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Book details
  • SubGenre:Yoga
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Yoga Mat Companion
  • Series Number:2
  • Pages:224
  • eBook ISBN:9781483524443

Anatomy for Hip Openers and Forward Bends

Yoga Mat Companion 2

by Ray Long, MD, FRCSC

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Master the science behind the hip openers and forward bends 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.
As the Chinese proverb states, when you cannot reach an important goal, keep the goal but change your strategy. Yoga poses, like goals, can sometimes be difficult to achieve. What are your options when you cannot attain a posture? You can give up on progressing in the pose or you can change your approach to attain it. Changing strategies requires resourcefulness. Draw on this to break through blockages and safely attain the asanas. The Mat Companion series provides you with these resources in the form of scientific techniques. Suppose you have tried all of the conventional means to bring your thighs to the floor in Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose). You’ve tried pressing the knees down or placed weights on the legs and still you haven’t progressed. Continued attempts will likely yield little in the way of results. So you decide to change your strategy. You can apply facilitated stretching to lengthen the muscles that are preventing you from going deeper into the pose. In the process, not only will you be able to bring the thighs closer to the floor, but you will also stimulate the nerve receptors in the pelvic region. This will illuminate the first and second chakras and aid to open energetic blockages. In addition, practicing in this way brings a better understanding of the asymmetries in your body. This understanding will carry over into other poses, expanding your overall yoga experience. Perhaps you have lower back strain in a forward bend. The temptation might be to give up on the pose. Instead, try engaging the abdominals to create reciprocal inhibition of the stretching back muscles. Contracting the abdominals also elicits the abdominal “air bag” effect and supports the lumbar spine. This change in strategy is simple to apply and often works. These are examples of how to combine your knowledge of Western science with the wisdom of Hatha Yoga. In many ways, practicing yoga is like the work of a native rainmaker who performs a ceremony to release atmospheric tension. Yoga releases physical and spiritual tension. Be resourceful and strategic as you make rain, both as a practitioner and as a teacher.
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.