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Why Anatomy is Not “Just” About Anatomy

One of the questions we receive occasionally about the Yoga Anatomy Academy Online Yoga Anatomy mentorship is: “Is this mentorship just about anatomy, or do you also talk about things like biomechanics [or kinesiology, physiology, etc] ?” The answer is we talk about all the things. We do not talk and teach ‘only’ about anatomy. […]

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Why You Cannot Square Your Hips in Warrior I or Warrior II

Older White Female Yoga Teacher in Warrior II

From my earliest days of practicing yoga, I heard teachers instructing “Square your hips” in Warrior I (virabhadrasana I) and Warrior II poses (virabhadrasana II). [Scroll to the video at the bottom of this page to see the essence of this blog post in video format]. I repeated this phrase in my own yoga teaching […]

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The Body Is Intersectional

Text image stating "The Body Is Intersectional"

Bodies are intersectional.  Yoga is intersectional.  The experiences and bodies that each of us bring to the practice of yoga contain multitudes: Multitudes of social identities like race, class, gender / gender identity, age and able-bodiedness. We at Yoga Anatomy Academy have always known this but have not always acted publicly to actively uplift all […]

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Yoga Butt – a.k.a. Hamstring Tendinopathy in Yoga – According to a Physical Therapist

Monica smiling in paschimottonasana

High hamstring tendinopathy (tendinopathy = an updated version of “tendinitis”) shows up as an ache, burning sensation or other pain near your sitting bones. The sitting bones, or ischial tuberosities, are the upper attachment point to the three hamstring muscles on each side. In the yoga world, this uncomfortable sensation has a name: “Yoga Butt”. […]

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Sustainable Strength for Side Plank + 3 Myths About Side Plank Broken Down

A pose that comes up frequently in yoga classes, yet seems to be quite challenging – even defeating –  for many is side plank, vasisthasana. Many people simply don’t have the strength for side plank, and don’t know where to begin. This post will break down three myths about side plank, and offer you a […]

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Savasana Anatomy Do’s and Don’ts

Admittedly, this is a picky post. But people do the darndest things in savasana. (Skip straight to the video about this post here.) If you teach yoga for long enough, eventually you’ll see some interesting alternatives during this time for relaxation. There are gradients, of course: sometimes you see students (like Energizer bunnies) doing headstands […]

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How to Cue the Shoulderblades for Handstand, Down Dog, and more

how to move your shoulderblades in down dog, handstand and more

Three Fun Tips for Teaching Shoulderblade position in Down Dog, Handstand — and any time your arms are overhead. There’s an enduring myth out there in #yogaland (ok, many enduring falsehoods) that our necks will tense up if we shrug / lift up / elevate the shoulderblades toward our ears. False. Your shoulderblades were designed […]

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Tackling Tight Hip Flexors

Supine psoas strengtheners with yoga block

The most common request heard by yoga teachers is “hip openers, please!”. After all, students come to yoga most of the time after sitting. For hours on end. They feel the need to stretch out the stiffness. If you teach yoga, know this: sitting is a passive stretch.  As you sit, most of the posterior […]

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Functional Fitness: What it is, What it isn’t, Why it Matters

In my early thirties, I noticed something that shook my self-concept. Many of my friends had infants and toddlers. Although I was a doctor of physical therapy and had been teaching yoga for over a decade, it was sometimes uncomfortable to hang out on the floor with babies. WTH.  To play with these little ones […]

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Malasana: How to Overcome the Struggle in the Deep Yoga Squat

how to get into garland pose deep squat butt to heels

Here’s a comprehensive guide to getting more comfortable in Malasana Plus, if you scroll down far enough, 7 Steps to Better Ankle Mobility We at Yoga Anatomy Academy love malasana and are on a mission to make this deep squat more accessible to more humans. The motivation is this: a large chunk of what we […]

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