A Review of DVDs created by Neil Pearson and Shelly Prosko, written by Mugs McConnell, ERYT500.
Yoga is becoming more and more recognized as a way for those suffering from chronic pain to regain some range of motion through gentle movement. Neil Pearson is one of the leading experts in yoga for chronic pain. He and Shelly Prosko, both physical therapists and yoga therapists, have created a series of videos on gentle yoga practices for those coping with chronic pain.
It is so important to move the body even a little. In this series, Neil and Shelly demonstrate how to modify the yoga poses within each sequence to fit the degree of movement possible depending on one’s level of pain at any given time. Because we are all unique, there is no “one size fits all” practice or sequence for those dealing with pain, but the concepts in this series can be translated into any asana practice for each individual. Each pose is adapted to be done either sitting on a chair, standing, or lying on the mat. The student is guided with encouragement and sensitivity to bring awareness to the sensations in the body, without judgment, from a calm, centered place. Everything is focused on relaxing into the pose while observing its effects. Meditation and breathing are key to bringing one to a place of awareness and inner quiet. I like the focus on right and left nostril breathing, which brings balance to the yin and the yang, the opposing energies with in us. The yin aspect relates to the left nostril and helps us to removes judgment and stay within our level of comfort. The yang aspects relates to the right nostril and gives us the energy to try. These practices bring awareness to both.
If your level of pain has brought you to a fearful place when you exercise or attempt to regain movement in your body, I highly recommend you try this series with Neil and Shelly. Each class takes you through a meditation, breathing technique, asana and relaxation. You can rent the videos one at a time from vimeo.com or buy the entire series of 7 videos. Level 1 is also available on Vimeo. If you want to learn how to overcome your pain with gentle yoga, these two are experts in the field and are doing their best to get you pain free.
Mugs McConnell, ERYT500, is a founder of the SOYA Yoga Teacher Training program. She is the Canadian Representative for the International Yoga Teachers Association (IYTA) and a member of the Yoga Alliance Board of Directors.