Today I completed the second, and final, Anatomy & Physiology exam of my Complementary Therapies course.

In spite of the fact that I have learned (and relearned) the structures of the human body since I got my A in Biology GCSE back in 1991, this subject never fails to fascinate me.

Female medical skeleton in a yoga positionIt was especially fascinating this year because we had the privilege of being trained by Elaine Liechti – the head of the Glasgow School of Shiatsu and the author of 4 books. She had a way of making even the most boring things seem so interesting that I wanted to pass my excitement onto you.

You see, I think many of us view our bodies as a transport vehicle for our brains and we don’t pay much attention until something goes wrong. And then, of course, we become an expert on that once particular pathology. Yet perhaps if we become more aware of the internal workings of our bodies before we become sick we could perhaps prevent that illness.

As a Yoga Teacher and Pilates Instructor I have clients who approach me with a number of problems and I’m pleased to say that both of these disciplines can really help because they work deeper than at a simple physical level. The stretching and compression movements directly target the organs and assist their functioning. The deep breathing aids the cardiovascular system in transporting oxygen around the body and improves the functioning of the endocrine system. And, as explains:

Yoga postures tend to switch on the parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for rest and repair, and turn off the sympathetic nervous system, used for the fight-or-flight stress response. Increased parasympathetic activity has a beneficial effect on many systems in the body, and allows the nervous system to become more balanced, freeing up the body’s inherent healing response.

I have found the A&P course for Complementary Therapies has given me a year to really look in depth at the workings of the body and some of the body’s most common pathologies. If you are interested in learning more, without enrolling on a full-time year-long course, have a look at these resources:


  • The Daily Bandha – a great site with 3D images by Ray Long who is an expert on Yoga Anatomy
  • Yoga Anatomy – another great site by another Yoga Anatomy expert (and my teacher’s teacher!)


  • Yoga Anatomy – Leslie Kaminoff’s book
  • Pilates Anatomy – currently my favourite Pilates book from Pilates genius Rael Isacowitz

Let me know if you enjoyed these resources by commenting on the Facebook page or by emailing me back.