December 20, 2011

Yoganatomy: Yoga + Anatomy.

Yoganatomy with David Keil: DVD Review

You don’t need an anatomical background to be an effective teacher or yoga practitioner, but gaining some knowledge in anatomy can help us to understand the effects of poses, and can help to facilitate a deeper sense of inner awareness and intuitive alignment.

As you may know, David Keil has been providing Elephant Yoga with some valuable insights into the anatomy of yoga: Foot Foundation, The Almighty Psoas, and The Anatomy of Chaturanga. (The good news, there’s more on the way, so stay tuned.

I got my hands on David’s DVD series about a month ago called: Yoganatomy. I have had an interest in anatomy for years, but have felt a bit torn – why do I need to learn anatomy to teach or practice yoga? In the introduction of Volume 1, David poses the same question to himself:

“Why would I need to know anatomy in order to do yoga poses – sometimes I come to the answer that I don’t need to…I’ve also thought about it further and realized that anatomy adds an interesting layer onto an existing yoga practice.”

So, what is this interesting layer? According to David, it’s being able to relate the anatomy to your practice, understanding the functional relationships of anatomy and understanding common conditions that people bring to their mat (to name a few).

“Understanding anatomy may help you to deepen your understanding of the benefits that you are getting in your yoga practice.”

David reminds us that nothing replaces a daily practice – knowing anatomy is not meant to take the place of this. I love this. We tend to learn best from being able to touch, see and feel in our own bodies the concepts we are trying to understand – learning to feel alignment versus simply memorizing terms.

These DVDs are applicable for both yoga teachers, practitioners and anyone who has a general interest in anatomy.

DVD Volume 1: includes and introduction, directional terms, basic movements, naming structures, skeletal system, connective tissue, muscular system and the nervous system. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably want to watch this one a few hundred times. Although David simplifies to a great degree, there is still a heap of information to comprehend and digest. For the amount of knowledge provided, I’d say, you are getting what you pay for.  This DVD covers the foot, knee and hip. For more information about what is covered in Volume 1, visit here.

DVD Volume 2 – continues the discussion of yoga anatomy and dives right into the psoas muscle, the spine, breathing and the bandhas, the shoulder complex and the arm, hand and wrist. He goes into what resides within these realms, their functional use, their movements and how to find these parts within our own bodies. There is so much information! For more information about what is covered in Volume 2, visit here.

“The study of anatomy is the study of yourself!”

This is a fantastic and informative DVD series and covers some of the most important and fascinating parts of the body. David is clear and concise and applies everything directly to yoga. A great Christmas or anytime gift to any beloved yogi!

Each DVD runs for approximately two hours.

To purchase the DVDs and for even more information, visit David’s website here.

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