Course Title: Body, Breath and Movement

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Body, Breath and Movement

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2012

Course Coordinator: Simon Borg Olivier

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 2 9387 5431

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

You will gain an overview of the body from both Eastern functional and Western reductionist perspectives. Topics
include nine major joint complexes; introduction to the acupuncture meridian system; Eastern concepts including
chakras, marmas, bandhas, mudras and kriyas and their Western counterparts; principles of balance in the body
systems; safety issues and contraindications for various dynamic exercises and static postures; breathing techniques
and their effects on physiology; the nervous system, nerve tensioning and relationships to mudras, bandhas and
meditation; and the use of yoga postures to enhance energy, joint stability, strength, flexibility and relaxation. Home
practice is encouraged.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The course is designed to provide you with advanced skills and knowledge in musculoskeletal function. You will be able to identify the major muscle groups and joint complexes in the body and explore practices that enhance their function and that of musculoskeletal function in general. You will develop the ability to discuss the functional anatomy and physiology of the body from western and eastern perspectives, and use this understanding as a basis for further study in yoga instruction, massage and other therapeutic modalities.

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  • Interpret and explain the principles of applied anatomy and physiology of yoga
  • Investigate the body in terms of joint complexes, opposing muscle groups and opposing joint movements
  • Analyse the three main nerve reflexes and how they can be encouraged or discouraged in stretching and strengthening exercises and the benefits and disadvantages of the four main states of opposing muscle groups
  • Evaluate the benefits of the yogic bandha (co-activation of antagonistic muscle groups across a joint complex)
  • Describe a yoga mudra and how it relates to the circulation of energy and information (consciousness) through the body
  • Describe the acupuncture meridian system, nadis, marmas and chakras and the mechanisms for the generation and circulation of energy and information (consciousness) through the body
  • Explain the different phases of breathing, the basic physiology of breathing and the physiological effects of various breathing exercises.
  • Assess the safety issues and contraindications related to various dynamic exercises and static postures.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities and resources included in this course are:

  • Online lessons delivered through the myRMIT Studies where syllabus material will be presented, explained and discussed.
  • Private study and activities, working through the course materials as presented in the myRMIT Studies
  • Online discussion groups and peer-reviewed online group activities and tasks.
  • To help you meet the assessment requirements, interactive online activities, tests and discussions will provide opportunities for self-assessment and feedback from staff and/or other students.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to access course information and learning materials including Powerpoint Presentations and videos through MyRMIT Studies( ). Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided. Weblinks are provided throughout the Learning Package so that you can directly access these resources.

The required text book for this course is:  ‘Applied Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga’ by Borg-Olivier and Machliss, 2007

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course includes case studies with short answer questions, participation in directed online discussions, and online exams.
To help you meet the assessment requirements, interactive online activities and discussions will provide opportunities for self-assessment and feedback from staff and/or other students.