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Why do I teach Anatomy?

Updated: Mar 1

I have always been fascinated by the body. Its lines, its features, the postures, the attitudes, the pose one can get into just by habit. I used to love the external appearance of bodies… As I grow old, I now love to listen to the inside. The murmurs, flutter, its tingle and flushes… they are lovely music to my ears… Most of us in the western world are not really connected with their body. As Yoga practitioners and teachers, we share with others our love of that connection of mind, body, emotions and spirit.

I remember being a little girl and practicing Karate and running cross country races… then, at some point, when I was 13 years old, I was diagnosed with scoliosis and I was suddenly forbidden to run, to do any weight bearing activity, to attend sport classes at school and sentenced to finish in a wheel chair at 50 years old… If doctors, back in those days, knew better, they would have encouraged me on the contrary to move intelligently. To connect with my body, to love my spirals and to accept myself as I was designed.

Thankfully, I met fantastic physios in my 20’s and life brought me to India for work from 2008 till 2010 where I discovered Yoga. So, as many of us, I can say “Yoga changed how I look at my own life”. First, it allowed me to improve my posture and tackle my back pain. The 8 first years of my practice were orientated towards the physical body. During that stage I became fascinated by anatomy and I began my journey with Blandine Calais Germain in France, Thomas Myers and Leslie Kaminoff in the US. Knowing the different names of the structures was like charting an unknown territory… I started to create maps of the body in my mind, and the more I learned, the more I was adding to those maps, getting deeper and deeper into the complex realm of the body. The more complex the maps became, the more I started to put them into question and create new ones again and again…

Certainly, deepening my empirical knowledge of the body with personalities like Gil Hedley (Dissection and Fascia - US), Todd Garcia (Dissection-US), Robert Schleip (Fascia research in Germany), Julian Baker (Functional Fascia- UK) and Jaap Van Der Wall (Embryologist - NL) helped me to reconfigure the maps I first learned, extend my comprehension of the body to a much wider, connective, bio-tensengral, integrative way… During the last 7 years, the relationship with my breath, my fascial net, my neuro-vascular bundles has really evolved…

I am passionate by what makes us human, both physically and spiritually. Today my yoga practice helps me on much deeper levels. Through motherhood, through grieving when I lost dear ones, through joyful times of life as well. I integrate my practice in a much more therapeutic and meaningful way… Only 10-15 minutes per day to fit into my very busy schedule, but those 10-15 min are crucial for balancing my emotional/work/family/spiritual life.

In 2023 I will offer 2 different CPDs with the BWY

The first one, on June 3rd 2023, will be about Viscera in bodywork. The science of Visceral Manipulation was founded by DO Jean Pierre Barral in France in the 1990’s. He observed how visceral restriction could lead to changes in, and pain of, the muscles and joints. He discovered, through extensive research, that some 90% of all musculoskeletal problems have a visceral component. Movement is essential to our organs and viscera. An optimally functioning liver, for example, should move up to an average of 20,000 - 30,000 times a day. But sometimes our organs get “stuck” and create pull on all their associate structures. In this CPD we will explore the map of visceral manipulation and how to use it in our movement practices.

The second CPD, on November 19th 2023, will be about Breath Spaces. In this 5hr workshop we will map out all breath movements in the whole body. This exploration will take place from an anatomical point of view, as well as a Yoga therapy point of view. You will feel the different mobilities of your breath in unexpected places and apply practical anatomical knowledge to use breath in different postures. We will talk about breath physiology and neurology, and explore the different Vayus in your body and how they circulate. Discover the map of the breath shape changes and how to use it in our movement practices.

Gil Hedley once said that it’s not the spirit that is in the body, as the spirit is way too large to be only contained in the body. I hold that to be true and I hope that we will have the chance to practice together to discover what fills that connective space between you and me. Warmly, Julie PONS WOODS.

Julie PONS WOODS is a Yoga Therapist, Anatomy Teacher and a Meditation Facilitator. She offers yoga therapy and anatomy workshops throughout England and Europe, teaches 2 online anatomy courses per year and welcomes private clients to her clinic online and in person. and

Teach Anatomy, Yoga Therapist Julie Pons Woods

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