In 2008 I experienced debilitating pain from simply slipping on the ice. I could not even walk up the stairs. Muscle relaxants and pain killers did not touch the pain I was in. One session with my yoga therapist and I felt considerably less pain and increased mobility. I wanted to learn how and why these simple movements could be so effective and efficient in reducing pain. I know the incredible benefits of Yoga Therapy from first hand experience. This is why I am a yoga therapist.
After having had experiences with many other professionals trying to address my own discomfort and physical challenges, I found Yoga Therapy. At age 16 I had spinal fusion surgery on my lower back. In the years following I experienced discomfort and/or pain in my neck, shoulders, hips and sciatic pain down one or both legs.
I decided to try yoga and found that due to the limited range of motion presented by the spinal fusion and the compensatory patterns my body had adapted, the classic yoga poses did not always benefit me. In fact, because at that time I lacked the awareness of my pure range of motion, the practice could create more discomfort from my body resisting moving into a pose that it did not have the available function required to do.
The life changing benefits of resolving the tension and pain felt in my own body from practicing yoga therapy led me to a yearning for a deeper understanding of why and how such simple and gentle movements could so positively affect one’s body.
The International Association of Yoga Therapists’ definition of yoga therapy is “the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and wellbeing through the application of the teachings and practices of yoga“.
My journey to becoming a professionally certified yoga therapist:
- 200 hour Certified Yoga Teacher training with Gaiatri Yoga
- Yoga Thrive (Yoga for Cancer Survivors) with Susi Hately of Functional Synergy
- 400+ hour Certified Yoga Therapist with Susi Hately of Functional Synergy
- Relax and Renew Yoga Teacher Training with Judith Hanson Lasater
- iRest® (Integrative Restoration) Yoga Nidra Teacher-in-Training Level I with Anne Douglas
- Level 1 and Level 2 Critical Alignment Therapy with Gert van Leeuwen
- 1000+ hour Certified Yoga Therapist with Yoga North International SomaYoga Institute
- Certified IAYT Yoga Therapist
Yoga North International SomaYoga Institute and Functional Synergy are both among the 25 Yoga Therapy schools in the world to have been accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
The journey to receive these certifications has been an incredible experience and I am truly grateful to all of the teachers who have shared their support and knowledge to teach me how to best serve others as a yoga therapist as well as to students I have shared this practice with who have believed, practiced and benefited through receiving these teachings.
Alana Burton |C-IAYT Yoga Therapist | Yoga Evolution