I know how hard it can be to live with chronic pain. From about 2010 until 2015 I experienced pain in many areas of my body (SI joint, shoulders, hips, feet) that seemed to change and shift all the time. I was given the ‘bad news’. Both a diagnosis including bursitis, arthritis. I heard language like ‘early into a wheelchair, nothing we can do, surgery perhaps’ which was all very scary. Overall, a prognosis which as a yoga teacher at the time, made for a most uncertain future, let alone the ability to age well.
Which is why I began learning everything I could about pain. What the evidence tells us about pain. What I might do to change it. How I can influence it. What pain means.
I no longer live with persistent or chronic pain. There was no surgery. Rather, things I learned I could do for myself to change the outcome. Sure, once in a while my back hurts. My feet do ‘pain’ me once in a while. But I know and understand that this is a reminder to listen to ‘the alarm’, look at what I’m doing and know that I have some influence over it. How I might calm things down again.
Pain is like an alarm meant to tell us something. The only trouble is, sometimes it’s not always accurate or the alarm becomes over sensitive.
I have a particular interest in helping people with chronic or persistent pain.
With an understanding of a biopsychosocial approach to pain and it’s similarities to the holistic approach that yoga practices and philosophy offer, I integrate contemporary pain science along with self-management tools, techniques and practices to help others, change their pain.
- Completed a 2-year accredited International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) program at The School of Embodied Yoga Therapy in Ottawa, under the directorship of Anne Pitman and Cassi Kitner. Expected to finish the required practicum in late 2020, at which time I’ll be eligible for Certification by the IAYT. 800 hours, combined training and practicum.
- Within yoga therapy training, obtained RYT-500 status with Yoga Alliance (an additional 500 hours).
- Level 1 – Yoga for Children with Autism and Special Needs, from Shawnee Thornton Hardy (Asanas for Autism and Special Needs), Jan 2020.
- Completed “A Year in Ayurveda with Matthew Remski”, online learning, Jan 2020.
- Montreal International Symposium on Therapeutic Yoga (MISTY), (notable workshops from Amy Wheeler, Jules Mitchell, Robin Rothenberg), Montreal, QC, 2019.
- Overcome Pain with Gentle Yoga, Neil Pearson, Ottawa, 2018.
- As part of SEYT program, ‘Pelvic Floor Yoga Therapy’, Shelly Prosko, PhysioYoga, Ottawa, 2018.
- Pain Science & Yoga Therapy, Neil Pearson, Ottawa, 2018.
- Certification YT Application Program, Susi Hately. Support to aid in preparation and obtaining requirements for application to her yoga therapy certification program, 2018.
- Pain & Healing online conference, hosted by Susi Hately (with speakers: Lorimer Mosely, Tasha Stanton, David Butler, Richard Miller, Dr. Tracy Jackson, Neil Pearson, Matthew Taylor), 2017.
- Ongoing membership with ‘Susi’s Studio’, with weekly video reviews of Susi’s approach to working with people in pain and who have musculoskeletal problems, since about 2016.
- Neurobiology of Yoga (1hr) on-line training program by Yoga Medicine, 2016.
- Evolution, online training with Susi Hately of Functional Synergy, Part 1 & 2 (18 months); (Part 1 – videos reviews of Yoga Therapy client sessions, mentoring, Ayurveda, discussion board. Part 2 – developing presence, assessment, selecting a stimulus, evaluation), 2016-17.
- Online course ‘Yoga Biomechanics’ by Jules Mitchell, 2016.
- Therapeutic Yoga Intensive training with Susi Hately, of Functional Synergy, Toronto, ON, 2015.
- Toronto Yoga Conference (notable workshops with Leslie Kaminoff, Jason Crandell, Susi Hately), Toronto, ON, 2014.
- I Love Anatomy, online training with Functional Synergy (Susi Hately), Calgary, AB, 2014.
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) 8 week program, Doha, Qatar, 2012.
YOGA / YOGA THERAPY EDUCATION
Notable teachers / workshops taken during my time at Yama Yoga Studios, Doha, Qatar:
- John Scott, Ashtanga yoga – one of the first certified teachers offering the ashtanga primary series.
- Kathryn Budig, Vinyasa yoga – specializing in arm balances. Author, teacher on YogaGlo.
- Julie Martin, Vinyasa yoga – specializing in asana as an awareness practice, finding your own way. Now teaches global on-line classes on Ekhart Yoga.
- Jonas Westring, Anusara yoga – this also included exposure to thai yoga massage.
- Emil Wendel, was teaching alongside Julie Martin, providing the yoga philosophy piece.
- David Oliver, my teacher’s teacher from Arizona, USA. Ashtanga yoga – specializing in hands-on assists along with learning Sanskrit; both written and verbal.
- Cheryl Oliver – specializing in Sanskrit, chanting. Completed restorative yoga training/certification with her.
- Max Strom, yoga educator, author, speaker – specializing in breath, creator of the Inner Axis practice to help with anxiety, stress and sleeplessness.
- Nicki Knoff, long-time Iyengar teacher from Australia, who studied both with the Iyengars and Pattabi Jois. Teaching since the 1970’s.
SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS
- Certified as a Pain Care Yoga Teacher, by Pain Care U (Neil Pearson), 2019.
- Restorative Teacher Training Certification, by Cheryl Oliver, Doha, Qatar, 2012
- Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) by Valerie Jeremijenko, PhD., Owner/Director at Yama Yoga Studios, Doha, Qatar, 2011.
- Certified by Yoga Alliance and have been a registered member since 2011.
- Certified as an Usui Reiki (Level II) practitioner, 2010