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Paperback, eBook
130 line drawings and 10 photographs
246 x 189mm
14 January 2015
Handspring Publishing

£42.50 GBP / $59.99 USD

Yoga, Physical Therapy, Movement

Yoga: Fascia, Anatomy and Movement

£42.50 GBP / $59.99 USD Free delivery in the UK and USA

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Joanne Avison is co-founder and director of the Art of Contemporary Yoga Teacher Training School, (AOCY) accredited worldwide by Yoga Alliance (USA), Yoga Federation of India, European Yoga Alliance and IPTI. She holds E-RYT500 status, with many thousands of registered teaching hours over the last two decades, accumulated all over the world since she started yoga teacher training in 1995.

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YOGA: Fascia, Anatomy and Movement seeks to bridge the divide between the application of classical anatomy and real-life experiences of practicing and teaching yoga.

This book presents fascia as the tensional network of connective tissues; the fabric of the human form.  Research into fascia is revealing a whole new context for understanding the human body both at rest and in motion.

Whatever your style of yoga, YOGA: Fascia, Anatomy and Movement makes sense of the experience of the moving body in and beyond the yoga classroom. It is a groundbreaking and invaluable resource in the contemporary art and science of yoga.

The book is written in straightforward and accessible language, and is divided into three parts:

  • Part 1 examines recent research and the paradigm shift from the classical anatomy of the musculoskeletal system to the new perspective the fascia provides.
  • Part 2 applies this perspective to the practice of yoga with clear descriptions of techniques, exercises and plenty of illustrations.
  • Part 3 considers the metaphysical aspect of yoga and the hidden geometry of our biotensegrity architecture as a metaphor for consciousness.

YOGA: Fascia, Anatomy and Movement is intended primarily for Yoga Teachers, but can be adapted for use with Pilates or other movement training programs. Therapists working in the fields of sport, dance, and movement therapy as well as manual practitioners will all find the book enhances their approach to practice.


PART 1 Activating the intellectual mind: behind the new paradigm
1. The Art of Contemporary Yoga
2. Ancient Wisdom and New Knowledge
3. The Science of Body Architecture
4. Biotensegrity Structures
5. The Remarkable Human Blueprint
6. The Breath, the Bones and the Dermatomes
7. Spines, Lines and Automobility
8. The Elastic Body9. Sense and Sentience
10. The Fascial Forms
PART 2 Animating the instinctive body: applying the new paradigm
11. Animating the Architecture
12. Yoga and Anatomy Trains
13. Yoga and Posture Profiling
14. Adjustment of the Fascial Form
15. The Elastic Breath
16. Yoga for the Fascial Body: A Simple Practice
PART 3 Illuminating intuitive awareness: integrating the new paradigm
17. Freeing the Fascia from Within
18. The Inner Sense of the Fascia
19. Presence and Pre-sense of the Fascia
20. Posture Mandalas
21. Archetypal Geometries



‘What a journey this book has taken me on, it has been enlightening. The book opens with the fundamentals of how fascia integrates within our being, it guides us through its importance and understanding of everything we do, how we exist. The flow of the book invites you deeper and deeper in, you want to continue reading it. As a yoga teacher and anatomy tutor, I have found it fascinating and have felt like it has brought me into the 21st century of yogic anatomy, understanding it on a different level. It is exciting in its expression and how it weaves and overlaps the mind, body and internal world connections. This is an essential book for any yoga teacher than wants a deeper understanding of what fascia is, how it relates to yoga, how we adapt postures and see movement within our students and ourselves. This book has changed my practice.

Chapter 2 takes us on a historic journey of ancient wisdom, understanding how human anatomy evolved over the centuries and where fascial studies were placed within history. Moving through the chapters we start to see a new radical viewpoint on human anatomy from a fascial perspective, whilst at the same time interweaving our history and evolution, taking a fresh view of how the body moves. It challenges current views and questions old ones, opens new possibilities and invites us to let go of pre-conceived ideas to make way for new ones. This book challenges conventional thinking.

It is not easy in parts, if you are not familiar with terminology such as ‘biotensegrity’ for example, but Avison beautifully explains all throughout. All along theory is related to practice and builds you up layer by layer, paving the way for new understandings and concepts in relation to yoga. It fascinated me throughout, gripped me, I wanted to read it from cover to cover. What is clear throughout is Avison’s knowledge and research expressed in each chapter.

The second half of the book brings it all together and applies it to our teaching of yoga. Avison guides us to observe our students from a different viewpoint, being able to posture-profile students, being able to adjust our students from a fascial perspective. Movement forces are considered rather than forced movements. Myofascial meridians are studied and sequences are suggested taking it all into account. Finally applying it to the chakra system of energy within.

This book has made me stop and think about how I teach, how I practice and how I adapt students in posture. Every now and then it is worth questioning your practice, this will help you do that and support you through the journey.

Tina Gilbert, Yoga Scotland, January 2016


“Hurray! I am exuberant about this book. It is stunning in its depth, including an historical perspective of anatomy as well as a clearly written exposition about the intricacies of human posture and movement. I especially like the exercises for practice that help to bring the text alive. I couldn’t be more pleased with this articulate, readable anatomy and movement book. I predict it will become a sourcebook for yoga teachers and other health professionals for years to come.”

Judith Hanson Lasater, PhD, PT, yoga teacher since 1971 and author of eight books.



“We all know that yoga means union. In Yoga: Fascia, Anatomy and Movement, Joanne Avison does the extraordinary: she opens a new understanding that can unify your teaching. How? First, she ignites the relationship between movement, breath, body and being, then gives you a picture of it, shows you its origins and how it all connects, brings the seemingly subtle experience of the nadis, vayus and chakras into functional sensation, and makes yoga’s esoteric symbology practical.

Along the way, she provides a whole new vocabulary in words that match the deep felt sense you experience from yoga; that same sense that keeps you coming back to practice and the reason you became a yoga teacher to begin with. Amazing? Yes.”

Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa, PhD, Founder and Executive Director of the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine & Humanology, New Mexico


“The current interest and research in the role of fascia in Yoga practice is exemplified by this book. Through her own extensive inquiry and her work with other authorities in this new and exciting field, Joanne Avison makes an important contribution to the question of ‘what happens inside us as we practice’. This book is a must for yoga teachers and students wanting to enrich their understanding and skills.”

John Stirk   Yoga teacher, Osteopath and author of the forthcoming The Original Body, UK


“It is so refreshing to see such a vivid appreciation of the fascia as one of the key tissues of the musculoskeletal system and as such the facilitator of movement.  The questioning approach contained within the book allows us to make sense of how movement and manual practice is taught and the importance of translating living anatomy so that we learn from a broader and more experiential base. Joanne Avison has taken us on a practically-based and thought provoking journey that allows us all to be thinking practitioners.”

Professor Darrell JR Evans, Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia


“This is a book that as a Yoga Teacher, Student, or Therapist, you will treasure and  refer to again and again.

The knowledge and experience that Joanne shares will give you new perspective on your work, and new skills to work with.

Her language can translate the unknown and mysterious into a profound understanding of the body, and the potential of yoga.”

Linda d’Antal, Senior Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist. London




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