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Testimonials

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Cardiovascular Associates of Glenbrook and Evanston

Micah J. Eimer MD FACC
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

"After years of talking to patients about losing weight and getting active we decided to try a different approach. We sought out local leaders in the field of exercise to SHOW our patients how to change their lives. Now instead of saying "go to a gym and exercise" I can tell patients "go see Paula at White Iris Yoga Therapy and she will direct you on how to become healthier through yoga.

"I have one patient in particular with complex medical issues who has done extremely well under Paula's supervision. This is not the kind of person that you send to the big box gym on the corner. I felt confident that under Paula's very experienced guidance she would be safe. I also love the fact that there is two-way communication between Paula and me about this patient's progress.

"We are lucky to collaborate with someone like Paula in helping our patients improve their health."

Alan Zunamon, MD
Assistant Professor, University of Chicago School of Medicine.

"As a client, I first met Paula Kout 15 years ago when I took her beginning yoga class. Having had intermittent low back pain for over 20 years there is no question that the best I ever felt was when I was consistently going to class and practicing yoga at home. Several years later I came back for yoga therapy after having suffered from chronic neck pain and again I was amazed by her aura, knowledge and healing skills.

"As a cardiologist I have known for over 20 years that yoga can be an important component of a healthy cardiovascular system. Dean Ornish, the well-known preventive cardiologist, helped prove back in the early 1990's that a combination of yoga, exercise, vegetarian diet and strong social support can be as powerful as medications and procedures in preventing and treating heart disease. Yoga can be a wonderful alternative to more traditional forms of exercise for people who for a variety of reasons cannot otherwise participate. When done properly the healing effects on mind, body, and spirit are hard to beat."

Patrick Myers, patient
"For the past 25 years, I've been traveling for my work and it, and being 62 finally caught up with me. I was hurting in the mornings, and feeling the stiffness that comes with age and work-related travel (and not a lot of exercise).

"Someone suggested I try yoga so I spoke to some orthopedic folks I know, and a massage therapist, and tried three different yoga instructors. None really fit the bill till I met with Paula. I did a few private sessions with her and keep going back. I enjoy the sessions in her studio and with her help I now practice when I'm on the road or at home as well.

"She's good people and I highly recommend her."

Rae Moses. Patient
"I was most happy with Paula and her knowledge of yoga and especially breathing problems. She is pleasant and also a good, but gentle task master."

Anonymous, patient
"Paula is very enthusiastic and a lovely lady to know. I was hesitant to try yoga because I have limited flexibility. Paula was able to tailor the yoga to my health situations. First, we worked to improve my posture to relieve my back and neck pain. With that under control, our main emphasis turned to breathing techniques to combat my chronic pneumonia. She will design a program for whatever your needs are and make it something you really look forward to doing!"

Yoga Classes

Jodi Smith Cohen
"Over the last seven years, with Paula’s help, I have learned so much about my body...how I stand, walk, breathe, where I hold tension...I have come to rely on her class as a time to connect to my body, to build strength, and to relax. Several years ago, I began to look for local yoga studios as I traveled. I have been genuinely surprised by other teachers’ comments. I have been told that I have a “beautiful” practice! I believe what they are saying is that I am able to feel into my body when I need to inch into or move more deeply into a pose. If I am right, it is because Paula spends the time helping each of us be patient as we try to get back into our natural alignment." Sarah Bernauer
"I leave here so inspired that I want to go home and do more yoga than I already do!"

Anxiety

Kate Kniffen, Librarian
"I have been anxious for most of my adult years. Psychotherapy helped a lot but my anxiety was still depleting my energy and limiting my pleasure in life so I asked Paula for help. Using her years of experience, she has provided me with tools to relax myself from the inside out so that I am much more at ease with myself."

Back Pain

Judy Mendel
"About ten years ago, after trying physical therapy for my back pain, I began to study yoga with Paula. After three weeks, I realized during a class that I had no more pain. With her knowledge of the body and her calm style, Paula encouraged me to explore and discover answers on my own, with the confidence that I would not injure myself." Anonymous
I came to White Iris seeking relief, or at least reduction, for chronic back pain after failed back surgery and kidney surgery. I had attempted all traditional modalities, and although I maintained an active work and social life, I was restricted due to unresolved scaring and lack of flexibility. At White Iris, and with Paula, I find an environment that promotes thoughtful and patient healing. In the nearly six months I’ve worked with Paula, my pain is reduced, my posture improved and my strength and flexibility beginning to be returned. I’m thankful for her healing ways, unfailingly optimistic and affirming attitude, and for creating a healing space. Sara, College Student
My doctor recommended Paula Kout for my scoliosis and atypical kyphosis in which the curves of my spine had reversed. I have been working with Paula for about six months and have seen a drastic change. I feel more relief from pain now than I have in my entire life. The shape of my spine is different and continues to change. I can go for walks again and each week my spine looks better than the week before. She has offered a variety of stretches and exercises that release years worth of muscle knots and spasms. My body feels like it can breathe and work as an integrated unit. This increasing comfort in my body has also led to feeling less stressed and generally happier. I cannot state enough how helpful this type of treatment is.

