mountain sunriseSitting in meditation in the warm sunlight of Mexico should have been an experience of bliss and serenity. Instead, on the third day after I arrived on my yoga retreat, I was having immense pain in my shoulder every time I sat for morning meditation.

It wasn’t just physical discomfort that I was experiencing though. I also was flooded with emotions that I had been putting off with my busy day-to-day. It all came up on my retreat. I was expecting it and was ready for the ride.

I knew that I had the time to listen to what was going on in my body and mind. That is because I had travelled this road many times – especially in my first yoga teacher training.

When we sit with emotions and messages from the body – we can feel very uncomfortable (or wonderful). Awareness (of body, mind and spirit) are increased with yoga.

Sometimes I talk with my students about how yoga can bring things up. Sometimes students contact me with health concerns via email or a chat at the end/beginning of class.

I am grateful to Don & Amba of the Nosara Yoga Institute for their Inner Quest of the Yoga Educator course. It helped me to really dig into my own “stuff” as well as teach me how to listen to my students.

Inspired by the teachings of Don and Amba – when a student approaches me with an issue I try to follow these steps:helping hands

  1. Listen
  2. Say back what I heard
  3. Ask if I heard them right
  4. Listen more

I also have been collecting a list of specialists whom I can refer students to when things are beyond what listening and yoga can offer.

For example:

A student connected with me via email. She had been in my prenatal yoga class. She had had a cesarian birth and wasn’t ready physically or emotionally to go to a Baby & Me or postnatal yoga class. She was missing the community that she had bonded with in her prenatal yoga session. She was feeling depressed and was having a lot of issues with breastfeeding.

I wrote back to her, telling her that I would be up for talking on the phone if that would help. I gave her the contact information of a lactation consultant, a La Leche group and a psychotherapist who is also a local yoga teacher.

She later wrote back to tell me how she was successfully breastfeeding and going to see the therapist – all had been very helpful and could she get registered for the next Baby & Me class.

Another example:

A woman called me, asking if I would teach a teen yoga class to a group with specific challenges. I automatically referred her to a certified children’s/teen yoga teacher who also has experience as a counsellor.

At a yoga teacher training this past weekend we were discussing how a referral list of local therapists and practitioners is so helpful and that got me to thinking that it would help all yoga teachers to have an outline of the list that I have. Yours will be different (unless you live in or near Owen Sound), so I have left it open for you to fill in.

Create Your Own Referral List

Click here to view and/or print the Referral List of Practitioners and Therapists outline for your own area.

View My Referral List

Click here to see my ever-growing local (Grey/Bruce) referral list.

I am always adding to and updating this list – please feel free to send me more referral contacts.