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Yoga teacher links healing to movement

Dr. Joanne Wu played basketball and volleyball in high school and competed in dozens of triathlons and marathons in her 20s. She knows what it feels like to tweak a joint or muscle in the pursuit of better fitness. Yoga has become her salvation in her 30s, and the physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist has taken extra training so she can teach several forms to others.

“Yoga fusion is what I typically teach right now. That’s alignment based, focusing on preventing injuries as we are moving through postures,” said Wu, of Snyder, a Hong Kong native who moved with her family to Boston when she was 10 and has lived in Western New York since she was accepted out of high school into an eight-year medical program at the University of Rochester. She will teach Fit/Fly/Acro yoga at 2 p.m. and Pi/Yo at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Willow Tree Tent during the free Budding Tree Yoga Festival, which will run from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Wilkeson Pointe, 225 Fuhrmann Blvd., in the Outer Harbor.

Q. What is your philosophy of medicine, healing and wellness?

I believe movement is the essence of healing.

Q. What are your keys to good health?

I think stress is at the root of a lot of our disease. To focus on good health we have to focus on stress reduction and focus on practical and realistic goals that we can keep. We’re a society that’s focused on producing more and working harder. Sometimes, we just need to work smarter and move smarter, so we’re taking care of our bodies.

Q. What styles of yoga do you teach?

Right now, my focus is teaching a flow yoga which combines principles in the yoga realm with Pilates and barre. I also teach a lot of acro yoga as well as aerial yoga and TRX yoga, programs that blend other principles with yoga.

Q. What is acro yoga?

Acrobatic yoga is a brand developed by Jason Nemer and his partner, Jenny Sauer-Klein, about 10, 12 years ago. They decided to blend sports acrobatics – people balancing people – and tie in his yoga background and his concept of connection with community.

– Scott Scanlon

See yoga festival schedule, Page 4; see related story, Page 11