There is an ongoing, often heated, debate in the yoga community about the difference between a yoga teacher and yoga therapist. Some feel that yoga by its nature is therapeutic, so any teacher should be able to help students with pain. Others say that yoga teachers lack knowledge and experience to help students with pain and can inadvertently make things worse, so those issues should be left to yoga therapists. Others think that yoga can’t help with pain at all.

My take on it is that there are two distinct ways of approaching chronic pain: working with it and working around it.

Got Foot Pain? Try These Yoga Practices

The feet are an incredibly complex part of the body. There are 52 bones in the feet, and each foot has approximately 33 joints, each of which can move in multiple directions. The possible number of distortions... Read more

Yoga TLC for Your Wrists: How to Stretch, Strengthen and Protect Your Wrists

Do your wrists hurt during yoga? Or maybe you notice after a yoga class that your wrists feel strained or sore. Wrist pain is a common issue among yoga practitioners. There’s probably very little that you do... Read more
yoga to nurture your neck

Enhancing Body Awareness: 5 Ways to Nurture Your Neck In Your Yoga Practice

Do you ever feel pain in your neck? You’re not alone. According to the American Osteopathic Association, more than a quarter of Americans will experience neck pain at some point in their lives (1), but yoga... Read more

Yoga Relieves Neck Pain Review of Research Shows

Chronic neck pain and neck pain-related disability are a major public health problem. In light of escalating rates of opiod addiction, more health care providers are prescribing complementary therapies like... Read more

How Yoga Improves Health: Focus on Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is part of the body’s defense response. It involves clearance of toxic pathogens, damaged cells, or harmful irritants from the body. Inflammation has a high beneficial value. For example, if you... Read more

The Trick to Preventing Wrist Pain: Ways to Reduce Repetitive Stress

Whenever a student of mine complains of wrist pain, the first question I ask is: “Do you type a lot?” If the answer is yes, I ask them to show me how they do it. More often than not their hand position looks... Read more

Yoga for Pain Relief: Yoga Offers Effective Relief for Back Pain, Fibromyalgia, and Other Chronic Pain Issues Study Finds

Chronic pain is one of the most common afflictions impacting American adults, with 126 million of us experiencing persistent, recurring, often severe and debilitating pain every year. Standard pain care, often... Read more

The Top Reason for Wrist Pain (and 5 Other Common Causes)

One of my former yoga students works for Intel. Some time ago he developed sharp wrist pain that made it very difficult for him to type and use a computer mouse. As soon as his company got a wind of it he was... Read more

6 Yoga Poses for Achy Feet

Whether it’s a night on the town in high heels, a trail run in new running shoes or an afternoon walking the flea market in flip-flops, our feet take quite the pounding every day. A study done by Z-Tech Shoe... Read more

7 Ways Yoga Keeps Chronic Pain from Wearing You Down

Just today, I met with one of my students for a private yoga session to address her continued experience of chronic pain. For this student, a combination of age-related changes to her spine and musculoskeletal... Read more