I offer custom embodiment practices that reintroduce therapeutic movement into your daily life; mobilizing, strengthening, healing, and up-leveling for comfort and confidence.
Working one-on-one, I deliver ‘outside the box’ mobility training based in well-researched, science-based human development, allied with my two decades of clinical experience. My approach is body-centered, therapeutic, playful, and fun! I teach conscientious regressions and progressions for each ‘drill;’ so the practice is scaleable, making it both accessible and beneficial to everyone, regardless of your individual goals. By diversifying student’s movement experience, I invite individuals to reclaim natural movement patterns and discover a world of new possibilities encoded within their body's. Through this individualized application of Primal Therapeutics, I will help you develop competency in maneuvering your body for practical purposes like getting up and down off the floor, playing with your kids, and jumping over puddles!
Offerings of Primal Therapeutics
Post surgery rehab
Increase joint usability/range of motion
Functional strength building
Pregnancy and Postpartum
Anxiety and Depression
Mental & emotional support
Establishing healthy daily routines
New Client Sessions
$150 - 75minutes
Returning Client Sessions
$125 - 75minutes
What is Therapeutic Yoga?
Group classes, while often healthy and beneficial, must be generalized to meet the needs of the group. My therapeutic work centers on bodies as natural and holistic expressions of the individual.
Inside each therapeutic session, you’ll be witnessed by my trained eyes - which can see habits, tendencies, insight, and opportunities that you may not yet have access to. We’re able to be together, in a healing process that assesses situations as they arise in real time.
You’ll receive the benefit of custom diagnostics such as muscle testing, passive and active range of motion, gate assessment, etc. And develop a clearer understanding of your unique movement patterns, which play out as or play into, your injuries. This kind of personal attention isn’t something that is possible in a group class.
How did I come to find Yoga Therapeutics?
I actually began my career as a yoga teacher working with private clients. I was working with people who had back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain… weather by choice or by necessity, many of my clients didn’t attend group classes. In those early years, we just did stabilizing work and simple sequences. Then I started studying the world of anatomy and Anusara Yoga, which had a lot of training in yoga therapeutics and biomechanics. I went through my certification for about 8 years, and did as much training as I could find for therapeutics, hands-on adjustments, and manual work coming out of that school.
Over the last 20 years, my best research has been with my clients. Listening to them and supporting them through their healing process is how I’ve learned the most about how to help someone who has a lower lumbar strain, a slap tear in the shoulder, or any number of injuries an ailments I’ve helped students through over the years.
Who are some my influences in the field of Yoga Therapy?
One of my original deep dives was into the work of Doug Keller, whose work is specifically in yoga therapeutics. To this day, he remains one of my biggest influences as a teacher. Leslie Kaminoff also had some impact on my initial clinical work, especially with regard to the breath; though I have since come to see significant flaws in his teachings. Tom Myers (Anatomy Trains) - I read a lot of his work, and it shows up as a reference tool when I’m helping others with rehab. I get a lot of perspective from my friends who are Chinese medicine doctors and chiropractors too. I read up on physical therapy or sports medicine. I try my best to diversify my research and apply a broad and holistic understanding to the complex landscape that is therapeutic yoga.
What do I feel is a good Therapeutic Yoga method that helps most people?
Anytime I see a therapeutic yoga client, we look at what the person’s whole body is up to. How they’re holding themselves and breathing. We look at breath mechanics, and oftentimes we find some opportunities for profound healing there straight away.
One of the most important things with breath is that the entire rib cage (basket) needs to be freed up for healthy movement. I don’t teach a style of breathing, but rather a way to be more spacious and natural with the breath. How can we be more aware and take fuller, more easeful breaths with our whole being?
In my experience, a lot of neck, back, and should pain stems from holding the breath and being really tight with it (ujjayi anyone?). The breathe is fundamental. It is our center. The diaphragm is a huge muscle, so we strengthen and mobilize it. We focus on its efficiency, and the rest of the systems tend to harmonize more easily from there.
Do I offer trainings in Yoga Therapy?
Though we’re taking a break from the training for now, we have offered 20 hours of yoga therapeutics in our 200-hour teacher trainings. In the 300-hour trainings I lead, I include 100 hours of yoga therapeutics. One of my biggest intentions with these trainings is that teachers leave with a good set of tools, beyond understanding stock yoga pose modifications, so that they actually know how to help people with injuries.
How can Yoga Therapeutics help someone with chronic pain?
I have clients who have stenosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and they can barely move. To ask them to get up and down or do yoga poses that require a lot of muscle engagement can be difficult, defeating, and counterproductive. A lot of the work that I do is an Iyengar method of restorative yoga with a lot of props. There’s no hanging out in the joints. We’ll use 12 blocks if we need to, bolsters, straps, whatever we need to use in order to support them. We take the shape using props and then allow a softening in the muscles.
If someone has chronic pain, such as is often the case with scoliosis, one side of the back will be overly tight, and the other side will be slack. Using the props, we permission the overly tight side of the back to release, while the slack side is given a means to regain its proper resting tone.
How can regular yoga practitioners benefit from Therapeutic Yoga?
Some people come in who are hyper mobile and they just keep getting hurt in yoga. I’d like to say that we can escape from the injuries in yoga, but yoga actually can create injuries too. It’s important to be honest about that. I think more often than not, regular asana practitioners get hurt because there’s an imbalance in their strength and mobility. Actually a lot of what I do with yoga therapeutics is in the world of strength training. Often, in the first few sessions, nobody is stretching anything. I have them breathing, aligning, and strengthening before we get into mobility work.
This is because, all too often students go to stretch muscles that are already hyper mobile, and avoiding areas that are chronically tight. This is all subconscious of course. We find space via the breath, and little movements of the spinal curve and through joint actions we create space from stability. When students are able to stabilize and their muscles are strong and resilient, then we can begin stretching with much greater efficiency and effectiveness.
What’s the difference between Yoga Therapy and Physical Therapy?
I get a lot of people who go to physical therapy because their insurance will pay for it, and they come out with more pain. Physical therapy tends to zero in on the area of injury too soon. so if someone comes in with an ankle sprain, for instance, they’re working with the ankle. They don’t adjust or account for what’s happening in the foot, the knee, the hip… They’ll give exercises to stabilize your ankle - and while you’re doing their homework, you’re misaligning your knee. It’s too myopic. It’s not holistic. I go over my client’s physical therapist’s sequence of 10 things to do to make sure they’re aligned their whole body. That’s where physical therapy and yoga therapy are different. I am going to address not just the ankle, but the whole body, the breathe, the entire being.
What types of clients am I currently accepting?
I’m usually booked out 2 - 6 weeks, but I’m generally taking all clients, unless they need a referral or a doctor’s note to start post injury or surgery.
I do take people with back pain, especially those considering surgery and unsure about the decision.
I take new clients who everybody has turned away. I enjoy helping people who are trying to get off medicine and seeing a chiropractor and getting acupuncture, or seeing a physical therapist who isn’t helping them. My work has been really helpful to postpartum women as well. Women in postpartum often get back into exercise too quickly. Having some really livable and valuable ways to keep your body safe after you have a baby can help a lot.
What do you feel that each client takes away from Primal Therapeutics?
What I am teaching people is that they are in charge of their body, and they know more about their bodies than I can ever know. I have a trained eye, but I am teaching them not to depend on me, but to trust themselves. I am teaching them to listen to their own awareness; to participate and even guide their own healing. I am educating my clients, so when they step out of a 10-part series with me, they understand their body more comprehensively and feel inspired and more in control. Sometimes they come from doctors and feel disempowered. I am there to help them learn and get comfortable with advocating for their personal health.