Dr. Ariele Foster, based in Washington DC, has been teaching yoga for 16 years. She was inspired by her grandmother Lilo Foster, who taught yoga until the age of 87. Lilo was one of the few Jewish survivors in Germany from World War II and became re-acquainted with the healing power of yoga after her immigration to the US.
Ariele, finding herself enamored with anatomy, became interested in physical therapy after a profound experience as a physical therapy patient. She studied hard to become a doctor of Physical Therapy, becoming a licensed physical therapist in 2011.
Ariele has had many yoga teachers approach her about making the same transition- from yoga teacher to physical therapist which led her to create Yoga Anatomy Academy. As Ariele says “… [it] has been popular beyond my dreams. It’s really organically attracted so many students.” Yoga Anatomy Academy also provides anatomy courses for yoga teachers.
Ariele kindly shares with us her incredibly rich and informative 10 Principles of an Anatomy-Informed Yoga Practice (available as a PDF download,) which covers a range of considerations for yoga teachers such as; when to refer students to other professionals, re-thinking asanas and the importance of functional movement, and the balance between flexibility and movement.
This multi-tasking, multi-talented woman has founded a forum for discussion- Yoga for the Planet, inspired by her interest in environmental concerns,continues to teach yoga classes and also offers private sessions, workshops and courses, yoga retreats all while practicing as a physical therapist.
Note: Physiotherapists, Physical Therapists, ‘physios’- all the same profession. Different areas use different titles.
9:10 What sparked Ariele’s interest in anatomy
11:50 From teaching yoga to becoming a physical therapist
12:30 Advice to yoga teachers interested in becoming a physical therapist
16:30 The importance of referring your yoga students to a physical therapist when experiencing pain
21:00 Cost can be a hurdle when one is considering physical therapy- how to put that in perspective
23:30 Ariele’s position teaching anatomy to yoga teachers, belief that there needs to be a baseline of understanding
24:20 Principle 1 – Any Pose Can Harm. Any Pose Can Heal.
25:05 Principle 2 – Every Body is Unique.
25:45 Principle 3 – Think Critically “Don’t emphasize the alignment of the pose higher than the individual”
27:35 Cueing Warrior 1 using critical thinking
28:45 What is functional movement?
28:05 Principle 4 – Most Yoga Asana is Specialized, Not Functional Movement
30:55 Principle 5 – Flexibility is No Good Without Strength
33:25 Principle 6 – Variety is the Spice of Life
34:30 Principle 7 – Safe Strength Building Comes from Progressive Loading
37:25 Principle 8 – Listen to Your Body Works 50% of the Time
41:20 Principle 9 – Readily Refer Out
44:20 Principle 10 – Honor Both the Science and “Mystery”
45:35 How to study with Dr. Ariele Foster
Ariele’s Personal Teaching Website: Sacred Source Teaching
PDF: 10 Principles of an Anatomy Informed Yoga Practice by Dr. Ariele Foster
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