Science of Yoga: Understand the Anatomy and Physiology to Perfect Your Practice

Science of Yoga: Understand the Anatomy and Physiology to Perfect Your Practice

by Ann Swanson


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Explore the physiology of 30 key yoga poses, in-depth and from every angle, and master each asana with confidence and control.

Did you know that yoga practice can help lower your blood pressure, decrease inflammation and prevent age-related brain changes?

Recent scientific research now backs up what were once anecdotal claims about the benefits of yoga to every system in the body. Science of Yoga reveals the facts, with annotated artworks that show the mechanics, the angles, how your blood flow and respiration are affected, the key muscle and joint actions working below the surface of each pose, safe alignment and much more.

With insight into variations on the poses and a Q&A section that explores the science behind every aspect of yoga, this easy-to-understand, comprehensive book is an invaluable resource to achieve technical excellence in your practice and optimize the benefits of yoga for your body and mind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781465479358
Publisher: DK
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 26,760
Product dimensions: 7.70(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Ann Swanson, MS, C-IAYT, LMT, E-RYT500
Ann is a mind-body science educator. She holds a Master of Science in yoga therapy from Maryland University of Integrative Health, where she went on to become an adjunct faculty member. With years of experience tutoring and teaching anatomy and physiology in colleges, massage therapy schools, and yoga teacher training programs, she has refined the ability to make complex scientific concepts simple to understand. Ann uniquely applies cutting-edge research practically to yoga while maintaining the heart of the tradition. She believes that there is no one "right" alignment or way to do a yoga pose or practice; if you can breathe, you can do yoga. In her private practice, she makes yoga therapy, qigong, and mindfulness meditation accessible with personalized modifications. Her convenient online classes help busy people worldwide relieve pain and manage stress effectively. For more about Ann, head to or

Table of Contents

Contents 4

Foreword 8

Human Anatomy 8

Cell to system 10

Skeletal system 12

Muscular system 18

Nervous system 22

Endocrine system 28

Respiratory system 30

Cardiovascular system 34

Lymphatic and immune systems 36

Digestive system 38

Urinary system 40

Reproductive system 41

The Asanas 42

Seated Asanas 44

Accomplished Siddhasana 46

Bound Angle Baddha Konasana 50

Cat Marjaryasana 54

Cow Bitilasana 56

Cow Face Gomukhasana 60

Side Bend Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana 64

Seated Twist Ardha Matsyendrasana 68

Child's Pose Balasana 72

Camel Ustrasana IB

King Pigeon Eka Pada Rajakapotasana 80

Standing Asanas 84

Mountain Tadasana 86

Forward Fold Uttanasana 90

Chair Utkatasana 94

Crescent Lunge Anjaneyasana 98

Warrior II: Virabhadrasana II 102

Warrior III: Virabhadrasana III 106

Tree Vrksasana 110

Dancer Natarajasana 114

Triangle Trikonasana 118

Inversion Asanas 122

Downward-Facing Dog Adho Mukha Svanasana 124

Headstand Sirsasana 128

Halt Shoulderstand Ardha Sarvangasana 132

Bridge Setu Bandhasana 136

Wheel Urdhva Dhanurasana 140

Floor Asanas 144

Crow Bakasana 146

Plank Kumbhakasana 150

Side Plank: Vasisthasana 154

Cobra Bhujangssana 158

Locust Salabhasana 162

Supine Leg Stretch Supta Padangusthasana 166

Supine Twist Supta Matsyendrasana 170

Q&AS 174

Joints and flexibility 176

Spinal care 178

Life stages 180

Meditation 184

Savasana 186

Stress 188

The brain and mental well-being 192

Chronic pain 194

Yoga therapy 196

Transformation 198

On the frontiers of science 200

Cautions 202

Glossary 206

Index 208

Bibliography 214

About the author and acknowledgments 216

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