Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation

If you’ve tried a meditation practice you probably know how challenging it is to quiet our minds. You may have even experienced the incessant chatter that is the background to our everyday lives. Most people exist in this constant state and find it difficult to shift out of it, into the “rest and digest” parasympathetic mode.

Essential to our health and well-being is the ability to find periods of quiet, stillness and calm.  Creating quiet space balanced with activity is important to create equilibrium. Once you experience, and practice becoming still and quiet, you stop missing the special moments in life, you see life in a whole new way – the mindful way.  The results of being mindful stay with us after our practice, including better mood, less stress and anxiety, and more focused brain function.  We are able to make better choices with more effective problem solving and be proactive rather than reactive in everyday life.  We’d love to help you find your way toward mindful living and authentic engagement with the world, because your health will benefit!

Join us at our introductory workshop on Mindfulness where you’ll learn core skills, and build your own practice.

“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.”  – Rumi


Location:  Alongside You – #205-4840 Delta Street Ladner

Cost:  $49+GST

Time:  Friday July 28th 8:00-9:45

For more information please contact:  Brenna Jacobson (Pelvic Floor Specialty) (RYT 250) Pre-post Natal Consultant.

Phone: 604-283-7827 Ext 709 Email:

Need to go out, but feel like ur-ine trouble?

Need to go out, but feel like ur-ine trouble?

If you are ready to step back into active living and shed the inconvenience of incontinence, I am offering my 6 Week Progressive Program beginning July 1st to help you deal with the symptoms of Stress or Urge Incontinence.  Having taught these methods for pelvic rehabilitation for the last seven years, they have proven time and again to either solve the issues surrounding incontinence or greatly decrease symptoms depending on the individual situation.  Particularly effective for post-partum moms, but also for those who have been living with chronic symptoms, sometimes for many years! Incontinence is not just a normal part of life we have to accept, and does not go away on its own. My program uses a combination of proven techniques, including the scientific (PF) pelvic floor Pfilates program designed by a urogynecologist, which teaches you strategic, straightforward exercises, posture adjustments, breathing techniques, and lifestyle changes that are all focused on optimum bladder function.

If you or someone you care about has been struggling with incontinence, maybe it’s time to take advantage of the summer months and take back some control! Everybody pees, lots of people pee at inconvenient times – I can help you avoid the inconvenience of incontinence!

Please give me a call, I’d love to work with you!

LocationAlongside You – #205-4840 Delta Street, Ladner

Times: Morning and Evening bookings available for the six 90 minute sessions

Price:  $120 per private session, taxes included.

For more information please contact:  Brenna Jacobson (Pelvic Floor Specialty) (RYT 250) Pre-post Natal Consultant.

Phone: 604-283-7827 Ext 709 Email:

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation For Post-Prostatectomy Incontinence and Various Other Pelvic Conditions in Men

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation For Post-Prostatectomy Incontinence and Various Other Pelvic Conditions in Men

The pelvic floor rehabilitation program that I teach, (PFP) Pelvic Floor Pilates, designed by Nevada urogynecologist Dr Bruce Crawford, was created to provide an effective alternative to the traditional recommendation of “do your Kegels.” Pelvic floor health is a fitness issue! Pelvic floor disorders are, for the most part, neuromuscular disorders and are well suited to neuromuscular solutions. With regular and high-quality conditioning, surgery for pelvic floor disorders can often be avoided, excluding when cancer is the diagnosis.

The scientifically researched exercises were studied over a 2 year period, and over 200 exercises were tried using EMG (electromyography) recordings to determine which were the most effective in recruiting the pelvic floor muscles, consisting of transversus abdominis (TVA),  adductors (inner thigh muscles), gluteals (min, max, and med) and external hip rotators.  These muscles all work in concert to provide support for the pelvic organs, and to restore and maintain pelvic health in both females and males.

I am specifically addressing the relevance of pelvic rehabilitation on urinary incontinence in men in relation to prostatitis, interstitial cystitis and prostatectomy.  There are many serious issues for men that can benefit from pelvic floor rehabilitation, including aging, obesity, chronic lung disease, chronic constipation, chronic corticosteroid use, genetics, previous pelvic surgery, sexual dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and Crohn’s disease to name several.  Men are most likely to have pelvic floor disorders due to post-surgical complications, prostatitis or interstitial cystitis.

The job of the pelvic floor is to support the bladder, urine tube, prostate, and rectum, as well as provide sphincter control for the bladder and bowel.  It also provides support from intra-abdominal pressure created from straining, heavy lifting, chronic coughs, or just from laughing.  The weakening of pelvic floor muscles (atrophy) can be due to hormonal changes, including decreased testosterone.  Pelvic organ prolapse can result in loss of control of the bowels.   Night time voiding may be a sign of an overactive bladder (OAB), referred to as urgency incontinence, which is a condition common in both men and women.  So, there are a lot of conditions we don’t always associate with our pelvic floor, but it is actually our “core,” or our centre of strength.

