KENTVILLE, N.S. — Loreen Keddy always knew yoga was special, but it wasn't until she discovered therapeutic yoga that she unlocked the power to heal her body.
Keddy, who had been plagued by a reoccurring knee injury, no longer suffers from the sports-related pain.
“I was kind of struggling with this ongoing sports injury that would disappear and come back. Even though yoga helped me, it was always an issue,” said Keddy, who has practiced yoga for about 15 years.
Then, in 2014, the Kentville business owner discovered therapeutic yoga and completed an intensive yoga therapy course with Susi Hately, a renowned yoga therapist. She is currently finishing up a two-year yoga therapy certification program with Susi Hately’s Functional Synergy, an internationally accredited school for yoga therapy.
Her knee pain no longer rears its ugly head. She credits that to therapeutic yoga.
“Yoga has so many benefits already. It calms the nervous system, it makes people feel better, you sleep better, there's weight reduction,” said Keddy. “But in the case of yoga therapy and the approach that I use, it's a reduction of pain because I teach you how to move in your own body and how to become aware of the compensations that you're using that are creating the pain.”
Keddy has opened up shop in the Cornwallis Inn and offers one-on-one sessions with clients to enhance their health and well-being through therapeutic yoga. She sees clients who suffer from a variety of ailments, including insomnia, aches and pains, chronic fatigue, respiratory disorders, headaches and migraines, PTSD, and brain injuries.
“What I do is I help them. I teach breath, movement, and stillness. Those are the three skills that I teach,” said Keddy.
She said the relatively simple movements can help release tension and stress, creating more freedom and flexibility in a person's body. She said therapeutic yoga takes a whole-body approach to healing.
“Yoga therapy is not a restorative yoga; it's not a medical diagnosis or a medical treatment. It's not doing a yoga pose to copy a teacher or a shape in a yoga magazine,” said Keddy. “It's really about helping people move the way the body was designed to move.”
Enhancing the mind, body
Wanda Matthews has witnessed the benefits of therapeutic yoga first hand. She's been a client since January 2017. She says Keddy has helped her bounce back after suffering a serious concussion in the fall of 2016.
“The big thing for me is it really enhances that mind-body connect,” said Matthews, whose care team suggested she try activities that would promote mindfulness.
“For me, it's very gentle. It's more about being aware of how your body moves and how you're connecting with that movement,” she said.
She said therapeutic yoga differs from taking a yoga class in that it's not about exercise – it's about getting to “the root of what's causing you to move the way you move. If there's challenges, then (it's about) trying to create solutions so that you can move in a more pain-free way for the rest of your life.”
The Kentville resident said she'd recommend the treatment to anyone who has suffered an injury, as well as people who need to find a way to relax.
“If you're trying to recover from an injury, you don't want to push yourself too hard. You still think you'll be in pain before you will improve,” said Matthews. “But I think Loreen tries to work with you to say that you don't need to be in pain. You can do little movements and still have a big impact.”
Matthews said therapeutic yoga helps people be mindful — and that's not always easy to achieve in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life.
“For people who have very busy lives and their minds are always busy, I think it's really beneficial to take that time to just be present in that moment and to just focus inward,” she said.
“It just gives you that time to really connect your mind to how your body is feeling and how you can support that self-care part of life, which a lot of people often don't take the time to do these days.”
Keddy occasionally hosts wellness workshops in Windsor at the Cedar Centre (April 9 she will be in town for a hips and shoulders workshop) and in Kings County. To stay apprised of what sessions she is offering, or to connect to learn more about therapeutic services and one-on-one treatment, visit: www.yogatherapeutic.ca; email email@example.com; or call 902-300-6452.