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A Groundbreaking, Evidence-Based Book

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What's it about?

While many people practice yoga simply because it helps them feel good, the physiological basis for yoga’s effects on the body and mind is often unknown or misunderstood. Understanding these physiological concepts can help to deepen your yoga practice.

The Physiology of Yoga separates speculation from fact by examining how the body responds and adapts to yoga within many systems of the body: musculoskeletal, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, endocrine, reproductive, and digestive. Straightforward explanations guide you in sorting through conflicting information about what yoga really can help you achieve and in evaluating whether certain yoga methods provide benefits to any or all of those systems.

Buy the Book

From the UK

Human Kinetics Europe
Amazon UKIndependent Bookstores
(ISBN no. 9781492599838)

From the US

Human Kinetics
Independent Bookstores
(ISBN no. 9781492599838)

Book Club

Study Live Online
with Andrew & Matt

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Join Andrew and Matt for a detailed exploration through each of the chapters of their recently published book with time to ask them questions.


Every Tuesday from Sept 10th to Oct 29th, 2024 at:

  • 11:00 am Pacific

  • 2:00 pm Eastern

  • 7:00 pm UK

  • 8:00 pm Europe

  • Or watch the recordings after each session

For each chapter, we will:

  • Explore the anatomy & physiology of a bodily system (nervous, endocrine, etc.)

  • Touch on the major conditions that affect that system

  • Look at relevant research related to yoga

  • Discuss the “Myth or Fact?” sidebars

  • Provide time for Q&A


Andrew and Matt will take turns exploring the chapters of their book:

  • Musculoskeletal system – Matt

  • Nervous system – Andrew

  • Respiratory system – Matt

  • Cardiovascular system - Andrew

  • Lymphatic and immune systems – Andrew

  • Endocrine system – Matt

  • Reproductive system – Andrew

  • Digestive system – Matt

About Andrew

Andrew McGonigle has been studying anatomy for over twenty years, originally training to become a doctor and then moving away from Western medicine to become a yoga teacher, massage therapist and anatomy teacher. He combines all of his skills and experience to teach anatomy and physiology on Yoga Teacher Training courses internationally and runs his own Yoga Anatomy Online Course. His first book, Supporting Yoga Students with Common Injuries and Conditions: A Handbook for Yoga Teachers and Trainees, was published in March 2021. He lives in Los Angeles with his husband. For more information visit:

  • Instagram
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About Matt

About Matt

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Matt was studying biology at university when he enrolled in a dance class upon the whimsical suggestion of a friend. Something changed in him during that first dance course; he discovered an absolute love of movement. He next enrolled in a yoga class and decided he wanted to study movement instead of biology.

Several years later, he completed a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from California State University Long Beach, a yoga teacher training at an ashram in India, and a Pilates Matwork Certification in LA. In 2022, he completed a Master of Science in Sport, Health, and Exercise science at Brunel University London, where he focused on exercise physiology and pain science. His master’s research centered on the impact of yoga teachers’ language on their clients. For more information visit:

  • Instagram
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About Andrew

Prominent Reviews

Bernie Clark - Yoga Teacher and Author of the Your Body, Your Yoga Trilogy

“This is the book I didn’t know I was waiting for! There are lots of books on yoga and anatomy but very few on yoga and physiology. This book beautifully meets the need. It is extensive and yet very accessible. I am pleased to add it to my library.”

Jenni Rawlings - Co-founder of Strength for Yoga & co-host of Yoga Meets Movement Science Podcast

“At last! A thorough, evidence-based resource (complete with much-needed myth busting!) about the many systems of the body and how a yoga practice interacts with and influences them."


Leslie Kaminoff - Co-author of Yoga Anatomy

“This title fills a long-standing gap in the essential reading lists for yoga teacher training programs. Hopefully, it will prevent yoga teachers from repeating some of the most commonly held myths and misconceptions about the physiological effects of yoga practice.”

Richard Rosen - Yoga Teacher and author

“Every now and then, in the 40-odd years I’ve been practising yoga, I come across a book that makes an invaluable contribution to some aspect of my understanding of yoga. The Physiology of Yoga is just such a book. I give this book my highest recommendation; it’s an essential study guide and reference source for serious students and teachers, and it should be on the recommended reading list of every yoga teacher training program.”

The 4 practices

The Four Practices
from the Book

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