FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

 

WHAT IS YOGA?

This is a GREAT question — with endless answers!  Yoga is many things to many people.

Etymologically, Yoga is a Sanskrit word derived from the root yuj, meaning: "to attach, join, harness, yoke".

Traditionally, Yoga is defined in the following ways:

  • Yoga

    • Union​ - a state of harmony and integrity; the action or fact of joining or being joined.

    • Concentration - ​the process of unification toward integrity; the action or power of focusing one's attention.

Please visit Our Words, beneath the Our Method section, in which we offer our own definition and personal perspective on Yoga.

DOES YOGA CURE SYMPTOMS?

Perhaps. Yoga does not cure symptoms, directly. Instead, the practice investigates reasons for symptoms using the experiential method, not distinct from the scientific method, in order to guide you toward the source of the symptom. Often a symptom will resolve itself, leaving you without direct data on causation, but with greater knowledge of its correlations.

As a practitioner, my responsibility is to not to diagnose. Instead, my role is to help you develop a better relationship with your body — to learn from your body and to understand of how specific symptoms fit into the larger whole of you.

DOES YOGA CREATE PERMANENT CHANGE?

Yes and No. Yoga with integrity reveals our changing nature, which allows us to see the changing nature of everything. Change is the only constant in the known universe, so you too are always changing, with every breath you take. In fact, the human body is a fluid, dynamic system, with an inherent disposition toward self-ordering and healing. Yoga invites you to embrace change and impermanence, internally and externally, and to direct the change of your body according to your intentions.


Ultimately, Yoga is not permanent: it is progressive. When the practice is embodied, it changes the body’s course, and unless an accident intervenes, the body will continue along its new course toward a new destiny, a greater sense of integrity.

DOES INSURANCE COVER MY SESSIONS?

Receipts are available upon request, which can be provided for submission to your insurer or health care savings plan for reimbursement.

WHAT TYPE OF TRAINING DOES THE PRACTITIONER RECEIVE?

Jackson Penfield-Cyr is trained in manual and movement therapy as a Certified Rolfer through the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration (now the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute®) and as a Certified DermoNeuromodulator through Diane Jacobs, DPT. Jackson is also a Certified Yoga Instructor through The Whole Yogi, a Registered Yoga School co-founded by Julia Romano, Certified Yoga Therapist, owner of Empower Yoga & Wellness, and faculty at the Maryland University of Integrative Health’s Masters of Science in Yoga Therapy program; and Chris Parkison, Group Program Manager at VIDA Fitness in Washington DC and host of the DC Yoga Podcast. Jackson’s practice is also informed significantly by his practice with Ryan Daniel Smith and his studies with Annie Carpenter, founder of SmartFLOW Yoga, and Bryan Kest, founder of Power Yoga.

Most importantly, Jackson's true teacher is his body. There is no school or amount of formal education that can compare to the direct experience acquired from Jackson's commitment to his own healing journey and his personal commitment to body transformation. He has invested thousands of hours and millions of minutes to exploring the connection between his Body and his Self through his personal practice of Yoga. For over a decade, chronic pain and autoimmune disease presented him with the opportunity of a lifetime: the invitation of self-exploration through somatic experimentation, in order to discover the rehabilitative and transformative capacity of the human body. Jackson's trials and failures led him to the true practice and principles of Yoga. He founded Integrity Yoga and Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy to offer manual and movement therapy to help people like him — people who seek a healthy and happy relationship with their body.

For more information about Jackson and his story, please visit the About section of the website.

WHY IS YOUR BUSINESS "DONATION-BASED"?

Integrity Yoga is a donation-based business as an acknowledgement that each session is a choice made in the spirit of Yoga.

Donation does not mean freeDonation means the act of giving.

Giving is “to freely transfer the possession of something to someone.” It is the act of choice.

Choice is “an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.” It is the act of empowerment.

Empowerment is “authority or power given to someone to do something,” therefore, “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights.” It is the act of integrity.

Integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness” as well as “the state of being whole and undivided.” It is Yoga.

Donation. Giving. Choice. Empowerment. Integrity. Yoga. These are all qualities of beneficence – action that is done for the benefit of others – and this is the whole beautiful point of our practice.

