Welcome to The Secret Life of entrepreneurs. Today our guest hails from Saskatoon. Linda Borski is the founder, the owner of Saskatchewan’s only fully integrated physiotherapy clinic and medical yoga therapy studio. She is the only one in Saskatchewan practicing this way. So I’ve invited her to be a guest because I want to hear more. And I think you do too. We want to hear more about medical yoga and that traditional physiotherapy, you know, those assholes that make you do a whole bunch of leg lifts. Yeah, those guys probably kill me for saying that. But Oh, well.
You know, we want to hear more about how we can have that deeper level of healing. We’ve all been there, you get an injury, it gets better, and then another injury pops up. So how in the heck can we actually heal head to toe. Linda’s been in business for about six years. And as I say she founded this business. So she’s going to take us on a journey and tell us that story. Linda before I babble on for too long here. Welcome and thank you for being here.
Oh, it’s a pleasure. Always. Yeah. Thanks so much for the opportunity, Barb. Absolutely. So like, start us off? What made you interested in creating this first ever physio yoga together business? Tell us a little bit about that story. Sure, you know,
I was a physiotherapist for about 15 years at the time that a friend of mine opened a yoga studio. So in support of her, I went and joined a few classes that didn’t take me very long to figure out that, hey, you know what, I need to figure out a way to bring yoga into my treatment room. Okay, and, and so that was the very start of it. But in typical physio fashion, we look for a course and some kind of continuing education to get us going to get started. And so that’s what I started to look for. And I came across a program in North Carolina prep, which ended up giving me the certification for medical yoga therapist. And, and the reason it’s medical and not just yoga therapist is because she takes people into her program that have a health sciences degree. Okay, so we have that medical degree, somewhere behind us. Most of us were physio, therapists, some were occupational therapists, or social workers, some nursing some pharmacy. But everybody who graduated with medical yoga therapy certification, had that medical background.
Okay. Great background already.
So, the program, oh, there’s three onsite modules. I think I did mine in about a year and a half.
Oh, so that’s not like a quick six week program. That’s an intensive program, then. Yeah. Okay. And so tell us how the practice has evolved. If you were traditionally practicing physiotherapy before, you know, were you working in another clinic? Or had you always had your own clinic?
Yeah. So the private practice that I was working in at the time, was very, very supportive of me and my quest to bring yoga into my treatment room and into his clinic. But there came a point where I couldn’t really do all that I wanted to do with it. And so I branched out onto my own cape, and rather than trying to take my ideas and fit them into somebody else’s business model, we just, I just kind of said, I’ll create my own business model, and it’ll be centered around the blend of physio and yoga therapy.
Okay, so if I was the client, tell me what that would look like for me. What’s what my customer journey to healing looks like with Saskatoon physio yoga?
Hmm, great question. I think where most of people start is they’re curious about us. Physio yoga, how’s that gonna work? So, typically, people come in for the physio piece, okay, sprained ankle, low back pain, neck pain and headaches from working from home or whatever it is. These are long standing injuries from when we were athletes. years ago, decades ago. Perhaps But these nagging little things and, so they end up coming to us, kind of because we’re physios I believe anyway.
And that physio background gives us a really lovely base to operate from. It’s evidence based, it’s a regulated profession, it’s really well respected amongst healthcare professionals. So, you know, we’ve got that really nice face. And then what we start to do depends on the person, so if your kid doesn’t fit into your kitchen upstairs, then we don’t break it in there or, or we weave it in very small doses and kind of inconspicuously.
When we start to bring in some of these other aspects, we’ll talk to our clients about well, what are your sleep patterns? Like? Okay, what are some? What’s nutrition like for you? What is stress? like for you? What are some of your stress management strategies?
Social connectivity, who’s your support system? So we start going just beyond that low back focus, right, or that elbow pain focus, and we start to bring in some of these elements, these other elements. Very realistic, is what I’m hearing, right? There’s a holistic approach. People are complete beings. And so your elbow, I can be causing huge stress, because now you can’t work the same number of hours and everything is tied together. Okay. Yes, I understand that the elbow doesn’t allow you to pick up your infant.
