Sam Goski’s yoga studio offers something more than downward dogs and low lunges.
Yew Tree Yoga, which reopened on Sept. 24 following renovations, has made its mark as Cadboro Bay’s destination for therapeutic yoga. Goski opened the studio after working more than two decades as a physiotherapist, merging her medical knowledge with her yoga training to design curative workouts for people who might not attend a typical yoga class.
“I have patients coming to me saying, ‘Oh, I don’t do yoga, I’m scared to do yoga,’” said Goski. “They’ve maybe been to a class and gotten hurt. I wanted to teach them yoga and continue to do physio in the form of more rehabilitative exercise.”
Goski said yoga can be used to treat a wide range of ailments, including arthritis, certain joint replacements and even physical complications related to cancer.
“For all the different types of cancers out there, the treatment is going to affect your body in different ways,” she said. ‘Your strength will deteriorate, so you need to slowly get your strength back.
“I’ve had some individuals with brain cancer and their balance is compromised. Certain cancers, if you need to have surgery, they’re going to restrict your mobility. For breast cancer survivors, mastectomies are quite notorious for affecting your upper arms and your shoulders.”
Prior to the expansion, Goski said the studio was a tad small, but the larger space at Yew Tree Yoga now allows her to more comfortably run classes and open her doors to more clients. As a result, she has started offering discounted rates for students and seniors, as well as monthly unlimited passes.
While joining a regular yoga class can be intimidating, Goski said she tries to have an inviting approach, starting clients with individual classes before they move into small group sessions.
“From my one-on-one sessions, I get an idea of what’s going on with the person’s body and see if they’re strong enough to come to a therapeutic class or if they need to work on a solid, customized program on their own,” she said. “Then they can gain strength and mobility and do an hour of therapeutic yoga.”
Goski said she hopes the expanded space will continue to allow her to help many others to treat their injuries and rebuild their strength.
“To me, it’s physical therapy at its purest form, and it’s really neat for me to see that transition with my clients,” she said.