Two things were confirmed for me this weekend in Portland: 1) Yoga is a superior method for working with chronic pain, and 2) Portlanders really are DIY-ers. The first was learned in a 3-day intensive training with Neil Pearson, a physiotherapist from Canada who is an expert on chronic pain and a fantastic yoga teacher to boot. The second was learned when one of my fellow trainees brought me chocolate that she had made herself. It was delicious.
All in all, it was a yoga geek’s dream weekend, but the fun really begins now that I’m home. Now I get to bring some of what I’ve learned into the studio. It’s time to share! The information and concepts I learned about the effectiveness of yoga in dealing with pain will be infused in group classes and will inform my 1:1 teaching in private sessions. Meanwhile, keep this in mind: when we have chronic pain, the most important thing is to never give up.
I came to yoga with chronic pain from a massive trauma to my spine that occurred in a treatment room. I know very well how chronic pain can take over everything in our life. It can make us cranky and depressed, and it can make us feel that we have lost control of our lives. As Neil said, taking care of chronic pain is a 24/7 job, but everyone needs a break! Yoga provides individualized, holistic, and empowering options for regaining body awareness and function. Let me know if you could use a 1:1 session. Just call or email, and we’ll set something up.
Oh, and I also learned this weekend that Portlanders really want to help you when you’re lost– just like in Portlandia. It’s real! I experienced it several times, driving around in the rainy dark. Patiently giving thorough directions seems to be a pastime in the City of Roses. It’s a beautiful expression of kindness and generosity. Another fellow trainee said that when she was new to Portland, she went the wrong way down a one-way street. The man she almost hit apologized to her and asked her if she was lost! Namaste to you, Portland!