What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Before the first session I have the client describe to me the goals they are interested in attaining as well as the state of their physical and mental health. We talk through any concerns they have based on past injuries, surgeries, or certain restrictions they feel they have. On the initial encounter, I guide the client through foundational yoga poses. It is during the first session that I help the client see which parts of the body need the most attention. I have been described by previous clients as having the ability to work with them at their current level while providing safe challenges to help their body move towards positive change. After the first session I provide documentation on the work that was done for the client's personal record. This includes a full description of poses including safe entry and exit into them as well as recommendations of what they can work on until the next session.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I am registered with the Yoga Alliance as an RYT200 and have over 1000 hours of teaching. I am also recognized through Yoga Alliance as a continuing education provider for yoga teachers. The Yoga Alliance is the governing body that provides accountability for yoga instructors. A registered teacher is required to meet a minimum number of continuing education hours and is provided with resources for quality teaching. I credit my engineering background as giving me additional insight into working with each student's individual body. I have the unique ability to creatively incorporate props into a student's practice. Many of my clients are surprised what they learn by addition of wall work or use of floatation devices in the pool. In addition to the resources that Yoga Alliance provides for registered teachers, I continually study the body and biomechanics from other high caliber resources such as Yoga International and YogaUOnline.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I have worked with the following client backgrounds: those who have had past injuries with spine, shoulders, hips, knees, wrists; those who have restrictions in the body due to surgical modifications or nerve damage (i.e., rod in spine); those who manage an ongoing physical or mental health condition such as high blood pressure, anxiety, depression. My youngest client is five years old and my oldest client is 73 years old. I have worked with clients interested in more of a therapeutic approach to yoga as well as clients interested in a developmental/athletic approach.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
As a client, understand where the value of your money is going towards. You really do get what you pay for. If you choose to have the work done in a public class, realize the trade-offs and take into account if the value of your money is going more towards the facility and overhead or if it is really going towards the instructor and the quality of instruction you'll experience. In a large group setting, there is often not enough time to adapt the work to each individual. A good instructor will be watching their students intently and provide many specific cues to help their students. Personal hands-on adjustments should be done with great caution. Be wary of an instructor who does not spend much time watching you or who applies a hands-on adjustment that causes discomfort. For a private setting, you should feel a sense of ease to communicate continually with your instructor about what is occurring with your body. Ask lots of questions and see how your professional responds to them.