Yeah. Oh, that’s a good example. Right?
And then all of a sudden, it’s kind of like then then the psychosocial piece comes in. It’s kind of like, I can’t be the mom that I wanted to be. Or I can’t be the provider that I wanted to be because I’m not working as I want to need to.
Yeah. So as you were using those examples, you talked about, you know, the head net, because you’re working from home, did you see a fairly large increase in people who, you know, they’re in all sorts of crazy computer configurations, or they’re on their phone all day, every day? Because, you know, we were stuck at home with COVID. What kind of impact did that have for you guys?
Yeah, certainly, you know, just if you think back 18 months ago, like our level of stress, and the uncertainty around at the start of this pandemic was through the roof, and never met a human who can honestly say, when I’m under more stress, my body feels better. Thank you and just coexist, right? When our stress level goes up, it impacts us because we don’t sleep as well. Perhaps we don’t have the energy to exercise. Our body aches more.
We don’t have the resources and within our body to fight some of those things that have been going on. So yeah, at the beginning of the pandemic, we did see a big uptake in, in all kinds of physical pain. Okay, and, and then people, you know, people were fearful too.
Yeah. Oh, exactly. How long was your business closed? Six weeks? Okay.
Only six weeks. So I feel blessed for that. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and because there’s a medical need there, right.
Yeah, you needed to be open. You needed to be treating patients and clients and seeing clients. Did you switch the classes then to online?
Yes. And while our doors were closed to in house visits, we did shift to telehealth. So some of our clients we did start to treat and that was really an interesting journey too. Because, you know, telehealth has been on my radar for a number of years. Yes. And the same with virtual delivery of our classes has been on our radar for a number of years, but it wasn’t until necessity dictated you’re going to do this now.
And it was really interesting to see how helpful and beneficial physiotherapy could be. pewter screen? Yeah, no, we’re still able to watch people move and hear their stories and make those really valuable connections with clients, you know, building that relationship and, and creating trust.
That can still happen even through that computer screen. Yeah, and those are really important factors in the whole rehab journey. Absolutely. If I understand correctly, telehealth for physiotherapists wasn’t allowed by our provincial government before by your regulating body.
And so it was during COVID that that changed, or am I misunderstanding?
You know, I don’t I can’t answer that, for sure. But I do know that currently. The insurance companies are supporting telehealth, web and SGI. They’re supporting telehealth. Now, whether that continues beyond the pandemic, I think it would be crazy not to.
Because what has opened up is accessibility? Yes. You know, here’s an example. I reached out to a woman who contacted us through Facebook, and she was in orange, and really limited physio services up and said, I’ve been waiting for a year for physiotherapy. And when it gets here, I don’t know when that’s going to be I’m going to see them. And then in the next month, I’ll see them again. Yeah, that’s not how physio was most successful. Exactly. What we were able to do is get her an initial assessment within five days.
Get her on a plan of care and see her, you know, probably twice a week for six weeks. Well, by the time that community health called her up, she said, I don’t need you anymore. Yeah, I’m all good. You know, when and I suspect that something that you see, too, on the yoga cider, as you’re moving people into yoga, they don’t have to be in Saskatoon or in Regina, where we tend to have a significant number of practitioners. These people can be anywhere in Saskatchewan and work with you, take a class, attend online, and even meet their therapist now. So it doesn’t matter, they any location as long as they’ve got, you know, phone and an internet signal, new access service now, you know, and that’s, that’s one thing that, well, there’s not a whole lot of good about the pandemic, being able to have a doctor appointment, not sit in a waiting room, not drive to her location, and typically have her be much more on time.
That’s been a wonderful thing. I’ve heard some of the stories that some of that’s going to go away in the next little while. And I hope like heck, that there’s some lobbying or some kind of convincing that goes on because as a business person, and you know, a mom, I loved it. 20 minutes, my doctor appointment is done. Right?