In order to be functional, pelvic floor muscles (PFM) need strength, endurance and co-ordination. Kegel exercises have commonly been taught as the method of strengthening these muscles. Using research with electromyography (EMG), however, it has been found that the PFM do not work in isolation and need to work in conjunction with the regional muscles of the inner thigh, buttocks and the deepest layer of abdominals – the transversus abdominis (TVA).  Proper conditioning of these muscles not only requires a sustained contraction, but equal release.  More effective and functional than Kegel exercises is the plyometric activation of the muscles, requiring a pulsing type of movement originally used for athletes that need quick bursts of energy.

The Pilates exercises that I incorporate into my program include three different types of contractions to stimulate all the functions of the pelvic floor:

1) movement – repetitions

2) endurance – a holding phase during peak engagement of the muscles

3) pulsing – a phase where the muscles are contracted and then released rapidly with equal force to provide the plyometric type of conditioning

This is what makes these exercises so effective with urinary incontinence. They strengthen the muscles, train the muscles for endurance, and strengthen the urinary and anal sphincters.

Other techniques I incorporate into my therapy include breath work, posture and Therapeutic Yoga techniques.  The Yoga Therapy for the urinary system is structured to increase blood flow to the kidneys and strengthen the muscles that control the bladder. These techniques are taught to be performed in a very specific manner, hand in hand with the breath and strengthening through holding for a set period of time.

Yoga Therapy is proving to be very effective in conjunction with other forms of therapy. Some conditions where symptoms are often improved in both women and men include pelvic inflammatory disease, sterility or infertility, enlarged prostate, prostatitis, fibroid cysts, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and post-operative cancer, including post mastectomy and post prostatectomy.

In conclusion, more and more studies and randomized trials are being conducted in the fields of pelvic floor exercises and Therapeutic Yoga techniques, with positive results. The Cochrane Institute has supported pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) for several years now as the first line of defense and support for urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction.

A recent example of this research is  Pilot randomized trial of conventional versus advanced pelvic floor exercises to treat urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy:  A study protocol, Santa Mina et al. BMC Urology (2015) 15:94, Open Access, BioMed Central.

I hope this is helpful in explaining my approach to various pelvic floor issues and how pelvic floor rehabilitation can be a viable and effective choice. And finally, if there is anything that we can do to support you at Alongside You, don’t hesitate to reach out or call  604-283-7827 ext. 709.

Brenna Jacobson, (RYT), Yoga Therapy, Pelvic Floor Specialty, Pre-Post Natal Consultant






Pre-Natal Yoga: The greatest gift a mother gives her family

Pre-Natal Yoga: The greatest gift a mother gives her family

“The greatest gift a mother gives her family is a commitment to her own self-care” Cheryl

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new,” and so in you the child your mother lives on and through your family continues to live… so at this time look after yourself and your family as you would your mother for through you all she will truly never die.”― Osho Shree Rajneish

Caught your interest?  Tell me more you might be asking!

Pre-natal Yoga can provide the tools to access and connect with all the resources you have to birth your baby.  You, as a mother can unite with your breath, body, inner knowing, and the new life you are carrying inside.

Coming to a Pre-natal Yoga class can help you check in with how you are feeling.  Pregnancy can be an isolating experience, so our classes are also a great opportunity to make new mom friends! Aside from the relaxing and the physical experience, your “Mom Tribe” can come together, discuss feelings, fears, release emotions that may be building, and share resources. Pre-natal Yoga is also about building strong, capable, and competent mothers who are preparing to face some of the major changes ahead. The changes may be in relationships, like with the father of your child who may have been enjoying an exclusive relationship with you prior to the 1st born, and now is going to be sharing you with another family member.

What other ways can Pre-natal Yoga help me?

Pre-natal Yoga can provide benefits on every possible level: physical, mental, and spiritual bonding with the baby, balancing hormones, learning pain coping techniques, learning self-regulation through stress reduction and the using your nervous system, and conscious relaxation (relaxation on purpose)!

Practical application of Pre-natal Yoga knowledge

Pre-natal Yoga can help you have a powerful birth experience and help you to feel inspired and empowered, by overcoming fears about the birthing process.  You will learn about contraindicated poses, (whether to avoid or do in a gentler manner) or to avoid altogether. You will learn breathing techniques that can provide pain relief, control energy, teach you to find a focal point, and work synchronistically with the challenges of labor and childbirth, connecting the body and the mind.

But I’ve never done yoga before?

You can safely begin a Pre-natal yoga practice at any point through your pregnancy as long as you have clearance from your care provider.  You will be free to modify your poses with whatever props you want, and your teacher will give you lots of safe options, right up to delivery.

