Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ray Long

It's called gluteus medius. Usually advanced yoginis have a beautiful well-trained strong gluteus medius. Some call it backside, buttocks or even ass. I'll use the term gluteus medius for this huge muscle during this post. That's what it is, a huge muscle and it can be very helpful to engage it when practicing yoga.

How does it come that I know such vocabulary?

During Christmas time was a Mysore class break. It was time to study yoga books. I wanted to know more about anatomy and my bf gave me a book present for Christmas: Ray Long - Yoga Anatomie 3D. It's a book with a lot of pictures. On every page one or more skeletons can be seen with muscles or muscle parts. These illustrations are so helpful to understand what has to be done when exercising asanas.

I saw in the above mentioned book (page 73) that it is important to engage the gluteus medius when exercising urdhva dhanurasana. Usually it is said "push the hips forward". But how to do it. It can be done when squeezing gluteus medius as hard as possible. This muscle is strong and loves to work.
When Mysore classes started again M gave me an adjustment in urdhva dhanurasana. He realized that my ud improved and I had only practiced alone. I got better by applying my knowledge about my muscles. Knowledge can help to improve an asana.

My studies re anatomy will surely go on.

Last week I found an email in my inbox by a Ray Long. Quickly I wrote back. Are you THE Ray Long, who wrote these fantastic yoga anatomy books, I asked him. And he was it.
He send me another book: Anatomy for vinyasa flow and standing poses. I'm sure I need the entire collection.
Also this vinyasa flow and standing poses book is fantastic. It will improve my yoga practice. Why? To see how the muscles work is enlightening, He also shows how the muscles rotate. The descriptions are very profound, but easy to understand.

For series yoga students, Ray Long's book can be of great help. A link to his website is on the right side of this blog or here.

Enjoy his books: On every page are color illustrations. Ray Long's  books take your knowledge about your body to a higher level. It also helps you to avoid injuries when you practice yoga. His books are full of tips, it's pure joy to hold them in hands.

To have books by Ray Long in your book shelf is a must for a serious yogini or yogi.
Go to his side and have a look.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! ... the advice on how to push the hips forward is helpful as I've been squirming around when the instructors say, "now push your hips forward" ... now I have a new trick to try. Namaste!

Ursula said...

You're welcome.

It works.

You won't regret to have Ray's book at home. He has a lot of recommendations.
Namaste and happy practices.

Quentin said...

His books are usually required reading for most teacher trainings in the USA. greetings from the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast during a warm day, feels like spring with few clouds floating in the blue sky.

Ursula said...

Thanks for adding this Quentin. I think this speaks for the quality of the books. I think they are awesome.

The warm breeze just arrived cold Germany. Enjoy your holidays.


Simplicity said...

I will try the next time to engage my butt really hard and check the difference...

The fact is that my instructor had told me that the gluteus medius muscles shall not be engaged in urdhva dhanurasana. They shall be relaxed and then you push with the hip and the leg muscles instead and with parallel legs.

The butt-pushing seems to be an easier and more comfortable way... :-)

jsf said...

I'm doing an intensive in Paris this summer and Ray Long's Anatomy for Hatha Yoga is a required book... Good to read that his books are so well-written and informative! Thanks, Ursula.

Ursula said...

Hi simplicity,

Simply try it. And yes, the feet shall parallel and the legs are engaged, too.

Explore the pose. This is what I do.
Happy practices.

Ursula said...

Hi jsf,

You won't regret to have them. They are reference books. They make learning about anatomy fun.

Enjoy your stay and yoga practices in Paris.

Cordially greetings

Robyn said...

terrific recommendation! thanks so much!

Ursula said...

You're welcome Robyn. You'll love the books.


James said...

I must admit you are a genius.I like your blog very much when it comes to Ashtanga yoga.
So how many years it really took to become master of this.
I myself runs yoga classes here in Virgina teaching all sorts of yoga.
Namaste - James William

Ursula said...

Hahaha, James, thank you for liking my blog.
Oh no, I'm not a genius, but a modest student, always searching to learn something, always exploring something.

Happy practices.