That would have easily taken an hour or two, maybe even to exam. We have traveled time waiting in the waiting room, all of those kinds of things. So yeah, there are ways that we’ve become much more efficient. It’s interesting to one of our clients and she pre pandemic had been waiting for her knee replacement, you know, and she was in southeastern Saskatchewan.
And so he had her knee replacement surgery in Regina. Well, she connected with us and we were able to provide a physio yoga class for her hip and knee arthritis. Yeah, post surgical case, you know, and, and that’s a service that’s really specialized service or our physio yoga for hip and knee arthritis class is really specialized service. And, and for her to find us online and access that and, you know, I don’t know if you’ve been posting, but sometimes moving around isn’t the most easy thing to do.
So, you know, to be able to sit in her kitchen in her kitchen chair and do a rehabilitation class. It was really powerful. And you know, it was very rewarding for us to be able to provide that service. And then of course, the benefits that she got out of it. But where she was over the moon exactly would have been huge.
Yeah. It’s funny that you mentioned post op, so the only surgery I’ve ever had is when my son was born. And to quote him well, because the doctor had to help me get out.
Okay, technically, yeah, there was one there, but that’s so that’s the only surgery he ever had. But oh my goodness, like it. Now I understand why, you know, a C section and so many other things like their major surgery, the being able to pick your infant up like suddenly it wasn’t nearly as easy as it was supposed to be. Right? So, yes, I can just imagine. Okay, so, paint this picture for me. I’ve injured myself and let’s talk about my hip. Okay. No, but Okay, so somebody gets hurt. injury. And you know, I look at myself and I know there’s tons of people like me out there. I went hard. When I was younger I was in CrossFit. I was a basketball player, volleyball player, like, if there was a ball, or if there was movement, like I was there, right? So I guess I do kind of know where my son gets it from. But anyway, I and now 20 years later, like, things are starting to hurt. So I come in, I’m gonna have a conversation with you.
To make that switch from being an athlete to being in a yoga studio, you even referenced yourself that sometimes that doesn’t work in the kitchen up there. But what is that like for a client when I now start to attend a yoga class, because everybody’s doing the same thing? So how are you able to help people even though everybody’s doing the same thing and has different injuries? Mm hmm.
Yeah. And that’s, that’s one of the reasons that, that kind of drove me to open up the clinic and start teaching my own classes. I’ve been teaching and coaching since I was 12 years old. So it’s kind of in my blood. But I also really, I’ve always been really focused on a good student environment and what one in which people could learn. Right? And when I, if I’m at a gym, and I’m in a fitness studio with 30 other people, yep. Me Myself. I’m not, I don’t feel the confidence that I’m doing things. Well.
I don’t have the confidence that despite that teacher up there, who is excellent at what he or she does, yeah, they are going to see me. I’m one of 30 pairs of eyes. Yes, back. Right. And that’s part of the yoga therapy is because we take the person with that injury, and make yoga accessible to them where they are. And you got that in a class of 30 people.
No, you can’t do that online, then.
It’s not as hard as you think we do tend to, we tend to do a screening appointment. So a one on one screening appointment before classes will start. So Barb, if you join one of our classes, we’re going to set up a 30 minute screening appointment. We’re going to talk about what your injuries are, what your concerns are, make sure you’re a good fit for the class.
But also that’s going to raise some flags for me maybe so it’s kind of like, Okay, I got to remember when we come to chair pose for Barb, she’s going to need this. Right. And so that’s how we, we, we get to know you before you start the class early on in the class, but then we also keep the classes small so that we can keep tabs on people.
Right? You know, it actually reminds me quite a bit of the CrossFit environment. Because when I did CrossFit, it was always a small group. Like I want to say the max may have been 10. And I was one of those gross early people who is there at six o’clock all the time to throw these weights around. And so, there, it wasn’t uncommon 2, 3, 4, maybe five of us, we knew the coaching staff so well that, you know, you were friends with them on Facebook as well.
