Close Sidebar
Type & Hit Enter To Search
Upcoming classes
Kripalu retreat food by Bethania Bacigalupe

Hello everyone! Here is my annual blog post covering special yoga events and classes in and around Boston on Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, New Years Weekend, January 1st and beyond is back!

This year there is more yoga being offered than ever (I may have to rethink how I assemble this list in future years. Many studios are keeping their doors open through the holidays and it may become unwieldy. Let me know if you have any suggestions.) I hope this collection inspires you to practice with your favorite teacher or even venture across town to try a new studio or participate in a new community.

May the transition into the new year be calm and grounded time for you all. May 2014 be a time of renewal and space for you.

Hope to see you around. -Bethania

Classes and workshops below. We’ve got you covered:

Continue Reading →

A vortex of Anatomy

# A vortex of Anatomy

I have a lot of iOS anatomy apps. I use them on my iPad for research for anatomy drawings, on my ipod to quiz myself on the train, and next to my favorite anatomy books to get another perspective. Along with apps for drawing and illustration, they’re the main apps I’ve spent money on over the years. I often get requests from other yoga teachers and anatomy lovers to give recommendations and share my favorites.

I’ve been interested in how to best teach anatomy for some time. I don’t usually say, “get an app”, since I’d rather students and fellow teachers get sucked into the fun anatomy vortex in real time in their own bodies [see below for anatomy vortex visual!]. But anatomy books and apps on an iPad are great tools. They give us visuals and spacial reference to apply to the body. They definitely have their place. [EDIT: stay tuned for upcoming post on recommendations of anatomy books.]

So here are my reviews with some thoughts on each.

The BEST anatomy apps (i.e. the ones I turn to the most):

Muscle & Bone Anatomy 3D – Real Bodywork — iPad only / (for iPhone see below)

This is an excellent app for musculoskeletal anatomy. It has clear art which highlights the selected muscle or bone. For the muscles, it has effectively lists action, origin, insertion, nerve so it’s a nice reference. This app excels in the “actions” section where you can watch animations of the actions on each major joint along with the muscles involved (and the summary of info about each muscle).

For folks who are already more knowlegeable, this app is a really great education tool to show your students or clients. Instead of just mentioning the piriformis, you can show your student a visual of the muscle and how it laterally rotates the femur at the hip.

MB anatomy also has good quizzing capability. It lets you easily create tests for bones and muscles. For muscles you can control the location (arms, legs, torso, etc) of focus and whether to test the muscle names, action, origin, or insertion. Quiz style is 1 picture which you have to match to 1 of the 4 given text prompts.

Also, Learn Muscles : Anatomy Quiz & Reference – Real Bodywork — ipod only

This is basically the same app as above except as an iPhone only version. It’s slightly cheaper.

In sum: If you’re new to the anatomy world, want a solid reference for muscles that can grow as your knowledge grows, and want something fairly inexpensive, I recommend this one.


Human Anatomy Atlas – Visible Body

iPad anatomy app review--Visible bodyThis is a stunning app. It’s basically a 3D viewer where you can swipe, zoom into everything in the body with as much detail as you’d like. This is the kind of app you show off on an iPad because it just WORKS. The panning and zooming is incredibly smooth and fast; it feels like you are in the future. Continue Reading →

Video not working? Direct link Yoga Anatomy Visualization – Asana Study #1 

So I love anatomy and was very excited when I got my muscle leggings last summer. Anything that can help me see and visualize anatomical structures makes me super happy.

The idea for this has been percolating for the last 6 months or so. I had an idea for a short video that would allow a live visualization of muscles and connective tissue on a moving body however I never had the enough time to make it happen the way I imagined.

But I just couldn’t let it go. Continue Reading →

Kripalu retreat food by Bethania Bacigalupe

the 2014 edition is live HERE !

The annual blog post covering special yoga events and classes in and around Boston on New Years Eve, New Years Day, New Years Weekend, January 1st and beyond is back!

New this year are a listings of some Christmas Day classes and events–whether you wish to go to yoga with family or celebrate other things.

Hope to see you around town in the new year! -Bethania

We’ve got you covered:

Continue Reading →

Sketch of Anatomy or floating ribs, lumbar spine and pelvis with bird wings flying

# Anatomy Art: Imagine the Floating Ribs like Wings

Friday afternoon I took class with Barbara Benagh on the shoulders. I did a lot of my own thing in the back corner–nursing my ankle and low back [been meaning to write post on insights from these injuries and other thoughts!]–while listening to Barbara guide. She’s so stellar.

