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Would benefit from some anatomy knowledge prior to reading
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.
INSIDE THE BOOK
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.