My lower back pain derived from a lumbar strain after being in a car accident in 2012. After countless hours of physiotherapy, osteopathy and massotherapy; not to mention anti-inflammatory medication, I was determined to try something new to alleviate my chronic pain that I continued to suffer from. I committed to doing private yoga with Josephine over a 6-week period back in September 2015. At the beginning of our sessions, she focused on techniques to alleviate my back pain through simple resting and stretching poses, including downward facing dog and wall push. She helped me understand the importance of rest, and the art of savanasa, which helped me to relax both my body and my mind. After only a couple of sessions together, combined with a home practice she designed for me, I immediately noticed a difference. I no longer had to turn to Advil or Tylenol to alleviate the back pain & have not seen a physiotherapist since!
Cristina, Back Care Therapy
I’ve been following private yoga sessions with Josephine for over 6 months now. She was recommended to me to help me with my scoliosis. Over the course of 6 months, she has incorporated a yoga practice into my life that has helped me improve my posture as well as deal with my scoliosis and my back and neck pain. During the first few sessions, I was completely disconnected from my body and found it very challenging to focus. My journey with Josephine has brought me a great deal of awareness regarding my body, especially towards my posture, but it also brought me awareness of myself. Not only has she helped me understand and work with my scoliosis through the postures, her teachings have also brought awareness in my personal life. These classes are helping me cope with everyday stresses as well as personal goals I want to improve on. I am learning to focus on myself and taking the time to discover the benefits of yoga and how it affects my personal life. I’m grateful to have Josephine as my teacher and I’m motivated to pursue yoga long term for personal growth.
Bianca, Back Care Therapy
YOGA GAVE ME MY LIFE BACK
I had been feeling a sort of pinching in my back for a while which grew increasingly worse over my teenage years but was always pushed aside and ignored. When I was 18, I was bent over fixing something in my purse, and when I sprung up to an upright position, I felt a pop so incredibly strong that it shook me to my core. A warm liquid seemed to run through my lower back with such electric intensity that I dropped to my bed. What I didn't know at that moment was that this would be the beginning of a long battle with excruciating and debilitating pain, both physical and psychological. The next few years were spent in and out of hospitals, physiotherapy, neurologist offices, massage therapists, witch doctors and anyone else you can think of that could maybe help me. I was in bed for months at a time throughout my early 20s without any control over my movement, completely dependent on others, and trapped in what I felt was a prison of a malfunctioning body. Since that day when I fixed my purse, I suffered from another few episodes of herniating the discs in my lumbar spine, causing nerve damage and debilitating me further as years went by. My life was a nightmare; although I had times where my back pain could ease up just enough to give me a fighting chance to heal, it was never permanent. No matter how hard I tried, taking care of my back became a full time job and eventually I lost the will to help myself. For years, I masked pain with medication and found some relief in kinesitherapy. Over time, I had found a middle ground, functioning at my minimum capacity, just enough to get me through basic daily routines.
I have been told I will never run, have children without being bed ridden, and that my life would only become more difficult with age. I lost friends and caused damage to important relationships. No matter how far ahead in life and career I was, I always had this shadow following me, "The pain will come back again and it's only a matter of time."
My last episode of back pain did not leave me in my usual debilitated state, which I was thankful for. However, the pain was just bad enough that I was unable to sleep, sit, stand , walk etc. My natural instinct was to go back for many massages since I had had success with them in the past but this time they didn't work. I tried chiropractics without success. My body had reached a point where any oustide physical manipulation was unsuccessful. Seeing no light, and after two months of not sleeping, I broke down.
My mother in law had been seeing Josephine for quite a while and spoke of her often. Her name kept presenting itself to me in one way or another but I was skeptical, hesitant, afraid. I had trusted "professionals" in the past and have seriously regretted it. Although I was hesitant, I found myself with no way out of this constant pain and no more options; I was at my witts end. I picked up my pride and trust and went to see her.
Our first session was an assessment of my condition. Josephine approached me with warmth and humility. She was not boastful or arrogant and did not claim to know everything either. She was modest, kind and professional. Although I had my reservations in the past due to some bad experiences with treatments, there was something about her that I trusted. After my assessment, she asked me to do a Wall Push (as sort of an introduction to Downward Dog) I reluctantly got into the pose - it was uncomfortable and I couldn't wait for it to be over. My hamstrings had not been stretched in years and she was convinced that this was a key to alleviating my back pain. While in the pose, she came behind me with a strap and pulled me further into the stretch, opening my lower back completely, as if fresh air was passing through my spine. It was incredible and gave me instant relief..and new hope!
The next few months were really challenging. I was tense, my body had a hard time understanding what I was doing and some poses were almost unbearably uncomfortable. I wanted to give up many times but something kept me going. I realize now that what my body needed all this time was for me to listen to it, pay attention, be aware. I started paying attention to and correcting my posture even though it was not comfortable, I stopped crossing my legs while sitting, I paid attention to how I was standing, etc. Wall push/downward dog became as important to me as brushing my teeth. I lived and breathed everything I learned from those classes. It wasn't about a few hours a week, this was a lifestyle change.. and everything, from the way I cooked, cleaned, stood, breathed needed to change. Our classes together were always difficult, but Josephine and Yoga practice introduced me to myself for the first time. It took many months but soon enough I was able to get myself out of bed without pain. This may not seem big to some people, but for me it was an incredible feat. Waking up without pain was a foreign concept to me. These yoga sessions changed my life, not only physically but psychologically as well and for that I am so incredibly grateful. It opened my life in ways I am still understanding now. I can definitely say that I will be a student of Yoga for the rest of my life, in one way or another. I believe in it and am grateful for what it has given me and this is just the beginning. I can say with confidence that after more than one year of practice, I know my body and its warning signs and I now know how to deal with them. I am hoping that if you are out there and suffering like I was, that Yoga can seriously help. Yoga is therapy in every sense and can bring you back to yourself, give strength physically and mentally and most of all, can give you your life back. From "never being able to run", to spending the last 6 months traveling, hiking and climbing rocks in the mountains of Taiwan, biking and walking free from pain.
I highly recommend Josephine as a private instructor. She will work with and grow with you. Her knowledge and passion to help people like myself make her extremely rare and valuable.