Your Body, Your Yoga Learn Alignment Cues That Are Skillful, Safe, and Best Suited To You

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-04-12
  • Publisher: Wild Strawberry Productions

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Your Body, Your Yoga goes beyond any prior yoga anatomy book available. It looks not only at the body’s unique anatomical structures and what this means to everyone’s individual range of motion, but also examines the physiological sources of restrictions to movement. Two volumes are provided in this book: Volume 1 raises a new mantra to be used in every yoga posture: What Stops Me? The answers presented run through a spectrum, beginning with a variety of tensile resistance to three kinds of compressive resistance. Examined is the nature of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments, joint capsules, bones and our extracellular matrix and their contribution to mobility. The shape of these structures also defines our individual, ultimate range of movement, which means that not every body can do every yoga posture. The reader will discover where his or her limits lie, which dictates which alignment cues will work best, and which ones should be abandoned. Volume 2 will take these principles and apply them to the lower body, examining the hip joint, the knee, ankle and foot, and will present how your unique variations in these joints will show up in your yoga practice.

Author Biography

Bernie Clark has had a passion for science, health, sports and spirituality since childhood. He has a degree in science from the University of Waterloo and spent over 25 years as a senior executive in the high-tech/space industry. Bernie has been investigating the path of meditation for over three decades and began teaching yoga and meditation in 1998. He conducts yoga teacher trainings several times a year and aims to build bridges between the experiences of yoga and the understandings of modern science. He is creator of the YinYoga.com website. Bernie lives and teaches in Vancouver, Canada.

Paul Grilley began practicing yoga in 1979 after reading "The Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananada. He moved to Los Angeles in 1982 where he studied and taught yoga for 12 years. His special interest is the teaching of anatomy. He is the initial popularizer of the style of yoga called yin yoga, and patterns his philosophy on the writings and researches of Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama — a yogi and scientist from Tokyo, Japan. This philosophy integrates the Taoist meridian and acupuncture theories of China with the yogic and tantric theories of India. Paul started his studies of anatomy with Dr. Garry Parker in 1979. He continued his studies at UCLA where he took courses in anatomy and kinesiology. He earned a M.A. from St. John's College, Santa Fe in summer 2000 and an Honorary Ph.D. in 2005 from the California Institute for Human Science for his efforts to clarify the latest theories on fascia and its relevance to the practice of hatha yoga.

Table of Contents

How to Read this Book
Foreword: The History of Teaching Alignment in America

Table of Contents for Volume 1: What Stops Me? Sources of Tension and Compression

Chapter 1: You Are Unique—So Is Your Yoga
Range of Human Variations
Examples of Human Variations

Chapter 2: What Stops Me?
Sensing Tension and Compression
Functional Yoga versus Aesthetic Yoga

Chapter 3: The Value of Stress

Chapter 4: The Physiology of Our Tissues
Sources of Tension
The Nervous System
The Immune System
The Wonder of Water
Sources of Compression
Joints and Cartilage

Volume 1 Summary
Appendix A: The Forms of Stress
Appendix B: Muscle Shapes and Functions
Appendix C: The Myofascial Meridians
Appendix D: Facts About Osteoporosis
Appendix E: The Types of Joints
Appendix F: The Biomechanics of Joint Motion
Volume 1 Endnotes

Table of Contents for Volume 2: The Lower Body

1. The Bare Bones of Yoga
The Planes of the Body

2. The Joint Segments of the Lower Body
The Hip Joint
The Architecture of the Hip Joint
The Bones of the Hip Joint
The Joint Capsule and Ligaments
Muscles of the Hip
The Types and Ranges of Variations
Function-Application in Yoga Postures
Normal Ranges of Motion
Sources of Tension
Sources of Compression
Variation in Ranges of Motion
Hip Joint Summary

3. The Knee Joint
The Architecture of the Knee
The Bones of the Knee
The Knee-Joint Capsule and Ligaments
Muscles of the Knee
The Types and Ranges of Variations
Function-Application in Yoga Postures
Normal Ranges of Motion
Sources of Tension
Sources of Compression
Variation in Ranges of Motion
Knee Joint Summary

4. The Ankle-Foot Segment
The Architecture of the Ankle-Foot Segment
The Bones of the Ankle and Foot
The Ligaments
The Muscles and Tendons
The Types and Ranges of Variations
Function-Application in Yoga Postures
Normal Ranges of Motion
Sources of Tension
Sources of Compression
Variation in Ranges of Motion
Ankle-Foot Segment Summary

5 Volume 2 Summary

A. List of Anatomical Directions
B. Variations in the Female Pelvis
C. Mechanical Advantage-Pulleys and Levers
D. Flexion-Caused Impingement at the Hip Joint
E. The Dangers and Benefits of Valgum or Varum Knee Orientation
F. The Movements of the Foot and Ankle

It’s Important: Beware of studies
It’s Important: Who is flying the airplane
It’s Important: Playing your edge
It’s Important: Injuries caused by yoga
It’s Important: Antifragility (or no strain—no gain!)
It’s Important: The value of compression
It’s Important: Millimeters versus inches
It’s Important: Safely stressing joints
It’s Important: The value of alignment
It’s Important: Remember, compression can be good!
It’s Important: Co-contraction
It’s Important: Are you valgus or varus?
It’s Important: Don’t assume it’s your ankles!

It’s Complicated: Averages and norms
It’s Complicated: Femoral neck-shaft-angle variations
It’s Complicated: Stress at the cellular level
It’s Complicated: Sarcomere contraction
It’s Complicated: Adding sarcomeres
Its Complicated: Our ground substance
It’s Complicated: Other parts of our joints
It’s Complicated: Which muscles cause which movement can vary
It’s Complicated: Estimating available ranges of motion
It’s Complicated: Femoral acetabular impingement syndrome
It’s Complicated: What is a newton?
It’s Complicated: Hyperextension of the knee
It’s Complicated: The trochlea of the talus
It’s Complicated: What causes plantar fasciitis?
It’s Complicated: Arch support
It’s Complicated: Where should the dorsiflexed foot point?

Note to Teachers: When students can’t go further
Note to Teachers: Stress when injured
Note to Teachers: Should we try to stress tendons?
Note to Teachers: Sources of compression
Note to Teachers: Be cautious of creating alignment cues based only on
your own experience
Note to Teachers: Yoga is a self-selecting practice
Note to Teachers: Explore from the core outwards
Note to Teachers: Customizing Classes
Note to Teachers: Do not offer a correction without knowing the cause!
Note to Teachers: Don’t be afraid of locking the knees
Note to Teachers: Getting grounded
Note to Teachers: Sickling—plantarflexion with supination
Note to Teachers: Aligning the feet in Down Dog

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