Functional anatomy - Spine, Pelvis and Shoulders,
with Anat Geiger

Learn how your bone structure affects your yoga practice



2 hour online course


Unlimited access for flexible study


Eligible for 2 CEUs
with Yoga Alliance

Accessible anatomy

Become familiar with the anatomical structures of the pelvis, shoulders and spine. Understand the elements that shape movement and practice and learn how to work with them..

The functional approach

Learn what functional yoga is and how this approach can liberate you and your students from focusing on an aesthetic goal (how it looks) rather than an individual experience (how it feels).

Honour every body

Gain a more intimate understanding of yourself and your students from the inside out. Respect and celebrate the uniqueness of our individual biology, biography and physiology.

Course structure



This illuminating 2-hour course will familiarise you with the main anatomical structures of the pelvis, spine and shoulders and show you how the shape of your bones can determine the shape of your yoga poses. You’ll learn what a functional practice is and how this approach can help free you from the stress of striving for an aesthetic ideal and instead, practice in an efficient, empowered and pain-free way that honours the uniqueness of your body.


Are you unable to grab your hands in Gomukhasana, slide effortlessly into Hanumanasana, pop up into a deep Bhujangasana or fold yourself in two in Paschimottanasana? Have you practiced these poses (feel free to insert your own ‘nemesis’ pose here!) for years but still find them as challenging now as they were when you first stepped onto your mat?

If so, ‘working harder’ is not the answer here. Understanding your unique anatomy is.

Functional yoga was developed into a system by Paul and Suzee Grilley. It’s based on the scientifically-proven premise that our skeletons, tissues, physiology, temperament and motivation are made and organised in a way that is uniquely ours.

Anat Geiger has created this course to liberate you from the idea that yoga poses should be performed and look a particular way. Through her clear and accessible teaching, you’ll learn the key difference between tension and compression. You’ll explore how your bone structure influences and affects your range of motion and how it shapes your practice, both aesthetically and physiologically. You’ll discover how you can practice in a functional way that celebrates, rather than denigrates the body you have.

This course is for you if you are:

  • a practitioner seeking to understand why certain poses remain inaccessible to you.
  • a yoga teacher wishing to broaden your understanding of anatomy and apply it to your teaching
  • looking to practice and teach in a way that will honour the individuality of the body 

…. Anat’s practical, accessible teaching will open your eyes to a fascinating world - under the skin!



Course outline

Anat introduces us to Functional Yoga. She explains how adopting this approach enables us to adapt asana practice to support the health and resilience of our unique anatomical structures, rather than forcing our body into predetermined shapes that might not be beneficial for us. We’ll also explore why we practice yoga and examine the key anatomical reasons for physical restrictions or limitations.

In functional yoga the pelvis is the true base of all our poses, and the differences in shape and orientation of our bones influences our movement and yoga practice. In this workshop we will look at the general anatomy of the pelvis and learn how the variations in bone structure determine how we move.

Awakening the spine is the major goal of all physical practices in yoga. Keeping the spine strong and supple is fundamental for this process and we’ll look at the 6 planes of movement that are essential for spine health. We’ll explore the general anatomy of the spine, and you’ll learn how variation in bone shape and orientation can affect flexion and extension.

In this workshop, we focus our attention on the shoulder. There is much misunderstanding about what people call the ‘stiffness’ of the shoulder. We’ll examine the main structures of the shoulder joint, and learn how we can work with our body, rather than force it into shapes it isn’t designed to make.

Yoga Alliance accreditation

Functional anatomy - Spine, Pelvis and Shoulders is eligible for 2 Continuing Education Credits with Yoga Alliance.

Meet your teacher:

Anat Geiger

Anat Geiger threaded science, spirituality, philosophy teachings and chakra theory through her teaching, combining Yang elements of strength and rhythm with Yin elements of kindness and silence. She trained teachers since 2008 and established one of the first Functional Yoga Teacher Trainings in the world. Anat was a student of - and assistant to - Paul and Suzee Grilley, who, in Anat’s words, 'changed everything with their mind-blowing science, profound spirituality, irresistible humour and ever-present poetry'.
Anat passed away in May 2022. Her spirit, deep wisdom, and joy for life continue to inspire us and we will be forever grateful to her for being part of the EkhartYoga community for almost 10 years.



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