Tag Archive for: ailments

As part of Denver’s Axis Yoga teacher training, aspiring teacher’s hone in on their skills by designing personal experiments using yogic philosophy.  In wanting to work on her sequencing skills as well as increasing her knowledge for using yoga as medicine, this student chose to create asana sequences that catered to healing particular ailments. She carried out this experiment by enlisting the help of four friends to be her willing and enthusiastic test subjects. She designed specific sequences for them based on their chief physical complaints.

The idea came to me while meditating in class about mid-October.  As I was fighting myself to focus on the white light resonating from the middle of my head, it came to me. I wanted to make sequences for my friends. Specifically for my friends with ailments. Thus unfolded my four part (sequencing, ailment understanding, my practice and translating them all to ASL) personal experiment.

First, I wanted to work on my sequencing skills. This has been nagging on me as a particularly scary responsibility for a future yoga teacher. I not only hope to gain the skills required to create a proper sequence, but to also have some stock sequences to go back to in case I get yoga writer’s block. I also want to be able to have some sort of helpful pointers for the people who come into my classes with unexpected illnesses or physical  injuries. I have heard countless teachers tell me countless horror stories of classes gone wrong. While I’m sure I wont have a perfect track record, Id like to minimize the negativity that might reside in or result from my classes. Practice makes perfect. So I contacted my friends I knew who had an interest in yoga and asked them if I could make them a personal sequence. Most of them were 100% on board, much to my excitement. Next, I asked them to share their most prominent ailments. Again, they were happy to do so. People love the idea of relief, so getting good participation was a piece of cake.

 As I started making the sequences, I realized, to no shock or awe, that I knew very little about yoga for “medicine.” I ordered the book, but, as of now, it still has not arrived, so I utilized teachers and the good old internet (yogajournal.com, mostly) to aid me in my trek. What I found was astonishing! All of the poses that you would think would help a certain problem, do! Once you have the basic understanding of what you are trying to do, generally, you can handle the smaller scale problems! I love it! I only wish I had more people to practice on. I’ll be making up imaginary people with imaginary ailments from now on to practice with! I am starting to feel more and more confident in, as Kevin says, treating the person, not the problem. **The sequences and the reviews of my new yogis are below**

**Designed for lower back pain, weak knees, stress, anxiety, weight loss**


All poses should be done vigorously and held for an extended period of time. Modifications are available if needed for your knees. I’ve provided a longer meditation period for grounding and relaxation.


Baddhakonasana-Bound Angle

Bhardavajasana I-Bhardavaja’s Twist


Suptabadhakonasana -Reclined Bound Angle

Uptavishtakonasana -Open Angle Pose

Trikonasana -Triangle

Vrikshasana -Tree

Trikonasana -Triangle


Parvritta Trikonasana -Revolved Triangle

Uttanasana -Standing Forward Fold

Ardha Chandrasana-Half Moon

Ardhabadhapada Uttanasana -Half Lotus Forward Bend (?)

Ardha Matsyandrasana -Half Sage Twist x2

Salambasana +Var. -Locust

Bhujangasana -Cobra

Adhomukasvanasana/Balasana -Dog/Childs

Parvrittajanusirsasana -Revolved Head of the Knee Pose

Janusirsasana -Head of the Knee Pose

Supta Padangusthasana-Reclining Big Toe with a strap

Paschittmotanasana -Seated Forward Fold

Malasana-Garland Pose

Pasasana-Noose Pose

Sarvangasana -Shoulder Stand

Halasana -Plow

Karnipidasana -Womb Pose

Shavasana -Corpse


Meditation: sit quietly in an upright comfortable position and start silently counting backward from 50. As your concentration improves, you can move the starting count higher, to 100, 200 or even 500. This exercise will improve your concentration and help you remember things better.

Jason’s Comments:

I am brand new to yoga. I am studying massage therapy, and that’s making Chelsea and my’s transitions into our new careers much easier, because we are going into similar fields and we are doing it at the same time. We are a great support and source of strength to each other. I never had an interest in yoga, but when I was told to stay strong in my body for massage therapy, I turned to Chelsea and her yoga. She created my sequence, which was similar to hers. It was nice to be able to do it together. I feel stronger, calmer and more confident in yoga and in my body. My back feels much better, too.”

**Designed for slight asthma, wrist pain, weak ankles, stiff knees**


Hold each pose for as long as is comfortable. Do NOT continue if you have pain. You can work up to extended length of the poses.

 Virasana (Hero’s Pose). If you need a modification to make it more comfortable, sit on a block or blanket to elevate the hips from the knees and ankles. Take a few deep, yogic breaths. Exhale with a long “Om.”

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)

 Uttanasana (standing forward bend)


Chaturanga (elbows at 90 degrees)

Urdhva Mukha Svasana (Up Dog)

Adho Mukha Svasasana (Down Dog)

Virvidrasana Two (Warrior Two)

Utthita Parsvokanasana (Extended Side Angle)

Utthita Trikonanasana (Triangle)

Malasana (Garland)

Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Dandasana (Staff Pose)

Shivasana (Corpse)




 Emily’s Comments:
“I started the sequence about a month ago. My hope was that it would help me eliminate stress from my life. The first time I did the sequence it took me about an hour, afterward I felt great! I had stretched out all the achy muscles and relaxed. The next day, I had achy muscles again, but this time from doing the sequence. I stuck with it though, and by the next day the achy muscles had disappeared.
Now I do the sequence in about a half hour, and it has been a tremendous addition to my daily routine. I usually do it at night, around 10pm, due to my late schedule. This falls about 4 hours before I fall asleep. It is a great way for me to switch from school mode to relax mode.
Though I saw no changes in the conditions I had originally claimed, I also didn’t see any pain from them, which is rare. Usually when I start a new exercise regime or yoga routine, I do see pain once or twice. So I am taking the lack of pain as a good sign. I did however, prior to starting the sequence, have plantar fasciitis, which for some strange reason, I had forgotten to claim as an ailment. After starting the sequence the pain from the plantar fasciitis improved greatly.”

**Designed for anxiety, headaches, and asthma, with an emphasis on relaxation**


Hold each pose for as long as is comfortable. Do NOT continue if you have pain. You can work up to extended length of the poses.

Virasana (sitting on your knees) or Sukhasana (cross legged)

Cat/Cow Pose.

Tadasana (Mountain)

Uttasana (standing forward fold)



Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho Mukha Svasana (Down-Dog)


Trikonasana (triangle)

Prasarita Padottanasana (extended spread leg forward bend)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle)


Baalasana (child’s pose). 

Uttana Shishosana (extended puppy).

Seated Twists

 Janu Sirsasana (head to knee forward bend)

Supta Virasans (reclined hero)

Svasana (corpse pose).




 Rachel’s Comments: (This was taken from her Facebook status after her first one on one with me)

 “Oddly enough I learned a lot about myself from one session of yoga. I learned I love yoga, I learned that I can do yoga, I learned I never give myself enough credit, and I learned that doing yoga for the first time ever is gonna make me hella sore but in spite of that I can not wait to do it again. Thank you so much Chels for teaching me so much and not even meaning to. You will make an excellent yoga teacher!”