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Anatomy for Yoga with Paul Grilley

Paul Grilley , Mark Holmes and Ian Albert  |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Grilley
  • Directors: Mark Holmes and Ian Albert
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Pranamaya, Inc
  • DVD Release Date: November 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 230 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A1GEUE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,315 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


Teachers, serious students, and anyone running a teacher training program worth its salt will want a copy of this DVD. --Yoga Journal

Superb...This four-hour DVD is one of the most informative presentations on asana practice I have seen. --Yoga Chicago Magazine

An invaluable resource and an absolute must see for serious yoga students and teachers.

Superb...This four-hour DVD is one of the most informative presentations on asana practice I have seen. --Yoga Chicago Magazine, June, 2004

An invaluable resource and an absolute must see for serious yoga students and teachers.

Product Description

An invaluable resource for both yoga students and teachers, this comprehensive DVD includes nearly 4 hours of in-depth lectures, demonstrations and comparisons of human skeletal anatomy as it relates to yoga practice. Using a wide range of yoga students, acclaimed teacher Paul Grilley explains the key concepts of compression, tension, proportion and orientation. These concepts help us to understand why no two people will ever experience the same yoga posture in the same way. Paul's light-hearted yet provocative approach will challenge many misconceptions about yoga while providing the foundation for the development of a truly personal yoga practice. This DVD is encoded for all regions.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
113 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Skeletal Anatomy DVD on the Market August 29, 2005
Paul Grilley has made a name (sometimes infamously) for himself in the Yoga community with this informative DVD on anatomy and Yoga. Grilley is a proponent of "Yin Yoga," an approach to practice that focuses on long, passive stretches as a way to gently mold the muscular, ligamentous, and fascial tissue into a more pliable state. His anatomy DVD comes out of that conception of the human body, which will fascinate some and irk others.

The main component of the DVD is a lucid exploration of anatomy through two major themes: compression and tension. Tension is something that most of us are familiar with: relative tightness or tone of a muscle. Most yoga practices focus on "tensile" stretching, which seeks to lengthen and stretch the belly of the muscle to create greater flexibility. Because of this, according to Grilley, most Yoga practitioners ignore the "compression" aspects of a practice. Compression occurs when two surfaces (bones, soft tissue, body mass, etc) "hit" in such a way that more movement is not possible. Compression, Grilley argues, has more of an impact in practice than we would normally think, leading to frustration as we try to go "deeper" into poses, thinking that the restraint is muscular. Occasionally, Grilley says, this is really boney or structural blockages, and this is something we will not be able to get around.

The DVD journeys joint by joint through the body, with Grilley providing a number of excellent examples through audience members . Each person demonstrates either an extraordinary amount of mobility or an equal extraordinary lack of it. Both are fascinating, especially as the models take some classic "problem" poses, such as Urdhva Danurasana (Wheel), Adho Mukha Svasasana (Downward Facing Dog), and Virabhadrasana B (Warrior II).
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential information for any yogi... September 22, 2005
Paul Grilley has given me an entirely new outlook on yoga and why someone like me (who is fairly flexible to begin with) cannot do lotus pose easily...while my husband who (along with other muscles)has the tightest hamstrings on the planet, can do it with ease. It's all in your bones! If you are a teacher, serious yoga practitioner, or just would like to understand why you and some of your yogi counterparts differ so dramatically in the appearance of your must own a copy of this dvd.

We have to stop beating ourselves up for not looking a certain way during our yoga practice, and start tuning into ourselves, and the sensations achieved rather than aesthetics.

Have confidence in exploring your own full range of motion, while always being aware of the 2 major limitations explored on this it tension (muscular) or compression (skeletal). Tuning into these sensations can make all the difference, and allow you to explore modifications, or alternate postures altogether.

Paul Grilley is a very thorough presenter, and very easy to listen to and learn from.

They say you usually retain 10-15% of what you hear in a lecture, I retained at least 90% of what I heard in Paul's demonstrations.

I highly recommend this dvd for yoga practitioners of all levels.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required viewing for all yoga teacher November 19, 2005
By Gizella
Solid, clearly presented anatomical breakdown of yoga postures, free of dogma and jargon, yet respectful of yoga (and Taoist) philosophies and the concepts of yin and yang qualities in relation to the yoga practice.

