Get The Skinny On…..Five Great Yoga Anatomy Books

 

yoga anatomy books, yoga anatomy

 

Yoga anatomy books are a great investment for any yoga teacher or teacher in training.  Human anatomy is a vast topic but it is very useful for a yoga instructor to have an understanding of how the body moves and functions.

There are many great anatomy books out there dedicated to the subject of anatomy focusing on yoga asana.   Here are five to consider for your bookshelf.

5 Great yoga anatomy books for yoga teachers

Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews

Yoga Anatomy Leslie Kaminoff
Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff/Amy Matthews

The thing I love about Yoga Anatomy is the fact that it is the perfect goldilocks size.  Not too big, nor too small but just right.  It is a paperback format book that covers a great deal and is not instantly overwhelming!  As a teacher training favorite, it is easy to read and presents a great deal of information in a very understandable way.

The opening chapters cover breathing, the spine, and the muscular and skeletal systems.  I particularly like the breathing chapter which covers use of the diaphragm in depth.  Each asana is grouped logically by type and broken down into 4 sections – the skeletal joint action, muscular joint action, breathing in the pose and a useful notes section relevant to the asana.

The diagrams are clearly illustrated and show the relevant muscles and bones that are key to the pose.  For me, if you are going to invest in a yoga anatomy book, this is a good place to start.

Page from anatomy book Yoga Anatomy
a sample page from Yoga Anatomy

 

The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga by Ray Long

key muscles of hatha yoga ray long
The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga by Ray Long

I came across a ‘favorite anatomy book’ survey on a Facebook yoga teacher group recently and Ray Long’s range of books were at the top of the list.  This book does exactly what it says on the cover and shows you the key muscles of hatha yoga across a range of poses.  Big, clearly labelled illustrations show the inner workings of poses clearly and coherently.  As well as a brief but helpful chapter on the skeleton, there are also chapters about joints, ligaments and tendons clearly illustrated with easy to grasp descriptions.

The poses are illustrated in skeletal format with muscles shown in isolation.  This is accompanied by helpful information to describe the body’s physical rotation and flexion and extension in a particular pose.  Brief sections on breath and bandhas are worth a look.  This is one of the clearest books on muscle use in yoga and I can see how it is the yoga teachers book of choice.  Ray Long has also published a number of other yoga anatomy books that are super helpful to yoga instructors.

key muscles of hatha yoga ray long
a sample page from key muscles of hatha yoga

 

it is very useful for a yoga instructor to have an understanding of how the body moves and functions…

 

Yogabody by Judith Hanson Lasater

yobabody judith hanson lasater
Yogabody by Judith Hanson Lasater

I love every book written by Judith Hanson Lasater and this is not an exception.  However, it is a more intense read.  The approach to anatomy is taken from the physical region of the body as opposed to the yoga asana.  Each region is analyzed by bones, joints, connective tissue, nerves and muscles with a dedicated section on kinesiology (the mechanics of body movement).  The information presented is comprehensive and in depth but takes a little extra focus.  Closing each chapter is a helpful section demonstrating how to put what you’ve learnt in to practice as an instructor in a yoga class.  If you are looking to learn anatomy in a little more depth this book is a good investment.

Yogabody by Judith Hanson Lasater
a sample page from Yogabody

 

The Anatomy of Exercise & Movement by Jo Ann Staugaard-Jones

the anatomy of exercise and movement
The Anatomy of Exercise and Movement by Jo Ann Staugaard-Jones

Although not strictly an anatomy book dedicated to yoga this is a very useful book for those working in movement practices like yoga.  There is a useful chapter discussing the ‘core’ of the body, a term more common to pilates but nevertheless interesting to anyone wanting to understand more about yoga anatomy.  This book explores the movement of the body and the affect of movement.  Worth a look if you are a teacher who also practices different disciplines such as dance or pilates.

The Anatomy of Exercise & Movement
sample page from The Anatomy of Exercise & Movement

 

Anatomy Coloring Workbook

anatomy coloring workbook
anatomy coloring workbook

There are many versions of anatomy coloring books available on the market.  I’ve owned my workbook published by The Princeton Review for many years and have referred to it often.  Simply a coloring book that encourages you to learn as you color.  It is a useful tool to have in addition to any of the anatomy books listed above as a way of reinforcing your understanding.

Anatomy Coloring Book page the princeton review
Anatomy Coloring Book page

In summary, all five of the above books are incredibly useful resources for yoga instructors wishing to understand more about  anatomy.  The benefits of having even a basic knowledge of anatomy can support your teaching skills and provide valuable additional information for your asana explanation and demonstration.

Which books have you found to be incredibly useful in your understanding of yoga anatomy?

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please know that I am an affiliate and may receive a small commission for anything you may purchase via yogaskinny but at no additional cost to you 🙂

yoga anatomy for yoga teachers
Great yoga anatomy books for yoga teachers

 

 

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Why do a 200hour Yoga Teacher Training?

yoga teacher training, yoga teacher training, 200hour yoga teacher training
Why do a 200hour Yoga Teacher Training

Why do a 200hour yoga teacher training?

Yoga Teacher Training is a rapidly growing part of the yoga industry.  According to research by the Yoga Alliance there are two people in training to be a yoga teacher for every active teacher out there.  That’s a whole lot of interest but why would you do a 200hr Yoga Teacher Training?


 

Pick up any Yoga related magazine or attend a yoga studio and there is a very good chance that they will be promoting an upcoming yoga teacher training.

So why would you choose to do a 200hour yoga teacher training?

Contrary to the term ‘teacher training’, many students choose to enroll on a program not so much to be the teacher but more as a form of personal development.

