Ellie had been suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 16 months. She found restorative yoga beneficial but wanted to continue to develop her practice to build strength, refine her technique, and establish a practice that suited her body.
Vanessa was told she had Pudendal Neuralgia, which had given her seven years of excruciating pelvic pain that made it impossible for her to sit. Pudendal neuralgia is inflammation and compression of the pudendal nerve in the pelvis. While considered rare, it can occur after childbirth or trauma to the pelvis. Read More →
Finding Yoga programs help those with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and persistent pain return to gentle exercise safely and feel confident about using their bodies. The full program comprises three Saturday workshops, twelve weeks of group classes and a personalised one-to-one. Suitable for those new to yoga, or returning to yoga after an injury or other physical trauma.
Thank you for your support and caring. (Pieta Ferraz, 2014)
Many health funds offer rebates so do check with yours.
Learn how to approach yoga when you are in pain in a supportive workshop environment. The gentle movements and guided relaxation can offer pain relief, the skills to use your body in a new way and tools to manage the anxiety and stress that often occurs when your body doesn’t do what you wish it would. These can be taken separately to the program and are also available for private groups.
Gentle Yoga for Fibromyalgia and persistent pain are weekly classes to help build your strength, flexibility and body awareness. You’ll also experience guided relaxation and meditations to calm the mind and body. Shift from fear of using the body, to understanding how to work with it. Workshops or the equivalent in one-to-ones are a pre-requisite for joining group classes.
Tailored, personal sessions to work on the aspects of movement and yoga most pertinent to you. Your session includes:
- detailed diagnostic to understand your needs and what is most important about your wellness
- a conversation with your physiotherapist or other health professional (if you wish)
- 1.25 hour private session
- a home practice plan
- followup notes and reference materials
Together we’ll set a plan for you, guidelines for adapting to your capacity and you’ll get a followup to check your progress.
Initial private sessions $120.
Follow-up sessions $75 per hour. Concession rates are available and vary according to your income and financial situation.
“Thanks again for the session, it did help show me what is possible again and give me a glimpse back into the yoga practice I used to have and how much I valued it.” (Jamie Van Egmond – The Green Scene)
Yoga and pain medicine
To understand yoga within the context of pain management, you may wish to join one of our programmes co-created with a health professional to give you the best of both worlds. These include the education and self-management course Finding Your Feet with Fibromyalgia (delivered alongside Dr Kaye Brand) and Reaching Out to Women in Pain (with rheumatologist, John Quintner, and physiotherapist, Mel Galbraith).
For more information
Contact Rachael West email@example.com or 0450 393 336 to discuss the best option for you.
Dr Kaye Brand, Physiotherapist, together with yogic educator Rachael West developed the program Finding Your Feet with Fibromyalgia to meet a growing need for tailored support services in Western Australia.
Kaye says that the program helps people to prioritise not just their physical health, but their social and mental wellbeing as well.
“Many people with Fibromyalgia forget that caring for their social and mental health is just as important to their wellbeing as managing physical symptoms like pain and fatigue.”
Participants at the successful inaugural course in 2013 reported that they felt more informed and more confident about taking responsibility for the most important aspects of their health.
Over seven weekly sessions or one condensed weekend course participants learn about:
- The most current research into Fibromyalgia
- Personalised health models
- Guidelines for exercising safely when your body is fatigued and in pain
- Skills for managing health issues that occur with Fibromyalgia
At the end of the course, participants have the tools to make small changes in their lives that make a big difference to how they feel.
“Proving to themselves that they are strong enough to have a positive impact on their own wellbeing gives a deep sense of optimism.”
They may also find they are better equipped to communicate with family and health professionals about the support they need.
June 7 – 8 10am – 4pm both days
$120 before April 9
Please transfer your payment to
Account name: Rachael Claire West BSB: 066155 Account Number 1032 2393
Label your payment with your name and email firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know to expect payment.
Referrals from GPs welcome but not essential.
Chronic pain affects tens of thousands of people in Western Australia alone. Many of these sufferers are women, and many don’t have access to the most up-to-date information simply because of where they live.
If information about how pain works and the different pain management options available were available in one place, some of the barriers to making positive decisions about pain management would be removed.
