Get to Know Ariele Foster – Sacred Source Yoga
We are honored to have Dr. Ariele Foster join us for a week in Koh Phangan, Thailand in March 2016!
Ariele will teach dynamic alignment based Vinyasa classes as well as integrated functional Anatomy for a week.
We managed to catch up with this busy lady recently so we could all learn a little bit more about what we have to look forward to!
Where are you from?
I’ve lived in Washington, D.C. for most of the last 15 years, but I grew up in the Virginia countryside and Richmond, VA.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
My dear grandmother taught yoga up until age 87, and both my beloved music teacher and an English teacher in high school were also yoga teachers. Between the three of them (and a handful of others), by the time I turned 18, I had attended way more yoga classes than most US teenagers in the mid-90s. I was also a precocious kid. I started studying eastern religions in a study group that mostly focused on the Tao Te Ching when I was 13, and I had read big chunks of the Upanishads by age 16.
Although yoga always resonated with me, and I continued to study it regularly while in college, it was while I was writing my senior thesis that I turned toward a daily Hatha yoga practice to balance all the time I was spending sitting and being in my head.
I started teaching yoga about 6 months after graduating college.
You’re a Dr. right? Tell us about that!
The entry level degree to become a physical therapist in the U.S. is now a clinical doctorate (though many practicing physical therapists still have bachelors or masters degrees), after which you can sit for national licensure. A clinical degree is one that is applied, i.e. instead of focusing on research and writing a mondo-thesis, you use current, available evidence and hands-on practice to learn how to treat patients.
I became a physical therapist 10 years after I started teaching yoga. The story is this: I hurt my shoulder at age 26 during a yoga class. I went to see a physical therapist, and I was deeply impressed. It took me almost 6 years from that point to complete all my prerequisites, hunker down through human dissection and the tortures of grad school and pass the national physical therapy licensing exam. At least I can put “Dr.” in front of my name!
What were you up to before you started teaching Yoga?
Being a precocious teenager then a college student …haha!
Cheekiness aside, I’ve been a dedicated environmentalist from the time I was 9 years old. Prior to attending physical therapy school, yes, I taught yoga, but I also worked with a number of different environmental and environmental justice nonprofits on climate, food and energy issues. I organized campaigns for Greenpeace, and spent the summer in a remote native Alaskan village for a climate justice project. I traveled to international conferences in Montreal, Denmark and The Hague. While still in school, I studied abroad in Costa Rica with a program on sustainable development and tropical ecology (and my Spanish is still on point).
I’m remain incredibly passionate about environmental and environmental justice issues, and it was a big personal challenge for me to step away from that passion work to do something entirely different (physical therapy). Yoga has helped tie those two phases of my life together (as well as others), and I can envision greater integration of all three of these loves in the future.
Have you ever been to Thailand?
I’ve never been to Asia! I’m looking forward to it.
What’s your connection with Drishti?
Carri Uranga and I bonded via email and social media when we were both “sponsored athletes” by Athleta in 2012. It was a mind blowing honor to be part of a group of 20 inspiring rockstar women (like Carri) and to have my life’s work be recognized in this way. I’ve continued to admire Carri and what she’s created with Drishti Yoga Teacher Training from afar.
Tell us something fun about yourself!
I heard the term “Ambivert” a few years ago, and had an instant flash of recognition. An ambivert is a superhero because she embodies both introverted and extroverted qualities (neither of those labels ever fit me completely). For example, I love teaching (yoga, anatomy, children). I can stand in front of people — in spandex, no less — and really ham it up, using way more puns than should be legal. I thrive on the good energy of the throngs (note: not thongs) at, say, a yoga festival, and hug freely, making fast friendships. I could also spend whole weekends hanging out by myself, reading, yoga-ing, and not even notice that I didn’t talk to anyone else. After my 10 hour days one-on-one with patients, all my extrovert juice is usually used up, and I almost always beeline home.
Learn more about Ariele on her website www.sacredsourceyoga.com
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