This series of anatomy books focus on four specific sets of yoga poses: Vinyasa Flow and Standing Poses, Hip Openers and Forward Bends, Backbends and Twists, and Arm Balances and Inversions. The design, look and feel of these books is absolutely gorgeous, they are perfect bound with large full color pages and beautiful anatomical illustrations. Each yoga pose is presented with a general overview, a step by step instruction guide with detailed anatomical descriptions and illustrations, and a brief summary. Several poses have additional preparation pages which show modifications on how to build up to the full pose.
Each book is organized the same way but with it’s content tailored to each book’s theme. They all begin with an introduction and overview of key concepts, and end with a movement index, anatomy index, and glossary. The one gripe I have with this series is Long’s use of the yogic term bandha to describe a muscular full body engagement in the poses. This untraditional and broad interpretation of this yoga technique may produce some confusion and misunderstanding as to what bandhas are and how to use them, especially for newer students and teachers. Otherwise these books are outstanding and should be required reading for anyone with an interest in yoga anatomy.
Purchase Yoga Mat Companion 1: Anatomy for Vinyasa Flow and Standing Poses
Purchase Yoga Mat Companion 2: Anatomy for Hip Openers and Forward Bends
Purchase Yoga Mat Companion 3: Anatomy for Backbends and Twists
Purchase Yoga Mat Companion 4: Anatomy for Arm Balances and Inversions