Type of Article:  Original Research

Volume 12; Issue 1 (March 2024)

Page No.: 8808-8814

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.16965/ijar.2023.209

Asana to Anatomy: Unpacking Yoga’s Inner Mechanics through Experiential Learning

Ekta Khandelwal 1, Mrithunjay Rathore 2, Soumitra Trivedi 3, Pragna Domadia 4, Mukta Consul 5.

1 Additional Professor, Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Raipur, Chhatisgarh, India. ORCiD: 0000-0001-9558-7219

*2 Additional Professor, Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Raipur, Chhatisgarh, India. ORCiD: 0000-0001-5196-4596

3 Additional Professor, Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Raipur, Chhatisgarh, India. ORCiD: 0000-0003-0379-2173

4 YTTC Lakulish Yoga University Ahmedabad, YCB Level -2, Gujarat, India. 

5 Devi Ahalya Vishwavidhyalaya, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Corresponding Author: Dr Mrithunjay Rathore, Additional Professor,  Department of Anatomy, AIIMS Raipur, India. E-Mail: drmrithunjay77@gmail.com


Background The present study posits that incorporating experiential learning principles into understanding yoga anatomy can bridge the gap between traditional practices and modern anatomical knowledge. The study hypothesizes that experiential learning techniques will result in a deeper, more nuanced understanding of anatomical constraints affecting the execution of specific yoga asanas—Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), Utkatasana (Chair Pose), Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I), and Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II).

Methods: The Yoga Anatomy Workshop, organized under the banner of YOGANATOME, hosted 80 diverse participants who were divided into two rotating groups. Group A served as practitioners performing specific asanas, whereas Group B acted as keen observers. Seasoned instructors facilitated the workshop by focusing on hands-on exploration, postural evaluation, and anatomical considerations. Data were collected using structured worksheets filled out by the observers, capturing aspects such as posture alignment and muscular engagement.

Summary of Results: The analysis revealed various anatomical constraints that affected the performance of the selected asanas. In Trikonasana, 28% had difficulty directing their gaze upward due to sternocleidomastoid muscle stiffness. In Utkatasana, 20% struggled with lumbar vertebral straightening, which is attributed to curvature deviations due to postural alterations. In Virabhadrasana I, 18% of patients faced challenges in arm elevation due to impingement syndrome. In Virabhadrasana II, 24% of patients had knee alignment due to joint restrictions and muscle imbalances. These insights have significant implications for yoga instructors and practitioners, emphasizing the need for individualized and anatomically informed yoga instruction.

Keywords: Experiential learning, Kinaesthetic learning, Yoga, Anatomy, Biomechanical constraints.


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Cite this article: Ekta Khandelwal, Mrithunjay Rathore, Soumitra Trivedi, Pragna Domadia, Mukta Consul. Asana to Anatomy: Unpacking Yoga’s Inner Mechanics through Experiential Learning. Int J Anat Res 2024;12(1):8808-8814. DOI: 10.16965/ijar.2023.209