x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy: addressing the problems

Not quite a massage and not quite yoga, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy uses assisted poses and dialogue to focus attention on the immediate present.

Pam Greer, a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner. Delores Johnson / The National
Pam Greer, a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner. Delores Johnson / The National

The Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner Pam Greer talks about the power of touch and the necessity of being heard.

What is Phoenix Rising Yoga?

It’s a yoga therapy that uses assisted yoga postures, which is very much like the Thai massage kind of thing, and then a focusing dialogue to keep the client in the experience they are having on the mat, in the present. It’s based on the premise that we are our history, we store everything in [our body] so it’s always accessible to us. The use of movement – yoga – can help us access that. It’s also Rogerian, after the American therapist Carl Rogers, in that each one of us has within us all we need to resolve our own issues. The problem is we are often not in a place to access it. Phoenix Rising can hopefully create that sort of safe container so that people have the opportunity to work through issues they might have.

What kind of issues can arise? What kind of things can you help with?

I see probably mostly seasoned yogis who are looking for a deeper mind-body experience. Those are the easiest ones. I have had a lot of people who have never done yoga before. A lot of times they’ll come initially because they’ve got an injury, they’re really stiff in one area, because they think of yoga to help with stiffness and flexibility and that kind of thing. So there are people who will come for those reasons alone and then continue to come because oh, it’s an experience of being able to deal with what’s going on in my life right now. So people with stress issues, people who are maybe suffering from depression, anxiety, people who have maybe some crisis in their life, some queries in their life. Because that other thing that the Phoenix Rising Yoga practitioner does is acts as a non-judgemental witness. When you look at stress management, mindfulness, a lot of them are based on that non-judgemental witness that you can put your stuff out there and you’re not going to get in any fights, anything, except a listening ear.

What’s with the feedback? What’s the wisdom behind it?

Again it’s that whole concept of being heard. And then you are hearing what you said, because sometimes that’s a really profound thing. The other opportunity is for you to hear what you said, and then you might try it on and go: “Oh, that’s what I said?”

What’s the course? How long would you typically come for?

It’s very dependent on need. The clients I have here come and go. So there’s one person, for example, I saw on a weekly basis for months … There are other people who will just come for a couple of times and then not ever come back again. And then there are people that get in and go: “Whoa, I don’t want any of that.” The different types of yoga, either people don’t respond or they only like certain types. I think that’s true for Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy.

You have to be comfortable with touching – it’s very intimate, right?

That’s another piece of it, it’s about that non-judgemental, unconditional presence. It’s amazing, again some people can’t deal with the touching at all. For other people, that touch is extremely powerful.

Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy costs Dh450 for a 90-minute private session. Contact Bodytree Studio in Abu Dhabi on 02 443 4448 for more information.


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