Namaste.

YOGA SPARŚA INTEGRATION THERAPY

For more information about this service, please visit the Services section of the website.

 

WHO BENEFITS FROM YOGA SPARŚA INTEGRATION THERAPY?

Every Body. We all benefit from Yoga — and Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy is no exception.

Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy is appropriate for the newborn baby and the centenarian alike. It is suitable for acute and chronic injury and illness, and fitting for Olympic athletes and the professional mothers and fathers.

Please contact Jackson for a free consultation if you'd like to learn how a session or series of sessions can benefit you and your body.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

This is a question of gravity and humanity (i.e. nature and nurture). Therefore, the true question is: HOW DO YOU WORK?

In short, you work because: YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM WORKS YOU.


Here are some simple facts about the nervous system:

  • Controls 99.99 percent of body functions. (The only reason I don’t say “100 percent” or “all” is because science is not based on absolutes.)

  • Consumes 25 percent of your available energy (i.e. oxygen and glucose) at any given moment.

  • Constitutes 2 percent of your body mass, approximately.


The human nervous system, like all mammals, evolved to regulate itself through social interaction. The most direct form of social interaction among mammals is known as social grooming (i.e. touch). The neurology of human skin is clear evidence of this fact.


Basically, through strategic dermoneuromodulation (i.e. touch), we promote neurovascular circulation – the byproduct of stimulation and prerequisite of regeneration – in order to produce whole body integration (i.e. a sense of safety and refined awareness within your current state of being). This bodywork resources your central nervous system (i.e. brain and spine) with lived experiences to reference in order to promote neuromodulation outside of our sessions in your daily life.

Therefore, the short answer is: Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy works because it helps integrate your nervous system (i.e. self-regulation), especially the brain regions you have no conscious control over.


  • Integrate – to combine (one thing) with another so that they become a whole; bring into balance, optimal coordination, and appropriate participation.


There is abundant opportunity to discuss the neuroscience of bodywork within our sessions, if you’re interested. For now, please peruse the following questions and visit the Services section of this site for more information.


Above all, remember: Experience transcends expression.

Please contact us to experience your embodiment of this beautiful practice, and the beautiful process that is your nervous system (i.e. YOU!).

IS IT PAINFUL?

No. At times within a session, you will be challenged to become comfortable with uncomfortable feelings, but therapeutic touch is administered with the intention to prevent new pain stimulus.

It’s worth mentioning here that “pain” is in the nervous system. Healthy nerves do not contribute to pain experiences; therefore, pain is the result of some kind of abnormal patterns of activity in a neural matrix – and it is a request for a resolution.

The mobilization of nerves therapeutically and strategically can help maintain their physiological health and reorient them toward their natural state of integrity. The only way to do this is with a gentle touch. This is the simple approach to each session.

IS IF SAFE?

Yes. Each session is performed in a safe, systematic, and strategic manner to meet the needs of you and your body. The process is an artful and scientific practice of communication with your nervous system, encouraging the resolution of tension with gentle, graceful guidance, respecting the human body and its inherent integrity.


Jackson will contact your skin with an attuned quality of touch, involving various degrees of pressure, ranging from light to deep, with hand-holds that are intentional, slow, intelligent, and responsive, with the aim to affect your body’s most effective self-regulation toward greater integrity.


This is a personal process toward body integration, guided by the practitioner and determined by you and your body. Ultimately, within our sessions, you are ALWAYS in control of your own body.

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR FOR A SESSION?

Wear light clothing that will keep you comfortable while laying down, standing, sitting, and walking.

What Men Wear: briefs or boxer briefs (typical), athletic apparel, swimsuit.

What Women Wear: briefs and bra (typical), athletic apparel, two-piece swimsuit.

The most important thing is that you are comfortable in what you wear, so you can be at ease in a therapeutic setting.

WHAT WILL MY FIRST SESSION BE LIKE?

Preparation: Prior to the first session, you will fill out a confidential health questionnaire.

Introduction: In the first session, we will begin with an introductory conversation, in which you express your intentions for the session/series and review your health history. Jackson will listen to your condition(s), interest(s), and goal(s), answering your questions and offering you information about the process of structural integration.

