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Nikki Ying – Student Story

Yoga Therapy for B-Boys

Nikki Ying Yoga Therapist Nikki Ying, Yoga Therapist in-training, is currently investigating the movement demands of B-Boys. She hopes to discover if proper training and strengthening of muscles specific to this dance genre can improve targeted prevention of injury and/or rehabilitation of dancers’ injuries. Nikki’s research is part of an 8 week case study module in VSOHA’s 500-hour Yoga Therapy program.

“For me, being in the wellness industry is about longevity,” Nikki said. “As a yoga therapist, I ask: how can I help people who move their bodies in a repetitive way to have longevity in their chosen career?”

What happens in a Yoga Therapy session?

Nikki says the sessions with her case-study client vary, but are often focused on the physical side. “We always start with a physical assessment, from feet to head, so I can see how he holds himself in space.”

From there, she “follows the line” to find the root cause of the pain or discomfort. Physical adjustments are common, including gentle manipulation of the body to improve a behaviour pattern. Sessions also involve self-myofacial release to help soften the muscles and of course, a little coaching to help train a new movement pattern and implement it into the client’s life.

“As my client is very scientifically minded, it’s all about awareness and breathwork, the spiritual effect of yoga occurs as a natural part of the process.” Nikki said.

Research Presentations

After picking a niche for their case study and conducting the research sessions, students in the 500-hour program write a paper and give a presentation on their findings. Fellow students, faculty members and anybody interested in the subject matter, including medical, healthcare and wellness professionals, may attend. Presentations are being held at VSOHA December 13-15.

“I love how yoga therapy is completely unique and curated for each individual client,” Nikki said. “We find the root cause of an issue and help reestablish a new behaviour pattern.  It’s so cool to watch somebody find release and become empowered to change and improve the pattern themselves.”

Teaching Yoga

Yoga Therapy differs from a regular yoga class. Therapists usually work one-on-one or in groups allowing them to give personal attention to each person.

Nikki teaches adult public yoga classes on Sunday evenings at Oxygen Yoga Yaletown (an amazing hot power flow class and a candlelight stretch class, I highly recommend it!). She also teaches children ages 5-12 three days per week, a role she would like to expand once she graduates from VSOHA.

“I would love to work with kids in yoga therapy, teaching body intelligence and awareness, so they don’t develop bad habits going into adulthood.”

Future Plans

Nikki also dreams of one day becoming a movement specialist with Cirque du Soleil to help their artists maintain the workload of performing 6 nights a week.

“I hope that this modality becomes recognized in MSP or people’s health benefits some day. Everybody could use some yoga therapy! The world needs to heal. And that starts within each individual person.”

If you’d like to experience Yoga Therapy for yourself, book at appointment at our Yoga Therapy student clinic. The 300-hour student clinic is currently running, and the 500-hour clinic starts on 28 January, 2020.

Learn more about Nikki:

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