Welcome to the Yoga for Arthritis monthly blog series that features our YFA members hard work, dedication, & passion. Without the ongoing efforts of these standout members, we would not be where we are today.
How has yoga impacted your life?
Personally, yoga has given me the tools that I never knew I was searching for! After giving birth to my third child, it became apparent that I needed an outlet for myself. My friend suggested that I try a yoga class. I liked the idea because exercise and fitness was always really important to me. However, I did not realize that yoga is so much more. Yoga has taught me to have compassion for myself and that it is ok to stop and breathe. I am constantly running around as a mother, a professional and as an active member of my community. Giving myself the gift of "stopping" without guilt and encouraging these mindfulness/breathing breaks has contributed to both my success as a mother and as a business owner.
How did you find YFA? How has YFA helped you?
I first learned about YFA at the Yoga as a Lifestyle Medicine Conference in D.C. in 2017. Dr. Moonaz led a session at this conference that changed my career and life. I came back from the conference ready to become certified in Yoga and to eventually become certified as a Yoga for Arthritis teacher. I was already a physical therapist who had worked with countless patients suffering from arthritis and chronic pain. To learn how to incorporate yoga principles into their treatments has been monumental in reshaping my business and relationship with my patients.
Is there anything else you'd like to say about Yoga for Arthritis?
My favorite concept that is emphasized in the YFA training is to teach in a way that includes everyone. To first demonstrate the simplest version of a pose and to remember what the essence of the pose is. I also love the concept to treat a person as a whole instead of their ailment.
Let us know when and where we can find your classes?
I offer Yoga to Ease classes (mixed between arthritis and other conditions limiting movement) on Mondays and Wednesdays at 2:00 and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00. These are in person classes only at this time. We are located in Pikesville, Maryland.
I also offer a Workshop for Chronic Pain and Arthritis called Breathe to Ease. It is a 6 week program on Wednesdays at 11:00. This can be a hybrid of virtual and in-person and offers education, breathing strategies, gentle yoga and meditation to decrease your experience of pain. www.BreatheFreePTandYoga.com/breathe-to-ease
Integrative health physical therapy and Private Therapeutic Yoga sessions are also available.
Contact me at Melissa@BreatheFreePTandYoga.com
Anything else you'd Like to Share?
Your breath is your Superpower. To learn more, check out:
Where can people connect with you?
Dr. Melissa Wohlberg, PT, DPT, RYT200
Website | Facebook
Melissa is an Integrative Health Physical Therapist combining traditional physical therapy with mind-body techniques. After completing her Yoga Certification in 2018, she developed a proprietary blend of PT and Yoga programs at Sinai Hospital for Chronic Pain, Brain Injury and Movement Disorders. The tremendous success of these programs led to the idea of creating her own business, Breathe Free Physical Therapy & Yoga, LLC.
Melissa recently became certified as a Yoga for Arthritis instructor in 2020 and has developed workshops combining her training, current research in physical therapy and extensive experience with people with chronic pain and arthritis.
In addition, Melissa specializes in utilizing breathing techniques to decrease pain, improve wellness and decrease the stress response in your body.
To learn more about Melissa and Breathe Free Physical Therapy & Yoga, visit www.BreatheFreePTandYoga.com
To sign up for Breathe to Ease Workshop for Chronic Pain & Arthritis, visit www.BreatheFreePTandYoga.com/breathe-to-ease