Back Pain From Injury

Clare LaPlante, Writer
"I came to Paula's classes with a back injury that often flared up in pain. Through her skillful teaching and deep intuitive understanding of the body, she has helped my back find its natural alignment and strength. The process has been as rewarding as the results, since each class is a practice in deep stillness and restoration. "

Ann Mallow
"Paula has helped me considerably with severe back problems which resulted from an automobile accident many years ago. I learned postures from her which helped much more than anything done in physical therapy. These exercises have helped me to remain mobile and reduce my level of pain."

Bunions, Hips, Neck/Shoulder

Kim Carter, Business Manager
"I have been practicing yoga with Paula for over five years now and there have been many amazing benefits. At Paula's recommendation I began wearing Yoga Toes® and was able to avoid surgery for my bunions and no longer have the excruciating pain that used to keep me awake at night. After complaining of severe hip pain my doctor referred me to a rheumatologist whose recommendation was to take a medication with the possible side effect of blindness! Paula has shown us so many hip-opening poses that I no longer have pain and certainly don't need medication! After waking up with extreme pain in my neck and shoulder, my doctor prescribed muscle relaxers. While that helped temporarily, I nearly had to cancel a vacation due to the ongoing pain. At my weekly yoga class with Paula she put me in a pose for one and a half hours and my pain was gone! I was able to go on vacation, and have continued to use this pose in my daily practice to keep the pain from returning. "

Nancy Brussat, Restaurant Owner
"I was having trouble with my foot (a previous fracture) and my hip (arthritis). Paula has helped me to understand my body, what my limitations are and how I could strengthen those problem areas. She is an excellent instructor who doesn’t push but encourages and intelligently recommends stretches, exercises and centering. I know all of that advice will stay with me for years to come."

Breast Cancer

Ronna Stamm, Breast Cancer Survivor
"I found my work with Paula during my recent battle with breast cancer to be an invaluable source of support. She was a critically important part of my healthcare "team." I met with Paula weekly during my chemotherapy, recovery from surgery, and radiation. Each week she assessed my level of energy and geared our session to just what I needed - from helping me to develop a meditation practice and handle my anxiety to helping me regain my range of motion and strength after surgery. Two years later I still work with Paula weekly to help maintain my flexibility, strength and sense of well-being."

Anonymous, Breast Cancer Survivor
"I will forever be greatful to Paula for the restorative yoga that got me through extensive chemotherapy and radiation. Since finishing my treatment the program, that Paula specifically devised for my recovery needs, continues to strengthen my body as well as help keep lymphadema at bay. I am a physician and am constantly impressed by Paula's knowledge of the human body, and how she uses this knowledge to tailor one's practice to specific physical needs."

Anonymous
"I have gained so much from your teaching; the breathing alone has helped me infinitely to relax, and I appreciate your help and insight more than you might imagine."

Frozen Trapezius

Kate Kniffen, Librarian
"Before I began working with Paula, my shoulders and neck were always tense. I got temporary relief with massage but the tension would soon return. I assumed there was nothing I could do to fix it permanently. Paula analyzed the unhealthy habits I had developed and taught me to use my back, shoulder and neck muscles to achieve a permanent state of relaxation and support."

Herniated Discs

Jessica Kaplan
"After several years of recurring back pain due to herniated discs, I went to Paula for one-on-one therapy and began feeling better before the end of our first session. Her calm demeanor and gentle approach are just part of the reason I loved going to her. For the first time I feel in control of my own healing and am no longer worried every time I get a flare-up because I know I now have the tools to help myself."

Insomnia / Sleep Medication

Kate Kniffen, Librarian
"A few years ago, as a side effect of depression, I developed insomnia. My psychiatrist prescribed sleeping pills but, when I was feeling better and wanted to stop taking the medication, I found I'd become dependent on it. Paula worked with me to design a yoga practice that helps me relax and fall asleep naturally."

Knee Problem

Sean McNeely, Musician
"I first tried yoga with Paula as an alternative to exercise when I hurt my knee a couple years prior. It wasn't a serious injury but it was enough to keep me from going to the gym. Little did I know that when I started those classes it would have such a profound impact on my life. Besides the physical benefits and physical awareness, I've gained inner peace, confidence and serenity from my practice."

