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DrFoster

Dr. Ariele Foster is a yoga teacher, physical therapist (physiotherapist) and founder of YogaAnatomyAcademy.com.

Savasana Anatomy Do’s and Don’ts

Admittedly, this is a picky post. But people do the darndest things in savasana. (Skip straight to the video about this post here.) If you teach yoga for long enough, eventually you’ll see some interesting alternatives during this time for relaxation. There are gradients, of course: sometimes you see students (like Energizer bunnies) doing headstands […]

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How to Cue the Shoulderblades for Handstand, Down Dog, and more

how to move your shoulderblades in down dog, handstand and more

Three Fun Tips for Teaching Shoulderblade position in Down Dog, Handstand — and any time your arms are overhead. There’s an enduring myth out there in #yogaland (ok, many enduring falsehoods) that our necks will tense up if we shrug / lift up / elevate the shoulderblades toward our ears. False. Your shoulderblades were designed […]

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Tackling Tight Hip Flexors

Supine psoas strengtheners with yoga block

The most common request heard by yoga teachers is “hip openers, please!”. After all, students come to yoga most of the time after sitting. For hours on end. They feel the need to stretch out the stiffness. If you teach yoga, know this: sitting is a passive stretch.  As you sit, most of the posterior […]

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Functional Fitness: What it is, What it isn’t, Why it Matters

In my early thirties, I noticed something that shook my self-concept. Many of my friends had infants and toddlers. Although I was a doctor of physical therapy and had been teaching yoga for over a decade, it was sometimes uncomfortable to hang out on the floor with babies. WTH.  To play with these little ones […]

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Malasana: How to Overcome the Struggle in the Deep Yoga Squat

how to get into garland pose deep squat butt to heels

Here’s a comprehensive guide to getting more comfortable in Malasana Plus, if you scroll down far enough, 7 Steps to Better Ankle Mobility We at Yoga Anatomy Academy love malasana and are on a mission to make this deep squat more accessible to more humans. The motivation is this: a large chunk of what we […]

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5 Actions to Get Your Foot Up Between Your Hands

stepping your foot between your hands in yoga, from downward facing dog or down dog

The Instagram is full of fluid movers, yogis who can gracefully place a foot between their hands in slow motion, usually on the way down from a single arm hand balancing feat with a glass of wine between their toes. Not a drop spilled. What is less common: actual instructions in yoga class on how […]

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Two Tips for Rotator Cuff Strengthening in Yoga

The rotator cuff (RTC) is a well-known group of muscles that are important in stabilizing the shoulder, basically no matter the activity. When it comes to keeping the arm bone centered in the “socket”, these are the guys for the job. The larger the weight or force that an arm lifts, the more important the […]

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How to Avoid Destroying Your Hips in Yoga

yoga hip injuries, hip injuries yoga, hip injury, hip injuries in yoga, yoga mentor, yoga mentorship, yoga podcast, yoga anatomy, yoga injury

  Francesca Cervero kindly invited me to be a return guest on her podcast, The Mentor Sessions: Support and Strategy for Yoga Teachers to talk about HIPS, specifically yoga hip injuries. (If you missed the first episode on anatomy-informed yoga, you can listen here). Francesca and I both experienced major hip injuries, as in the […]

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Posterior Chain Awakens: 5 Poses to Overcome Yoga Butt

Many patients who seek treatment in my physical therapy practice are yogis. Because I am both a physical therapist and a long time interdisciplinary yoga teacher, yoga practitioners trust me with their injuries and physical challenges. I see one yoga-related challenge (sometimes I see it before it becomes a full injury) more frequently than any […]

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Balancing the Science & the Mystery in Yoga

Teaching anatomy for yoga practitioners is about much more than relaying the nuts and bolts (muscles and bones). In order to understand anatomy in the context of the vastness of yoga, we must understand how yoga, yoga classes, and yoga teaching influence bodies and fit in to a larger conversation about the intersection of yoga […]

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