Yoga Therapy = Tools to Heal Your Pain
Private sessions of yoga therapy give you practical tools that you can use for the rest of your life to help reduce tension and pain, build awareness of unhealthy movement patterns, and learn healthy ways to move.
Yoga therapy, when combined in a healing regimen with acupuncture, gives you an effective comprehensive treatment plan to help you get out of pain.
Your yoga therapy home program may include:
- stretching and lengthening tissues
- self-massage mobilization techniques
- meditation and/or mindfulness
What Can Yoga Therapy Treat?
Yoga Therapy is very effective for chronic back and neck pain, as well as hip and shoulder pain.
Yoga therapy can build the strength, flexibility, and postural awareness that will help to heal repetitive stress injuries in the arms and hands.
Samantha has helped people recover from the aftereffects of cancer treatment, as well as hip replacement surgery, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue.
Yoga therapy is also effective as a supportive measure for emotional distress, especially for anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
What Is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga therapy is the use of yoga poses to create therapeutic changes in the body and mind.
Yoga is always therapeutic, if applied in a way that is beneficial for the person doing the yoga.
It takes a lot of skill and experience on the part of the teacher to ensure that the yoga pose has therapeutic effects on the person doing that particular pose.
Samantha has more than 15 years of experience in using yoga therapy to help people with chronic pain.
What About Physical Therapy?
Sometimes when people try physical therapy for their chronic pain, it doesn't seem to help. Often this is because they are doing the exercises with poor alignment or body positioning, because the physical therapist may not have had time to observe them.
Samantha will spend the time with you to help you understand your posture and body positioning to make sure your yoga therapy home program will help with your pain.
What Clients Are Saying
Severe Back Pain
"After suffering for more than one year with severe back pain, and trying physical therapy with no success, I began to work with Samantha. From the moment I met her I knew that she approached her her work more like a "calling" than a career. She listens carefully and thoughtfully, and works patiently as I learn techniques to heal my back.
Each visit is more than just yoga therapy, as Samantha brings a heartfelt concern for her patients, and understands the impact of the body/mind connection. She has a warm and wonderful presence, and I feel her energy is directed 100% to my recovery. We work as a team, and the outcome has been extraordinary.
In addition to being an outstanding yoga instructor, Samantha is an amazing educator. She often shows me her anatomy books to help me understand where the muscles are connected to the spine, and how a certain yoga posture will stretch and strengthen my back. Her detailed written instructions and illustrations make following up at home so much easier, and I know that she is always available should I have any questions or concerns.
I consider Samantha a gift, and an important part of my wellness program."
Judy N., Educator
Santa Clara, CA
50 Years of Low Back Pain
"Samantha has changed my life. At the age of 85 I have had a lifetime of back problems diagnosed long ago as degeneration of the lumbar disks. Recently the pain was so bad I had to wear a back brace in order to perform simple tasks such as walking the dog or cooking. It was making my life pretty miserable.
I had heard of Samantha as a Yoga teacher with a specialty in therapeutic Yoga for back pain, and arranged an appointment for a private Yoga session. In this initial session in her home studio she gave me very gentle relaxation and stretching exercises, and I walked out pain-free for the first time in recent memory.
I have continued seeing her every week or two, and she has added strength building and posture improvement exercises or poses I do daily at home.
I have now been pain free for the last two months and can carry groceries or luggage or stand at a painting easel for hours without problem.
It is remarkable that a serious lifetime problem could be solved so simply thanks to Samantha's knowledge, training and skill."
Robert H., Retiree
San Francisco, CA
10 Years of Neck & Back Pain
"I have been suffering from unidentifiable chronic neck and back pain for close to 10 years. In my desperation I have tried every kind of treatment and nothing has helped to improve it. Being in pain everyday and not knowing why is incredibly frustrating and isolating.
I have seen a great improvement in my pain levels since I started private yoga lessons with Samantha. She patiently listens to my complaints about aches and pains.
In her wise way she does not direct me to something that she promises will magically cure me, but helps me to understand the way my body works. We often take out the anatomy and physiology books so that we can understand what muscle groups to work on. We take a problem area and work on it by breaking it down.
The exercises that she has suggested for my long work days at the computer are incredibly helpful.
There are not many times when one can say that something has changed ones life. But I can honestly say that about my sessions with Samantha. I feel more aware of my body and the way it works than ever before. I have a new sense of hope that my pain will be manageable. And thanks to Samantha, I am learning to be at peace with my body."
Christina D., Event Planner
Los Angeles, CA
Debilitating Neck & Upper Back Pain
"My story begins with a whiplash injury that seemed to be minimal at first but became progressively worse, until the constant pain in my neck, upper back and arms became debilitating. The pain meant I was unable to sleep more than 45 minutes at a time and needed high doses of pain medication. I tried physical therapy, chiropractors, and general yoga classes. The physical therapist and chiropractor helped during the worst episodes of muscle spasms and pain, but I had no tools to actively address my back health or relieve pain. Yoga classes would sometimes result in spasms. Eventually, I was forced into inactivity.