“One of the common goals for embarking upon teacher training is the often cited desire to deepen one’s own practice”, says Felicia Tomasko, Editor of LA Yoga magazine

For some students the benefit of a training is the opportunity to study in depth, with a group of like minded people, the vast topic of yoga.  For others, it is a genuine desire to study & practice with a view to sharing their knowledge in a teaching capacity.  (A minimum 200hr certification is required, in most cases, if you’d like to teach)

Contrary to the term ‘teacher training’, many students choose to enroll on a program not so much to be the teacher but more as a form of personal development.

Katie Marshall graduated from a 200 hour teacher training in July 2016.  Originally her aspiration was to work in physical therapy but having been a regular yoga practitioner for five years she decided to pursue yoga teacher training.

Katie took her time to find the right training, waiting for the one that combined the three most important elements for her – course credibility, the teacher trainer and the cost.

Her main advice when choosing a training is to “find a teacher who inspires you and resonates with the way you view yoga”.  Katie found that teacher in Jessica Seabern of Yogaworks.

Timing for study is also important when choosing a program.  A teacher training will absorb a great deal of your time which is another aspect to consider when you have work, family and other life commitments.

“Trainings have a way of breaking you wide open and filling you with love and light”  Katie Marshall  200hr Yoga Graduate 

Once you’ve embarked upon a training that ticks all of the boxes for you, another of the great benefits you’ll discover is the community you become part of.  You’ll be spending many an hour with your fellow trainees on a journey where you’ll be both inspired and empowered but will also share challenging and vulnerable moments.

It can be life changing and life enhancing, as Katie found. “I learned how to create space and remind myself to breathe through challenging times, which translates off of the mat and into everyday life”.

So, whether you are looking to make teaching yoga your career or you just want to deepen your knowledge and understanding, a 200hr program is well worth considering.

As we approach a New Year, it is a time for new beginnings as we ponder our resolutions for 2017.  Regardless of where you want your yoga study to take you, a teacher training can offer you an uplifting and positive personal experience and, as Katie discovered, “trainings have a way of breaking you wide open and filling you with love and light”.

You can contact Katie by email: katiemarshallyoga@gmail.com

Facebook: @katiemarshallyoga

Dec/Jan issue of LA Yoga out now (Dec 2016)

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Ask an Instructor – Alison Scola

Alison Scola

Alison Scola

Alison is an E-RYT 500 yoga instructor,  C-IAYT Yoga Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Lead Teacher Trainer 

ask an instructor – 10 questions

the very first yoga class you attended?  Ohio in 1994, seeking relief for debilitating back pain.  Divine guidance led me to my mentor & yoga therapist’s Hatha yoga class.

what is it about yoga that inspires you? The opportunity to heal on physical, emotional, energetic, causal, & spiritual levels. A yogic path offers limitless tools for continuous growth & ultimately, to identify as only Love.

what yoga item(s) could you not be without? My mat, blanket, & bolster.

your favorite post yoga class snack?  Water or tea is always nice.

which book would you recommend to a brand new student of yoga?  Moving into Meditation by Anne Cushman.  She articulates beautifully the relationship we are building with ourselves during practice.

if you could teach a class anywhere in the world, where would it be? A  sunrise class at Hanalei Bay on the island of Kauai, my favorite place on earth.

type of class you like to attend when you are not the instructor? Those classes that keep a focus on holding space for healing & self discovery.

favorite thing to do if not doing yoga?  Outside of asana practice I love dancing, running, swimming, hiking, & singing.

if you weren’t a yoga instructor?  If I wasn’t a yoga therapist/massage therapist…. I would devote myself wholly to music & dance.

and finally……

as a yoga instructor, what do you hope a new student takes away from your class?  

My greatest wish is that a new student finds a place where they can feel safe, get quiet, & begin to hear & sense the voice within.

Alison is an experienced yoga teacher, yoga therapist and teacher trainer.  E-RYT 500, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, Reiki Master & Lead Teacher Trainer.

You can contact Alison by email alisonscola@gmail.com

Or find out more about her schedule via her website www.alisonscola.com

 

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ask an instructor – Jessica Seabern

Jessica Seabern - yoga teacher and teacher trainer
Jessica Seabern – yoga teacher and teacher trainer

Jessica Seabern

Jessica is a yoga teacher and YogaWorks teacher trainer

ask an instructor – 10 questions. 

the very first yoga class you attended? I can’t remember when but recall being bored!

what is it about yoga that inspires you? How strong it makes me physically & mentally.

what yoga item(s) could you not be without?  Cotton yoga pants (hard tail).  Universalyogi mats are my fave.

your favorite post yoga class snack?   Whole bowl – cabbage, spinach, brown rice, beans, avocado, hot sauce!

which book would you recommend to a brand new student of yoga?  ‘The Heart of Yoga’ by TKV Desikachar is good for beginners.

if you could teach a class anywhere in the world, where would it be?  Harbour Island, Bahamas Pink Sands Beach – I lead retreats there!

type of class you like to attend when you are not the instructor? Flow with creative & intelligent sequencing, not exhausting but empowering.

favorite thing to do if not doing yoga? Beach and travel.

if you weren’t a yoga instructor?  A travel correspondent/journalist would be my first choice.

and finally……

as a yoga instructor, what do you hope a new student takes away from your class?  Better knowledge of yoga & burning desire to learn more.

 

Jessica is leading a Teacher Training at YogaWorks Mission Viejo in Feb. 2017 and a retreat in the Bahamas late February 2017.

Visit www.universalyogis.com for retreat info

http://www.yogaworks.com/yoga-teacher-training/jessica-seabern-mission-viejo-february-2017 for TT info.

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