The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

116: Pain Language with Shelly Prosko (Part 2)



How important is communication and language when working with yoga students, especially those who are dealing with persistent (chronic) pain? The answer is – extremely. We don’t want our yoga students to become fearful of movement, or trigger a pain response with our cues or tone.This episode is a continuation of the conversation from last week with Shelly Prosko on the topic of pain language in yoga.


Shelly is a physiotherapist, yoga therapist, author, international speaker and educator with over 20 years of experience in the field. She is also a Pain Care Yoga Trainer, and works to expand knowledge and education on topics surrounding persistent (chronic) pain, pelvic health, compassion and professional burnout. She is currently co-authoring the textbook, Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain.


On the previous episode, Shelly shared cues that empower our yoga students instead of using cues that instill fear of movement. This week, Shannon and Shelly discuss the importance of self-compassion and the language we can use around that, as well as

how we can make yoga “safe” – both by creating safe spaces and through the use of our language. Shelly shares more about the topics covered in her upcoming book, and why alignment is so important as a part of yoga.


This conversation is such an eye-opener and will surely provide you with a new perspective on language, how we communicate with cues in a yoga class, and how it all ties in to the way we serve our yoga students who are dealing with persistent pain.


Key Takeaways:

[3:50] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Shelly Prosko.

[4:35] Shelly shares more about the idea of having self-compassion and the language around that.

[6:21] What is an example of how someone might practice self-compassion?

[11:27] As a yoga teacher, you want to help people find their own luxurious experience.

[17:32] What is Shelly’s book about?

[20:36] What is “safe” yoga, and how can we achieve it?

[27:19] Shelly breaks down the different aspects of language that we should be mindful of.

[31:49] Shelly speaks more about the power of intention and visualization.

[35:11] Shelly briefly touches on the topic of alignment in yoga.

[43:08] Find out more about Shelly via her website, social media and YouTube.

[44:11] Join the conversation by leaving a comment or joining our Live Q&A call.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:

“I just would like to encourage people if they’re interested to learn more about self-compassion and the language surrounding that, and then that will help you cue.”


“As a yoga teacher, you want to help people find their own luxurious experience.”


“The big question is well, how do you create a safe space? We talk about that a lot but how do you do it?”


“Let’s cue alignment, but let’s cue it to give [the students] a variable experience.”