Praise for Your Spine, Your Yoga

Your Body, Your Yoga is not just an indispensable book—it’s a long-overdue paradigm shift, and Bernie Clark continues to lead the charge with his fantastic Your Spine, Your Yoga. By doing the heavy lifting of collecting, organizing and contextualizing a vast amount of anatomical information, Bernie has made an essential, enduring contribution to our field. I regularly and enthusiastically recommend his work to my students.

Leslie Kaminoff – Co-author of Yoga Anatomy

Each time Bernie births another a book, I wonder how he could have more to say, as his last one was so thorough, and then voilà! A new gem is revealed with more in-depth areas to highlight. Your Spine, Your Yoga is another serious buffet of information that every yoga student will want to feast on, or at least reference. It is an educational manual with a systems orientation—a holistic yin/yang view of the entire body. I particularly love the “It’s Important” sidebars. It is an anatomical and functional yoga manual I am so thankful to have, and I will highly recommend that others study and imbibe its insights for a safe, informed practice and teaching.

Sarah Powers, Co-founder of Insight Yoga Institute
and Author of Insight Yoga

The Rules of Alignment are wrong. Bernie’s books demonstrate that error in page after page of scientific detail. We need to replace these rules with a functional approach to yoga poses, and Bernie’s work shows us how to do that. The yoga community owes Bernie Clark a giant thank you for his years of work on this project. I sincerely believe his volumes have the potential to elevate our profession.

Paul Grilley – Author of Anatomy for Yoga (DVD)

Bernie Clark’s comprehensive book on spinal anatomy, bringing together yoga and science, is smart, thoroughly researched and well written. I recommend it highly. In my teaching and practice of yoga therapy, I have come to believe in “the primacy of the spine.” It unites body and breath, is crucial in health and disease, and fascinated ancient yogis, who viewed it as the gateway to transformation.

Timothy McCall, MD – Author of Yoga as Medicine

It’s rare to come across a yoga book that’s thorough, practical and evidence based but also a genuine delight to read. In particular, I appreciate how Your Spine, Your Yoga is written from a perspective that’s solidly grounded in yoga, yet completely and refreshingly free of pseudoscience, and that it’s solidly grounded in science, yet not at all overwhelming. Bernie Clark has such a gift for making complex topics understandable, relatable and most importantly actually applicable to yoga teachers and practitioners. YSYY provided me with actionable tools that I was able to apply to my practice and teaching right away, and at the same time gave me lots to mull over and contemplate for what will likely be years to come.

I also really liked the structure of the book. I found myself excitedly skipping ahead to many of the “Note to Teachers” and “It’s Important” sections because they were SO very thought-provoking. Ultimately, YSYY invites teachers and students to question our preconceived notions about anatomy and alignment and reminds us that there’s always more to learn. It totally squashes the dangerous and discouraging myth of universal, one-size-fits-all alignment and should absolutely be a staple in teacher training programs of all styles.

Kat Heagberg, Editor in Chief, Yoga International

This book is a treasure. I am frankly full of admiration for Clark’s accomplishment, and I am grateful to have this resource open on my desk. It is an impressive addition to the Your Body, Your Yoga series, the first book of which was monumental in its own right. Clark dives deeply into the “axial body” in this volume and demonstrates a scope of mastery over his subject matter. His understanding of anatomy is rooted in basic principles that I appreciate as essential to my own work, and which he delivers with particular relevance to the yoga community.

Clark understands the context of human anatomy and the reality of continuity, while deftly taking on the variability of our human body. This book is filled with fascinating information yet does not fall into the trap of weighing you down with information for its own sake. He conveys the importance of starting with the uniqueness that is “somebody,” as opposed to the average that is literally “no body.” Then he applies this principle throughout to the teaching practice of yoga instructors, in this instance around issues pertaining to the stability and function of the axial body.

I have no doubt that those who spend time with this volume will find their work with students becomes safer, with injuries avoided, and more efficacious, fulfilling the intentions for which the practice of yoga is adopted. This book is a treasure. I am frankly full of admiration for Clark’s accomplishment, and I am grateful to have this resource open on my desk.

Gil Hedley, Ph.D., Producer of The Integral Anatomy Series

“Comprehensive” is the word that springs to mind while poring over YSYY. It is truly a breath of fresh air to read a work on safe and effective practices of yoga that recognizes, rather than attempts to violate, the laws of nature. Scaling laws and how body size affects safety in headstands are two of the many knockout evidence-based propositions in this book. A resource for self-practice, a guide for yoga teachers or a practical manual for teacher trainings, YSYY invites critical inquiry in a very organized, readable yet exhaustive study of the axial body.

Daniel Clement, Director, Open Source Yoga School

Bernie Clark has done it again. The second installment in his grand trilogy, Your Spine, Your Yoga takes a meticulous tour of the human body’s axial skeleton, exploring its various parts and manifestations, ultimately addressing the wide-ranging, practical implications of those variations for how one would approach practicing and teaching postural yoga. This is a masterpiece, bordering on the miraculous. Like your favorite professor at university, Clark will adeptly walk you through an elaborate anatomical journey that includes scientific consensus and controversy. And with each step, your knowledge will expand, be challenged and grow. YSYY deserves to be read and reread, again and again.

Josh Summers, Co-author of The Power of Mindfulness, Host of the Podcast Everyday Sublime – Shedding Light on Yin Yoga and Meditation

Excellently researched and chock full of detailed information, this book contains everything that you could want to know about the spine and its surrounding structures. Bernie has a rare gift for making even the densest anatomical information engaging, relevant and accessible. I’ve been studying anatomy for years, and this book contains a multitude of insights that have changed the way I see my students and teach asana.

Rachel Scott, Educational Designer, Teacher and Writer

All our students agree: you become a better teacher by reading Bernie’s books. He speaks directly to us, explaining mind-blowing science with simplicity and clarity, and offering tips and advice with wisdom and compassion. This book is incomparable. A rare gem.

Anat Geiger, Senior Yoga Teacher Trainer

A must-read for all movement practitioners and educators! YSYY showcases Bernie’s meticulous research and analysis into bone morphology, explained succinctly with functional application to yoga and movement.

Jo Phee, Senior Yoga Teacher Trainer

Your Spine, Your Yoga takes a detailed look at what is holding us all up: our spine. With a knife-sharp analytical and scientific eye, combined with a light sense of humor, this wonderful and rich study contains practical explanations, many functional illustrations and different perspectives on how we can practice and teach yoga in a safe and holistic way. This book is a must for anyone who is interested in the human body/mind matrix. I can highly recommend it.

Magdalena Mecweld, Creator of the Yin Yoga App and Author of Serenity Yin Yoga: Rest Yourself to a Calm Mind and Healthy Body