Opening Assessment: You will be asked to stand up and move around the space as Jackson performs a visual assessment of your posture and movement patterns.

Bodywork: The majority of the session will be performed on a bodywork table. You will receive a comfortable, effective therapy session in a quiet, heated room. Jackson will interact with you throughout the session, as the two of you engage in an exploration of the habituated patterns of conditioning within your body. You may be asked to stand or walk at various times to assess and integrate the changes you achieve together. The bodywork portion of the session usually concludes with seated bench work.

Closing Assessment: The session will end with another assessment to invite your awareness of the progress achieved. Jackson will offer educational tips and awareness exercises to support your integration in daily life, until the next session.

HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?

Most clients experience Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy within a series of 10 sessions, known as the Yoga Sparśa Ten-Series. It is inspired by Dr. Ida Rolf’s classic Rolfing® Ten-Series.

The Yoga Sparśa Ten-Series serves as a systematic approach to integrate your physical structure, producing greater alignment and optimization of both the structure (shape) and function (movement) of your body. Each session builds upon the last and prepares your body for the next, and the series is organized in three sections:

  • The Surface Sessions (Sessions 1-3) serve to educate yourself about how to notice tension and restrictions at the superficial layers of the body and how to release patterns creating posture and movement limitations.

  • The Core Sessions (Sessions 4-7) serve to alleviate deeper tension and restrictions that traverse and impact territories within your body, particularly along the spine, that obstruct optimal function within your structure.

  • The Integration Sessions (Sessions 8-10) serve as an opportunity to fine tune and clarify the body in order to achieve resilient posture, optimal movement, and natural integrity.


The Yoga Sparśa Ten-Series provides you will a complete itinerary to guide your body through its journey of integration. Although structural goals may be similar, the same session may look very different for each client, due to the distinct physicality of each person based upon genetics and habituated patterns of conditioning (i.e. learned behavior, movement patterns, etc.). Each session and series is as unique as the person within it.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SCHEDULE MY SESSIONS FOR A TEN-SERIES?

Yoga Sparśa Ten-Series clients benefit most when they enroll in sessions on a consistent basis. The consistency is always dependent on the client's needs.

The ideal schedule for most clients is one session per week for 10 weeks, with a lower limit of one session every 3-4 days and with an upper limit of one session every other week for 20 weeks.

Consistency is critical. The Yoga Sparśa Ten-Series is all about momentum. It is a progressive process, in which each session builds upon the last and prepares for the next. As a Ten Series client, it’s important that you offer your body the appropriate time and space and input necessary for your nervous system to modulate toward a more integral state, i.e. a state of integrity.

WILL I NEED SESSIONS AFTER MY TEN SERIES?

Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy is designed as a process of empowerment – an education in your own integrity. Our goal is to teach you how to embody your own inner resilience; so ideally, after a Ten Series, you won’t feel the need for more appointments.

Once you’ve completed a Ten Series, it’s recommended to give your body about six months before your next session. This gives you time to embody your experience, allowing your body the time and space for your nervous system to continue its own process of integration.

Our work together will have changed your body’s course of development by training your nervous system to move into a state of greater harmony. Therefore, unless an accident intervenes, the body will continue along its new course toward a new destiny and into greater integrity, and subsequent sessions will only be necessary if you choose.

HOW IS YOGA SPARŚA INTEGRATION THERAPY DISTINCT FROM MASSAGE THERAPY?

These two practices of manual therapy are distinct, and complimentary. In Massage Therapy, the therapist works with the client to elicit a state of relaxation, often resulting in short-term change. In Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy, the practitioner works with the client to integrate the person within their field of gravity, often resulting in long-term change.


In brief:

  • Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy serves as an educational experience.

  • Massage Therapy serves as a relaxation experience.


More specifically, Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy works with the client to explore habituated patterns of conditioning to their origins for the purposes of reconditioning or elimination. The practice is a strategic and systematic neuro-centric method of education, interaction and exploration, establishing client goals in a process-based, non-linear framework – as opposed to a symptom-based, linear framework – with the practitioner employing highly individualized applications of manual, movement, and experiential techniques to integrate the client’s sense of Body and Self in order to optimize long-term health and well-being.

