Yoga asanas as an effective form of experiential learning when teaching musculoskeletal anatomy of the lower limb.

Author: Bentley DC, Pang SC.
Department of Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Conference/Journal: Anat Sci Educ.
Date published: 2012 May 1
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1002/ase.1282. , Word Count: 230

Physical movement as a conduit for experiential learning within the academic context of anatomy is a strategy currently used in university dance education. This same approach can be applied to other movement-based practices, for example, yoga. The primary purpose of this study was to pilot a novel teaching curriculum to yoga practitioners, based on Bruner's Theory of Instruction, which incorporated the four adaptive modes of Kolb's Theory of Experiential Learning. The secondary purpose was to assess the applicability of anatomical knowledge within the participants' yoga practice. Following the development of a curriculum appropriate for a spectrum of academic backgrounds, participants were recruited to attend a 2-hour learning session within the Department of Anatomy at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The learning session guided participants through the bones and muscles of the lower limb pertaining to five specific yoga poses. Based on participant feedback, the sessions were positively received and consistent. In addition, learning session participants were able to apply the anatomical information they were taught to their yoga practice 1-month later. Bruner and Kolb's independent theories on curriculum design and effective learning practice were successfully incorporated to create a 2-hour learning session. The potential use of experiential learning to compliment and/or enhance traditional didactic teaching in the academic context of anatomy should be further explored. Anat Sci Educ. © 2012 American Association of Anatomists.
Copyright © 2012 American Association of Anatomists.
PMID: 22549981