I found Samantha by searching for yoga classes that addressed back and neck issues. Living in Atlanta, I could only meet with Samantha for private sessions on visits to SF. The first session was overwhelming in the best way. I work in the medical field so I can tell when someone knows the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and she did! That did wonders for building my trust. I spent 3 sessions with her, 1.5 - 2 hours each time, over the course of two visits to SF.
Those 3 sessions changed my life. Samantha gave me a set of yoga poses and strengthening exercises which I do daily -- some of them you can do pretty discreetly while waiting for the elevator. As a result, I have not had an "episode" in over 6 months -- and an episode resulted in total immobility and pain at a level of 7-10 out of 10.
I am now able to travel and participate in light sports, and the best part - I can now sleep through the night. I am no longer bound to bi-weekly chiropractor visits, and I haven't taken prescription pain medicine since my last visit with Samantha.
My pain tolerance is actually lower because I am not in constant low level pain - this means I can actually tell when I feel run-down from illness or general fatigue.
My quality of life is tremendously improved and I have Samantha to thank! I would tell anyone who thinks there is nothing they haven't tried for their pain, to try a private session with Samantha. Her healing powers through yoga are abundant."
Anna W., Speech Pathologist
Chronic Neck & Back Pain
"Samantha’s teaching has helped my chronic neck and back pain more than all the different types of physical therapy I've tried. I've been to multiple doctors, including one who recommended spinal surgery.
I've tried acupuncture, regular yoga, pain medications when it got really bad, doing nothing and being miserable, stretching, rest, and massage. Nothing really helped in a lasting way. For five years, I was in chronic pain every day. I never realized how bad I felt until my back started to feel better.
Samantha’s relaxed teaching style and reminders to "work with where your body is today" were reassuring, and the poses and prop use she taught continue to provide relief from my back pain while I work on healing.
Now my back feels good most of the time, and when it doesn't feel good, I know exactly why, and can help it feel better. Now when I'm in pain, it's so much more bearable because there's something I can do about it! The relief from chronic pain has also made me a happier, more patient person."
Elizabeth H., Student and Doula
San Francisco, CA
Yoga for Life Balance
"At the ripe old age of 45, I decided that if I didn’t work on being more flexible, I would one day be a very stiff old man. This was, in fact, confirmed by a Physical Therapist who urged me to do something (yoga, she said) about my very stiff hamstrings. I am pretty fit with an often rigorous workout regimen of weight-training, biking, swimming and running, but like a lot of people, I did not stretch after exercise. I also have an demanding job as a psychotherapist in a free medical clinic in the Tenderloin. While I love my work, it often drains my physical and emotional energy.
While I’ve been to a few yoga classes, I never really “took” to yoga, as I always felt intimidated in class around all those super-fit and super-flexible yogis and yoginis. I began meeting with Samantha for private yoga sessions biweekly, following her prescribed routines specifically address my stiff hamstrings, other problematic areas of my body, but more importantly my whole body. After just a few weeks, I began to feel results and have now made amazing progress. I am stronger and more flexible in ways that traditional exercise cannot bring. I also feel more centered, balanced and in-tune with my body. Yoga has also almost eliminated my sweet-tooth!
Samantha’s style of teaching is warm and compassionate with a completely empathic presence. These qualities are balanced by excellent technical and diagnostic skills. What I found especially helpful was the way Samantha very generously shared her own personal physical and emotional struggles and how yoga-practice has helped her overcome them.
With Samantha’s guidance, I have developed a daily yoga practice designed to meet my specific physical and emotional needs. I highly recommend Samantha to anyone with physical or emotional challenges or if you simply want excellent one-on-one yoga instruction tailored to your own specific needs.
I sought out Samantha for yoga therapy to target my hamstrings specifically and while they have loosened up, our sessions were about so much more. I discovered, in a deep way, my mind/body/spirit connection. I have, with Samantha’s wonderful guidance, discovered the gift of yoga and the clarity, strength and balance that it can bring to one’s life.
K. Marcus H., M.A., MFT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
San Francisco, CA
Yoga for Health and Strength
"Samantha's approach to yoga is about incorporating joy into the very marrow of one's being. Her joy of teaching is illuminated by a joy of learning. All of her lessons are suffused with compassion and patience, tailored for your incremental yet profound change into an altogether healthier being.
I felt so much better from my sessions with Samantha that I stopped going to see my chiropractor.
Our sessions made me aware of shallow, hesitant breathing patterns, and taught me where and how to bring more oxygen joyfully into my body. The yoga assists greatly in the healing process of chronically sore and strained spots.
Samantha presents the spiritual component, in the meaning of each pose, its origins, why one leads to the other, how the physical stretching and strengthening prepares you for the pushing and pulling of the outside world. I have found that yoga helps me to cope with an unrelentingly strenuous world, by preparing and strengthening body and mind. "
Catherine T., Mortgage Consultant
San Francisco, CA
"Samantha is so smart and intuitive in her teaching. She will meet you wherever you are physically and finds creative ways to work with limitations. She is good at finding solutions. I have always felt open, clearer, energized, and present in my body after leaving a class with her. She will give you do-able homework, and it really makes a difference if you do it.
Samantha is very motivating, and obviously loves teaching and helping people. She is warm and friendly. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to feel more connected with their bodies, wanting to see change, and feel better."
Amy B., Salon Owner, Hairstylist, and Doula
San Francisco, CA