giveaway! judith hanson lasater’s yogabody bookThere has been a lot of talk about the “yoga body” on IAYB lately, so it’s fitting that we’re giving a way a book of the same title. But it’s not that “yoga body” book, or that other “yoga body” book.… Read more


giveaway! judith hanson lasater’s yogabody book

There has been a lot of talk about the “yoga body” on IAYB lately, so it’s fitting that we’re giving a way a book of the same title. But it’s not that “yoga body” book, or that other “yoga body” book. This time around, we’ve teamed up with beloved sponsor Rodmell Press to give away three copies of Judith Hanson Lasater’s Yogabody: Anatomy, Kinesiology and Asana to lucky readers.

Yogabody has been described as “the Gray’s Anatomy for yoga teachers and students.” The book is a comprehensive and yet accessible introduction to the design and movement of the human body, written especially for people who teach or study yoga. It contains color anatomical drawings, black-and-white diagrammatic asana illustrations, and helpful charts.


And it could be yours! All you have to do is answer this skill-testing question: How does understanding anatomy help you understand yourself?

To enter, leave a comment below with the answer to the skill-testing question before 5pm EST on Friday, December 13, 2013. Three readers will be drawn at random and each will receive one copy of the book.

BONUS: learn more about Judith’s vast knowledge of kinesiology and anatomy, and why every yoga teacher should have a basic understanding of these concepts, in this Yoga U Online audio interview.

**Please note that the email addresses of all comments will be added to the IAYB weekly email list; if you’d rather not be added, simply write OPT OUT at the end of your comment.



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  1. The physical body is the first gateway to understanding the Self – when I understand my own anatomy, I can appreciate my body and all of its amazing capacities. I have scoliosis, so my spine is curved and my torso/hips are rotated. The more I learn about my own anatomy, the more I can tailor my yoga practice to my own needs. Through this pathway, I learn more about myself each time I come to my mat!

  2. Learning how my body is structured, how it’s different from the bodies of others, has helped me to be compassionate and more accepting during my practice and when out in the world.

  3. Each being is a miracle, from the roles we play in the divine unfolding of human consciousness, down to the cellular structures of our bodies. The more I understand the function and interplay of bones, muscles, tendons, glands and organs, the better I appreciate my place in the universe.

  4. Understanding anatomy helps me understand myself better by working with the idea of intelligizing the body when moving in yoga asana and also, in being mindful and aware of feelings/thoughts that come in during everyday life and how they affect my body. It also allows me to better ably check in with myself before and after asana to see how the body and mind feel.

  5. Oh, I love that Judith Hanson Lasater. Being pregnant, I’ve definitely come to understand my body in a different way. Understanding my aches and pains and where and how they’re manifesting make me much more aware of exactly what muscles I’m using during my practice or exactly what needs stretching and movement.

  6. Anatomy makes me grounded in reality. Learning how the body works in realation to gravity makes me humble and compassionate to myself and my students and opens up the doors for more freedom in the body and healing of all that we are. Thanks!

  7. When I first started studying yoga anatomy was my weakness. I was afraid to learn anatomy. Now I can’t get enough of it. It helps me to find poses in my own practice and for my students that are most beneficial to their mind and body. This book would be an amazing addition to add to my growing resource.

  8. Knowing proper alignment gives me more precision in my practice and the freedom to play safely.

  9. Understanding Anatomy will help me better understand myself and my own body through the practice of asana. It will help me determine the muscles I am using, which parts of the body I am engaging, what I should do or not do while I am in a certain pose and, in turn, it will help me deliver better classes to my students. As a new teacher, I am always feeling a bit uncertain of what I am teaching, specially when it comes to Anatomy. I do not feel fully equipped to answer questions, offer advice or adjusting much for fear of misinforming or worse – injuring a student or myself. This would be so beneficial for me.

  10. I have discovered how much we as yoga teachers are not taught in our training. Anatomy is very important and I realize it more as I hear about more and more injuries from poor teaching and adjusting. We need to constantly educate ourselves and this is a perfect way. I thank Judith for sharing her expertise with us and look forward to reading it.

