082: Yoga and Fibromyalgia with Pamela Crane

We are so grateful to welcome Pamela Crane, a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapist (IAYT) who is currently working towards her Masters in Yoga Therapy at Maryland University of Integrative Health.  She is a Yoga Alliance 200 RYT, a Reiki 1 and 2 practitioner, and a member of the National Dance Education Association (NDEO).

On today’s episode, Shannon asks Pamela to speak to her experience with Fibromyalgia- as a sufferer and as a yoga therapist. As a lifelong dancer, Pamela was devastated when the pain of Fibromyalgia changed her life. In addition to the condition, she dealt with chronic pain, anxiety, and depression for years and credits yoga as a major factor in her path toward healing.

Pamela wants to share the benefits of yoga with others and as a yoga therapist has worked with those suffering from Fibromyalgia, dancers, and most recently those who work in corporate environments by providing workshops on stress reduction.

Pamela and Shannon discuss Pamela’s personal experience with this condition, how to balance the yin and yang of physical activity, how yoga teachers can support their students with Fibromyalgia and much more.

[6:50] Pamela’s first yoga class

[9:10] Pamela describes how yoga “saved her life”

[12:35] How Fibromyalgia wasn’t understood until the later 2000s and suffers previous to this time weren’t validated and made to feel it was psychological

[13:05] Pamela’s definition of Fibromyalgia and her experience with the condition

[17:10] How Pamela has been able to manage her pain

[19:20] Pamela expands on how it feels to suffer from the condition and the sufferer’s relationship to pain

[20:40] How practicing gratitude and forgiveness has helped Pamela

[22:00] Practicing mindfulness and meditation

[22:55] How to support a new student who suffers from Fibromyalgia and the importance of keeping in mind that yoga teachers can’t diagnose or treat people, rather support the student to find their own healing

[25:35] How meditation, restorative yoga, or yin vs. yang might not be the answer for every sufferer will work- listen to the individual

[26:55] How aerobic activity can benefit those with Fibromyalgia, the importance of not pushing too hard and how yoga can facilitate those activities

[29:10] Pamela’s personal experience with finding balance with physical activities

[33:50] As a yoga teacher when planning classes “less is more” and checking in with students after class (even a day or two later)

[35:45] What Pamela likes to include in her yoga classes: constructive rest, sitali and viloma breath, loving-kindness meditation

[42:15] Pamela’s work as a yoga therapist for stress management workshops in corporate settings

[43:55] On Pamela’s love of helping those who may not believe yoga is right for them and guiding them towards a style that may work

[45:30] Pamela’s belief that stress, in her own case, was a major factor in developing Fibromyalgia

[47:20] When Pamela will receive her Masters in Yoga Therapy from Maryland University of Integrative Health and her advice on choosing a school if you aspire to become a yoga therapist

[50:40] How to reach Pamela and her work with clients online and in-person

[53:00] Shannon’s closing thoughts and key takeaways, including her own experience with “less is more”

Links

Pamela’s Website: Crane Yoga Therapy

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