Course Overview

The shoulder girdle is where our upper arm connects to our axial skeleton. A healthy shoulder allows us to reach into the world, feed ourselves, stretch for something on the top shelf, throw a ball, practice chaturanga, and hug our loved ones. 

The movement of the shoulder girdle is composed of several bones and joints, working together in collaboration to create seamless movement. Because we often bear weight in our upper body in yoga, functionality of the shoulder girdle is essential for a healthy practice.

Note for CE Credits: If you are a current teacher taking this course for Yoga Alliance CE credits, you may submit for 2 hours of credit in Anatomy & Physiology.

Course Curriculum

205: Anatomy Of The Shoulder

  • 1
    WELCOME AND COURSE ORIENTATION
    • START HERE
    • HOW TO TAKE THIS COURSE
    • SYLLABUS
    • ABOUT YOUR FACULTY
    • COURSE MATERIALS
    • Q&A
  • 2
    LESSON ONE: WHAT IS THE SHOULDER?
    • LESSON OVERVIEW AND ​JOURNAL REFLECTION #1​
    • WHAT IS THE SHOULDER?
    • BONES AND JOINTS OF THE SHOULDER
    • SKELETAL VARIATION AND JOURNAL REFLECTION #2
    • SKELETAL VARIATION: DEBRIEF
    • QUIZ: LESSON ONE
    • LESSON SUMMARY
  • 3
    LESSON TWO: MUSCLES OF THE ROTATOR CUFF
    • LESSON OVERVIEW
    • SUPRASPINATUS
    • INFRASPINATUS & TERES MINOR
    • SUBSCAPULARIS
    • QUIZ: LESSON TWO
    • LESSON SUMMARY
  • 4
    LESSON THREE: MOVEMENT AT THE SHOULDER GIRDLE
    • LESSON OVERVIEW
    • MOVEMENTS OF THE GLENOHUMERAL JOINT
    • MOVEMENTS OF THE SCAPULOTHORACIC JOINT
    • SCAPULOHUMERAL RHYTHM
    • QUIZ: LESSON THREE
    • LESSON SUMMARY
  • 5
    LESSON FOUR: MUSCLES OF SHOULDER GIRDLE
    • LESSON OVERVIEW
    • RHOMBOIDS, SERRATUS ANTERIOR AND JOURNAL REFLECTION #3
    • RHOMBOIDS AND SERRATUS ANTERIOR IN ACTION AND ACTIVITY #1
    • TRAPEZIUS
    • DELTOID
    • LATISSIMUS DORSI AND JOURNAL REFLECTION #4
    • PECTORALIS MAJOR AND JOURNAL REFLECTION #5
    • QUIZ: LESSON FOUR
    • LESSON SUMMARY
  • 6
    LESSON FIVE: RISKS AND INJURIES
    • LESSON OVERVIEW
    • IMPINGEMENT, BURSITIS AND JOURNAL REFLECTION #6
    • SEPARATED SHOULDER
    • OTHER ISSUES, AND JOURNAL REFLECTION #7
    • QUIZ: LESSON FIVE
    • LESSON SUMMARY
  • 7
    CONCLUSION
    • FINAL ASSESSMENT
    • ACADEMIC HONOR
    • CONCLUSION & OUTSIDE PRACTICE

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the key structures (bones, joints) of the shoulder girdle.

  • Identify and describe the function of the rotator cuff and apply this understanding to safe asana practice.

  • Identify and locate the key muscles of scapular stabilization, and demonstrate their activation in plank pose and other asana such as arm balances.

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Meet Your Instructor

  • Rachel Scott

    Senior Instructor

    Rachel Scott

    Rachel is a teacher trainer, mentor, and author based in Vancouver, BC. Meticulous and funny, she loves sharing her love and knowledge of yoga with others. Also an instructional designer, she helps develop yoga curriculum for yoga schools globally. Her favorite place to be is the yoga teacher training room.