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Book details
  • SubGenre:Yoga
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Yoga Mat Companion
  • Series Number:4
  • Pages:224
  • eBook ISBN:9781483524467

Anatomy for Arm Balances and Inversions

Yoga Mat Companion 4

by Ray Long, MD, FRCSC

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Master the science behind the arm balances and inversions of Hatha Yoga. Dr. Ray Long guides you on a visual narrative through the anatomy, biomechanics, and physiology of this ancient art, decoding each pose along the way. The Mat Companion series provides you with beautifully illustrated, step-by-step instructions on how to use scientific principles to obtain the maximum benefit from your practice. Each book includes the Bandha Yoga Codex, a simple five-step process that can be applied to any pose to improve strength, flexibility, and precision -- no matter what style of yoga you practice.
The Mat Companion series provides a methodical approach for using science to balance and connect the body and mind in yoga. The fourth book concludes the series with arm balances and inversions—two pose categories that clearly integrate opposites within the body. In our bipedal form, the hips and lower extremities are the weight-bearing construct. The more mobile shoulders and upper extremities allow us to interact with the world. In arm balances, we invert this construct, thereby strengthening the muscles, bones, and ligaments of the upper extremities. From an energetic perspective, arm balances stimulate the nerve plexuses associated with the fourth and fifth chakras. Practicing these poses with precision moves nerve impulses upwards through the subtle body. This opens the way for the unimpeded flow of energy from the lower and more primordial regions of the sacral plexus to the higher-functioning levels of the brain. A similar balancing of opposites takes place with inverted poses. Consider that most of our time is spent with the head above the heart and the lower extremities below it. Inversions reverse this, bringing the head below the heart and the lower extremities above it. Potential benefits of this body position include lowered blood pressure and heart rate and improved circulation of endorphins in the brain. All of this prepares the body for deep relaxation. Arm balances invigorate and stimulate the mind. Inversions bring it to rest.
About the author
Ray Long, MD FRCSC, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and the founder of Bandha Yoga. He graduated from The University of Michigan Medical School with postgraduate training at Cornell University, McGill University, The University of Montreal, and Florida Orthopedic Institute. Ray began his study of human anatomy and science at a young age under the guidance of his father, David Michael Long Jr., MD, PhD, a cardiovascular surgeon and research scientist. He went on to graduate from The University of Michigan Medical School and became an orthopedic surgeon. Ray was introduced to the alternative healing arts by author and mystic Robert A. Johnson, who taught him about shamanism, dream work, and ceremony. He began practicing yoga while a medical student in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and after graduation travelled to India to study with Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, his daughter Geeta, and son Prashant. During his time at the Iyengar Institute, Ray spent many hours observing and documenting Yogacharya Iyengar’s personal practice. These observations formed the foundation for much of his later work on combining Western science and yoga. Dr. Long is the author of the bestselling series, "The Key Muscles of Yoga" and "The Key Poses of Yoga" and the "Yoga Mat Companion" series. He teaches seminars worldwide.