Check out everything you ever wanted to know about Stretching and Flexibility by Brad Appleton. Basically, this is a free book which takes you through the mechanism of stretching from a more scientific point of view. It covers pretty much everything from an intro to the musculoskeletal system to discussions on what muscles are, various types of muscle fibres and what happens when you stretch. Then, there is info on different types of stretching – balistic, dynamic, passive etc etc and also a good section on how to stretch. Warm up and cool down routines are covered, as well as normal range of motion information for various body parts. No actual diagrams, but well written, this could keep you busy for some time and makes a useful reference for anyone undertaking any sort of flexibility training. Great stuff!
No surprise that yoga has many fine stretches in it that activate the meridians. This one can really stretch out a congested Gall Bladder meridian. You can feel the stretch quite deeply in the leg and even into the buttocks. Sometimes this stretch can make you want to scream – just another sign that it is activating the correct meridian since the emotion associated with Liver and Gall Bladder is anger 🙂