  11. I love that we share information with each other! Thanks for the chance!

  12. Understanding movement the how and why of our bodies is paramount to developing your practice and that of your students. Knowing the movements of the body helps you modify poses to make yoga available to everyone.

  13. How does understanding anatomy help you understand yourself? Your anatomy is your physical being. Working with what we have can help us understand our current state and work toward a better future. Thanks for the giveaway, it’s much appreciated.

  14. The more I understand anatomy and individual bodies, the more I can put correct alignment to use in asana. When we are correctly aligned, we can hold poses for longer periods of time and find more insight in ourselves in the poses. It all works together. Correct alignment in asana is just part of correct alignment in the other seven limbs of yoga.

  15. Understanding where one holds tension in one’s body and how to release it properly improves one’s mindfulness and quality of life! Understanding anatomy isn’t just for medically-trained professionals or personal trainers, it is a skill we can all benefit from!

  16. I think often we seek to disengage from our bodies – training them, sculpting them, or ignoring them in favour of valuable work with the mind. Yoga has helped me remember that I AM my body, and my body is me. It follows that learning more about our anatomy is a beautiful way to begin to learn more about this fleshy aspect of our Self – the muscles, tendons and amazing systems that make up ME.

    Thanks for this opportunity Roseanne, the book sounds wonderful!

  17. Understanding anatomy, as well as kinesiology helps me understand not only my own aging body, but also my yoga students. I love Judith and her wonderful teachings. I would love to own this book.

  18. Understanding anatomy has been the key to me understanding myself better and has helped me overcome certain obstacles that were limiting my growth. I used to be so nervous to speak in front of groups that I would feel sick to my stomach. Once I understood how stress affects the gut, I was able to do something about it. Once I understood how anxiety arises in your body, I was able to do something about it. anatomy has given me the ability to change and grow with confidence. It also gives me compassion for the pain and obstacles others face within their body and therefore in their life. I love learning more and more!!

  19. Understanding anatomy gives me more freedom to help me focus on the big picture. When I’m able to accept that, “Oh, the weather and the way I slept have really made my lats and shoulders tight,” I’m more understanding and less apt to push myself (oh, ego) into deep shoulder-opening and back-bending poses–instead, I’ll work on gentler shoulder-opening poses and gladly appreciate the support of props.

  20. I’m a visualist, so my knowledge of anatomy and physiology helps me to ‘go deep’ – to see the muscles engaged in an asana, to imagine the direction do the muscle fibres, to call into partnership the muscles around the primary mover. I use these images as cues for my students all the time – they often have no clue how their own body works under the skin, and presenting a posture this way gives them an opportunity to start to connect the wonder of their mind with the possibility of their body.

  21. Understanding anatomy helps me understand my body and it’s needs. When I had a back injury it helped knowing my body’s anatomy so the doctor could properly diagnose me. I would love a copy of this book because I ultimate want to become a certified yoga instructor and the more I know the better I can help myself and my students.

  22. We are first and foremost bodies. All too often we pretend to be disembodied minds, and it doesn’t work. Understanding anatomy allows us to locate what’s going on in our bodies and appreciate it. How can you practice ahimsa toward yourself in your practice if you don’t know what your bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons are doing–or what you’re doing to them? Maybe that knee collapsing in isn’t such a good idea….

  23. Stating the obvious, but every body is as unique as it’s soul. There’s been a lot of talk in regards to the amount of injury involved with yoga and I truly believe there is not a strong enough background or grounding in kinesiology / anatomy in a percentage of teacher training classes. I do hope in the future there will be more teachers taking up this knowledge, sharing it, and providing workshops on it. I haven’t seen one in my (big metropolis of a) city in over a year. I find that sad and, honestly, a bit frustrating.

  24. Understanding anatomy has allowed me to take control of my body and my injuries post car accident on a journey of self awareness and recovery.

