Anatomy Of Hatha Yoga Pdf Free [REPACK]
This book offers a scientific approach to understanding the practice of hatha yoga. Through four-color, three-dimensional illustrations of major muscles, tendons, and ligaments, Ray Long describes the practice and benefits of hatha yoga. Specific anatomical and physiological descriptions highlight the agonist, antagonist, and synergist muscles that come into play with each pose. Volume II of the series illustrates the correct muscle use during key poses of hatha yoga. From beginners to experts, this book will become a constant companion.
Anatomy Of Hatha Yoga Pdf Free
After beginning students have experimented for a while with relaxation, meditation, and other hatha yoga practices, certain principles become axiomatic. The first is that relaxation and meditation usually work better after a session of hatha yoga postures than before. Done first or by themselves these practices can intensify tendencies to lethargy and sleepiness, and many people can avoid dozing off only by priming their nervous systems with postures. Experienced students in good physical and mental condition are exceptions: if they are clear, calm, and alert even after a sound sleep, their teachers often advise them do their meditation immediately upon waking.
Not everyone can will their muscles to relax. What goes wrong? We can only make inferences. If the circuits from the cerebral cortex are intact (fig. 10.1), the potential for willed relaxation as well as willed movement is available, but if those higher circuits are not used regularly, they gradually become dysfunctional and the unconscious input from other regions of the brain gets bossier. And because these non-cortical circuits are not under conscious control, their continuing activity prevents conscious relaxation. More encouraging, as long as the circuits from the cerebral cortex are intact, hatha yoga can help train them.
The corpse posture can both precede and follow a session of hatha yoga postures. At the beginning it calms the body and focuses the mind in preparation for the postures to follow; at the end it relaxes you from head to toe and integrates that experience into your conscious and unconscious awareness.
Figure 10.2. The corpse pose is the most famous relaxation posture in hatha yoga. Ideally, muscular activity is greatly diminished, if not eliminated, in skeletal muscles throughout the body, the most notable exception being the respiratory diaphragm, which is required for breathing.
We can see the operation of the sympathetic nervous system and how it orchestrates bodily processes during an ordinary sequence of postures followed by relaxation. The sympathetic nervous system, including one of its main endocrine components, the adrenal medulla, becomes activated by vigorous hatha yoga practices, especially standing stretches, sun salutations, and abdominopelvic exercises such as leglifting and agni sara. Relaxing in the corpse posture after an invigorating session of postures will then quiet this system and diminish the sympathetic effects on organs and tissues throughout the body.
During an hour or so of hatha yoga, management of air flowing through the airways should take care of itself. Your session may start quietly with a short relaxation, build quickly into abdominal exercises and vigorous standing poses, proceed to postures done sitting and lying on the floor, continue with inverted postures, and end with a final relaxation. When you start, your airways are slightly constricted, corresponding to decreased activity in the sympathetic nervous system and increased activity in the parasympathetic input to the lungs. Then as you do more vigorous postures, the sympathetic nervous system prevails and the airways open. As you quiet down in your final relaxation, your bronchiolar tree constricts but remains open enough to accommodate air flow.
According to many traditionalists, one of the main purposes of hatha yoga is to train the body and mind for meditation. The relaxation exercises just discussed are part of this training, and they can also be used in modified form when we sit in meditative postures. Other exercises that can prepare you for meditation include sitting perfectly still in the meditative posture of your choice; holding your attention within the body and maintaining awareness of muscles, joints, and the structure of the sitting posture; remaining calm, comfortable, alert, and still; and above all breathing evenly, silently, and diaphragmatically without jerks, pauses, or noise. Only when you have achieved some mastery of these seemingly simple exercises in the meditative sitting postures can actual training in meditation begin.
You have many options for training yourself to sit in the traditional postures. One is to forget all about them for a year or so and concentrate solely on improving your sacroiliac and hip flexibility (chapter 6), back strength (chapter 5), and abdominal strength (chapter 3). Then make a serious effort to construct (or re-construct) a respectable meditativ