With the support of a grant from the Department of Local Government and Communities, the WA National Pain Week committee compiled the most valuable information from their events into a series of forums called ‘Reaching Out to Women in Pain’. The forums provided women in the outer suburbs of Perth with the information they need to understand the options available to them so that they can make more informed choices for the way they manage their pain.
The first of these free events in Rockingham was filled to the seams with women suffering from conditions like Fibromyalgia, arthritis and other persistent pain conditions. Women drove in from Bunbury and Chittering to the Kalamunda session and attendees at Joondalup said that this was one of the only support services available in their area.
Over the day they heard from:
- Rheumatologist, John Quintner, explaining the science behind pain and traditional treatments (including how medications might not have the effect you expect)
- Melanie Galbraith physiotherapist gave advice for exercising safely and talked about how important it is to move,
- Jane Muirhead, occupational therapist, and
- Rachael West, Yogic Educator, on the role of body awareness and stress management in changing how we feel about pain.
Some of the most valuable learning experiences described by participants included:
“I forgot that I’m not the only person experiencing persistent pain”
“How to exercise within my limits”
“Using other means to reduce pain rather than relying on prescribed drugs”
“Recognition of what happens in the body as a result of pain and stress”
They also said:
“I found it very enlightening and inspiring to focus on exercise to aid me physically and mentally”
“Today’s session was extremely informative – presented in a knowledgeable, professional, friendly way”
“…supported by empirical evidence”
“Excellent – very informative. All very good speakers and explained in simple terms (& took time to get across their points)”
While the information was immensely valuable, many women said that the most important thing for them was simply feeling validated. When we feel validated about our experience of our health, we have a place to begin our healing.
Because of sickness, a sprained wrist and various other excuses my yoga practice dropped off over a couple of weeks. My brain wrestled over and over with the question of what yoga means to me. My brain helpfully suggested I sign up to a workshop in May, a retreat in October or some kind of intensive thing to re-understand my relationship with my practice.
On Tuesday I unrolled my yoga mat and began to practice. I knew immediately why I practice. Once I began to practice again I recognised intimately my relationship with yoga.
You cannot analyse your relationship with yoga from the outside.
Like many people in Australia and western countries, my yoga practice is a physical one. Its form and intensity changes over time – with the influences of age and life events, and it has allowed me to learn other paths of yoga that enrich my practice. Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion, and Jnana Yoga, wisdom yoga, are teaching me to be a kinder, more compassionate person.
But my way in has always been through the physical practice. If I don’t do my physical practice and I lose my way with loving kindness (maitri), karuna (compassion) or clear-thinking, no amount of brain-work can tell my why I want to do yoga.
I cannot analyse my relationship with yoga from the outside.
I just have to do it.
If you ever find yourself lost and in need of reclaiming your practice, here are five ways I have learnt to do it:
1. Unroll your yoga mat, lie down and practice.
2. Stand still, breathe, and practice.
3. Place your palms together in front of your heart. Bow your head and practice.
4. Take the garbage out and practice.
Your relationship with yoga is the practice.
The Finding Yoga When You’re in Pain workshops show you how to learn yoga when you suffer from persistent pain. They help you to manage the stress that comes with chronic pain and learn to move your body in accordance with your own energy and capacity.
Through gentle movement, breath work and guided relaxation you will re-connect with the body, learn to adapt postures to your own needs, and find appreciation for what your body can do (rather than worrying about what it can’t).
Maximum 10 per group.
The workshops will help you approach your existing yoga classes or join our weekly Gentle Yoga classes with more confidence to listen to your body and work at your own pace.
You can also deepen your learning through personalised one-to-one sessions.
I found Saturday’s workshop wonderful. The atmosphere was so welcoming and open (as ever). The emphasis on a non judgmental approach to how we practice yoga/meditate was really helpful in increasing my awareness and appreciation of what my body can do rather than worry about what it can’t do. Also ensuring that we start out in the correct way with each pose definitely helped with effortlessness. (Maeve)
2014 workshop dates
Saturday January 11 10.15am – 12.45pm (Workshop 1 – Mt Hawthorn)
Saturday January 18 2 – 4.30pm (Workshop 1 – Fremantle Women’s Health Centre)
Saturday February 1 10.45am – 1.15pm (Workshop 2 – Mt Hawthorn)
Saturday February 8 2 – 4.30pm (Workshop 2 – Fremantle)
Saturday May 3 10.45am – 1.15pm (Workshop 1 – Mt Hawthorn)
Saturday May 17 10.45am – 1.15pm (Workshop 2 – Mt Hawthorn)
For more dates email email@example.com
In 2014 we repeat our series of five Vinyasa workshops to help you refine and find grace in your yoga practice, whatever your level, experience and strength. Yoga Play is a new programme and a collaboration with acrobatics instructor, Chris Mayhew. More experienced practitioners will enjoy regular Extended Yoga Practice.
