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Course Description
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Exploring Mind and Body through Yoga 3CMO404
University of Westminster
London, England

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Excercise Science; Physical Education 200 English 4 50 N/A

This class aims to:
Provide an introduction to the theoretical and conceptual framework for physical, mental,
spiritual and social dimensions of yoga.
Provide the student with the opportunity to personally explore the effects of yoga -
postures, movement, breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation, on mind and body.
Develop an understanding and appreciation of the principles underlying these practices.
Develop an awareness of safety in practice and application.


On successful completion of this class the student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate a range of yoga postures and describe the underlying anatomical and
physiological principles of alignment and safe practice.
2. Demonstrate a range of yogic breathing techniques and list salient factors of optimal
3. Describe and explain effects of the application of specific relaxation techniques and
4. Undertake and describe the process, technique, and personal effects of specific
meditation practice.
5. Demonstrate appropriate self-care during application of specific practices.
6. Apply appropriate reflective approaches to identify and assess the personal effects
of yoga.


Introductory philosophical and psychological underpinnings of yoga
Postures: technique, alignment, preparatory, modified, counter
Abdomino-pelvic exercises; standing postures; forward bending postures; back bending
postures; twisting postures; and sun salutation
Principles of personal practice
Breathing practices
Prana and pranayama practices
Safe application of techniques
Yoga and society: applied ethics and neohumanism


Workshops: 28 hours
Lectures/theory: 6 hours
Guided self-reflective personal practice development: 6 hours


Reflective Summary: Assesses the student’s ability to apply specific practical and/or
conceptual yoga frameworks in real-life situation(s) and reflect on meaning, effect and
Practical Assessment: Assesses the student’s ability to describe, understand the
applications and safely demonstrate specific yoga practices with due consideration to
principles of safe and effective practice criteria.
Reflective Summary: 40%
Practical Assessment: 60%
This class contains a significant skills element and requires an average of at least 40% in the practical assessment component to achieve an overall pass.

Reflective Summary: An account of the application of specific yoga practices and/or theory in an identified area/topic, and a reflective summary of learning about oneself in relation to this experience. Elements of the reflective summary include:
Critical incident or personal goal/experiences
Making personal meaning
Reflexive exploration of relevant literature and personal understanding gained
Exploration of multiple-perspectives
Clarity of expression
Structured reflection
Discussion of relevance of new learning to personal and practitioner roles
Accurate referencing
Academic writing style
1000 words (+/- 10%) reflective summary
Practical Assessment: A demonstration of capability at articulate description, safe practice and appropriate applications of yoga postures, movement, breathing techniques, relaxation and/or meditation. Essential elements of the assessment include:
Safe practice and appropriate self-care
Understanding of applications
Accurate and appropriate alignment, preparatory and counter postures, modification of
practice Correct breathing practices: count, ratio, rhythm
Time management
15-minute practical exam
5-minute debriefing by examiner(s)


Essential Texts
Farhi, D (2000) Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit – A Return to Wholeness: for students of all levels and traditions. Newleaf Publications, Dublin.
Saraswati, SS (1997) Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha. Bihar School, India. (available at
Recommended Texts
Carrington, P (198) The Book of Meditation: The Complete Guide to Modern Meditation.
Element Books, New York.
Coulter, HD (2001) Anatomy of Hatha Yoga. Body & Breath, Philadelphia.
Farhi, D. (1996) The Breathing Book. Henry Holt & Co., New York.
Feuerstein, G (1996) The Shambala Guide to Yoga. Shambala Publications, Massachusetts, USA.
Feuerstein, G., Bodian, S. (Eds) (1993) Living Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide for Daily Living. Tracher Putnam, New York.
Hewitt, J (1983) The Complete Yoga Book. Random House, UK.
Iyengar, BKS (1976) Light on Yoga. Thorsons, London.
Kraftsow, G (1999) Yoga for Wellness: Healing with the Timeless Teachings of Viniyoga.
Arkana, New York.
Kraftsow, G. (2002) Yoga for transformation. Penguin Compass, New York.
Pert, C (1999) Molecules of Emotion. Simon Schuster, New York.
Stiles, M (2000) Structural Yoga Therapy: Adapting to the Individual. Samuel Weiser, Maine, USA.
Weintraub, A. (2004) Yoga for Depression. Broadway Books, New York.

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