Tales of Anatomy in YTT

Have you ever noticed that whoever teaches the anatomy portion of YTTs, it’s usually not the teachers who are leading the full program? They bring in “pinch hitters”, someone who has a background in anatomy of some form and who likes talking about it.

That was me! I was already an anatomy and physiology teacher for a massage college, and loved the subject, so I jumped at the chance to teach it for yogis.

I know of other YTT programs who have brought in dentists, nurses, and paramedics. These are all anatomy enthusiasts (even experts) but they are not movement specialists. They don’t tailor their teaching to meet the needs of developing yoga teachers and there are only the most rudimentary curriculum guidelines from certifying bodies as to what needs to be taught. And to be honest, they  don’t focus on the right things.

Chanting and Drumming in Anatomy Class

In my own YTT training, my anatomy teacher was a physiotherapist specializing in pediatric neurological issues. Most days we spent half the class following her around the room reciting chants and playing musical instruments. 

That was fine for me, because I already had a strong foundation from my previous education and experience in physical training and the healing arts. 

I knew the body, and I was confident in my guidance to my students. But I felt for the others in the class.

This experience seemed to result in one of two outcomes: 
1. It made these teachers in training think that learning about the body was unimportant to teaching yoga and they were content to remain blissfully unaware of the ramifications.
2. They immediately developed imposter syndrome knowing their students thought they were well-educated about the body since they were teaching a physical practice. 

Neither place is a good one to teach from!

When I became a YTT trainer, I knew from the start that you can’t teach anatomy to Yoga teachers, the way you teach to massage or pre-med students.

I decided that students who I had the privilege to teach would learn the most relevant Biological Laws of the Body and movement as I could teach them in the tiny amount of time I was given. 

I knew they didn’t need to know muscle origins and insertions, or to name all the bones. That stuff isn’t necessary for teaching mindful movement!

It’s more important to understand how the body moves, how tissues and joints respond to certain types of “stimuli”, and how to build strength and resilience, and prevent injury in asana.

I wanted to give them confidence and greater potential to make the world a better, healthier place. And I wanted to spark a lifelong interest in studying the body in all its splendor and potential! 

Breaking Free

I taught Anatomy within the Yoga Alliance standards several times a year for 8 years.When I saw that this model of education wasn’t capable of connecting the dots for yoga teachers, I decided to break free and create my own trainings. Which I did with great joy! The Activated Asana Apprenticeship Academy is the culmination of my life’s work. 

Graduates of the Academy know the Biological Laws and Guiding Principles of the body – they have the infusion of knowledge that they need and are able to transmit it to their students in a meaningful way. 

They are fluent in the language of Activated Asana and can speak with authority and clarity. They are having a profound impact and changing lives – it’s deeply satisfying for them.

What has your training been like? Do you have a teacher or mentor you can trust for guidance? I know this is so hard to find! 

I would love to hear your stories! You can share them here by responding to this email, or go over to the Yoga Teachers Lounge – my free yoga community – and share them there! 

Here’s the link:


To learn more about the Academy, come here!

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