Dates for this year’s workshops are below followed by booking details, times and more information about each workshop. Numbers are limited in each session to make sure you each get lots of individual attention.
(Information about Yoga for Pain workshops here.)
Feb 2 Vinyasa workshop 1 Refine your vinyasa (suitable for all levels) More about the workshop here.
Mar 9 Yoga Play with Chris & Rachael (all levels). Read more here.
Mar 30 Vinyasa workshop 2 Build strength in standing postures and inversions (all levels)
May 4 Yoga Play with Chris & Rachael
May 25 Vinyasa workshop 3 seated asana and meditation – and learning the jumpthrough when it seems impossible
Jun 29 Extended Vinyasa Practice (experienced)
Sep 7 Vinyasa workshop 1 Refine your vinyasa (suitable for all levels)
To reserve your place, please transfer your payment to the account below with your name and workshop date in the subject and email me so I can keep an eye out for your payment.
About the workshops
A series of five workshops to help you refine your yoga practice of Vinyasa Yoga so as to practice with strength, creativity and grace.
Workshop 1: refine your vinyasa (suitable for all levels)
Workshop 2: inversions for people who think they can’t handstand + standing postures (all levels)
Workshop 3: seated asana, pranayama and a graceful jump-through (experienced or beginners who have completed workshops 1 and 2)
Workshop 4: standing postures & inversions 2 (experienced or beginners who have completed workshop 1)
Workshop 5: challenge your practice (experienced or completed all workshops)
Sunday 2 – 4.30pm at Yogaveda, 75 Wray Avenue, Fremantle
Maximum 10 per workshop
$70/$50 or $55/$40 earlybird (four weeks ahead)
Three workshops (valid six months) $150
Five workshops (valid twelve months) $225
For more experienced practitioners who wish to explore the full practice that comes with extended time on the mat. This is a physical class that combines the elements of the vinyasa workshops into one invigorating, mindful vinyasa practice, the kind we usually only make time for when we go on retreat.
Sunday 2pm – 4.30pm at Yogaveda, 75 Wray Avenue, Fremantle
Maximum 12 per workshop
$60/$45 or $50/$40 earlybird (four weeks in advance)
Yoga Play with Chris & Rachael
“Please run another workshop soon!” (Beth Paganoni, Yoga Play 1, March 2014)
New for 2014 and very exciting! Chris is an acrobatics instructor with 30 years of performing and training adults and children alike. He showed me that it is possible to train very physically with safety and the utmost of care. Join us to explore where yoga and acrobatics meet – and where they are different. You’ll experience yoga, circus-style play, refine some basic acrobatics and develop foundations in partner yoga. Read more about the Yoga Play workshops here.
2pm – 5pm Yogaveda
$110/$90 or $90/$75 earlybird
Please transfer payments to
Account name Rachael Claire West
Account number 1032 2393
Label payment [Your name][Workshopdate]
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 0450 393 336 to let me know to expect your payment.
Conditions of booking
Note that payments are generally only refunded if we find someone to take your place or you give more than two week’s notice. Before cancelling, consider inviting someone to attend in your place. Refunds are generally not available with less than two week’s notice, especially for earlybird and discount prices.
See you on the mat!
“Life does not become easier, we become easier with life as it is.”
Donna Farhi uses story, metaphor and ancient Indian texts to show us how what we do on the yoga mat relates to how we are in the world.
Rather than our dedicated asana and meditation practices yielding a blissed out state of rosy perfection, Farhi describes how our newfound clarity of mind actually helps us to become more adaptive to the natural and varied richness of life and, as a result, contribute more to the lives of everyone we care about.