Massage Therapy, on the other hand, works with the client to alleviate symptoms of present tension. The practice is a systematic method of relaxation, establishing the client goals in a symptom-based, linear framework, with the practitioner employing general applications of manual techniques to reduce discomfort and induce pleasure in order to achieve a temporary stress release.

Additionally, Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy is a manual therapy and exercise that considers the whole human being, with deliberate interaction with the nervous system in order to influence the integration of sensation, perception, coordination, and affection. The practice focuses on brain function, spinal cord function, and nerve function, in alignment with neuroscience research to work with greater efficacy and compassion to effect self-empowerment within clients.


In summary, Massage Therapy addresses the client’s current state of stress and relaxation, while Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy educates the client about their own state of human potential for life.

HOW IS YOGA SPARŚA INTEGRATION THERAPY DISTINCT FROM OTHER PRACTICES OF STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION (E.G. ROLFING, ETC.)?

Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy is a practice of manual therapy that is may be distinguished from other methods of Structural Integration due to its incorporation of the philosophy and practices of within the tradition of Yoga as well as the neurophysiology research that informs DermoNeuroModulation into the framework and principles of Dr. Ida Rolf’s classic Ten-Series.

Structural Integration itself is a term coined by Dr. Ida P. Rolf, who studied in the tradition of Yoga prior to developing, marketing, and branding Rolfing® Structural Integration. The principles of Dr. Rolf’s brand of manual therapy appropriate directly from yogic principles without attribution to the tradition. The now various forms of Structural Integration do not acknowledge the appropriation either.


While Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy is a method of Structural Integration, it aligns itself with the traditional practice of Yoga and DermoNeuroModulation because the explanatory models of each practice are validated by neurophysiology research. While other methods of Structural Integration choose to preserve and perpetuate outdated explanatory models of manual therapy, Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy is informed my academic and clinical research in the fields of neuroscience, particularly pain physiology, which offers a healthier basis for its practice as a manual therapy.

Therefore, Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy is a biopsychosocial, neuro-centric approach to manual therapy, requiring the acknowledgement and appreciation, assessment and addressment of the whole human being in order to invite a person into a better relationship with their own Body and Self.

Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy is founded to honor the search for truth at the heart of ancient and modern science. In this way, it also serves to give manual therapy a modality with a name beyond a cult of individual ego and to remind practitioners of its selfless and timeless principles and origins.

YOGA ASANA

For more information about this service, please visit the Services section of the website.

 

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR FOR A SESSION?

Wear light clothing that will keep you comfortable while laying down, standing, sitting, and walking.

What Men Wear: athletic apparel (typical).

What Women Wear: athletic apparel (typical).

The most important thing is that you are comfortable in what you wear, so you can be at ease in a therapeutic setting.

WHAT WILL MY FIRST SESSION BE LIKE?

Preparation: Prior to the first session, you will fill out a confidential health questionnaire.

Introduction: In the first session, we will begin with an introductory conversation, in which you express your intentions for the session/series and review your health history. Jackson will listen to your condition(s), interest(s), and aspiration(s), answering your questions and offering you information about the practice of Yoga Asana.

Pre-Practice Assessment: Together, you and Jackson will determine a movement principle to serve as a focal point for your session. You will be asked to stand up and move around the space as Jackson performs a visual assessment of your posture and movement patterns.

Practice: The majority of the session will serve as an exploration of the chosen movement principle, using of traditional yoga postures. You will receive a safe, effective therapeutic exercise session in a quiet, heated room. Jackson will instruct you in proper biomechanics with gentle hands-on adjustments as the two of you engage in an exploration of the habituated patterns of conditioning within your body.

Post-Practice Assessment: The session will end with another assessment to determine the progress achieved. Jackson will offer educational tips and awareness exercises to support your integration in daily life, until the next session.

HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?

The number of sessions required is dependent on individual goals, and each session is as unique as the person within it. Most clients experience sessions of Yoga Asana to complement their integrative process within a series of Yoga Sparśa Integration Therapy.

LOCATIONS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE & VERMONT
Hanover, NH
Richmond, VT
White River Junction, VT

©2018 by Integrity Yoga LLC