info@worldspinecare.org

Yoga Project

Mission

We are focused on building community capacity for low mobility populations by sharing the practices of Yoga as tools for management and prevention of musculoskeletal pain.

Vision

To globally inspire self-directed, self-led and self-sustaining communities, who experience low mobility, to use the practices of Yoga for active and preventative self-care and pain management.

Yoga has been found to be effective in the prevention and management of spinal and musculoskeletal disorders. World Spine Care has launched the WSC Yoga Project to use yoga as a means of addressing the crippling impact of spinal disorders in underserved regions around the world.

WSC has recruited the expertise of a team of yoga teacher trainers to develop a curriculum to train local students in participating countries. This capacity building initiative will enable members of the community to teach the classes in the local language and cultural context, thus ensuring the relevance and success of the yoga program.
This project has been implemented in association with the existing World Spine Care clinics as one of the community prevention and rehabilitation programs.

 

Our Core Values

1. We believe in providing access to those experiencing low mobility and pain who are seeking out preventative and active self-care and pain management.
2. We strongly believe that belonging to a self-sustained community is an essential component of successful active self-care and good living.
3. We aim to teach yoga in a respectful, non-secular way that both honors the roots of Yoga and is adaptive to the cultural context in which we’re operating.
4. Our programs are informed and updated as much as possible by current research on mobility, physiology and psychology.
5. We believe in a multifaceted approach that combines movement, meditation, and breathing exercises practiced in a safe and supportive setting.
6. We believe that stable and mobile joints are a fundamental to long-term, effective pain management and that joint stability is a key component for addressing low mobility.
7. We believe that people experiencing pain and low mobility are better served when their network of providers understands what, how and why they are engaging in Yoga practices.
8. We believe in providing access to resources, research and ongoing education for those experiencing pain and low mobility as well as to their providers.

How We Work/What We Offer

1. We work under the auspices of World Spine Care.
2. We only work with populations who have asked for a preventative/active self care and pain management modal.
3. We work in our respective home countries and in global communities where World Spine Care has an existing presence with potential for expansion beyond WSC clinical modal into interested and supportive communities.
4. We train people who are interested in using the benefits of the Yoga Project protocol to contribute to their community and themselves.
5. We adapt to the individual needs of the communities we are working with; cultural norms and practices are incorporated into the program i.e. dance, song, physical appropriateness of postures, posture names etc.
6. We are a non-secular program. Meaning: we are open to the beliefs of all the communities we serve and happily encourage worship where appropriate but do not come in with any religious overlay or agenda. We also teach that the history of the practice’s roots come from India and that there are many more practices, not included in the YP protocol, that can be explored individually.
7. We adapt the Yoga Project protocol as new information about mobility, physiology, psychology is made available to us through research.
8. We offer practices of mindfulness based upon research via mindfulness-based stress reduction and the 3000 years of Yogic practices for pain and stress management.
9. We offer practices of breath based upon vagal nerve research etc and the 3000 yrs of Yogic practices for pain and stress management
10. We offer poses that explore stable, long-term, functional range of motion for lower mobility populations. We encourage adapting to offer low too no pain- movements to those experiencing pain.
11. We offer multiple levels of trainings as is appropriate for different levels of mobility and pain. Currently our offerings include: a level one training with a larger percentage of chair supported postures and a level two training with more standing postures and greater physical challenge.
12. We also offer our programs to MD, PT, OT and chiropractors as well as already trained Yoga Instructors as continuing education to better serve their communities and patients.
13. We are an online resource for low mobility and pain populations world wide for at home practice and capacity building using the practices of Mindfulness, Breath and Posture.

Our Goals

1. To build local capacity and improve community health by creating yoga teacher training programs that can be used in developing countries.
2. To use our experiences in the field to further refine the program.
3. To research the outcomes of the yoga classes to support its efficacy as a program for the prevention and management of spinal pain.
4. To share the program with the yoga community so that any organization wishing to build yoga capacity in any community have a valid and tested program.
5. To share the lessons learned so that others seeking to implement the program do not make the same mistakes.

By creating and disseminating this model to the yoga community we hope to expand it’s reach to the million people worldwide, suffering from spine pain, who can benefit from yoga.

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Erin Moon and Barrie Risman launched the WSC Yoga project in Botswana on April 25th, 2016 with the first two-week teacher training program being taught to students from Mahalapye and Shoshong, Botswana.

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If you are interested in helping out, or have any ideas or comments about the Yoga Project, Erin and Barrie can be reached at yoga@worldspinecare.org

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Erin Moon
Co-director/Creator

Bio

IAYT 800, E-RYT 500, YACEP: Erin grew up in Calgary Alberta, lived in New York City for 13 years and is now happily nestled in Vancouver Canada. Her first training was in Vinyasa Yoga with Sonic Yoga in NYC 2004/05. She now teaches Vinyasa, Hatha, Restorative, Therapeutic and Yin styles of yoga. Erin also teaches intro and advance Anatomy for Yoga, Yoga for hospitalization and cancer survivors, Yoga for pain and stress management, chair and wall Yoga as well as therapeutics and restorative workshops. She is a Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists has her Reiki 1, Thai Massage level 1 and 50hr Yin Yoga and Meridians. Erin also holds a 200hr Certification in Applied Positive Psychology from The Flourishing Center.
One of Erin’s greatest yoga joys is being part of the founding faculty and mentors with Three Sisters Yoga 200/300hr since 2009. She also teaches Anatomy and more with Lila Vinyasa 200/300hr in Vancouver Canada and Illumina Yoga 200/300hr in Paris, France and Carmel NY.
Having travelled and volunteered in many countries she has seen a need for multidisciplinary/biopsychosocial approach for spine and musculoskeletal/pain management in the world’s most vulnerable populations, at home and abroad. It is pretty incredible for Erin to know that the Yoga Project is doing just that, while building capacity within communities who are asking for ways to improve their health and well being.
Erin is very honoured to be co-creator/director of the Yoga Project for World Spine Care alongside Barrie Risman, their team and everyone at WSC!

