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.
Tell us about your yoga journey.
I began practicing yoga in January 1973 and never stopped. I had back pain from an injury I received while picking oranges in Israel. From my first class yoga just felt right to me, like I was coming home. Over the years yoga has been invaluable to me through 3 knee surgeries, 2 shoulder surgeries, a broken ankle, 2 fractured bones in the other foot (2nd day on a retreat I was leading in Mexico), and helping me to manage severe arthritis in my thumbs and wrists.
For the first 17 years of practicing and teaching yoga I focused on asana attainment. The class was sequenced to prepare the body to attain an asana and then included counter-poses. It made the body stronger and more flexible - all very helpful. Then in 1993 I met Yogini Kaliji, experienced TriYoga, and everything shifted. I came to understand asana as opening energy pathways. It created healing on all levels of my being - the physical, energetic, mental/emotional and spiritual. My understanding of pranayama, mudra and asana deepened. Over the years I have been privileged to witness many students experience the healing and transformative power of yoga. I have learned it doesn't matter if you are doing yoga sitting in a chair on one the floor propped up with many bolsters and pillows. It is all about the breath and focus. Everyone can benefit from yoga. The practice can be made accessible to all.
How has Yoga impacted your daily life?
Yoga is the way I live my life and impacts every aspect of my life: how I eat (vegan - ahimsa diet), what I do when I get up in the morning (practice), how I interact with others, how I breathe through pain and flow through life's challenges. I am very grateful for the knowledge and after 45 years of practicing I can't even imagine what my life would be without it. I am also grateful for having found my dharma - sharing this knowledge - and the privilege of witnessing the healing and transformation in others. It is a great blessing.
How did you find Yoga For Arthritis?
I found YFA through the IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists). We had a 300 hour therapeutic yoga training and invited Dr. Steffany Moonaz to teach at the center. I'm very happy she accepted and came back multiple times.
When I met Steffany it was like meeting a family member. She is a brilliant educator. Her courses are excellent (I have taken them multiple times). All yoga teachers need the knowledge she shares because everyone has students with arthritis and joint pain. Yoga teachers should seek out this knowledge to keep their students safe and learn how to better serve them. The work YFA is doing in this world is wonderful and important work and I support it whole heartedly.
How can we find your yoga offerings?
While we currently do not have specific classes named Yoga for Arthritis, every class I teach is informed by YFA. I always give modifications for any kind of joint pain. Our motto is no pain, all gain. I assume there is always someone in class with some kind of joint limitations as most of our students are over 50. But it is also often the case with younger students as well. All of our classes are online. I also offer individual Yoga Therapy.
- Wednesday, 6:30 pm Free the Spine is focused on back pain.
- Friday 12:00 pm is Chair class for those who have difficulty getting down to and up from the floor.
- I also teach Prana Vidya (breathing and meditation) Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 am. It is very helpful for pain modification and overall life resiliency.
- Tuesdays and Saturdays I teach all levels classes which include modifications.
- I am starting to post therapeutic
Brahmi Gold-Bernstein, Director TriYoga Boston, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500
Practicing yoga since 1976. Senior TriYoga Teacher and Teacher Trainer. Practicing TriYoga since 1993.
“After 17 years of practicing yoga as asana attainment and teaching for 10 of those years, I started experiencing subtle energy flows while recuperating from wrist surgery. This was 1993, the centennial anniversary of Swami Vivekananda introducing Yoga to America, and I went to the Unity in Yoga conference to find my teacher. There I met Yogini Kaliji, founder of TriYoga. I found the practice, which unites asana, pranayama and mudra, to be deeply healing and transformative, and so did my first student, whose 10-year old daughter was losing her battle with leukemia. TriYoga includes practices for all the Kośas, and heals on all levels of being.
Through 45 years of practice, I have healed two decades of back pain (and have helped scores of students heal theirs), recovered from 2 shoulder and 3 knee surgeries, a broken ankle and 2 broken bones in my foot (which occurred on the 2nd day of retreat in Mexico – and I still taught all the classes!). I now have severe arthritis in my thumbs, wrists and knee. I am truly grateful to my body for granting me direct knowledge of how yoga can alleviate suffering, and consider it my dharma to share this knowledge with others."