Most importantly Grilley separates limitations in range of motion into two kinds: Muscular tension (changeable with practice) and skeletal compression...i.e. one bone meeting another and stopping motion at that point (fixed).

Key poses are performed by students with a wide range of body types and bone structure in order to demonstrate how this comes into play in postures involving pivotal joints (shoulders, neck, pelvis, spine, etc.)

Overall, Grilley's theories about working within the unique body to create a suitable personal practice present yoga (rightly) as inclusive and liberating as opposed to fixed, systematic and binding.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Beneficial December 28, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I started doing yoga 3.5 years ago. Because I needed to use so many props, I stopped for a period of time to focus on increase my upper body strength. After watching this video, I realized that, while the weight-training did help, the CORE of my problem was short arms and short legs...relative to my torso! I will ALWAYS need props (blocks) when doing yoga simply because of my body proportions. I also realized that I will NEVER be able to do certain poses (such as headstands)...again, because of physical proportions (arm length) and lack of adequate neck extension relative to arm length. With the information in this dvd, I was able to immediately modify my power yoga in a way (using props) that allowed me to get the maximum benefit of various poses without feeling that I was 'cheating'! While I recommend this dvd to everyone doing yoga, I especially recommend it to individuals who have short arms/legs! With blocks, I can now maximize the benefit I get when doing my poses!

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening! June 5, 2011
By Debra
I will start out letting the reader know that I am a very new practitioner of yoga; I've been at this for about four weeks.

I would recommend any person starting out in yoga (or any sport) should view the DVD Anatomy for Yoga with Paul Grilley. This excellent video gave me worlds of insight into how the bones work (or don't).

It has greatly improved my approach to some of the yoga poses. And though I have far to go before I get past tension and face compression, I am now able to practice yoga mindful of not just what the muscles and tendons are doing, but what the bones are doing. I can now really focus on what the pose is meant to achieve and....

Well, I don't know how to explain it, but there's just something about knowing what the bones are up to that helps. Perhaps it's that it lays to rest a bit of the mystery of what's happening to the body and thus some of that restraining fear dissapates allowing a freer yoga practice.

I suppose once I have been doing yoga awhile and am in a 'different place' I will use the tools Mr Grilley's DVD has given me in different ways, but for now it's simply comforting to know my bones a little better!

While compression/tension was a main focus, the section on proportion was eye-opening as well. I sort of had a 'thing' about using props because I thought 'hey, if I use a crutch, I'll never improve.' Wrong! What a sad misunderstanding of what props are! Now my little blocks sit right next to my mat waiting to make my short little arms a little longer so I can properly achieve triangle pose.

I almost wish this video were titled 'Bones: A DVD for people who have them.' It seems such a shame that this DVD's title might limit it to people who practice yoga. Everyone should watch it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a great CD!
Published 9 days ago by Beverly F. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great anatomy DVD simplifies a normally challenging subject. Really good visual as well.
Published 1 month ago by chieky1
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Training Video!!!!
The is an ecellent video and one I implement in my own teaching.
Published 1 month ago by YogiCop
5.0 out of 5 stars This Wabi-Sabi Yogi was ILLUMINATED through this DVD
Instead of undergoing total bilateral knee replacements on 9/9/13, this 60 year old cancelled that surgery and began to practice Yoga at a local studio. Read more
Published 2 months ago by eileen fleming
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
This video was required for my yoga teacher training class. I found it informative and look forward to using the practical applications as I begin teaching classes. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Harold A. Donovan Jr
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely valuable
This is a must for an instructor of any type of exercise - it has opened my eyes to so many issues I'd never even thought about. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Valeri Pighini
5.0 out of 5 stars Compliment or understand your Yoga with this DVD
Excellent DVD - gave perfect, easy to understand lesson of our anatomy as it relates to our yoga practice. I'm a CYT and this DVD extended my insight within my yoga practice. Read more
Published 5 months ago by adrian rodriguez
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Great and good information in simple terms. I like his style it is clear, simple and understandable. Very informative. Highly recommend.
Published 5 months ago by Julia Lamm
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource
Great workshops! I enjoyed exploring my body and now I understand why certain postures are easy and some difficult. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Shani
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Information!
If you want to deepen your awareness of how you are in a posture you will enjoy this. Know your bones know yourself.
Published 6 months ago by sati ah
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