Ann Swanson - The Science of Yoga

Episode 44

56 mins

Ann Swanson - The Science of Yoga

February 17, 2019

Ann Swanson is a yoga teacher, holds a Masters of Science in Yoga Therapy and is the author of the recently released book Science of Yoga. We were lucky enough to get an advance digital copy of the book and we loved it. It’s full of great information and beautiful illustrations, and it really marries together the worlds of science and yoga quite wonderfully. Rane genuinely wishes he had a copy of this book when he was doing his teacher training, and we ordered a physical copy once it was released. We can definitely recommend that you do the same.

In this conversation we learn about how Ann grew up the daughter of a NASA Scientist, but had an early love of art and illustration. We learn how Ann found her path of Yoga, how she came to specialise in yoga for arthritis, and her inspirations for writing the book. Finally, we hear how Ann's loves of art, science and yoga all combined to make writing and developing this book a wonderful experience.


Ann is a yoga therapist, mind-body science educator, and author of Science of Yoga. She is part heart-based healer and part science nerd. Ann supports people living in living happier, healthier lives by making wellness non-intimidating and accessible to everybody. With a Master of Science in yoga therapy and roots studying yoga in India and qi gong China, Ann uniquely applies cutting-edge research to mind-body practices while maintaining the heart of the traditions. She internationally speaks and teaches on the science supporting yoga’s benefits to both the public and yoga professionals. Ann trains yoga professionals in workshops on yoga anatomy, Yoga for Arthritis, and accessible yoga. In her private practice, Ann specializes in helping busy people worldwide relieve pain, manage stress, and find ease through one-on-one online yoga therapy online .

Specialties: Yoga for Arthritis + Chronic Pain Relief • Research Science Supporting Yoga • Neuroplasticity + Mindfulness • Accessible Yoga • Office Yoga


For more on Science of Yoga, including the book and courses:
Science of Yoga on Amazon:
For free videos, including a relaxing meditation for pain relief, and more on one-on-one yoga therapy online with Ann:
Follow Science of Yoga on Instagram:
Follow Ann's Youtube Channel:


Click on a timecode to play from that time in the recording.

2:01 Ann’s background and where she grew up
3:40 What was it like growing up the daughter of a NASA scientist?
3:48 Is there a similar interest in the way things change and evolve between the worlds of science and art and yoga?
4:59 When did Ann discover yoga?
6:00 Who were Ann’s key teachers?
7:03 What lead Ann to wanting to teach yoga?
7:45 How does Ann reconcile the worlds of science and of a heart centred approach
9:00 Ann describes what it was like getting her Masters of Science and Yoga Therapy
10:24 How did Ann come to specialise in yoga therapy for Arthritis?
12:36 How can yoga help people with arthritis?
14:38 How did the book come about, and how does Ann envision people using the book?
19:58 Break - we are launching a Patreon soon!
22:10 Where there any yoga practices that Ann has seen the benefits from in real life but has not been able to find scientific evidence of?
26:52 What was Ann’s favourite part of the project?
28:48 Ann discusses her intention for the book
29:49 Did Ann receive any negativity from people who see Yoga as being more mystical than quantifiable?
33:26 Does Ann have any tips to help with adjusting to new habits, such as reducing phone/social media usage?
36:03 Mudra’s and neuroplasticity - a short sensation exercise
39:29 How did Ann decide what made it into the questions and answers section, and Ann answers the question: “What makes your joints pop?”
41:30 Is popping joints (ie cracking your knuckles) bad for them?
44:12 Was there anything unexpected or surprising that Ann discovered while writing the book?
47:07 What is the research around changes in the brain that come from meditation?
51:00 Some final thoughts on the book

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