Super Human Yoga & Pilates – The Book

Super Human Yoga & Pilates reveals how to boost the benefits and reduce the risks of these two popular practices.  Did you know many traditional yoga and Pilates movements are harmful to most body types? How can you tell which movements best suit your unique posture, and which you should avoid? Wouldn’t you like to optimize the safety and effectiveness of your practice? Based in rigorous scientific research and presented in clear, accessible language, this important book is a must for anyone who teaches or practices yoga or Pilates.


Super Human Yoga and Pilates by Kevin Khalili, D.C.Did you know many traditional yoga and Pilates movements are harmful to most body types? How can you tell which movements best suit your unique posture, and which you should avoid? Wouldn’t you like to optimize the safety and effectiveness of your practice? Based in rigorous scientific research and presented in clear, accessible language, this important book is a must for anyone who teaches or practices yoga or Pilates.

However grudgingly, Americans are gradually coming to accept the fact that robust health requires us to be proactive. In our quest for a longer and healthier life, we brush and floss our teeth, eat organic foods, take vitamins and nutrients, and of course exercise. We are aware that regular checkups by health professionals provide essential feedback, allowing us to understand what we are doing right and where it would be wise to change our behavior.

We have conditioned ourselves to see our dentist every six months, and to schedule an annual appointment with our family physician or internist to know where we stand in regards to our vitals and biochemistry panels.   Yet when it comes to exercise in general, and yoga and Pilates in particular, this system of regular checkups and knowledge-based adjustments is oddly absent. Most of us take a faith-based approach to exercise practice: We truly believe it will help us, and until our bodies balk, we cling to that belief even when the evidence is slight or nonexistent.  Think about it: How do we really know what motions/exercises are best suited for our individual body type?

What are the long-term effects of yoga, Pilates or any other exercise regimen on our specific bodies? It’s a vital question, and there’s no reason it should go unanswered. Just as a dentist or physician can predict certain conditions, a biomechanical evaluation from a properly trained doctor can help prevent pain and/or injury by prescribing precise motions/exercises that fit each body type. Since this type of assessment is not yet the standard of our society, we are seeing a growing epidemic of painful conditions and/or injuries directly related to physical fitness activities. Yoga and Pilates are at the forefront of this trend, thanks to their enormous popularity: An estimated 30 million people in the United States regularly participate in one or the other.

Super Human Yoga and Pilates by Kevin Khalili, D.C., Certified Fellow Of Chiropractic Biophysics   Super Human Yoga and Pilates by Kevin Khalili, D.C., Certified Fellow Of Chiropractic Biophysics

Kevin Khalili offers a valuable and well-researched guide to how to continue a Yoga and/or Pilates practice that will actually support and nourish your body throughout your entire life. He brings decades of expertise as a thoughtful and experienced chiropractor to his understanding of the body mechanics used in exercise and posture. One of the challenges we face today is the fact that our everyday movements (sitting at a desk, commuting, or even sleeping in a way that is poorly or overly supported) can weaken or strain our physical body. Because of this, the very practices that are gaining in popularity today can both hurt and heal, and Dr. Khalili offers insight into how to choose instructors and classes and how to modify to allow the poses to support the body.

This is a valuable resource for teachers and students of both Yoga and Pilates and should be behind the front desk and frequently referred to in every studio, gym, therapy clinic, and community center. His work is valuable and it is important that he is sharing it with the world in his new book. I recommend it highly for everyone with a movement practice (and that should be all of us!).

Felicia Marie Tomasko, RN

Editor in Chief, LA YOGA Ayurveda and Health Magazine,

President, California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine

With this surge in participation over the last 10 years, I started to notice an escalating number of injuries and/or pain as a result of people engaging in these systems of movement.  I became determined to find out why this was occurring via valid scientific research analysis, with the goal of offering helpful guidance for yoga and Pilates practitioners.  I describe what I have discovered in this book. First, I will reveal the simple origins and unfortunate adherence to tradition regarding yoga and Pilates.  Second, I will share comments and concerns from the health community regarding yoga and Pilates, along with unveiling the primary
problems that put people at risk. Third, I will explain why incorrectly practicing these exercise methods can cause pain and/or injury.  Lastly, I will provide a checklist for safer practices, along with an extensive photographic review of sample exercises.

Due to the many different styles and long histories of Pilates and especially yoga, some readers will discern discrepancies between the information presented here and what they have been taught about a particular practice. Rest assured it is not my intention to criticize any particular school or method. My sole intent as an author is to assist prevention of unnecessary pain and/or injuries when conducting one’s practice of yoga and Pilates. The principles preached in this book are based on sound biomechanical science of the human body and can be applied to any exercise system.

Super Human Yoga and Pilates by Kevin Khalili, D.C., Certified Fellow Of Chiropractic Biophysics   Super Human Yoga and Pilates by Kevin Khalili, D.C., Certified Fellow Of Chiropractic Biophysics

In this book Dr. Khalili points out several body positions that many people find themselves in — either during the day while sitting at a computer for hours, or at night sleeping in improper positions — and the potential problems they can lead to. He clearly explains with numerous references why these positions contribute to improper spinal alignment and/or poor posture, including rounded shoulders and decreased neck and low back curves. Why should exercise duplicate these positions and possibly contribute to worsening any problems? It’s so common to see people performing exercises with their head and neck pulled forward, their shoulders rounded forward and unnecessary stress placed on their low back – all in the name of achieving “core strength.” In my Pilates practice I have found it easy to either modify or eliminate certain exercises to emphasize more neutral spinal curve and contribute to a more ideal posture. Dr.Khalili also stresses the importance of obtaining spinal x-rays to insure ones exercise choices are safe for them. I can speak from personal experience that once he examined my own spinal x-rays, it changed my Pilates practice. With the information gained through x-rays, I have been able to specifically tailor a Pilate’s workout to meet the needs of my body. X-rays should be an important component of everyone’s health and fitness routine. This just makes sense. ~ CherieKubel, M.B.A., Pilates Instructor, Carpinteria, CA

Click here for a SNEAK PEEK of this book.

Dr.Khalili’s book Super Human Yoga & Pilates sounds an overdue alarm bell to the fitness industry, as well as to the practice of chiropractic medicine. We would do ourselves well to heed it. His book offers exercise modifications based on empirical facts – one’s spinal X-rays. As a Pilate’s instructor, I was trained to assess one’s spinal structure based on gait observation and spinal movement…until I found Dr. Kevin Khalili. Like most chiropractors, his underlying theory of healing is based on the concept of “ideal spine”. Unlike most chiropractors, his daily practice is based on the person’s actual spinal situation. Insisting on spinal x-rays aids not only his work, but also helps determine which exercises contribute to back pain, and which aid in the mitigation or even elimination of it. In my case, after developing a degenerative lumbar disc while competing as a gymnast for 15 years, I had been told flexion of the lumbar would alleviate the pain. While serving to palliate my pain, the flexion actually exasperated it. Once I moved toward more passive extension work, (thanks to Dr. Khalili assessment of my spinal x-rays), my back pain essentially disappeared. In my own practice today, I always insist my clients with significant issues receive a proper diagnosis based on X-Ray analysis (www.idealspine.com).What an invaluable tool Dr.Khalili has given me, and all of us. ~ KiranDeWilde,M.A., Certified Pilates & GYROTONIC™Instructor, Santa Barbara, CA