Beauty and grace are synonymous with Allison Foster. For nine years, Allison has lived here on Lookout Mountain with her family, which includes son Holden and daughter, Riley. Holden will be a junior at McCallie, while Riley will be a freshman at GPS.
"We have lived on Lookout Mountain for nine years and found it to be an amazing community in which to raise children and develop incredible friendships. In addition to the community of people, we love the fantastic opportunities to be able to play in the outdoors! From hiking and biking to paddle-boarding and fishing, we have fallen in love with the whole region," Allison says.
That love has spread to others, for everyone who knows Allison absolutely loves her. Due to her lovely and peaceful personality, she has many followers in her yoga classes. When asked how her love for yoga began, Allison explained, "Our family lived in New Orleans between 2001 and 2005. During that time, both of my children were born, and I began practicing a little yoga with pre-natal yoga videos. A small studio opened around the corner, and I took a few classes before Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005. After that, we moved to Memphis, and life felt upside down for a while. Some good friends recommended yoga as a stress reliever. It worked and has been an incredibly important part of my life ever since."
After experiencing all of the benefits of yoga, Allison desired to become an instructor. In 2008, Allison completed her 200-hour RYT (registered yoga teacher) instruction with Yoga Alliance. Since that time, she has constantly continued her education through programs and workshops. "To date, I have accrued over 300 additional hours of training through Asheville Yoga Center, OM Schooled (Yoga for Teens) and certified Broga training (yoga for men)."
When Allison is not teaching yoga, she loves to hike with her dogs, write poetry and stories for children and teens, cook and spend time with Holden and Riley. "My kids would say that my favorite hobby is teaching them 'life lessons.' I told them that once they realize everything is a life lesson, then my job will be done!" Allison said.
Allison hosts wonderful women’s wellness retreats each year. These weekends are intended for renewal, self-discovery and rest. Their theme is based on a quote from poet David Whyte, who said, "What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky?" Taking the time to realize this transformation can be restorative, if not life changing.
"We will honor the journey of our lives with nourishing yoga, delicious food, beautiful accommodations and the Great Smoky Mountains. We will also provide options for massage, hiking, biking, floating down the Little River, touring the Tuckaleechee Caverns or just relaxing in a hammock with a good book. The best part is that EVERYTHING is completely optional," Allison says of the retreat she will lead this month at Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend, Tenn.
Allison has been leading retreats and workshops for the past eight years. This year’s retreat will be her second at Dancing Bear Lodge. In May, the retreat she led there sold out quickly, so she is excited to offer another one from September 21-23. To register for the retreat, go to the Dancing Bear Lodge website. For more information, call Dancing Bear Lodge at (865) 448-6000.