Monthly Archives: December 2014

ATT DTS: Just Do It! by Ruth Brown, CSYT


Ruth Brown, CSYT

Once upon a time, completing an ATT program required that you do homework, and then send that homework to a Teacher Trainer for review and feedback. But now there is DTS.  I just completed the ATT 262 Treating Pain immersion, and I’m finding that the DTS calls have helped me use the “therapist” title with confidence.

For this DTS there are homework assignments followed by phone calls, and my first assignment was to give five pain treatment sessions to a single client. After our second DTS call, Matrika Gast (who serves our Board in the Publications role) heard from one of my DTS partners that I had “pain clients coming out of the woodwork.” So Matrika asked me to share my success story.

To begin to attract pain clients I found that you must become a walking, talking billboard for “what you can do for them.”  You do so gently and with care… sharing how others have benefited from what you do. To make your current yoga students aware of your pain therapy training, you can say “This therapy may be something that you and/or someone you know could use. Feel free to share this with those you know who are in pain.”

I also created a small, purse size flyer that to pass around to those whom I would talk with. The front side includes vital details about pain therapy the Svaroopa® yoga way, and back side includes a couple of testimonials from existing students/clients.

The next thing to do is list people you know … no judgments… just write. Then take that list, beginning with those you think are the least likely to be interested in what you are doing, and contact them, sharing with them what you are doing. Proceed through your list with enthusiasm and sincere caring about what you can do for them or for those they know.

With my first pain client, even though there was that tinge of anxiety, I felt assured and confident in the training I had received a week or so before. Yep — I read and reread my ATT “blue sheets” before each session, and I completed all five sessions with that client as well as my first DTS report before the first DTS call.

I so appreciated that call. While it is good to receive feedback on your sessions, it is just as informative to hear what others are doing.  Invaluable, in fact. Kusuma, our ATT DTS Mentor, gently guides us through evaluations of our sessions, encouraging where appropriate and asking us to re-think our sessions where necessary.

My second assignment was exciting because I was working on a real person with tightness, pain and cramps. The assignment helped me gain confidence in my ability to write a plan and tweak as needed in the moment, especially when my client seized up with a cramp and pain. Our training met reality in this second assignment. I was working with “real folks” who were not loosey-goosey yogis! I laughed at myself several times along the way, noting how many times I was holding my breath!!!

After the second DTS call, there were massive revelations. As slowly as I thought I was proceeding in a session, on this call I realized that I needed to move forward even more slowly…right up there with watching paint dry! With this guidance, I’ve found after several more sessions that my clients feel the difference, the shift from pain to relief.

After a couple of weeks providing pain therapy to clients who are non-yogis, I realized that I could almost repeat the Treating Pain training with a whole new perspective. The partner pairing in training with fellow-yogis can give us a false sense of movement.  On the DTS calls, it helps so much to hear that other budding therapists are working through the same issues.

Through this process, I have personally experienced some significant openings, too. How much fun to realize that the leg you were holding in Alternate Leg was REALLY not softened and released!

Deceptively Easy, Amazingly Successful by Abby Chemers

When I enrolled in ATT 262 Treating Pain last March, I was daunted by the prerequisite of giving 50 Embodyment® Yoga Therapy sessions in the 6 months before the course. I am a rule follower, and I could see that I needed to give two Embodyment® sessions per week. Figuring that out was my way of keeping on track without getting anxious or worried, but I still didn’t know exactly how I would get my existing students to make appointments for these private sessions.

My first approach was to give Embodyment® sessions to friends and family.  Travel to Hawaii and then to Australia in March gave me that opportunity.  On my way to Australia, I had a few days with my daughter and son-in-law in Hawaii. A busy and active couple, they were more than happy to accommodate my need to give them sessions! And the same was true of Australian friends when I arrived there.

When I returned home, there were real surprises. People just showed up at the right time.  For months I had wanted to be able to give an Embodyment® session to a student who came regularly to class and had been getting spinal opening, but still had some pain. I knew an Embodyment® session would help her move through her partial opening to full release, but I had been unable to persuade her to schedule a private session. Then one day she showed up to class and was the only student as her usual classmates were playing hooky.  So I was able to give her Embodyment®. At another time, a young woman who was getting married and had a lot going in her life showed up as the only student for a class, and she enjoyed a soothing and restorative Embodyment® session with me instead. It was a blessing for me as well as for her!

Then for the next six weeks, clients just arrived on my doorstep. To use an old idiom, it was as though they just came out of the woodwork! I was surprised, because usually it seems my regular class students simply can’t afford more yoga.  Yet they began to schedule Embodyment® sessions to celebrate their birthdays or because, unfortunately, they hurt themselves and came in to help an injury heal.  A couple of these clients came four times.  Other clients were brand new and had found me through my website. Many found me simply by word of mouth, and one week I had 4 brand new clients.

It was curious. It seemed to me that the universe knew I needed students and sent them to me.  Instead of being a daunting task, this ATT prerequisite turned out to be a blessing on many levels. It brought in money, and helped to offset the cost of training.

But giving these Embodyment® sessions regularly, on a range of clients with different needs, was great to do as well. They benefited me as a therapist as well as my clients. I had already been giving Embodyment® sessions for at least 3 years, and I was very comfortable with my body mechanics. But through giving 50 sessions within 6 months, Embodyment® became easier and easier for me.  I became able to stay in stillness. I became more effortlessly able to sink and settle into my own bones and spine. Quite often I would get release in my own body.

Settling in is so important, I found, in Treating Pain as well. With experience and regularity come ease and comfort, and my confidence as a yoga therapist grew into greater and greater ease. Now I am grateful for the required preparation as well as the training itself, in which I, myself, experienced such profound healing as well as learning that will serve my clients with more — and More.

Comings & Goings

img_0033_01Kendra Lemmon is stepping up to a new position as our Acting Programs Manager.  Congratulations, Kendra, and thank you!  Kendra has been serving as an Administrative Assistant, handling many diverse task   s, including getting our expanded staff and office spaces functional with phones, computers and reliable electrical service.  She will now oversee and support our Enrollment Advisors, as well as sevites and staff in Guest Services and our Enrollment System, plus she will soon move into coordinating with hosts for the programs we bring to your home town.

img_0043_01Jessica Kreil, in Guest Services, is also stepping up to a new level.  She is working with Sharada Macdonald to design our expanded shop area, planned for our move to Lokananda (when it is ready), as part of her overseeing product sales both in-house and online.  She continues to work with The Desmond Hotel to provide for your housing and meals, as well as provide airport shuttle service when you need it.  In addition, she is now managing the programs at Downingtown Yoga & Meditation Center, which will keep her in close connection with all the yogis who make the Ashram part of their life, whether they live locally or are in town for a yogic experience.  We are grateful for your loving touch, Jessica.

mangalaWelcome to Mangala (Cayla) Allen, who is now serving as Rukmini Abbruzzi’s administrative assistant.  She’s working in our academic records, which includes processing new teacher and therapist certificates as well as sending course-related emails. She will also be managing our phone courses, helping with administration for DTS and working with our ever-expanding program calendar.  Thank you Mangala!

img_0016_01Sharada Macdonald continues to support us behind the scenes, most recently helping in the recruitment of many of our newer staff members.  She is now assisting Swami Nirmalananda with several year-end projects that will expand our ability to serve you.  Thank you to Sharada as well as to all our sevites and staff, who make the Ashram able to bring you the high quality of programs we are known for.