Barrie Risman
Co-director/Creator

Bio

E-RYT 500
Passionate yoga educator, community leader and seasoned seeker on the path, Barrie has been immersed in the teachings and practices of yoga for more than two decades. She is the co-founder of Shri Yoga, a seminal place for the study and practice of alignment-based, heart-centered hatha yoga in Montreal. As a senior teacher at Shri Yoga, she helped to create the Shri Yoga Institute for Therapeutic Yoga and the Shri Yoga Teacher Training program.

Barrie has led retreats, teacher trainings and workshops throughout Canada and internationally since 2004. She has been a student of Iyengar Yoga since 1993 and was a certified Anusara Yoga teacher and teacher-trainer from 2003 – 2012, and also served on their Teacher Certification Committee. Most recently, she is the creator of The Skilful Yogi, an online professional development program for yoga teachers and author of the Skilful Yogi blog.

Originally from New York, Barrie’s appreciation for the diversity of the world’s cultures led her to study anthropology at The George Washington University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1990. Barrie has also traveled widely throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, teaching English and doing archaeological fieldwork. Today, Barrie lives in the Montreal suburb of Saint-Lambert with her husband Jean and their daughter, Lily.

Dedicated to offering her skills as a hatha yoga teacher for the benefit of humanity, Barrie is honoured to serve alongside Erin Moon as co-creator of the World Spine Care Yoga Project.

Headshot of Jesal Parikh, Yoga Project Instructor
Jesal Parikh
YP Team, Yoga Instructor

Bio

Jesal began her career behind a desk in NYC, a job that eventually lead to chronic back pain, chronic stress and overall poor health. All that changed when a friend introduced her to yoga and she discovered that powerful healing was as simple as connecting movement, breath and positive mindset. Since 2010, Jesal has been teaching yoga and meditation to stressed out, injured and/or limited-mobility New Yorkers seeking a better and easier way to move, breath and live their lives. Her classes emphasize functional, non-acrobatic movements paired with positive thinking, breath and mindfulness practices. She is passionate about helping her students take yoga off the mat and into their real, everyday lives. She is also honored to be on the teaching faculty, with a focus on Anatomy, for Three Sisters Yoga 200 RYT training program in NYC.

Jesal is thrilled to be sharing her practical and fun take on yoga with the World Spine Care Yoga Project, an opportunity which she expects will be as much about learning to be a stronger teacher as it will be about teaching the participants. 

Ever the student, Jesal has done trainings with Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (SVYASA), Three Sisters Yoga, Yoga 216 Functional Anatomy for Yoga Teachers, Maha Mama, and Anatomy Studies for Yoga Teachers (ASFYT).

Letizzia Wastavino
YP Team, Yoga Instructor

Bio

Letizzia’s path in Yoga began around 1997 in Santiago, Chile. After completing her Master in Physics, she realized that yoga was the path she wanted to keep exploring. In 2005, following love, she moved to Princeton, in USA, where she began her first steps into becoming a yoga teacher by exploring the world of Iyengar Yoga. In 2010 she moved to Montreal, Canada where she met Barrie Risman. Letizzia completed the Anusara® Yoga trainings with Barrie as her teacher and she participated in workshops with Noah Maze, Todd Norian, Jordan Bloom among others.

Letizzia lives now near Vienna, Austria, where she is the co-founder of  Trimotion-Zentrum. In her Studio, most of her students suffered from back pains or deal with knee injuries. Through the alignment-based principles of Anusara Yoga, Letizzia had found ways to deal with those injuries, teaching her students how to empower themselves.

Letizzia has completed several workshops and trainings in Therapy Yoga, Functional Movement, and Yoga Biomechanics. Yoga has been her place to connect, clear her mind, protect her body, and create a safe home for herself. Her classes are uplifting, warm, inspiring and full of joy, exploring the never-ending ups and downs of this wonderful roller coaster called life.

Eric Roseen
Research co-ordinator

Bio

Eric J. Roseen, DC, is a Research Fellow in the Family Medicine Department at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Roseen is involved with multiple ongoing research projects within BMC’s Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Care Disparities including a large RCT comparing yoga, physical therapy and patient education for chronic non-specific low back pain in a low-income minority population. His research interests include manual therapies & movement therapies, clinical decision rules and multidisciplinary management of acute and chronic spinal pain.

Dr. Roseen grew up in rural North Dakota and earned his Bachelors degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead, studying biology and chemistry. He received his Doctorate of Chiropractic degree from the University of Western States in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Roseen currently practices at a large integrative primary care clinic where he provides evaluation, management and treatment for back pain and other common musculoskeletal conditions.

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