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Anatomy of Hatha Yoga [Paperback]

H. David Coulter
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 35.95
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2009
Anatomy of Hatha Yoga now revised and in full four color reproduction, remains the most authoritative source correlating the study of hatha yoga with anatomy and physiology. The hardcover sold over 100,000 copies and was a Benjamin Franklin winner for Health Wellness & Nutrition. It spent six years as a retail top 50 selling health hardcover backlist book.

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Anatomy of Hatha Yoga + The Anatomy Coloring Book (4th Edition)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and useful book March 5 2003
This is a most unusual book. The author, a professor of anatomy and long-time yoga practitioner, explores, in great detail (when necessary), the human anatomy as it relates to the practice of hatha yoga. For someone such as myself who previously knew *Nothing* about human anatomy, this was a fascinating journey. If nothing else the book will teach you about anatomy, a topic you may previously have had no interest, but in the process it will deepen your knowledge of yoga. Its really well done how the author brings such a seemingly dry, technical subject to life. The author nicely groups the discussion around particular topics as they relate to yoga. For example, there are chapters on the nervous system, on breathing, and on what is happening with your hips and sacrum. Perhaps there are similar books on the market, but I suspect not. I'm reminded of Bill Graham's comment about the Grateful Dead: "They're the best in the world at what they do; they're the only ones in the world who do what they do." I suspect similar comments would apply here. Physically, the book is well produced. Considering the glossy paper used, the price of the book is quite reasonable. The are fantastic anatomic drawings that greatly add to one's understanding. Read this book, and enrich your practice of yoga.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Increase your knowledge & improve your yoga Feb. 11 2004
By A Customer
This book is essential if you want to deepen your yoga practice, for how can you really fully understand and better your practice if you don't have a clear understanding of the mechanics of your own body? My suggestion to get the most of the book is to first read chapter one "Movement and Posture" to get a general foundation of the concepts and terminology that will be used throughout the book. Subsequent chapters provide detailed anatomical information pertinent to types of postures. Chapters, therefore, are in the vein of "Abdominopelvic Exercises", "Standing Postures", "The Shoulderstand", etc. So choose a style of asana that you'd like to focus on, read through the pertinent chapter, and then spend a couple of weeks putting the knowledge to work experientially, deepening your understanding of those areas of your body and the series of associated asanas. Don't expect to learn the vast amount of information in one reading. Expect to frequently refer back to the book as you put the information into practice. In my opinion, you'll get far more value out of the book if you use it as an experiential guidebook, rather than treating it like a textbook.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference book for teachers & students April 29 2003
A much needed approach to yoga! As a yoga teacher, I found this book to be extremely useful and I have referred beginning (and not so beginning!) students to at least read the "basic premises". As others have mentioned, the only drawback is it is not all easy reading and some may be put off by that. But even if you read excerpts throughout, you & your practice will benefit immensely from this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Anatomy Oct. 17 2003
By A Customer
This is an excellent book for tachers of yoga, as well as for those teaching other physical disciplines. The author has a clear grasp of anatomy and a readable presentation style. What takes this book a step beyond other anatomy texts is that in addition to a basic and general presentation of anatomy , the author then connects that basic anatomy to yoga postures, including photos and diagrams. I highly recommend this book to anyone teaching others to work with their bodies.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Few, if any, problems May 26 2004
The one problem with this amazing tool -- and here I disagree with an earlier reviewer -- is the lack of Sanskrit names for poses. The myriad English names for poses, names that have developed in various studios, seem to be regional and unheard of outside of their limited expanse. It would have been easier to cross-reference postures to texts such as Light on Yoga, if "Anatomy of Hatha Yoga" had consistently supplied the original Sanskrit, instead of vague, although evocative, English bastardizations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and meticulous Nov. 2 2002
This book is required for the yoga teacher training I am enrolled in. I've read it from cover to cover and I was blown away by the amount of information Coulter presents. He doesn't make references to specific schools but presents things very generally. He also doesn't use too much Sanskrit, so most yoga students shouldn't be too intimidated by the material.
The information he presents on Breathing, the importance of the Abdominopelvic muscles (or the "core muscles", as they're popularly known today) and his chapter on Forward Bends where he discusses nutation were my favorite portions. Coulter isn't doctrinaire in most cases, as is appropriate for someone discussing the anatomical aspect of yoga. He presents variations for the popular poses (forward bends, cobra, triangle, etc.) and discusses what the ramifications of the modifications are. While some are called "advanced" and some are called "beginner", it doesn't come off as a value judgment.
Because Coulter was so thorough throughout the entire book and backed up almost every statement with a logical explanation, it was noticeable when he did not. For instance, he, like almost every other author of a yoga text, recommends that women not practice inversions if they are menstruating. Why? I really hoped that someone with his background would be able to supply an explanation other than because that's the way it's been done. Also, while he spends quite a bit of time talking about the importance of the right tetrahedron for meditation postures and the various postures that can be used, I felt he glossed over the reasons why meditation has to be done sitting versus lying down. Minor quibbles, but only more obvious because the rest of the book is so meticulous.
If you are planning on teaching yoga, if you already have a yoga practice or if you're not quite convinced that yoga can do anything for your body, pick up this book.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book to have
I've had this book for many years now and use to help further my understanding of anatomy within hatha yoga and my daily practice. Overall lots of good content and well worth it.
Published 10 hours ago by Riley Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book will have to read it over and over
Published 26 days ago by richard ticknor
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the causal reader
It's not for the causal reader. It goes into great detail about Hatha Yoga, poses etc.. If you are looking for more of a lifestyle book it isn't for you.
Published on July 22 2011 by Elizabeth Met
4.0 out of 5 stars Anatomy of Hatha Yoga
Excellent book! Full of information a Yoga teacher or practitioner needs to practice Yoga safely and with full awareness of the body and it's functions. Read more
Published on Feb. 6 2009 by Martin Kroes
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious about Yoga ? : you must have this book
This book well written and perfectly edited gives you a real inside on how our body function in relation to yoga practice. Read more
Published on May 24 2004 by R.Bin
5.0 out of 5 stars wished this book was there when I started teaching yoga!
you can find my review on [...] in italian! I am really sorry this book has not yet been translated in italian, a must have for teachers and a must have for anyone who has not got... Read more
Published on March 3 2004 by alexandra van oosterum
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible reference for yoga teachers and students alike
As a yoga student of less than two years, i have found this book to be invaluable. While very dense, easier to read as a reference than a novel, it contains rich details about the... Read more
Published on March 18 2003 by M. Lilly
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps Delivering
This book is very technical, yet very human. It requires patience. But if you love doing yoga like I do the book can be a partner to help you grow with your practice. Read more
Published on March 17 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Technical analysis of Yoga and the Anatomy
This could serve as a text book in the future if Yoga is taught at an University. Very, very technical; not at all light reading but if you have some inclination to know how Yoga... Read more
Published on March 12 2003 by Ashwini Aragam
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