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Yoga is big business today. This ancient spiritual teaching has been transformed into a modern physical practice focused on health and happiness rather than the ancient goal of spiritual liberation. Along with this focus on the physical has arisen a desire by yoga teachers and students to learn more about the body and to understand how yoga works. Unfortunately, virtually all anatomical training and books being offered to the yoga community focus solely on a muscular view. This limited perspective prevents a full understanding of how yoga works and, as a consequence, limits the effectiveness of the practice, and can even promote trying too hard, going too far in the physical practice, creating injury and pathology.
Your Body, Your Yoga has been written to broaden the understanding of what causes our limitations to movement, and to highlight the unique structure of the body that each student has. Human variation is a critically important realization for all therapeutic interventions, whether in a yoga classroom or in a doctor's office. Every body is different and this difference makes all the difference in how one should practice his or her yoga.
Unfortunately, most yoga training regarding anatomy and asana practice is based upon the unrecognized assumption that everyone is the same and we can all do every posture if we just try hard enough and long enough with proper attention to alignment. This has created an aesthetic focus in yoga practice that is unwarranted and unskillful. This book will help to educate teachers and students that an aesthetic approach to yoga is unproductive and often dangerous. However, a functional approach, based upon both an understood intention and a knowledge of how the body (your body!) works, is far more likely to lead to optimal health.