Q: "Yoga Therapy" is different from yoga. And a lot of people don't even know that there is such a thing as yoga therapy, or yoga therapists. Can you share your personal story and what made you decide to pursue yoga therapy and become a yoga therapist?
A: I had been teaching yoga, and I was dealing with some chronic pain issues, and I had come to the conclusion that my yoga practice was aggravating my condition. So, I wanted to understand that on a deeper level and also find ways to heal myself! I found the practice of Soma Yoga, which really changed my entire life. I was amazed at how efficient and effective this practice was. I would say within six months I was pain-free, and I also just had a new understanding of how to move in my body. I just had more organic, functional movements so I was able to do a yoga practice without hurting myself. Then of course as a yoga teacher already, and at this point in my life actually my plan was to go to graduate school for occupational therapy. But this was such a profound discovery that I changed my path and I studied and became a yoga therapist. And I specialize in Soma Yoga. So, it's a blend of yoga therapy, there's some Ayurveda, and the neuromuscular re-education of cymatics, which is what we did a lot of with Karen today. So yeah, that's really it. My goal is to educate and help people in pain so they can get out of pain and get back to living their lives and doing what they enjoy.
Q: So neuromuscular re-education of cymatics or education of cymatics, what is that? How do you explain it to a child?
A: Well it’s, we have muscle memory and we all have habits and patterns in our body. So, what we're doing is paying attention, moving slowly into those habits, using our brain, paying attention, so that we can release them and just change that whole pattern. Yeah, it's hard to, it's, it is a little bit hard to explain. Experiencing it, it's really experiential I think.
Q: One of the things that you have been able to do with your clients is help people that are in, let's say, a wheelchair, or people with some major movement hindrances or disabilities, that you've been able to help them overcome and, you know, teach them how to work with the body the way it is and meet it where it's at. What is, what is some of the reaction from these clients that have come to you? Did they expect that kind of result when they first came in? Why did they primarily seek you and then what was, what's the biggest thing you hear from your clients that normally would never consider yoga or Soma yoga?
A: I think the uppermost is that it's accessible to everyone. I think a lot of people with physical limitations or physical disabilities think that yoga was not accessible to them. And so again, as a yoga therapist meeting them where they're at, and getting them actually, really, I think what the coolest thing is, to see students go from not having much body awareness, or maybe even being, having a bit of a disconnect from their body begin to become a lot more connected. It's that mind-body connection. I think a lot of the people have come to find me because I do teach at MINDBODY Solutions, which is Matthew Sanford. He is kind of the pioneer the adaptive yoga movement. And so, it's really been a blessing to be a part of that community. I have a lot of students that I'm so grateful to have come to me because of that community. And it really is a community. I think that's a super important part of the healing process. And that may be, I think, part of what the students really don't expect that when they first come. But when they are there, and it starts to happen and these relationships start to form and then you have this community which is a really beautiful thing to see and witness, and also super supportive in their healing process. I think that really helps the healing process.
Q: Do you prefer to work with clients one-on-one? It clearly seems like that makes the biggest impact because you can truly individualize it. But if someone maybe can't afford a one-on-one session, do you also offer group sessions? And what is the best way for people to connect with you and get ahold of you if they have questions?
A: One-on-one sessions are really great if you want to have a personalized home practice, and if you really want to create, if you're really wanting to solve a problem, a specific problem. So, I will, many times, do some private sessions with somebody and then they will move into group class. So there's kind of a progression, right? And then maybe come back and do a private session here or there if they want to focus on something or have another issue that they want to solve. It's both/and, right? And it's not linear. So, it depends. And the easiest way to find me would be, I do teach classes at MINDBODY Solutions, so you can go on their website. I also teach, or I work at Lake Point Chiropractic & Wellness and I work one-on- one there, that's for individual sessions. And I do also have all of my contact information on Trailhead Health.
If you have questions about this, I invite you to call me or email me and I would love to set up a 20- minute consult, phone consult, a free phone consult, so that we can get connected, you can get questions answered, we can have a more individualized plan for you. I really am grateful for this opportunity to educate. Again, I really believe in this work it changed my life personally, my relationship with my body and my mind, my emotions. I really am dedicated to helping other people who are living with a lot of chronic stress and pain, and help them find freedom.