Yoga, body mechanics and anatomy

Yoga, body mechanics and anatomy

This page contains recommended reading on:

  • Hatha Yoga (from a range of different teachers, selected for their expertise and individual contribution to Hatha Yoga)
  • Body Mechanics (a range of authors who have a contribution to our understanding of human movement, dysfunction and rehabilitation.
  • References on Anatomy to help teachers and students visualize and understand muscles, joints and fascia of the human body.

I will start the Yoga section with the book that was co-authored by my own teacher Giris rabinovitch, and his wife Narayani who was one of the main teachers on my teachers training course.

The Book of Yoga (The Sivananda Yoga Centre)
Narayani Rabinovitch (Author), Giris Rabinovitch (Author)

This book has everything you need to get going with yoga. It is not just for the beginners. Many poses are of an advanced level.

Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga…
by B. K. S. Iyengar (Author), Yehudi Menuhin

This is the definitive text on hatha yoga. This is the book you want if you are serious about beginning your yoga practice. This is also a text of reference for professional teachers used throughout the world.

Yoga Mastering the Basics: Deepen and Strengthen
by Sandra Anderson

This is an excellent and thorough introduction to yoga including the philosophical foundation and context for a meaningful practice. It has a great progressive program and provides a complete and comprehensive rationale for following it. It is well-organized, contains a lot of material, is very readable and very accessible to anyone

Yoga Self-Taught
by Andre Van Lysebeth

This book starts with explanations on the benefits of yoga, the reasons it is so good for you, good explanation on the different types of breathing patterns people tend towards. This book also covers the mental & spiritual aspects of yoga.

Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha
by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

This comprehensive text provides clear illustrations. step by step directions and details of chakra awareness. It guides the practitioner or teacher from the simplest to the most advanced practices of hatha yoga system.

Yoga for Wellness: Healing with the Timeless Teachings of Viniyoga
by Gary Kraftsow

Viniyoga provides a methodology for creating an individualized yoga program (the tradition adapts postures to individuals rather than vice versa), and Kraftsow has been recognized for his ability to train teachers and therapists in this method.

Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: A Return to Wholeness
by Donna Farhi

Most of Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit is devoted to the asanas (yoga postures) and the practices of breathing and meditation. Numerous inquiries are spread through the text to help the reader explore the body-mind-spirit connection.

Yoga for Body, Breath and Mind ; A Guide to Personal Reintegration
by A.G. Mohan

Yoga for Body, Breath, and Mind is the type of comprehensive guide that will be of interest to every yoga practitioner. The author explains that often when we feel stress or a sense that life has gotten out of control, it’s not because of life events themselves, but because the state of our own mind has become chaotic and fragmented. When we are in a state of what he calls “personal integration,” we are centered, contented, and able to see people and events in life as they truly are. In this state, people are most able to make decisions and take actions that are clear and positive.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika
by Swami Muktibodhananda

This text elucidates the entire science of hatha yoga(asana,pranayama,shatkarma,mudra and bandha) as it was conceived and practised not only for healthand fitness but for awakening the vital energies:pranas,chakras and kundalini shakti.It points out that hatha yoga is not just a physical practice but a process of cellular transmutation from gross to subtle to divine.Thus hatha yoga was considered to be the foundation of all higher yogas. Line drawings and diagrams illustrate the text.

The Runner’s Yoga Book: A Balanced Approach to Fitness
by Jean Couch

Drawing on over thirty years of teaching and personal practice, author Jean Couch offers precise instruction in all types of poses, guidelines for home practice, yoga routines for other sports, including bicycling, skiing, swimming, tennis, and walking, a resource guide for further study.

I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta
by Nisargadatta Maharaj

“I Am That” preserves Maharaj’s dialogues with the followers who came from around the world seeking his guidance in destroying false identities. The sage’s sole concern was with human suffering and the ending of suffering. It was his mission to guide the individual to an understanding of his true nature and the timelessness of being. He taught that mind must recognize and penetrate its own state of being, “being this or that, here or that, then or now,” but just timeless being.

