Anatomy & Physiology

Shanti Yoga School - India - Anatomy and physiology

Have you ever been in a yoga class where the teacher asks you to extend your arm laterally?


Some schools approach anatomy & physiology in a very academic way. Here at Shanti Yoga we teach our trainees only what they need to know to be effective yoga practitioners and instructors.

We call is applied anatomy & physiology for yoga.

As a result, our teachers use clear, concise language to teach safely. This results in – well, results – not confused looks.

Applied Anatomy & Physiology for Yoga – An Example

What does “applied anatomy & physiology for yoga” actually mean? The phrase is a bit of a mouthful. Here’s an example:

Did you know a chemical surfactant helps keep the shape of your lung’s alveolar sacs optimal? And that this surfactant develops from birth til the age of 12?

Sure, sounds like a cool anatomy fact – but what does this have to do with yoga?

If you’re teaching an open drop-in yoga class – meaning anybody can join – and a mother decides to bring her 8 year-old – and he wants to participate (which is amazing) – what would you do?

How would you alter your class?

Knowing that the lungs are still developing until the age of 12, you’ll want to steer clear of advanced pranayama for this 8-year-old.

In other words, until the lung’s surfactant is fully developed at age 12, any overly-strenuous pranayama – especially ones where you hold the breath – could cause harm to young ones.

Therefore, rather than ending class with Kapalbhati and Anuloma Viloma, you pivot – and guide your students through a modified Anuloma Viloma without breath retention. Everybody is safe and happy.

Knowing you’ll use what you learn

Doesn’t it feel good to have the confidence to teach others and know what you’re talking about?

That’s an example of applied anatomy & physiology for yoga.

And it’s just one small fact of the many you’ll learn at a Shanti Yoga teacher training. Our aim is to teach you what you need to know to share yoga with the world. Safely. Responsibly. Ethically.

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