Neck Pain

Judy Steele
"When first I began working with Paula, I was suffering from years of very significant neck and shoulder pain - to the point that my movements were impeded and I was miserable. Conventional medical approaches had provided very temporary, short term relief - but no long term answers. To begin, Paula taught me some simple ways to relieve enough strain such that I could begin to find breathing space. I also gained an understanding of the long standing bad posture and movement habits that were combining with high stress levels to exacerbate the situation. With continued practice - I am retraining my muscles - gradually releasing a lot of negative energy and constantly discovering how to correct old habits and develop new and healthier ones. Perhaps the simplest but most telling difference? Six months ago walking was a necessary means to get from here to there; look down and get it over with. Today the journey is pretty dang interesting; look up and enjoy the view."

Recovery from Surgery

Janet Alms
"When I was in my early fifties I had a hysterectomy which led to a period of inactivity and weight gain. I began doing yoga with Paula and slowly but surely the frozen, weak parts of my body began to strengthen and become more agile. At one time I couldn't walk without my legs and back hurting. Now I have no problem standing or even walking several miles. I'm in my sixties and feel much better in every way."

Sylvia Tkalitch, Physical Therapist
"I was surprised after healing from abdominal surgery that I was unable to move easily; I was stiff and weak, and I had pain when walking. Being a physical therapist myself, I knew that I wasn't going to get better on my own and that I needed help. I decided to use yoga therapy to help me recover. Paula had me moving and gaining strength fast, her kindness and patience in a relaxing and supportive atmosphere allowed me to go beyond my limitations."

Re-establishing Spinal Curves / Balance

Joyce Piven, Artistic Director
"Paula Kout is a profound healer but the "voodoo" comes from a deep collaborative effort and a sincere commitment to the process. It is a process that empowers and opens the body to space, breath and creativity. A rare remedy in a world of quick fixes and mechanistic solutions."

Scoliosis

Cathy Williams
"I began working with Paula because of my upper thoracic scoliosis, which causes misalignments, malfunctions, and weaknesses in my back and surrounding areas. The movements Paula has developed, derived from yoga, are innovative and effective, allowing me to target problem areas passively and actively. She uses her knowledge of anatomy to answer my questions, since I like to visualize what is happening. We've also worked on destressing as well as strengthening the pelvic floor. Paula has written out our work, so I can do it myself and be independent. I am truly impressed with Paula's intelligence, depth of knowledge, and calm working style."

Shoulders

Gary Joyce, Construction Manager
"I came to White Iris Yoga directly from the surgeon's office. My shoulder was a mess. The operation was imminent. Rehab would be intensive. I had multiple chronic injuries from motorcycle accidents, martial arts, tennis and construction work. The tears, the strains, pulled muscles were demanding more attention as I aged. One operation wasn't going to solve all this. I needed an alternative. I needed to commit the time necessary to regain health. The expectation for holistic healing seemed too great until I met Paula. The operation was averted. Much work remains yet miraculously the torqued and slanted figure of so many years has gradually become realigned. Paula's expertise has made all the difference. For this I am grateful."

Torn Rotator Cuff

Rebecca Flanagan, Yoga Instructor
"For the past 16 years, Paula Kout has been my yoga teacher and friend guiding me through life's many transitions. Two years ago I injured my shoulder and developed a serious rotator cuff tear compounded by 3 doctors informing me that I "must" have surgery and drugs. After saying NO to those ideas, I immediately turned to Paula who spent countless hours working with me to deal primarily with the pain. As the weeks passed the pain subsided and I was able to begin therapy. Paula worked tirelessly with me to design a program to bring my shoulder back to a healthy functioning part of my body. As I reflect on that experience now, I realize she also did quite a lot of psychological work to convince me that I could heal my own body. Paula truly has the gift of healing, tremendous insight into the human body with a great and guiding spirit of dedication to her clients."

Bob Gettleman
"For years I have struggled with physical problems, with varying results. A few years ago, at the urging of my wife (who has been in Paula's yoga classes for some time), I began to see Paula for private sessions to address primarily problems I was having with my shoulders, including a rotator cuff tear. Because of the work I have done with her I have been able to avoid surgery and lessen the pain and immobility I was experiencing. To say that my experience with Paula has led to a great improvement in my life would be a gross understatement. I am very grateful to my wife for coaxing me to see Paula, and to Paula for her skill, wisdom and encouragement."

Torn Meniscus

Kate Kniffen, Librarian
"I suffered constant pain from a torn meniscus in my left knee. I couldn't use Ibuprofen for relief after I developed an allergy to it so my orthopedist said surgery was the only option. Imagine my doctor's surprise and my relief when Paula was able to work out techniques to relieve the stress on my knee so that I now am pain-free."

Traumatic Accident

Sean Rosemeyer
"I injured my leg badly, was hospitalized twice, and was very traumatized. One of the first things I had to face was just the fear of using my leg and stretching my body again. Paula's welcoming attitude, gentle guidance, concern and suggestions helped me greatly. The trauma didn't just happen to my leg. With her peaceful, intuitive instruction she has helped me on many levels."