You are not done yet, and you are not alone!

This is just the beginning of your yoga journey.  Once your body has had a chance to recover from delivery, you can progress to your Post-partum Yoga. You might be thinking, “But I have already been through everything, what else is there?”

Delivery of that lovely baby is just the beginning of the journey.  You are now responsible for this new little life.  You may feel a desire to reintegrate with your Post-natal Tribe.  You have all gone through a unique experience, and now have a series of new experiences to come, in common.  You share in a spiritual companionship with other women.  You might build a community of moms, sharing new resources, building confidence in yourselves as moms.  You may be feeling blue, or even mildly depressed, often simply due to lack of sleep, which is not at all uncommon. Not to mention the physical rebuilding of pelvic core strength, regaining core strength and stability.  Repairing your posture, and maybe losing a few pounds.  There are other physical issues you may need to deal with, slight urinary incontinence, diastasis recti abdominus (DRA) which often presents as “Mummy Tummy.” Post-natal Yoga and Pelvic Rehabilitation can continue what you started in Pre-natal Yoga class to help you recover, and be your best in your new life as a Mom!

What better place to unwind, revitalize and “let go” and find that sense of belonging, than in the safe environment of your Post-natal Yoga class, with your fellow moms, your Yoga Tribe.


Stay tuned for information on Post-natal Yoga classes coming soon!


We’re celebrating the opening of our new yoga studio by offering Pre-Natal Yoga classes as a 6 week Progressive Series! Pregnancy is a time to keep your workouts fun and safe! Experience with yoga is not necessary.  These classes are fun and educational and are open to all stages of pregnancy.

Sign up for you pre-natal yoga class today!

Have questions? Call Brenna at (604) 283-7827 ext. 709 or email


Yoga Therapy and Trauma Sensitive Yoga Therapy in Practice

Yoga Therapy and Trauma Sensitive Yoga Therapy in Practice

Gentle Vehicles for Healing

Case Studies in Metro Vancouver, bases on real life experiences


Case Study #1:  Ten year old Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) resulting in the following chronic symptoms:

  1. Soft tissue injury in upper back and neck, exacerbated by a fall onto the left elbow.

Results after one month, using Physical Yoga Therapy and Techniques:

  • Easing of pain in shoulder, which has resulted in improved sleep at night
  • Greater mobility in movement of shoulders and arms
  • Greater mobility and range of motion in neck
  • Improved posture
  • Improved mobility in hips
  1. Arthritis in facet joints, brought on by MVA:

Results after one month, using Gentle Yoga Therapy and Techniques:

  • Nurture and maintenance of spine flexibility

These improvements have resulted in our client having more energy, and mental clarity, being free from the exhausting pain. The client also now knows and has the ability to self-regulate and correct as necessary.  The client will move forward with back strengthening techniques, but for now is just enjoying being relatively pain free.


Case Study #2:  Lung surgery in adolescence – Resulting in severe Apnea until present age of early sixties, including misaligned left shoulder and hip due to compensating for breathing imbalance.

Results after two and a half months, using a combination of Physical Yoga Therapy and Trauma Sensitive Yoga Therapy Techniques:

  • no longer anticipating the next breath
  • improved posture, increased lung capacity for the breath
  • shoulder position greatly corrected with posture
  • increased left hip mobility with a greater range of motion
  • client demonstrates greater confidence and a lighter, happier state of being


Case Study #3:   Previous student of yoga for many years.  No longer able to practice due to fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, resulting in tension in jaw & neck.

An example of how what happens in the mind is reflected in the body.

Results after 3 months, using a combination of Physical Yoga Therapy and Trauma Sensitive Yoga Therapy Techniques:

  • Noticeable decrease in anxiety. The client demonstrates a lighter presence where there used to be heaviness
  • Release techniques have greatly reduced the jaw and neck tension
  • Gentle therapeutic program, designed for the client’s particular needs, has allowed for a return to home-based practice and resulting in becoming comfortable in one’s body, and eventually returning to group sessions
  • Trauma Sensitive Yoga Therapy breathing techniques and guided meditation to rest the body and mind, enables the client to stabilize and stay grounded
  • Gain key ability to tune in and listen to one’s body in order to be able to self-regulate at first sign of tension, anxiety and stress
  • Letting go of anxiety and tension using gentle therapeutic yoga practice, the aches from the fibromyalgia have decreased due to improved circulation, and the release of uptight muscles and joints



Our yoga focuses on addressing the root of the issue before deciding, alongside you, what the goal of your yoga practice is and how to address this through therapeutic yoga.  Your planning with our professionals will look at your overall physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing and how therapeutic yoga can help you address these areas.

Have questions? Call Brenna at (604) 283-7827 ext. 709 or email