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046. Integrating Yoga Philosophy in Pain Care with Marlysa Sullivan

Season #2

Marlysa Sullivan is a physiotherapist and yoga therapist with over 15 years of experience working with people suffering with chronic pain conditions. She is the physical therapy coordinator of the empower veterans program which provides an integrative model in working with people with chronic pain at the Veterans Administration. She is an Assistant Professor in Yoga Therapy and Integrative Health Sciences at Maryland University of Integrative Health and holds an adjunct position at Emory University, where she teaches the integration of yoga and mindfulness into physical therapy practice in the DPT program. She is also the author of Understanding Yoga Therapy: Applied Philosophy and Science for Well-being and co-editor of Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain as well as several peer-reviewed articles.

Marlysa has been involved in the professionalization of the field of yoga therapy through the educational standards committee of IAYT, which helped to define the competencies for the field, and in characterizing the yoga therapy workforce through research. Her research interests focus on defining the framework and explanatory model for yoga therapy based on philosophical and neurophysiological perspectives.

In episode 46, Jivana and Marlysa discuss:

  • Marlysa’s book and the way she connects yoga therapy to traditional yoga philosophy concepts
  • Yoga therapy’s evolution in the West
  • Cultural appropriation vs. making the teachings accessible
  • Her research on Polyvagal Theory and the connection to the yoga concept of the gunas
  • Her work with people with chronic pain at the VA (Veteran’s Administration)
  • How to teach yoga to people with chronic pain
  • Focus on agency and empowerment

Connect with Marlysa on her website and purchase her book: Understanding Yoga Therapy: Applied Philosophy and Science for Health and Well-Being.

Yoga Therapy and Polyvagal Theory: The Convergence of Traditional Wisdom and Contemporary Neuroscience for Self-Regulation and Resilience

Jeremy Engles, The Ethics of Oneness: Emerson, Whitman and the Bhagavad Gita