While many people practice yoga simply because it helps them feel good, the physiological basis for yoga’s effects on the body and mind is often unknown or misunderstood. Understanding these physiological concepts can help to deepen your yoga practice.
The Physiology of Yoga separates speculation from fact by examining how the body responds and adapts to yoga within many systems of the body: musculoskeletal, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, endocrine, reproductive, and digestive. Straightforward explanations guide you in sorting through conflicting information about what yoga really can help you achieve and in evaluating whether certain yoga methods provide benefits to any or all of those systems.
You can experiment with concepts through Try It Yourself sidebars, which focus on mindful movement, meditation, and breathing. The 14 Myth or Fact sidebars explore popular claims about yoga, such as whether a shoulder stand can stimulate the thyroid or if twists can detoxify the liver. You’ll get the most current research to determine the validity of various claims so you can avoid practices that could be harmful or counterproductive and can decide for yourself what works for your practice.
Finally, experience firsthand how yoga affects your physiology by exploring specific yoga poses and four sequences. Each sequence explains which of the physiological principles from the earlier chapters may be most prevalent in that sequence.
With The Physiology of Yoga, you or your students can navigate all the conflicting views and opinions about the impact of yoga and learn to practice yoga while fully enjoying the benefits of mindful movement.