articulating a new lineage in yoga

118 yoga actions

to help you

deepen& expand

your yoga practice

Our Yoga Actions study guides take you beyond the shape of a yoga pose into your inner body-mind experience while developing healthy habits that get you moving again.

Yoga Actions for Feet & Ankles

Yoga Actions for Legs & Knees

Yoga Actions for Pelvis & Psoas

Yoga Actions for Feet Torso & Spine

Yoga Actions for Shoulders & Arms

Yoga Actions – Asana Glossary

3 Steps to
Deepen Your Experience


Becoming familiar with the sensations in your body and mind that signal ease as well as discomfort and dissatisfaction.


Applying yoga actions to your areas of pain, suffering, confusion and paralysis in order to reveal new understanding and direction.


Adopting those yoga actions that bring your whole being (mind-body-spirit) into alignment.

Most yoga practitioners reach a point where they want deeper understanding.

Are you struggling to …

  • create an intimate understanding of and relationship with yourself?
  • deepen your spiritual practice and expand your yoga skills and toolkit?
  • commit daily or even weekly time for physical, emotional and spiritual growth?
  • remove emotional and physical blockages and recover from stress and burnout?
  • increase your energy, enthusiasm and overall health?

Typical progression of a Yogi

Whether you are brand new to yoga, an advanced practitioner or a senior yoga teacher, every yoga pose (asana) reveals to you where your tension, tightness, pain and suffering are located in your body.  Each body is unique so this can and does appear differently to each person.  

As a beginner yogi, you may initially feel these sensations at the level of your skin, flesh and muscles.  For instance, when you do Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog), where do you feel sensation—hamstrings, arms, upper back?  With regular asana practice and the application of yoga actions, your awareness of sensation will move deeper into your muscles, bones, organs and nervous systems.  As you move deeper into your body and mind, you move closer to understanding the source of any tension, tightness, pain and suffering that is showing up for you.

With the aid of deeper awareness, appropriate yoga actions and a disciplined asana practice, beginner, intermediate and advanced yoga practitioners become adept at — 

liberating their energy (prana or life force) and breath, and 
moving both throughout all the layers of their being—skin, flesh, muscles, bones, organs, parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, etc.  

The value of this deep capacity for guiding life force and breath to penetrate all of your cells increases the efficiency and effectiveness of your entire being.  You grow to know how to heal yourself.

Introducing Yoga Actions

Yoga Actions are internal isolated movements — muscular, skeletal, breath, organic and energetic — for stabilizing, energizing and creating space, ease and well-being.  With time and practice, you refine your inner awareness of the yoga action until you feel its reverberation throughout your entire being.

From the creative ingenuity of our own teachers as well as our own practice experience, we gathered together hundreds of yoga actions and passed along our favourites to our students.  Some concrete examples are provided below:

A muscular yoga action:  Stabilize the elbow joints by drawing the skin, flesh and muscles of the lower and upper arms toward these joints.

A skeletal yoga action:  Centre and ground the femurs into the hip sockets by using your awareness to create space around the heads of the femurs as they sit in the sockets.

A breath yoga action:  On each inhaled breath, notice how the tailbone moves away from the core of the body.  On each exhaled breath, notice how it moves back toward the core. The movement of your tailbone affects your entire spinal column.

An organic yoga action:  To free the upper lungs for breath expansion, soften and broaden the “eyes of the chest” and feel their energetic connection to the outer edges of the shoulder blades.

An energetic yoga action:  On each inhale, sense the sacrum and tailbone moving away from the core of the body.  On each exhale, maintain this fullness in the sacrum, and sense the tip of the tailbone moving back toward the core, thereby initiating the lift of energy up the spine and the lift of the pelvic floor (Mula Bandha).  This energetic lift reduces the effort required from muscles, bones, breath and organs. The less effort, the less aging.

How do Yoga Actions increase the value of your practice?

Not unlike the actions described above, the 118 Yoga Actions illustrated in the study guides develop your single-pointed focus.  In essence, improving your ability to concentrate in the present moment vastly improves your capacity to create space for greater stability, energy and ease in your life and your yoga practice.  Concentrating on one thing in isolation defines Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from the outer world) and Dharana (concentration), which are two of the eight limbs of yoga necessary for deep meditation (Dhyana).

In practical terms, as a yoga teacher, I could demonstrate Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog) and then ask you to take the pose.  This is a classical teaching method. However, it typically leads you to focusing on trying to get your body into the shape I demonstrated.  And, as we can see in the world around us, body shape is almost as unique as thumb prints. Very few are the same. Your body’s version of AMS will not be the same as mine.

So, in order to take this uniqueness into consideration, as a teacher I can demonstrate in AMS, “finding the four corners of my/your hands and feet”.  This focus on the action leads you to grounding these “ sixteen foundations” of the pose into the earth. The resulting greater stability, alignment and ease throughout your entire body emerges from the union of focused awareness and action.  Finding the four corners of your hands and feet is one of the many yoga actions you will find explicitly described, demonstrated and illustrated in the study guides.

118 Yoga Actions:

Each Yoga Action consists of —

a detailed description and illustration of the action

1 to 2 Pre-poses that demonstrate the action

5 to 10 Peak and Plus poses that practice the action while gradually increasing your challenge and depth of understanding

2 to 3 post poses that release, relax and integrate your practice

Break Past Your Limitations

As a beginner you will:

Develop and expand your own personal yoga practice in order to heal yourself.