Yoga Anatomy for the People

Yoga Anatomy for the People


Yoga Anatomy for the People.
by Warrior Ambassador Dr. Ariele Foster

Yoga Anatomy For the PeopleMy name is Dr. Ariele Foster, and I’m both a yoga teacher and a physical therapist. If you just thought, “That’s a great combination,” your mind is echoing the most common response I receive from strangers when I tell them my two professions.

I’ve been merging these worlds, in part, by teaching yoga anatomy to teacher trainings and occasionally blogging. Over the years, I noticed a few trends. The first is when I would tell fellow yoga teachers I will be teaching yoga anatomy over a given weekend, nearly all of them ask if they could sit in for that portion of the training or ask if I will be offering it to current teachers any time soon. Secondly, at least once a month, I receive an email from a yoga teacher who found my blog and wants to pick my brain about becoming a physical therapist. I also field many questions about yoga injuries.

There’s a true and deep hunger in the yoga teaching community to give better answers to our students, to understand our students' bodies more deeply and individually so they can overcome obstacles, and to not become a yoga injury statistic or contribute to the existence of such a thing. For those who work with private clients, athletes or anyone who has been on this earth for more than a few decades, we need to know these skills. And we are humbled by our students daily.

Yoga Anatomy for the PeopleIt’s simply not possible to emerge from a 200 hour training with a deep biomechanical understanding (not to mention to retain all the details of anatomy lectures alongside everything else).

Plus, it’s only after teaching for a while -- when you can picture the diversity of bodies in your classroom -- that nuanced anatomic know-how starts to makes sense in real life, and we can let go of pre-fab teaching cues.

On the student side, there’s also a hunger for more in-depth yoga teaching. The big and growing population of yoga practitioners is aging (ahem: maturing), with the best of us. They deserve our very best skills to allow them to heal, to prevent injury and to create massive breakthroughs in strength and possibility – to keep the magic alive in the relationship.

I have worked incredibly hard as a yoga student, a yoga teacher for fourteen years, and especially as an orthopedic manual physical therapist to build my capacity to assist healing. But I feel profoundly privileged for the knowledge gained while treating thousands of patients (my gurus) from all walks of life presenting with a vast spectrum of physical challenges. I want to share this in a big way with my beloved yoga community.

It’s time to bring yoga anatomy to the people.

My mission: to contribute to the overall well-being of thousands of yoga-aficionados, to prevent yoga teachers from having to get a doctoral degree, and to provide a joyful experience in learning interesting and immediately applicable anatomy to yoga teachers and dedicated students.

Yoga Anatomy for the PeopleI’m doing all of this with my new baby, Yoga Anatomy Academy.

Yoga Anatomy Academy believes in humor and a stress-free learning environment.

Yoga Anatomy Academy believes in optimal health and liberation in our bodies in this lifetime.

Yoga Anatomy Academy operates from the premise that everything is connected, and everyone is unique.

Yoga Anatomy Academy serves the anatomy-curious in the yoga community. We offer an online yoga anatomy mentorship, online and in-person courses, anatomically structured class sequences, study groups, and anatomy-based yoga asana + yoga therapy classes with heart + soul (and more!). (Ok, we don’t have all of this quite yet, but we are dreaming big).

If you’ve ever been daunted by the idea of learning yoga anatomy or if you want more depth than basic articles in magazines, you’ve found your tribe.

Come join us with a big Like on Facebook, then invite your friends to like us. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter on our website at -- that is where all the best stuff happens, and where you’ll be sure to get our best offerings.

Yoga Anatomy for the PeopleDr. Ariele Foster (PT, DPT, E-RYT 500) is a DC-based doctor of physical therapy, a yoga teacher, founder of the Yoga Anatomy website, and anatomy faculty for yoga trainings and 90Monkeys.comonline continuing education. She has a passion for creative, intelligent yoga instruction and for making yoga anatomy accessible.

Ariele grew up practicing with her grandmother, started studying optimal health as a teenager, and began teaching yoga in 2001. Her interdisciplinary classes (trained in Kripalu, Anusara, Vinyasa, YogaWorks and Therapeutics) are enriched by biomechanical smarts, therapeutic know-how, great playlists and humor.

Dr. Foster specializes in manual and orthopedic physical therapy, including myofascial release, and incorporates yoga into physical therapy rehabilitation plans with an eye on functional movement and whole body medicine. She lives and treats patients in Washington, DC as well as leads yoga and yoga anatomy retreats around the world.

Read Dr. Foster's blogs at and; stay connected at ; and

If you liked this blog, check out our other blogs like: "Move Like A Warrior: Yoga Poses with Ariele Foster", "Sitting too much? 5 Tips to Get Moving", "Resources to Nurture your Spirituality," and "What is the Difference Between Yoga Pants & Leggings?."