The Illusions of Life: Self Enquiry
by Vijai S. Shankar

The book `The illusions of life’ is a relief. It takes us to a reality detached of space and time, the foundation of the world of phenomena. The author adheres to Advaita, the wisdom of non-duality, as taught by the rishis of the Vedic times. Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta are exponents of this age-old wisdom. The world exists as opposite pairs; without day there is no night, no heat no cold, no good no evil, etc. The foundation of this duality is unity. The whole cosmos is a reflection of the absolute. A reflection like a dream has no reality.

“Who am I” is the most essential question in human existence. Dr. Shankar through his uncompromising way of Self-Enquiry explains that life exists as illusions only. Understanding it leads to the realisation: Tat Tvam Asi (Thou art That).

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda
by Sri S. Satchidananda

This valuable book provides a complete manual for the study and practice of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation. The classic Sutras (thought-threads), at least 4,000 years old, cover the yogic teachings on ethics, meditation, and physical postures, and provide directions for dealing with situations in daily life.

To Know Your Self: The Essential Teachings of Swami Satchidananda

When you know your Self–your true Self–then you know everything, and you understand everyone. It’s not easy to know your Self. It takes work and perseverance. But even that effort can be joyous, and when the realization dawns, you will enjoy your own true nature, which is always peaceful and happy.

What Becomes of the Soul After Death

“What becomes of the Soul after death?” is an eternal quest of man since time immemorial. Soul is immortal. Life on earth is halting place on the way to achievement of the goal of Life,God realization. Death is not the end of life but is a process of changing the instrument of experience. Birth is inevitably followed by death and death by rebirth. Life is a long chain,of which recurring births,planery lives and deaths are the links.

A practical guide to know yourself: Conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi

The Ultimate Body Rolling Workout: The Revolutionary Way to Tone, Lengthen, and Realign Your Body

Rolling uses a 6- to 10-inch inflatable ball which you slowly roll under different parts of your body from a range of positions, elongating the muscles, relieving tightness, and improving alignment. The principle is “creating space” in the body and reducing compression.


Below are books that enable us to visualise the anatomical, physiological and mechanics of the structures that make up the human body.

Anatomy & Human Movement: Structure & Function

This is an effective anatomy textbook that is well suited for students of physical therapy, kinesiology, exercise science, occupational therapy and athletic training.

Atlas of Human Anatomy: With (Netter Basic Science)

Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy has been considered the standard against which other atlases are compared.

Anatomy: A Regional Atlas of the Human Body (ANATOMY, REGIONAL ATLAS OF THE HUMAN BODY (CLEMENTE))

This classically organized regional atlas is based on the strikingly colorful yet realistic illustrations of the world-renowned Sobotta Atlas of Human Anatomy. Hallmarks of Dr. Clemente’s atlas include its bright and realistically detailed illustrations, the wealth of accompanying diagnostic images, and numerous muscle tables.

The Physiology of the Joints, volume III

This text provides the reader with a visual understanding of the mechanics of the joints. Concise commentaries are combined with clear and simple full colour drawings and diagrams.

The Physiology of the Joints, Volume 1: Upper Limb

The Physiology of the Joints: Lower Limb, Volume 2 (Lower Limb)

Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists

An accessible and comprehensive approach to the anatomy and function of the fascial system in the body. This book demonstrates exactly how the muscles connect within the connective tissue to affect posture, compensatory strain, and pain patterns.

Rolfing: Reestablishing the Natural Alignment and Structural Integration of the Human Body for Vitality and Well-Being

This seminal work made its debut in 1977. The late Dr. Rolf illustrates her theory and practice of Structural Integration, which brings the body into alignment and balance by manipulation of the connective tissue. Rolfing has helped thousands of people to stand taller, look better, move with greater ease, and have a greater sense of vitality and well-being.

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