Yoga for Pain Relief Course – Starting March 19

Yoga for Pain Relief Course – Starting March 19

Events News Yoga

My next 7-week course in therapeutic yoga and pain education will start Thursday, March 19, 2015.

This course is designed for people interested in exploring yoga as a tool to support their health and well-being.

There will be a maximum of 8 students in the course.

Keep reading to find out more…

Yoga for Pain Relief: Therapeutic Practice & Pain Education
A 7-week course with Sarah Jamieson

A growing body of scientific evidence shows that stress exacerbates pain and that practicing yoga can significantly reduce stress. This course will bring together new science in pain neurophysiology with the well-established wisdom of yoga. Understanding the neurophysiology of pain will help you explore the relationship between your body, your mind, and your pain and it will give you more control over your relationship with pain. Through a variety of yogic tools, including lecture, breath work, meditation, movement, and restorative postures, you will learn to deepen your body awareness, calm your nervous system, and improve your functional movement. This course is for anyone struggling with any type of pain – from pain conditions like fibromyalgia to “everyday” pain, like recurring headaches or hip pain – and it will empower you to address and minimize the pain in your life.

Dates & Time:
Thursday afternoons, 3:00-4:30pm
March 19 – May 7
(No class on April 16)

$150 for 7 sessions

Ocean and Crow Yoga Space (formerly Eastside Yoga), 1707 Grant Street, Vancouver, BC

Register early to secure your spot. Preregistration is required.
There will be a maximum of 8 students in the course.

Click here to register online or contact the studio director Julie Peters by email to arrange registration in person or by phone.

If you have any questions about the course, please email me


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The Price of Yoga



When people tell me yoga is expensive, I often ask them, “Compared to what?”

Practicing with my first real yoga teacher, I felt like I was getting longer lasting tension relief than I did from a massage therapy treatment – a $95 per session cost. I felt like I was learning about myself and learning to experience life with more ease, which I consider to be two of the main goals and benefits of counseling – a $90 (or more) per session cost. And, I was finding more pain relief than I had previously found from any work I had done with a physiotherapist – a $75 per session cost.

I am certainly not suggesting that yoga replace all these different healing modalities. Since finding yoga, I’ve found a massage therapist, a counselor, and a physiotherapist who all use elements of the yoga practice in their approach to healing, and I’ve experienced powerful transformations through the insight and work of each of these practitioners. But, in evaluating the financial value yoga has for you, it is important to consider the often inherently therapeutic nature of the practice.

Yoga is a collection of different practices that can be used for a variety of different reasons, and an important part of the practicing yoga is clarifying what the practice is about for you and consistently re-examining why you are continuing to practice. Once you understand how your practice supports you, ask yourself how much energy (financial or otherwise) that support is worth?

At this point in my practice, my purpose is to seek health and well-being. I’m not overly interested in looking impressive in the poses, and I don’t get too determined about making specific shapes with my body. Yoga, to me, is ultimately about how good I feel in my body, the ease I experience in my day-to-day life, and the amount of love and kindness I extend to myself and the people around me.

When I look at the challenges we are collectively facing – from the basic struggle of being emotional creatures to the pressures of a scarcity mindset to the destruction of our shared home – and consider the depth of support a holistic yoga practice offers to human health and well-being, I have a really hard time thinking of yoga as anything other than an incredibly necessary and practical expense.

Yoga is like food for the soul.


A Survey for Health Care Practitioners on Therapeutic Yoga


I am seeking input from health care practitioners (GPs, physiotherapists, RMTs, chiropractors, NDs, etc.) on the role therapeutic yoga currently plays (if any) in their approach to improving health. Details about the project I am working on are below, as well as a list of specific questions (with the option to respond through Survey Monkey or by email).

If you know any health care practitioners to whom you would be willing to pass on this information and survey, I would be very thankful for your help spreading the word.

If you are a health care practitioner, I would very much appreciate your thoughts.

What I am doing.  Pain BC logo

I am volunteering with an organization called Pain BC. Pain BC’s mission is to reduce the burden of pain through engagement, education, advocacy, and knowledge translation.

As part of my work with this organization, I am creating two resources:

  1. A resource for health care providers (GPs, physiotherapists, RMTs, etc.) to educate them about yoga and how it can be used to treat chronic pain.
  2. A resource for people living in pain that educates them about yoga and how the practice might help them manage their pain and find relief from pain.


With these resources, I am interested in expanding the perception of yoga, guiding health care providers to be more specific in recommending yogic practices, and ultimately, helping people improve their health and well-being through yoga.

I’ve found that yoga tends to be thought of as drop-in exercise classes that sometimes focus on stress reduction and always involve making crazy shapes with your body. In reality, yoga is a practice with many different components (including breath work, restorative poses, mindfulness, meditation, movement, postures, body awareness, mantra, and philosophy), and the purpose of the practice is to support overall human well-being. Many people have told me, “My doctor told me to do yoga.” The problem with this recommendation is that a general prescription “to do yoga” can lead people to an intense and competitive exercise class in a 40 degree room, a meditation cushion, or a philosophy class – none of which may be the most appropriate practices for that specific individual.

How you might help.

As a health care provider, I am hoping you can guide me in the creation of these resources by helping me better understand what role yoga currently plays in your approach to improving health and what information about yoga you think would be most valuable. If you have the time to answer the questions at the end of this blog post, I would really appreciate your input.

You can email your responses to me at – or you can easily answer the questions through survey monkey by following this link: 

The questions.

  • What type of health care practitioner are you and how long have you been practicing?
  • Do you ever advise patients to do yoga?
  • If you advise patients to do yoga, do you give them specific guidance on what aspects of the practice to pursue? What conditions do you recommend yoga for?
  • If you don’t advise patients to do yoga, are there specific reasons why not?
  • Did you learn about yoga as a practice to support healing, reduce pain, and improve pain management skills in your training?
  • What information (or resources) do you think would make health care providers in your field more likely to recommend yogic practices to patients?
  • What information (or resources) do you think would make your patients more likely to follow through on a recommendation to practice yoga?
  • Is there anything else you think I should know?

Thank you for taking the time to read through this post and think about yoga in relationship to your field.