Pain and Neuroplasticity

Last week I introduced beginner’s mind as a philosophical practice we can use to restore neural plasticity to a yoga practice that has maybe gotten a little rote.

This week I wanted to talk about pain and neuroplasticity.

Have you seen the video of the veteran who wants to learn yoga and the only person who will work with him is the ex WWE wrestler Diamond Dallas Page? 

I’ve probably watched this video 50 times and it still chokes me up every time.



When we start a new activity we might think it’ll be easy because things come naturally to us.  Alternately, we might think this new thing will be hard because our attitude is to acknowledge the challenges present in new things.  Either way, we are probably right because we are bringing our attitudes and ideas to the activity.

Moving beyond pain with neuroplasticity

Did you catch Arthur’s statement around three minutes? He says, “Just because I can’t do it today doesn’t mean I’m not going to be able to do it someday.”

That’s an example of being open to neural plasticity when times are tough.  Sometimes the best we can do is to have faith in neural plasticity.  We have to have faith that our body, mind and spirit is open to change.  It’s the scientific backing for the fake it till you make it mentality.  When you live with chronic pain, a mental health challenge, or are just going through tough times, the knowledge that change is inevitable can be all you have. 

Neural plasticity is a concept that tells us our brain is open to change.

How we choose to shape it is up to us.

Next week we’ll build on pain and neuroplasticity by exploring how novel physical environments build neural plasticity.

Read Post #1 in the series, Beginner’s Mind and Neuroplasticity.

Read Post #3, Neuroplasticity from Aqua Yoga.

Read Post #4, Yoga and Neuroplasticity.

If you want to improve your neuroplasticity and your pain levels, join the Aqua Yoga for Arthritis course.

I’ve taught 100’s of people in live classes and helped them achieve results that improved their daily lives like:

🧘 getting on and off the floor again

🤻 being able to use the stairs

🚶 ditching the assistive devices

👟 throwing out the sensible shoes

🧎 rehabbing after joint replacements,

🛌 and getting a decent night’s sleep.

And finally, I get to do that for you long-distance too. The Aqua Yoga for Arthritis Course is the culmination of hundreds of hours of training geared towards exercise and pain management for arthritis. As well as my lived experience of managing multiple kinds of arthritis through yoga.

Yoga improves arthritis through more than movement and the course gives you a suite of resources to apply the full 8 limbs of yoga. From a professionally produced practice class for the days you feel good and want to build strength and flexibility, to a downloadable workbook for the days when a physical practice isn’t possible.

The resources are grounded in best practice from the science, in line with yoga philosophy, and approved by regular people bettering their lives with these techniques. I’m looking forward to working with you.


I'm a yoga teacher who specializes in making yoga accessible in the pool and on land. I also train and coach other yoga and aquatics professionals in aqua yoga. My teaching style is engaging, responsive, and fun. 

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