At one point, she said something like “we want the floating ribs to be like wings.” I’m not even quite sure if she said it or if I imagined it. We weren’t talking about the floating ribs during practice and other things were happening with the shoulders….

Anyways, I immediately had such a lovely image in mind.

I’ve played with the arc of the ribcage in relation to the diaphragm, liver, and colon before but this arc involves the lumbar spine and the two floating ribs (attached to vertebrae T11 and T12). So on Saturday I imagined seagulls or birds flying out of the low back.

Wings spreading, floating, and cradling.

This is drawn from my Saturday practice:


Art Sketch of Anatomy or floating ribs, lumbar spine and pelvis with bird wings flying

Anatomy Art: Imagine the Floating Ribs like Wings

And well, you know I am kind of kidney obsessed in my yoga practice (and here and a whole sketchbook I need to find with more). Sometimes I joke that I practice kidney yoga. It’s been that way for the past couple years.

And the floating ribs hug in around the kidneys. It’s kind of perfect.

For you fellow anatomy nerds: the left kidney is higher than the right kidney, so the asymmetry shows up starkly in this relationship.

I kept sketching some kidney plus floating rib relationships.  None was satisfactory but I invite you to play with imagining the kidneys cradled in the retroperitoneal space in front of the floating ribs during your practice sequence. Or even feeling the kidneys floating during a breath-based meditation as the floating ribs dance on the breath.

Very satisfying.

Your psoas might get happy too.



Anatomy notes and definitions: An explanation and primer on the Ribs and Ribcage

The floating ribs are a 2 special pairs of ribs (for a total of 4 ribs–2 right and 2 left).

All ribs attach posteriorly (in the back) to the thoracic vertebra, one pair per vertebra. Ribs are named based on which vertebra they attach to. So the 3rd ribs attach to the 3rd thoracic vertebra T3.

Most ribs are physically attached anteriorly (in front) to the sternum. Ribs 1 through 7, true ribs, attach to the sternum through costal cartilage. The cartilage gives some flexibility for your ribcage to expand when you inhale. Ribs 8, 9, and 10, false ribs, attach to the sternum through the cartilage of the ribs above them.

Ribs 11 and 12, floating ribs, are not physically attached to the sternum in front. Hence the “floating” designation.



  • costal just means it refers to the ribs. e.g. costal cartilage, intercostal cartilage, intercostal space, etc.


Your Legacy at Death: what matters in life: being a good human or having great abs?

When you die, what do you want people to remember you by? What is your legacy?


What matters

At the end of the day, do those super loose hamstrings matter? What is yoga?

Live your yoga. Focus on what matters. Be a good human.


*Special thanks to Wendy Cook who shared with me some of her notes from Judith Hanson Lasater‘s workshop on the sacrum and lower back this weekend in Boston. This comic was inspired by said notes and quotes.

From Wendy’s notes. What inspired this post:
“yoga is every moment: atha yoganusasanam. when we die are people going to say, I miss her loose hamstrings?!!”

and Wendy sums it up so perfectly: “what’s more important: touching your toes or having a kind heart?”

The Secret to Happiness: "Meditation in a Top Hat"

The Secret to Happiness: "Meditation in a Top Hat"

Just for fun


p.s. you might also like : Killer Neti Pot Comic

Music Mixtape 1: Layers

Secret Pages for my awesome newsletter readers.

Not on the newsletter? Sign up now to stay in the loop and to get the next mixtape edition

This mixtape is a constellation of great tracks that have percolated through my speakers, often on repeat over the past months. While writing up my comments I realized that the tracks fill space through their layers of orchestration, whether sparse or magnificent.

Would love to hear your comments, reactions and feedback in the comments below. Continue Reading →

Elbow Joint Anatomy: Sketch of Proximal Radioulnar joint (Anterior View)

# Elbow Joint Anatomy: Sketch of Proximal Radioulnar joint (Anterior View)

There is something funky about my elbow. What to do? Anatomy books to the rescue! A story of yoga practice, elbow histories, and anatomy drawings.

Ethics vs. Power Infographic--rise and fall of gurus, politicians, and other stars

# "All Too Common"

A graph illustrating the psychology of power. Ethics and Power dynamics leads to this all too common journey in leaders (such as John Friend of Anusara Yoga, Anthony Weiner in politics, or Marc Hauser in academia). From ethical compromise, to rise in power, to exposure, to fall from grace. Leaders make the ethical compromises in their rise to power and this leads to their fall from grace after exposure.

Website by Bethania Design. All content © 2009 – 2014 by Bethania Bacigalupe.