Course Title: Yoga Fundamentals

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Yoga Fundamentals

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: Simon Borg-Olivier

Course Coordinator Phone: 0417 041 179

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Sydney NSW

Course Coordinator Availability: Email is the best contact option.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no pre-requisite or co-requisite courses for this topic.

Course Description

This online course provides an overview of yoga as it was originally taught in the pre-industrial East and how yoga can be adapted to a Western context.

Topic areas include:

  • the history and philosophy of yoga
  • basic functional anatomy and physiology from both Eastern and Western perspectives
  • the essence of the main types of yoga (traditional and modern styles)
  • theory and practice of traditional yoga techniques
  • a simple hour long yoga sequence practice
  • the principles, theory and practice of being your own yoga teacher.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course is offered as a University Student elective to post-graduate students from various disciplines. 

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

  1. Critically discuss the history and philosophy of yoga and the essence of the main types of traditional and modern yoga
  2. Identify key anatomical structures in the human body (nine (9) main joint complexes, twenty (20) opposing muscle group pairs, and three (3) spinal nerve reflexes) and explain the physiology and function of the autonomic nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, the reproductive system and the endocrine system.
  3. Plan a simple yoga sequence practice (as appropriate for your body) consisting of simple yoga asanas (postures), vinyasas (moving exercises), pranayamas (breath-control exercises), bandhas (internal locks), mudras (energy-control exercises), dhyana (meditation) and yoga nidra (relaxation)
  4. Demonstrate a basic Eastern understanding of the physiological body in terms of nadis, marmas, and chakras in the Indian Hatha yoga system and acupuncture points and meridians in the Chinese Taoist yoga system
  5. Explain the basic principles, theory and practice of being your own yoga teacher and critically analyse your own yoga practice including self-assessment, correction, modification and adjustment.
  6. Assess the safety issues and contraindications that need to be addressed when practising the Yoga Fundamentals sequence.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is fully online. You will need access to the internet, the ability to work online via myRMIT Studies, to organise your time, work online with others in small groups, and submit work by due dates. Syllabus material will be presented, explained and discussed online.

Learning activities include private study and activities and working through the course materials. There will be online discussion groups and peer-reviewed online group activities and tasks. You will develop, critique and improve your own yoga practice and learn to apply safety criteria to yoga practice.

Assessment includes completion of practical exercises with written feedback in discussion forums, participation in directed online discussions, and multiple choice 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.

There are no skills or background knowledge required for the theoretical part of this topic. However, there is a practical part of this course that we highly recommend you do to help to understand the material and also to derive numerous physical, physiological and other benefits. For Topic 1 on the history and philosophy of yoga there is only a short practice video we would like you do. As the course progresses we will build on this sequence and you should still view all the videos but only physically practice what is appropriate for you.

You must at least view all of the practice sequences in this course and make appropriate comments as described in your Online Internet discussion groups. Provided that you do not have any of the contraindications you should practice from each of the sequences in the practice videos.

There are no specific physical skills required to the physical aspect of the practical part of this course. There are generally no problems attempting the physical exercises if you can:

  • take all of your body weight on one leg by coming to the toe-tip of the other foot
  • sit cross-legged on the floor and be able to stand up without assistance
  • lie prone (on your abdomen)
  • take at least some of your body weight on your hands in postures such as the ‘kneeling plank’ or the ‘kneeling push up’.


Teacher Guided Hours: 36 per semester (online)

Learner Directed Hours: 84 per semester

Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be able to access course information and learning materials including powerpoint presentations and videos through myRMIT. 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 the reading.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Exam 1 (MCQ) 

Weighting 25% 

Submission time: After Week 6

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-4

Assessment Task 2:  Exam 2  (MCQ) 

Weighting 25% 

Submission time: After Week 13

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-4

Assessment Task 3:  Contribution to Internet Group Discussions 

Weighting 30%

Submission time:  Progressive throughout the course

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6

Assessment Task 4: Reflection and Self-Assessment

Use photographs and/or a video to reflect on your own practice and assess it based on what you have learnt and done in the first ten weeks.

Weighting 20%

Submission time:  Week 10

This assessment task supports CLOs 2-6