Sarah Garden is the director of Bodhi Tree Yoga Therapy and co-director of Bodhi Tree Yoga College in Regina, Saskatchewan. She runs busy yoga therapy classes primarily aimed at people suffering from back and neck pain. Her classes are fun and educational, with an emphasis on healing and re-integrating the body to produce healthier and happier yogis.
Interview with Sarah
What style, tradition, and/or lineage are you a part of (if any)?
I don't have one particular style or lineage. Colin (my partner in life and yoga partner in crime) and I usually joke that we are yoga pirates. A couple of years ago I was grandparented into the IAYT so I guess that makes me a yoga therapy pirate.
I have had the privilege of studying with some amazing teachers who were influenced by Iyengar Yoga and Sun Jeevan Yoga. I’ve also studied different movement practices and therapies. As a result of being the only yoga therapist for hundreds of kilometers for 15 years, I’ve made ties with local physiotherapists, physicians, and other healthcare professionals who have also greatly influenced my perspective on teaching and working as a yoga therapist. I get to pirate the goods from what I’ve learned from biomedical professionals, and I infuse that information with the gold from yoga traditions. I see it as a way to connect an evidence-based practice with the awareness, empowerment, and agency that can come from the practice of yoga and yoga therapy.
What can I expect from your classes on YI?
My classes on YI are strongly influenced by evidenced-based practice. I keep my approach accessible, with a special focus on people who have pain or chronic health conditions. The classes are gentle and invitational, helping people to connect with their breath and body, reduce and eliminate pain, and regain agency over their health and well-being.
What’s on your mind these days yoga-wise?
I love that there is a broader movement to make yoga accessible to more people. I was so fortunate to have had teachers that individualized practices decades ago. It was what enabled me to be able to fall in love with the practice. As yoga reaches a larger audience, I see the capacity for it to create more connections for people and be a real force for change in the world. I see yoga acting more and more as a catalyst to wake up people in their own bodies and minds as well as driving social, political, and environmental change.
What do you like to do outside of yoga?
If I am being honest, the whole inside-or-outside-of-yoga thing is always hard for me to define. My movement, breathing, and my thinking are all influenced by yoga so sometimes I get on my mat and sometimes I don't, but I feel like yoga is always inside me. In Saskatchewan, we have long, cold winters. We have snow late October to April, but being outside is still one of my favorite things. I am usually outside with Colin and our two teenagers, Eli and Loa. We stand-up paddleboard, longboard, bike, walk, and hike.