose. It is perhaps not the easiest read for a layman but a great source of information.
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on 16 October 2013
Tremendous detail of musculature and physiology. Very easy to grasp structure.

Definitely a great tool for students and teachers alike. Allows yogis the opportunity to take responsibility for their bodies and understanding what they ask of their bodies during practice.
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on 14 May 2012
Don't waver just buy it if you are an avid Yoga practitioner, student or anatomy freak. This is a brilliant book and I love the demonstration of how the authors and illustrators go about creating it too. The diagrams are astonishing, the explanations and work by the authors to articulate the muscle work, physiological and metabolism attributes of every asana superb. the price of mine was under £7 and it was brand new, so this was a great find. I am tempting to get the pilates one too, but will stick with this one for now.
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on 22 July 2013
This book seems to be very useful and whilst I haven't had it still browsing and dipping into it, I would think that it's a great book for yoga teachers/student teachers/serious students. Lots of useful information in the notes which accompany each posture.
The anatomical descriptions are thorough and you'd need to have some knowledge of anatomy to get the best from these, however they are not absolutely necessary as the 'notes' are very practical.
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on 15 April 2013
I like thinking about how my muscles are working or releasing when doing yoga and this books really helps with that. I have a new appreciation of my body as a result.
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on 21 July 2013
An excellent book to help you understand what you body is doing in all those postures. I practice Astanga and this has really helped.
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on 25 February 2016
An excellent entry-level anatomy for a yoga teacher or an interested student. Some language of anatomy jargon is good to have, but not necessary to get the gist. I like that it is so concise, keeping things simple. A book that can be used as a reference, or read from cover to cover. Definitely one that I open anytime when studying a new asana. The illustrations are superb.
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