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Yoga Anatomy Paperback – June 20, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics; 1 edition (June 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736062785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736062787
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


About the Author

Leslie Kaminoff has more than 20 years of experience and is an internationally recognized specialist in the fields of yoga and breath anatomy. He is cofounder and head instructor of the Breathing Project, a New York City-based yoga studio dedicated to the teaching of individualized, breath-centered yoga practice and therapy. He currently practices yoga therapy and teaches anatomy in New York City and Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and advises various yoga schools on the anatomy content of their national certification program. He has led workshops for many of the leading yoga associations, schools, and training programs in the United States, and he has helped organize international yoga conferences and symposia. Kaminoff is the founder of the highly respected international yoga list
e-Sutra, and he has been a featured yoga expert in Yoga Journal and the New York Times, as well as online at WebMD, FOXNews Online, and Health.com. Kaminoff resides in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, with his wife, Uma, and their three sons.

About the Illustrator

Sharon Ellis
has worked as a medical illustrator in New York for more than 25 years. Her award-winning illustrations have been exhibited at the New York Academy of Medicine, the Society of Illustrators, the Association of Medical Illustrators, the Rx Club, and the Spring Street Gallery in Soho. Ellis is a member of the Association of Medical Illustrators and has received the organization’s Best Illustrated Surgical Book award. She was also awarded a grant from the New York Foundation of the Arts, and her work has appeared in many medical books and magazines. Ellis holds a master’s degree in medical art from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and a master of fine art from the State University of New York. She resides in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Great book for poses (asanas) and the muscles that are worked in each pose.
S. A. Moona
Yoga Anatomy is a very informative book to all of you newbies as well as those who would like to make yoga more effective.
If you want to know how yoga is affecting your muscles in your body then you will love this book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Theresa Reed on August 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Yoga Anatomy" by Leslie Kaminoff, is a must have book for yoga instructors and practitioners. Although there are a few books on yoga anatomy currently available to choose from, I was pleasantly surprised by Kaminoff's offering. First of all, the illustrations are absolutely crystal clear (the amazing artist, Sharon Ellis, is a medical illustrator). The drawings show exactly what your muscles and bones are doing in each pose. The coolest part is that we get to see some (not all) of these poses from interesting angles - not just the side view and front view - but also from the bottom and top, which really adds a lot (the author accomplished this by shooting pictures of the models from below, using a large sheet of plexiglass suspended by two ladders!). For example, imagine seeing "Bakasana" (Crane Pose) from underneath! You can see the Serratus Anterior and Iliacus at work - two things that may be difficult to view in traditional yoga anatomy books.

For each pose featured, Kaminoff provides information on the joint actions, what parts of the body are working, what is lengthening and what obstacles you may encounter. Sanskrit and English terms are provided along with pronunciations of the Sanskrit. The author also gives a very detailed chapter on the Dynamics of Breathing as well as a chapter on the Spine. These additions are invaluable and very clear. So much information is presented, it is almost overwhelming - but unlike other anatomy books, it doesn't feel dry or boring. This would be a great manual for any yoga teacher training program as well as for anyone who would like to "see" what is happening in each asana.
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88 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Sue on August 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a godsend for anyone who studies or teaches yoga. It reflects so much care and work and attentiveness to detail. It really is anatomy for yogis. I've been studying yoga for close to 40 years and have been exposed to a variety of corrective allignment forms of body work. So when I'm having trouble in a posture I often refer to standard anatomy books but they can be overwhelming and aren't geared towards helping me understand what is going on in a given posture. Despite taking several anatomy classes including a wondrous anatomy dissection class, I still don't have enough knowledge to translate what I read or see in an antomy text into what I'm doing and not doing in a given yoga posture. There are books that aim to be more inclusive, like Mel Robin's book on the physiology of yoga--but I just get overwhelmed by that much information. This book helps me see the main muscles working in a given posture and the main reasons I might be having difficulty with that posture. Of course I would like even more--how can I strengthen or lengthen the muscles that I'm needing to employ in a given posture. But that is asking for too much and I think really requires work with a well trained teacher. This book is just the right size, user friendly and chocked full of information. The illustrations are remarkable, showing postures from different angles and reflecting the author's extensive study of both anatomy and yoga. I highly recommend it.
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful By K. Tombrella on January 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was assigned to me as a required resource for Shala (Yoga Teacher Training). Having no background in anatomy, I am really struggling to tie the written descriptions in the first two chapters to the illustrations. Perhaps there is an assumption by the author and illustrator of a certain level of anatomy knowlege that this reader doesn't posses. I find that the illustrations of the thoracic cavity (lungs, central tendon, diaphram) and the spinal column (discs, tendons, vertebrae) more confusing than helpful. I needed to consult with my Shala yoga instructors and 3 different anatomy books to understand what the author was trying to teach me. Chapter two is no better. The illustrations of the spine, tendons, discs are all superbly drawn, yet don't quite sync up with the written text if you're a newcomer like myself.

After these two chapters, it's a great resource. As the other reviewers have stated, the illustrations of the muscles used during different asanas are right on and quite helpful. This is a resource I'll keep and use again. However I'd like to see the first two chapters revised so the illustrations are presented better for the novice.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Suza Francina on October 25, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rest assured, you can relax and breathe easy as you meander through the pleasant pages of this book! Other great books connect yoga and anatomy, including the highly regarded titles, Anatomy of Yoga, by H. David Coulter, and The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga, by Ray Long. However, Yoga Anatomy is so user-friendly even those of us who drift off during yoga anatomy workshops can enjoy absorbing the wisdom in this book.

There were no anatomy books specifically designed for yoga teachers when I studied anatomy at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco in the `70s. I was already overwhelmed just learning how to place my feet in Triangle Pose and could not get my head into the daunting standard anatomical textbooks used at the time. If this book had been available, I might not have gotten a D in anatomy!

The beautiful illustrations by award-winning medical illustrator Sharon Ellis are based on photographs of various models. As others have mentioned, some perspectives illustrated are quite unusual because they were shot from underneath. The book shows a photograph of a photo shoot where the model is balanced in Crow Pose, on a long piece of plexiglass secured between two ladders. The photographer is lying on his back on the floor, shooting the pose from below.

The sight of this photo prompted me to do something I have not done in 30 years of practicing Downward-Facing Dog. I placed a sturdy mirror, one foot wide and four feet long, in the center of my yoga mat. I went into downward-facing dog in such a way that my hands and feet were pressing on the mat, and I could see the pose reflected in the mirror. I turned to the book, and there was a picture of the view I had just seen in the mirror.
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