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Mindful Movement and Physical Therapy Students

Jamie Parsons
By Derya Anderson, 1st year DPT student​
DPT students discuss the relationship between their movement practice and what they are learning in PT school​


As mindful movement practices, such as yoga and Pilates, become more prevalent in our society, they are influencing the way students of physical therapy integrate information about how they move their own bodies, as well as how they interact with their patients. 

Students with a background in teaching yoga and/or Pilates share how it has influenced their experience of physical therapy school:


Finding Balance: comments on mindfulness as an asset to studying physical therapy

Q: How has your yoga practice affected your experience in physical therapy school?
A: I would say that one of the biggest take home messages from my yoga training was being mindful…yoga has helped me approach the body in a thoughtful way as I go through PT school. When I am working with others or simply thinking about the way that the body moves and functions, I come back to the ideas of mindful movement, harmony within the body and approaching people with kindness.
-Jamie Parsons, 1st year DPT student


Kendra Colyer

Different Styles: a Pilates instructor and DPT student comments on her approach

Q: How has teaching Pilates affected the way you approach physical therapy?
A: Pilates' emphasis on form and technique allows for a more critical analysis of exercise techniques performed by patients during physical therapy. Utilizing the foundation of Pilates, breathing and core activation techniques, results in more successful recoveries and overall healthier movement.

Q: Conversely, how has physical therapy school changed the way you teach Pilates?
A: Physical therapy has allowed me to understand the biomechanical mechanisms of movement and then apply those principles to teaching Pilates. More specifically, the advanced anatomy and musculoskeletal courses in the PT program allow me to critically analyze specific pilates exercises and give appropriate modifications based on individual movement limitations.
-Kendra Colyer, 2nd year DPT student