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An introduction to, and overview of, the body systems with Mary Mackie

11th February 2018
at Riverside Hall Age Concern

An introduction to, and overview of, the body systems with Mary Mackie

Tutor: Mary Mackie

Date: 11th February 2018

Time: 10:00 - 16:00

Location: Riverside Hall Age Concern

Type of Event: IST Days

Places Available: 12

Mary ran a superb IST day for us before, in Ware, on "Chair Yoga”. Her instructions and answering of questions were clear and concise, the evaluation forms excellent! I am delighted that Mary has accepted our invitation to tutor us again, we are fortunate to have such a great professional in our field of Yoga. Below is the full itinerary for the day.

Please note this day will be a shared lunch, teas, coffees and plates will be provided, N.B. you will need to bring your own cutlery.

Aims of the Morning

To review the ‘divisions’ of the human organism; show the interrelationship between them and to specifically explain the A&P of the nervous system looking at what is termed ‘health’ and what is termed ‘disease’;

To explain the A&P of the endocrine system and how it underpins functioning of the whole organism and works in tandem with the nervous system.

To explore the A&P of the digestive system; explain the unique role of digestion on the organism and how it inter-links with nervous and endocrine functions.


1. Explain the way the body is divided into ‘systems’ and how they interlink to form a whole.
2. Describe the underpinning function of the nervous system as a communications organism.
3. Describe the physiology of the Endocrine system and how it too acts as a communications system.
4. Describe the role of the digestive system in health.

1. Update and their A&P knowledge and integrate with their teaching experience.
2. Take part in discussions.
3. Evaluate the common disease processes likely to be seen in a general yoga class and show how a student could be integrated safely into the class.

1. Develop sensitivity in their approach to students with an underlying condition.
2. Feel confident in their ability to teach students with an underlying condition.
3. Maintain professional boundaries – have awareness of the Niyama.

Aims of the Afternoon

To explore a range of common nervous, endocrine and digestive conditions and how they may be influenced by yoga;

To discuss the role of lifestyle choices on the nervous, endocrine and digestive systems;

To show how somatic intelligence and yoga therapy can help with a range of conditions including:

• Stress
• Diabetes (NIDDM & IDDM)
• Other – Student’s choice from experience.

To cross-reference with yoga models of health – the Pranic System and the Pancha Maya Koshas.

To teach a range of restorative/supported postures that can be used for students with stress related, digestive & endocrine conditions;

To teach specific breathing practices to enhance relaxation and long-term health.

To summarise the role of somatics and yoga therapy in treating disease processes.


1. Relate lifestyle choices to nervous, endocrine & digestive disease processes.
2. Consider the role the pranic system might play in health & disease.
3. Evaluate the role of the nervous, endocrine and digestive systems in maintaining well-being.

1. Explore an internalised understanding of the living body – or Soma – through a range of specific physical practices.
2. Design a lesson/course of lessons for students with physical manifestations of stress.
3. Integrate therapeutic breathing practices into their teaching.

1. Feel the subtle effects of a therapeutic yoga practice on their mind, body & breath.
2. Develop sensitivity in their approach to students with nervous, endocrine or digestive disease.
3. Develop an intuitive approach to teaching students with underlying disease.

Teaching material used on the day

Slides to illustrate the nuts and bolts of A&P – AM session

Flip Chart – throughout

Yoga equipment for practice – all day but mainly afternoon

Chairs (not essential)

Hand-outs will be made available electronically

Methods of presenting the subject

Tutor Presentation
Plenary discussions
Tutor demonstration of practices
Tutor instruction and observation of practice
experiential practice by participants
Partner work

About the Tutor

Mary has been practising yoga since 1978 and teaching since 1985. She trained as a nurse and specialised in Continuing care of the terminally ill and bereavement, eventually working in general practice as a nurse practitioner. She strived to empower people to take charge of their own health and well-being, to which end she now focuses on teaching yoga and yoga therapy full-time.

Her style has evolved greatly over the years and she learns something new every time she teaches. Drawing inspiration from Vanda Scaravelli’s teachings as well as the many teachers she has been privileged to be taught by. The journey continues, but she has evolved her own style that works to integrate yoga into daily living.

Qualified as a Yoga Therapist with the Yoga Biomedical Trust she teaches 1:1 for many conditions such as back pain, asthma, hypertension, ME and MS. As a BWY diploma course tutor, she was involved in the initial piloting of the BWYQ and is now training her third cohort of students at level 4.

Holistic yoga is her passion and body movements coupled with breath and meditation are the backbone of healthy living. She endeavours to pass this on to her students.

Outline plan for the day

Morning Session:

Welcome and introductions.

Overview of the systems using slides (OHP) with Q&A to ascertain baseline knowledge and gaps/interests.

Plenary discussion linking the three systems, what they mean for our understanding of how the human organism works and how this is applicable to yoga practice.

The afternoon session will begin with a tutor-led practice – introducing Somatic movement followed by guided experiential practice linking to the theory of the three systems explored

Other information

This course is aimed at serious students and teachers who wish to enhance and/or refresh their understanding of how the functioning of body systems have an impact on structure. This will then inform their own practice and also planning for teaching.

Bring your usual yoga equipment – this could also include bolsters and eye pillows.



Riverside Hall Age Concern
Priory Street
SG12 0DE


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