Tomiko Saldia, MS, PT, RYT, Cert MDT
I have been a yoga student since 1999. I first starting taking classes in Redlands, California. My teacher, Soonie, taught me a Korean style of yoga that was nothing like I’ve ever experienced since. All the students wore a kind of uniform to class consisting of white tee shirts and baggy black pants that were tapered at the bottom. I hadn’t even heard of yoga pants back then. We were also required to get 2 weighted diving belts. These were used to anchor our bodies to the ground so that we could work on getting more flexibility in other body parts. In her class, vinyasas were never heard of and chanting and meditation were never mentioned. In 2001 we moved to Boulder, Colorado, where I kept my interest in yoga alive by checking out the scenes of some other classes including the wall to wall packed ashtanga classes taught by Richard Freeman.
During the time we lived in Boulder I was developing some physical pains in my body that kept me from being able to walk long distances, hike downhill, and run. I felt great doing yoga and was increasingly gaining more strength and flexibility in my poses but it wasn’t doing anything to help my progressive limiting function. To be safe, I stopped doing most exercise except for yoga. No physical therapy exercises made a difference and I began to realize that if I kept going at this rate then I would eventually end up with more serious injuries.
In 2004 I learned about the McKenzie Method from my colleagues at work. This is a movement and manual therapy form of treatment mostly used by physical therapists and most known for treating spinal pain of mechanical origin. The rave results about this method sounded too hard to believe and with skepticism, I took my first class since it became a mandatory part of my job training. After I took the lumbar spine class and learned more about how to treat other body parts, I decided to do my own research by testing it out on every patient that came to see me. I even treated all my own injuries and was able to fully recover from the pains that were keeping me from being more active. Over time, McKenzie exercises became my yoga and my medicine for a list of all kinds of symptoms including relief from spinal pain, knee pain, hip pain, pelvic pain, wrist pain, elbow pain, finger pain, headaches, allergy-like symptoms, stomach pain, irritability, fatigue, sinuses blockage and the list could go on. Beyond being profoundly impressed with the results, I wondered how it would be possible to bring this kind of information to a group of people. On my path to go this direction, in 2010 I completed 200 hours yoga teacher training at Yoga Pearl in Portland, Oregon, with Tiffany Cruikshank.
UR Yoga is about creating something that is really unique for your body that is based on what most people need. One thing we all have in common is the effects that living in a gravity-dependent world has on each of us physically. When you feel better in your body then your relationship to everything and everyone in the world improves. UR Yoga is an introductory class to begin learning how to start the process of getting profound results in your body through movement and body awareness. If you have been interested in trying yoga but have been afraid due to the current pain you are in, then this class is for you. If you have tried yoga in the past and felt worse afterward, then this class is for you. If you have spinal pain that limits your ability to function normally, then this class is for you. If you are sedentary but would like to get moving in a safe way, then this class is for you. If you are an athlete and work out in pain, then this class is for you. In order to feel better naturally, you must learn how to interpret the messages of your body and then take the appropriate steps toward relief.
UR Yoga Classes:
If you have a small group of friends or family (2-4 people) that you would like to join you on your road to recovery, then invite them along for a semi-private group therapy class with you. If you are interested in starting your personal yoga group please email me to find out when we can schedule your yoga time (email@example.com). We recommend that you commit to at least 5 group sessions so that you have plenty of time to feel the changes and benefits of doing yoga that is specific to what your body needs for healing. To schedule your group please call to reserve your space now: (360) 402-1076.
*Please purchase the book that corresponds to your area of concern. For people with neck or upper back pain you will need to get the book Treat Your Own Neck and for people with low back pain, you will need to purchase the book Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie. Books can be purchased at www.optp.com or www.amazon.com.