Christine Saari

Christine Saari
Foundations Program Graduate
Advanced Program Graduate
C-IAYT Yoga Therapist
Guilford, CT
Yoga Therapy Case Study: Medication-Resistant Depression

Since embarking on the Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program, my journey has led me to become a dedicated and practicing yoga therapist. Through this transformative experience, I have found myself gaining invaluable experience and a deep sense of confidence as I actively engage in guiding my clients toward alleviating their physical and emotional challenges.

Professionally and personally, I’ve discovered a profound sense of fulfillment. This journey has enabled me to not only assist my clients in relieving their suffering but has also contributed to my own growth and happiness. As a self-employed small business owner, I’ve been able to strike a harmonious work-life balance that brings me contentment and allows me to wholeheartedly invest in both my clients’ well-being and my personal life.

When I applied to the Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program, my life was already entwined with yoga as I was teaching private yoga sessions. However, I recognized that my client’s needs were often intricate and personalized, and I felt a strong desire to enhance my skills to address their concerns more effectively and strategically. My journey was naturally leading me towards yoga therapy, with its holistic and individualized approach rooted in a comprehensive knowledge base that surpassed my existing expertise at the time.

Drawing from my background as a former classical flutist, I was well-acquainted with the role of a teacher, guiding individuals toward their unique goals. This familiarity led me to envision transferring this teaching approach to the realm of yoga therapy, where I could support others in achieving their physical and emotional well-being.

In my quest for the right program, I was drawn to the Breathing Deeply Program for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the program’s proximity was convenient for me, making it a practical choice. Moreover, what truly stood out was Brandt Passalacqua’s distinctive approach to yoga therapy, which I resonated with deeply. His videos on the program’s website allowed me to feel a connection with him even before joining, fostering a sense of familiarity and trust. As I progressed through the program, my initial impressions were confirmed—Brandt has proven to be an approachable, intelligent, and dedicated mentor, embodying the qualities I had admired in his videos.

Breathing Deeply’s teachings have instigated profound personal growth, particularly through unexpected meditation practices. This daily meditation has not only transformed my life but has also aided in healing past trauma.

While I initially possessed a strong foundation in advanced asanas, it was under Brandt Passalacqua’s guidance that I shifted my focus to prioritizing meditation within my healing journey. This shift has been pivotal in my evolution as a yoga therapist.

Through consistent pranayama and daily meditation, my personal practice has significantly influenced my approach as a yoga therapist. This practice has allowed me to engage with clients more objectively, foster more effective therapeutic relationships, and remain fully present for their needs.

I hold deep gratitude for Brandt Passalacqua, whose mentorship and encouragement have been transformative. He guided me towards embracing meditation as a cornerstone of my journey, leading me to this stage of growth and development.

The shifts and changes I’ve witnessed in both my clients and my approach to yoga teaching have been deeply humbling and incredibly inspiring. With Brandt’s guidance, I’ve undergone a transformation that has reshaped how I approach my role as a yoga therapist.

Previously, while my general approach to private yoga was client-centered, I lacked the comprehensive frameworks that could provide a diverse array of strategies as a yoga therapist when addressing specific complaints. Through the structured frameworks offered by Breathing Deeply, I am now equipped to tailor practices to each client’s unique journey. This approach places a strong emphasis on active listening and a deep understanding of their challenges, enabling me to offer targeted support and to pivot when things aren’t working.

At the heart of this transformation is the realization that healing is a deeply personal voyage. The education and support I’ve gained from the Breathing Deeply program have empowered me to provide steadfast guidance while remaining detached from specific outcomes. This perspective has humbled me and infused my practice with a profound sense of purpose.

As I continue on this path, I’m ever-inspired by the growth I witness in my clients and the guidance I can provide, all of which have been shaped by the heart of the Breathing Deeply teachings.

My Breathing Deeply case studies allowed both of my clients to transform through yoga therapy. One person I worked with found balance and empowerment while on a journey with metastatic breast cancer and the other person was helped to overcome significant trauma as a police officer working for 3 decades in homicide. Both clients found inner peace and solace through dedicated therapeutic home yoga practices which they still continue to this day.

My expectations for this training were undoubtedly exceeded. At first, I had concerns about the program’s expansive scope and the potential to feel lost among numerous students. However, those worries were unfounded. Contrary to my concerns, I’ve felt a deep sense of belonging, recognition, and acceptance within the community.

The initial apprehension of joining a large group was alleviated from the very start. My first Zoom session was a turning point, dispelling my concerns. From there, I found myself in awe not only of the lead teacher but also of the teaching assistants, all of whom possess remarkable knowledge.

Without a doubt, the most invaluable aspect of the program has been the opportunity to connect with fellow individuals who are on a similar path. The sense of community that has blossomed from these connections has been a tremendous source of support and inspiration for me. I’ve found “my people.”

As we navigate our paths as yoga therapists, I am confident that these relationships will continue to provide unwavering support. Together, we are working towards raising awareness of the profound benefits of yoga therapy and its potential to become a vital component of mainstream healthcare.

For potential yoga therapy students considering the Breathing Deeply Program, there are a few crucial aspects to consider. Firstly, this program will cultivate your critical thinking abilities. Rather than teaching a formulaic approach to prescribing yoga for specific conditions, it empowers you with a comprehensive understanding and adaptable methodologies. You’ll gain invaluable problem-solving skills and an adeptness in devising strategies rather than relying on rigid prescriptions. This approach transcends the memorization of traditional knowledge, guiding you to integrate time-honored practices with contemporary insights rooted in neuroscience and Western medical expertise.

Secondly, if you have an interest in working with clients facing mental health challenges, this program stands out as a pinnacle of excellence. The training excels particularly in the realm of mental health. The knowledge and skills you’ll acquire here will provide an unparalleled foundation for working effectively with clients in this domain.

In essence, the Breathing Deeply Program offers a transformative journey that fosters a nuanced, strategic, and holistic approach to yoga therapy. It equips you not just with knowledge, but with the ability to innovate and adapt in a rapidly evolving field.

I’ve co-founded Yoga Therapy Associates in partnership with Sara Merrick-Albano, a dedicated yoga therapist and fellow Breathing Deeply graduate. Our joint effort has led to the establishment of a telehealth-based yoga therapy company headquartered in Connecticut. Our core mission involves close collaboration with mental health clinicians and referring physicians with a core objective to offer specialized training and education to mental health professionals, enabling them to seamlessly integrate somatic techniques and breathwork into their clinical practices. To learn more, please explore our website linked above.

Info Session

Brandt talks about common questions applicants have about the Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program. Tune in to get the full program details.