By Michelle Talsma Everson
Photos by Be Peachie (bepeachie.com)
From your first hello, it’s obvious that Ashley Sayaloune loves what she does.
She is the owner and operator of Modified Movement, a corrective exercise, yoga therapy hybrid designed to help adults who have experienced acute or nagging chronic injuries that are holding them back from their favorite activities. Individual programs are created for in-home one on one weekly lessons working through challenges to the client’s aspirations.
“It [Modified Movement] is like a step between doctors, say if you’ve had an injury, and a personal trainer,” she explains. “I help you to prevent more injuries by training your body to have good movement habits.”
“For many patients, after injury and or treatment, their doctor will recommend that they start off with something like yoga,” Ashley says. “What they don’t tell you is: what kind of yoga, where to go, who knows enough to keep you safe, and who cares enough to keep you safe while you complete your journey of healing? The answer: I care enough. My primary goal is to help you build back both strength and confidence in your body while reducing pain and fatigue. This is the kind of therapy your doctor had in mind when she recommended you try yoga.”
After spending time working in Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center’s radiation therapy office, Ashley says that she became aware of the struggle for cancer patients to manage their symptoms from treatment and heal from surgical procedures. Wanting to help patients find relief with an alternative approach, she enrolled in the Scottsdale Community College’s one-of-a-kind yoga program for two years to receive a certification in Hatha yoga.
“I have implemented a therapeutic approach to teaching that has been shown to rehabilitate patients after injury or surgery and alleviate long standing chronic discomfort by teaching yoga programs based on an individual student’s needs,” she explains. “My ultimate focus is helping my clients achieve an active lifestyle in spite of their physical challenges and painful symptoms.”
Ashley explains that most clients spend six to nine months with her. First, they learn how and why their injuries have occurred. Next, she guides them on how to reprogram their muscles and joints through a specific set of sequenced movements. These are movements that she has created specifically for the client and their condition. As clients learn how to treat and fix the source of their injury, they begin to experience a rapid reduction in daily pain, an increase in pain-free nights, and less dependence on pain management medications.
So, what types of issues can Modified Movement help you with?
Ashley says she can help clients with:
• General chronic pain
• Nerve compression
Through the one-on-one programs, she can come into people’s homes or over Zoom if they’re more comfortable with that. Most clients average two to three sessions a week and start off with a three-month program.
“Can you imagine waking up and getting out of bed without pain, or even confidently riding in a car without fear of pain upon arrival? Would you like to work with a professional who knows which exercises are safe for you and your body? Those are the questions I ask clients.”
Ashley says her one-on-one program works best for clients who would like:
• More activity with less discomfort
• A holistic approach to therapeutic movement
• Personal daily guidance to ensure safe practice
• The confidence to build your own exercise routines at home
Right now, Ashley says her 1-1 Move to Improve 90-day program is open and ready for new clients. She describes the program as a 90-day “dose of movement medicine that will create freedom in your movement.”
The program includes:
• Custom curriculum
• Weekly private instruction
• Accessible exercises
• Virtual content and daily support
• Lessons at home or online
This also includes flexible scheduling, tracking progress, access to chat with her for questions and answers, movement reminders and motivation, and a custom downloadable e-book.
“What’s important about my programs is the consistency,” Ashley explains. “I can’t stress enough the importance of yoga props; they can help make yoga modified and accessible to anyone. In general, I can use them and other tools to help modify any program for someone’s body and goals.”
“Many people feel yoga isn’t a good fit for them because they aren’t ‘flexible enough,’” she continues. “The good news is the Modified Movement 1-1 Move to Improve program uses props, support, modifications, and exercise variations to achieve the most optimal position for your personal healing. I have a keen understanding of how pain and injury impact our daily lives. With my support and guidance, you will be able to move out of pain and back to your favorite activities.”
In business for five years, Ashley has helped many local clients get back their range of motion and movement to live their very best lives.
“Ashley is absolutely the best,” says one client. “She is focused on improving my strength and posture as opposed to simply executing the exercises. I didn’t realize how important this could be. Small changes in form make a big difference in results… The benefits to my core strength, posture and energy level are remarkable.”
Ashley also points out how she can help those who are already athletic but are in need of improving their flexibility or are recovering from an injury.
“I completely and without hesitation recommend Ashley to relieve pain in hips, back, or shoulders, and for mobility to achieve the right form in Cross Fit, gymnastics and Olympic lifting movements,” shares one client. “Ashley put me in the right postures I needed to target my shoulder pain and help with my mobility (or lack of it). Anyone who does Cross Fit needs to dedicate some time for mobility work unless you would rather spend thousands of dollars going to physical therapy down the road. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that. Moreover, it will help your form incredibly lifting weights and make you a better Crossfitter.”
In the future, Ashley says she plans to partner with other health experts such as a chiropractor and naturopath physician to help her clients maintain their outcomes.
“The beautiful thing is that once you understand movement, you can use it to help relieve pain,” Ashley says. “There’s always a way to heal using movement. I love what I do. I’m always learning and passing that knowledge down to benefit my clients.”