On this week’s episode Shannon welcomes Joanne Pineau. Joanne is a yoga teacher, educator, and author whose enthusiasm for the healing power of yoga for both mind and body impressed Shannon when she attended one of Joanne’s courses on managing sciatic pain.

Joanne’s passion has led her take numerous trainings and certifications in the many facets of body healing. This has enabled Joanne to share her valuable wisdom with others through her 20 years of teaching yoga, her expert knowledge of sciatic and lower back pain, and in practicing Reiki, Thai Yoga Massage, not to mention her writing and workshops.

Joanne has her 500 YTT, an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, and taken countless other trainings.

She is the owner and operator of Inner Journey Yoga Therapy and works at Synergetic and Wellness Centre.

Joanne is a mother of six and lives in Thornbury, Ontario.

[3:00] How Joanne began specializing in sciatic pain management

[3:20] What is the difference between sciatica and sciatic pain? What is piriformis syndrome?

[6:55] Anatomical link between sciatic pain and the piriformis muscle

[8:50] Five actions yoga teachers can take to address their clients’ sciatic pain:

1. Ask the students what they’ve experienced
(including professional advice and treatment they’ve received)
2. Poses that help
3. Understanding the seriousness of nerve compression
4. Try to determine your client’s level of pain
5. Include pelvic stability techniques in class

[16:40] Importance of strengthening the iliopsoas muscles and poses to engage muscles

[18:10] Sacroiliac joint instability

[18:34] Importance of teaching posture through poses such as staff and mountain pose in class

[19:20] Importance of teaching posture outside of yoga classes (how to hold themselves when sitting and standing,) to bring symmetry and length through the spine

[21:16] Adding interest to what may seem like basic poses that benefit the management of sciatic pain

[22:45] Importance asking your students a lot of questions to find their pain comfort zone and go-to poses for the individual

[25:15] The trust and appreciation students will feel if you take the time to listen and try to understand their pain, find poses that work for them- there is no need to worry you aren’t an expert in this area

[27:20] Joanne’s workshop and class offerings such as her Lower Back Pain, Sciatica, and Pelvic Health exercise program


Joanne’s Website: Inner Journey Yoga Therapy

Joanne’s Classes and Workshops

Synergetic and Wellness Centre

The Avatar Course

Book: Stop Sciatic Pain by Joanne Pineau

Book: The Psoas Book by Liz Koch