  25. Understanding the physical body and alignment is like the solid framework to build off. By having that solid knowledge rote in my brain, to the point I don’t have to conciously be thinking about it, allows me to roam more freely through my spiritual and mental body during my asana. Studying anatomy off the mat gives me more freedom to explore on the mat.

  26. Anatomy has done nothing for me in that regard. The only thing that works for me is to learn to feel my body more deeply live on the mat or the cushion. Acquiring more knowledge about it is not feeling it; not enquiring into what i really am. By contrast, acquiring more knowledge gives me the impulse to assume that i already know and need not enquire on my own anymore. that i need not ask my body whats good for it because i can trust the academic authority. (i.e.”this is ALWAYS safe, this is ALWAYS dangerous” or “this is good for my kidneys”)

    Life, the body and yoga is to me a territory that never corresponds to the map. internal sensation and experience changes and moves all the time. Anatomy is a science of inanimate, dead objects. Like any other kind of external authourity anatomy books seem to me to be a dead end for yogic self enquiry.

    But how can i be sure? I havent read THIS book yet. ha ha ha. I cant know for sure but i suspect it would be totally wasted on me 🙂 but thanks for asking the question.

    PS: I love your blog. It asks questions instead of giving preconcieved answers. that´s to totallly all yoga!:)

  27. btw, if i ever do another anatmy course in my life it would be judith H. L.´s experiential anatomy, noe THAT is a cool idea!

  28. Understanding anatomy helps me better understand myself by showing me how insanely complex we truly are, and how every system is interrelated with each other is mesmerizing. To really comprehend that we start at chemical structure such as Carbon, hydrogen,oxygen etc. that create building blocks to become protein codes to create structures that design complex systems that support our structure and function to some incomprehensible design that becomes life…. Amazes me. We have this vehicle we call a body that helps us experience the universe, and spend time trying to comprehend our purpose-leaves me in awe. And I the Skeleton -it just looks cool. I want to properly align myself And my students during asana to prtotect our knees and shoulders and backs.

  29. Knowing my personal anatomy is crucial to keeping me in health. To know when to back off or allow myself to push harder in yoga or anything physical. To know when I need to take a break. To discover an ability I didn’t know I had. The discovery of how I am mentally and physically linked was a surprise. Now something I take for granted. I continue to work on myself to allow my body to open more. Amazing how today was a struggle for me, but tomorrow it might be easier. It is all a journey!

  30. Understanding anatomy helps me understand myself by giving a visualization that allows me to go deeper inward, sensing, feeling what I either can share clearer with others or by going deeper in my personal practice.

  31. If I understand anatomy, then I know how to sit, stand, move and breath in ways that most beneficial for my body and mind. Several years ago, I was having some pain in my body all because my work set up (desk, chair and computer) gave me major pain all along the left side of my body. Ever since then, I’ve been a big advocate of proper alignment at all times, including sleep. If my body feels good and moves easily, I am a much happier and productive person.

  32. Thank You for the chance

  33. Understanding anatomy helps me to either accept or to overcome limitations and pain in my own body and has shown me how to comfortably inhabit my body and how to reach out to and teach others

  34. I love anatomy!

  35. The clear understanding of anatomy can take my knowledge of my self to a profoundly deeper level. When I recognize my tendency to hold tension in my glute med on my right side I can work with that kind of awareness. I hold space for taking a little more time to soften and observe without judgement how postures may feel different on one side than the other.
    What is engaged, and what can I let go? The anatomy knowledge is so necessary for all yoga teachers and any yoga practitioners as a depth of fundamental insight into what is happening, where, and why.

  36. Learning about anatomy teaches me how I hold myself in the world. The more I learn the names and workings of my inner layers, the more I see and become aware of how I carry and present myself on many levels, and how it is possible (or where the limits are) to change. And learning the language of anatomy allows me to convey things to my students in a precise and specific way, and to cross disciplines to the more ‘mainstream’, non-yogi world (like weight lifting and cross fit).