Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff


Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff discusses yoga's effect on the body and the body's effect on yoga. Kaminoff starts by explaining the dynamics of breathing and of yoga breath. This section alone is worth the cost of the book! I noticed an immediate improvement in my breathing during yoga poses and therefore an improvement in the poses after reading the section on breathing. Yoga Anatomy then goes on to show yoga poses from an anatomical view highlighting the parts of the body that should be working and/or that are affected by the pose. The yoga name and a translation for each pose is provided. Each pose is classified and given a level. The joints that are active, the work the body is doing, the muscles being lengthened, the obstacles for each pose, notes to help with the pose, and breathing are all discussed in relationship to each pose. There are moments when the descriptions for the poses have so much in common, the reader feels a sense of de ja vu while reading. I even felt like there were times when I wasn't actually internalizing what I was reading until I was moving into a pose the next day or even a few days later and would suddenly remember reading about the pose and realize why the pose hadn't been working for me and how to correct my stance, my breathing, or my focus. Yoga Anatomy is easy to read and understand, but a reader should be prepared to take some time, especially if the goal is to use the book to improve one's yoga practice.  I read it a little at a time over several months in order to internalize what I read about each pose. Yoga Anatomy is a great book for anyone interested in practicing yoga or for anyone who practices yoga but struggles from time to time with a pose or yoga breath. Yoga Anatomy has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf as a reference book! After all, it's already proven beneficial to my yoga practice.

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