Arm balance:

The use of positions and movements in yoga. An interview study

Scientific article in Fysioterapeuten 10/2014.


Mariann Sørebø, fysioterapeut, M.Sc, Røde Kors Haugland Rehabiliteringssenter,

Eline Thornquist, fysioterapeut, dr. philos., professor, Høgskulen i Bergen og praktiserande klinikar på privat institutt


Purpose: To document experiences with and reflections on the use of positions and movements in yoga. 

Design, material and method: Qualitative semistructured interviews of yogainstructors trained as physiotherapists. Interviews with four informants were performed using audio-recorder and an interview guide, and the recordings were transcribed and subjected to a content analysis.

Results: Three main themes with sub-themes emerged about the use of positions and movements:  i) variation in space and direction, ii) performance with emphasis on tempo and effort and iii) self-acceptance with respect to setting limits and coping. The interplay between the different components was a vital feature of yoga according to the informants, and they underscored focused awareness both as a means and an end in yoga practise.

Conclusion: The informants presented yoga as an approach to movements with effects of both a physical and mental character. They emphasized self-acceptance and patience as prerequisites for obtaining change and personal development.

Keywords: yoga, positions, movements, variation, focused awareness.

Fulltext article in Norwegian