Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First experience as a yoga therapist (w/Testimonial)

image compliments of
A four-session series with a student is complete!  We co-created a sequence for home practice.  I couldn't be happier about the experience.  I was so engaged with the process and felt fulfilled at the end of each session.  For privacy, I've shared little information about the student.

It was just the last few moments of our intake part (a good 20 minutes) that I realized, hey - we're going to get started after this!  My favorite part was the wonderful flipping through the catalogue of the mind to find appropriate postures while listening and taking notes at the end of the intake session.

What will we be doing?

The one-hour time slot is certainly challenging, especially during the second session, where there is still a good deal to talk about and a good deal of posture learning involved.

The series built on itself, starting with a few (six) postures and a savasana (the client chose legs up the wall at first).  These were primarily forward bends and backward bends with a focus on not putting weight on the hands, while creating movement and circulation in the shoulders.

We built into it a lateral bend, and modified some of the postures the second week.  We did some krama (segmented) postures, and switched out cobra for salabhasana (low to the ground locust, not bikram locust!)  We took the last two postures and combined them in a simple vinyasa.

Third session we switched the location of the krama inhale and introduced krama exhale in vipariti karani (legs up the wall).

Fourth session we added a one line chant at the beginning, kept the series the same, and came out of legs up the wall to do a seated krama exhale practice, followed by a chant repeated from the beginning.  I suggested that savasana or legs up the wall would be good, and that it was up to her to decide what she needed.

By the end, the practice is more complicated than a short ten minute practice.  But the student has copies of the practices all along the way, and knows that there are multiple shorter-form practices she can do.

And finally, my light of my heart - my first testimonial.

[T]hanks for your highly detailed road map of my new yoga practice!  I love it.  It is both rejuvenating & calming. And it's becoming less of an "I should practice" & more of an "I want to practice."   
I learned a great deal in those 4 sessions we did.  Some of it was almost a paradigm shift, like the permission & encouragement to do what feels right for me rather than follow a proscribed practice. Some of it was emotional & personal, hard to articulate, but facilitated by your gentle, respectful attention & bits of personal sharing.  With your help I created something I'd never been able to do before --  a home practice that fits my particular needs & that I would actually do. 
Some of it was physical in the sense that I came in w/ an injured shoulder (which had remained painful despite other yoga work, physical therapy, rest, pain meds, etc. for almost 6 mos) & after 5 weeks of Yoga Therapy, it feels 90% healed. I also learned how to continue working on it without risking re-injury.  Thank you so much for offering me this opportunity.  You have lovely energy.  I'm very grateful & look forward to seeing your growth & success in this new field of healing.


Ellen Fein said...

what a beautiful testimony from your client! obviously you were helpful on a number of different levels. this is great! can't wait to see what unfolds for you and your clients.

Anna Van Fleet said...

Thank you so much for your visit, and your kind words of encouragement, Ellen!