I have been asked to join a physiotherapy office as a movement educator. Now this may not sound that exciting, but really it is a huge break through for Anusara Yoga in the Vancouver area. Though we often talk about the “theraputic benefits” of Anusara Yoga, there has been little direct endorsment of Anusara Yoga as a theraputic modality by the physiotherapy community at large.
The whole thing literally fell into my lap ( funny how when you are in the current of Grace things like that seem to happen…). A very respected and well known physiotherapist showed up at my beginner class one night. I took one look at the student roster and was a little shocked to see her name. Diane Lee is well known for being a pelvic specialist and has written numerous books and travels the world lecturing on this area of physio. She knows more about the human body and how it works on a technical level than I will ever hope to! I basically stuck to what I knew and taught, treating her like every other student. The thing I realized was she was coming to me for help- me! What an amazing concept. Though she knew little of Anusara Yoga when we began together she heard that I was a “good” yoga teacher and took a chance on me. Her past experiences with yoga were not aligned with her critical thinking and she found most classes to be disappointing and stuck with pilates as her major mode of movement training.
I have to say working with someone as bright as Diane ( both mentally and spiritually) is such a treat. Everything I teach her just gets fully absorbed and integrated in such a short time. We dealt with a few issues that she literally thought were never going away, that she was just going to have this or that and would have to deal with it. What an incredible gift to show someone – Yes!- you can improve, you can heal. Working together every week, Diane’s appreciation of Anusara grew until she actually asked me to join her team. Utilizing yoga therapy, I will now help patients transition their physiotherapy program into a yoga practice with a holistic approach that is consistent with the principles advocated at Diane Lee & Associates for movement facilitation and exercise.
Bringing Anusara more into the mainstream of therapy is a wonderful way for our teachers to branch out and create new areas of practice outside of the regular group yoga classes. Educating people about the method and simply staying within the realm of your training can build bridges of understanding between different modalities. I encourage those Inspired and Certified teachers with a love of the therapeutic applications of Anusara to find ways to introduce themselves to the physiotherapy community- there is a whole world of possibilities out there!