frequently asked questions
What do you do?
I help people with pain and tension to wake up refreshed and move through their days capable and energized. My specialty: sleep, rest, and pain recovery.
How will you help me feel better?
We focus on simple and attainable aims, methods and movement sequences that can have a big impact on how you feel at work, in community, with family. I’ll also bring the questions that will highlight the profound basics: How have you been sleeping? Are you feeling rested? How does your body feel, generally and in specific positions or movements? Over the past twenty years, I have been involved in research studies about the efficacy of therapeutic yoga and rest. The tools I provide are evidence-based and probably new to you, as I know they’re missing from the conversation around pain recovery. It’s about getting you to where you can be at your best, do more of what you love, perform better, and play more.
Who do you work with?
My core clients are accomplished professionals— community and health leaders, therapists, engineers, executives— and parents pressed in juggling work and home. Even superheroes need downtime to recover! If that’s you, you may not know (yet!) how to begin or maintain the daily routines that can help with sleep, rest, and pain recovery. Or, you may be new to contemplative and movement practices. Whatever your situation, you want to feel strong, vital, and clear— productive at work, present with family and community, and able to do activities you love. My practice is inclusive, and I welcome people from all walks of life, with all levels of pain and need for support.
Do you work with low back pain only?
While my specialty is low back pain recovery, The RE/ST Method™ works for other areas of chronic pain and tension (such as upper back and neck pain), and yoga therapy is beneficial for many health conditions. If you’re curious how I can help, let’s talk!
How long does it take to feel better?
Progress looks different for each of us. I see many people’s faces relax and light up in the very first session when we find your comfortable resting position. Research and my experience tell us that many people are feeling better with at least 8 weeks of setting up new habits, and regular and consistent practice. I typically start new clients with a 2-month program for this reason. Many people choose to continue with me. Some clients stay for months or even years beyond their initial program because they appreciate the ongoing support and structure.
When we begin, we’ll talk about what makes sense for you. If needed we can talk about a sample session or initial one-month commitment. I recognize that you may have been through the wringer— your pain has been with you for a while, and you may have tried other remedies/programs that didn’t work. We go step-by-step, working developmentally so you move from feeling wiped out to hopeful and resourceful. Overall the goal is to create a positive change that lasts.
What’s unique about your approach?
We start by looking at what’s happening now— your habitual (and often unnoticed) breathing and movement patterns, sleep and energy, and life events. I teach you simple, accessible practices in the very first session. We talk about with what fits in your daily life now and your goals for the daily life you want. If you’ve already tried other things, like physical therapy, we don’t recreate the wheel. We add or subtract the right body-mind ingredients. Yoga Therapy is a blended and adaptive modality, and I’ve fortified and elaborated on the recipe even more with restoratives, somatics, strengthening, and mindfulness. We go beyond mechanical “reps” to find alignment and awareness.This approach is effective because it begins with the basics— rest and stabilization, awareness and breath, then the right kind of strengthening and mobilizing— it’s developmental and personalized. We uniquely see you. This is a 24/7 wrap-around approach that feels energizing, integrated, and do-able.
I have special training and expertise in diverse somatic modalities, including therapeutic yoga for chronic back pain— related to daily stuck tension as well as more complex conditions like sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction, scoliosis, stenosis, spondylolisthesis, sciatica— and have taught with UCSF research studies. I was a yoga teacher for many years (at the highest level, e500 RYT), and then did another three years of therapist training with clinical supervision, to become a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT). I’m also a social worker and health educator at heart. I’ve practiced what I teach with dedication for over 20 years, and have worked with hundreds of students and clients.
My key influences: yoga therapy and ayurveda; insight (vipassana) and mindfulness meditation/MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction); social work.
What kind of yoga do you teach?
I don’t teach yoga. Your sessions with me won’t look like a studio yoga class, no fancy yoga pants required. Instead, here’s what we do: If you first arrive tired, in pain and tension— often having tried other remedies without success, I meet you where you are. My approach is integrative—and connects rest, sleep, and recovery to reframe and relieve pain. I coach you 1:1 in therapeutic movement, with careful attention to unrecognized habits that are contributing to your pain/fatigue; breath retraining and body sensing for energy and ease; and conscious relaxation and meditative practices for insight. There’s a common misunderstanding that yoga is solely for the body; it’s also for the mind. And that’s why we balance our moves with breath and body awareness in the shift toward getting out of pain.
I also have 20 years of eclectic training in Hatha, Iyengar(-ish), viniyoga, restorative, nidra, therapeutics, mindful yoga, mind-body centering, functional anatomy, somatics, mindfulness and insight meditation, among other forms. With years of periodic, silent meditation retreats, I know how to be with awareness and deep listening that support healing.
What do people like about working with you?
I’ve asked clients to describe their experience in one word, and here are a few they chose: relaxing, engaging, enlightening, mindful, playful, discovery, strengthening, being, grounded, personal, healing, meaningful, calming, rejuvenating, and empowering.
Where is your office? Can you come to my home?
The office is in the NOPA/Lower Haight neighborhood of San Francisco, at 425 Divisadero Street, an accessible building with an elevator and free parking or convenience to public transit. (Yes, free parking! In San Francisco!) While I don’t make house calls, my office offers a sanctuary within this vibrant location. One of my clients refers to it as a “yoga man cave.” Another client calls it her “urban oasis.”
Can I work with you online/by video or phone, at a distance?
Yes! Let’s talk about your needs and the distance options during your Intro Call.
How do I begin?
First call or email me to schedule your Intro Call, which is a complimentary phone or video call with me. During the call, I ask what led you to reach out to me, and we talk about how I may be able to help. Once we decide if it’s a good fit, we talk about the program focus that will meet your needs, complete scheduling and payment, and then I ask you to fill out the intake form.