September 2, 2017

Anatomy-Informed Yoga (Podcast Alert!)

I had the pleasure of talking with Shannon Crow of The Connected Yoga Teacher, and we had a great conversation about Anatomy-Informed Yoga. Anatomy-informed yoga (a term I made up) takes the best of yoga, the best of what we know from Western medicine about how the body works, and merges them to offer foundational guidance and paradigm shifts that will keep you safer in your movement practices. I highly recommend giving the podcast a listen. But first, click here to get the 10 Principles of Anatomy-Informed Yoga PDF to follow along. I’ll be blogging about these 10 principles all month, so stay tuned.

Here are more details on the podcast’s content from Shannon’s website:

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 starting a career in 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

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