Deepen Your Practice with Yoga Anatomy

Yoga friends: If you are interested in going a bit  deeper in your
yoga practice, you may have already picked up the first or second
editions of the book, “Yoga Anatomy”. First published in 2007,
Yoga Anatomy has become a classic, explaining the breathing
process and yoga asanas with words and concepts from
traditional anatomy instruction in a way that thoughtfully
challenged traditional yoga instructions. Its authors, Leslie
Kaminoff and Amy Matthews, provided precise verbiage and
innovative illustrations to bridge scientific/medical school
understanding and yoga’s just as esoteric concepts of chakras,
bandhas and breath control. Inside/Out Yoga was indeed lucky to
host Mr. Kaminoff and his partner Lydia Mann for weekend-long
instructions in 2015 and 2017.
The new edition, just out, contains many of the same themes, but
is heavily supplemented with new instructions and informative
illustrations. By precisely dissecting the joints, muscles and
tendons activated in each of the major asanas, the authors
provide insight as to how to gently perform them in unison with
the breath, while at the same time demonstrating the dangers of
over-extension and overly repetitive motions. The book not only
acknowledges that “all bodies are different” but also gives many
examples of why those differences are important, and how they
can be recognized and incorporated into an individual’s practice.
One of Mr. Kaminoff’s most interesting themes involves the
“intrinsic equilibrium” of our anatomies (such as in the spine,
pelvis and rib cage) and how the practice of yoga should allow
and promote that equilibrium. My favorite excerpt from the book:
“Maintaining an inefficient relationship with gravity requires a
constant expenditure of muscular energy to fuel habitual,
unconscious exertions of which, for the most part, we are
unaware until they produce suffering. Thus the reduction of effort
can be associated with a tremendous feeling of relief and
liberated energy. It is tempting to mistake the emergence of

intrinsic equilibrium for the awakening of a mystical source of
energy because its discovery is frequently accompanied by
profound, sometimes overwhelming sensations of increased
vitality in our body. To put an anatomical spin on what is
otherwise considered to be a mystical topic, yoga practice
certainly helps us identify and reduce inefficient muscular effort,
which can liberate tremendous stores of our body’s intrinsic
potential energy and support.”
Ah, who can hate a few overwhelming sensations of increased
vitality? Our congratulations to the authors for this inspirational
edition and we hope you come practice a little intrinsic equilibrium
with us soon at Inside/Out Yoga’s new studio!
Kerry Wilson 1.7.2022


Kaminoff 1-1-14I was extremely fortunate to be able to spend a week at Rancho La Puerta a couple of weeks ago, taking in the constant magic of the place, and participating in a week of classes taught by Leslie Kaminoff. Leslie has been a revolutionary and iconoclastic yoga teacher for many years, extremely well-versed in the history of yoga and integrally involved with its development over the last thirty years. A student of Krishnamacharya’s son, T.K.V. Desikachar, Leslie teaches an “individualized, breath-centered” yoga deeply rooted in the wisdom of our own bodies. He is a co-author of the authoritative book, Yoga Anatomy, now in its second edition, and brings a life-long passion for anatomy, and real experience in the dissection of the human body, to the traditional practice of asanas, pranayama and kriyas.  He now usually teaches just experienced yoga teachers, so I was extremely lucky to have this kind of personal contact with him. I am also pleased to report that he plays a mean game of basketball, and enjoys a glass of tequila when available. Here’s a picture after he and I had consumed such a glass, maybe two.


Pilgrim 21-31-13I should add that a highlight of the week was spending New Year’s Eve with Leslie, his partner Lydia, and respected Raja yogis, Michele Hebert and Mehrad Nazari. During the evening, we were also joined by the remarkable Phyllis Pilgrim. She’s too young for me, but I love me some Phyllis Pilgrim. She’s taught yoga, meditation, writing and many other skills at the Ranch since 1981, and I always enjoy her “basic” yoga classes. Anyway, it turns out that both she and Leslie knew Indra Devi quite well. Devi was a famous student of Krishnamacharya and basically brought yoga to California, particularly Hollywood, in the late 1940s. She later established an arshram in Tecate, which can still be seen on the morning walk to RLP’s organic gardens.  Anyway, it was just a pleasure to see these two together, sharing anecdotes and other contacts.


We are going to our best to host Leslie at Inside/Out for a three-day seminar some time in 2015 (he’s booked until then).  Will keep you posted.

Christmas gift cards – Do you know someone who might need or want a little yoga?


Lady yogaWe are offering a Christmas gift card special. For a new student and during the month of December, you can purchase a 10-class pass for just $50. All classes must be used by March 31, 2014, and they are not transferable. We can handle the purchase by mail (P.O. Box 7378, Winter Haven 33883) or at the studio. Turn somebody you love on to yoga!










Sunrise Yoga

Misty will be offering classes at 6AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She is a creative teacher, and brave soul, to explore these hours. The sun comes in nicely in the studio, directly from the east, and here comes another strong morning energy into the space. Will it become a routine? What about a regular morning sit? (The co-op has a shower and changing room in the back, bring your own towel!)