And you’d know who’s coaching. So being able to create that environment, whether they’re online or in person, and you’re back to in person primarily with online available to whomever wants it. Is that kind of how it works? Yeah. And if someone’s registered for the class, they can show up in person one week, and then online, the next order, are you picking a platform when you register for a class?
A bit of both, you know, if you said I’m going to come in I’m going to take every class and I’m coming in because I want to be in insight in the studio, and then it’s kind of like, Hey, I got stuck at work. Can you send me the zoom link? Yeah, we can. Okay. You know, sometimes if you do that will happen, too.
Yeah. So putting your business owner hat on for a second. Lots of small businesses don’t have health insurance plans, or maybe they do but it’s a little bit limited. So somebody doesn’t have to have insurance to participate. Lots of folks do but I presume that your clientele is pretty varied in terms of you know, how and why they choose to participate in stuff. Are you seeing injuries that come from the workplace? Are you seeing injuries that come from life?
Yes. Okay. We are fully accredited with both w CB and SGI. So we keep those clients with those types of injuries. But we see a lot of people, either with their own insurance available to them or without their own without any insurance. And, and the thing is, is that this is, this is your health. Yeah. Right. And there needs to be a shift in our societal view of what we invest in. Mm hmm. Right. And especially as we get older, and I always use the car analogy, it’s kind of like the 2021. Lexus is this beautiful dream ride of a car or any, any vehicle.
But a car that is 25 years old isn’t going to run as smoothly, it’s not going to be as responsive, right, and a car that’s 50 years old, can still look really great.
But it needs more TLC to stay on the road, and our bodies or machines. We’re not a whole lot different. Yeah. And I really encourage everybody, whether you’re looking whether physio is your jam or not, really look at your health as an investment in your future.
You know, and if you’ve got $400 of insurance, you could burn through that pretty quickly. Yeah, but it’s your health. It’s your body, right? This is the only tax we’ve got. So it might take more than $400 of Blue Cross for the year to keep you feeling well. And then it comes down to quality of life.
Yeah, exactly. It comes down to quality of life. And, you know, okay, so I don’t want to pick on any other professions, but you know, when you talk about burning through that, so you’ve burned through your $400, it’s now February, and a if an injury happens, you don’t have coverage, and you’re going to need to do something. B, do you have anything to show for it? And you know, so there’s different ways that you can burn through those health dollars. And I was always that person who was like, Nope, just in case, I get hurt, you know, whether it was thrown out my shoulder from swimming, like there is always something you know, I just, I was never good at warming up. I was never good at cooling down. And so if injuries can happen, that would be me. Right? And so yeah, like you, you get to it a little bit later in life. And it’s like, okay, things are starting to break down. But ironically, your car analogy, I say that to my husband all the time when he complains about an ache or something. Oh, time to trade you in for a new model. That’s exactly what it is, right? Yeah, things start to break down. And you can get the 50 year old model might need a little bit more TLC. Right. But you can still keep it in really good running condition.
So absolutely Yeah, no. And it’s kind of a blessing, I feel. Anyway, you know, like, I used to play competitive hockey, where I was on the ice six days a week and the gym on top of that. And it’s kind of like, I don’t want to do that anymore. And it’s not only Oh, it’s just, I don’t want to put I just don’t want doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I loved it when I had it. Yes. And I traded it forever. But now that that’s not there, it’s opened up space to try new things. Yeah. You know, so whether that’s taking up a new sport or new activity or joining the bandwagon of pickleball. Yeah, whatever it might be, like, you know, as we, as we not lose, because that’s such a negative connotation. But as we let go of some of our previous pursuits, it opens up time, and energy, and resources to explore something new. Yeah. And I think that’s part of the charm of the whole yoga piece, too, it’s kind of like, here’s something that we can do that is so encompassing, it can build strength, it can improve your balance and your flexibility and your mobility. And then on top of all of that, it chills you out.
And it impacts your mental health.
Like it’s kind of a win win.
Yeah, it’s kind of Yeah, yeah.
Oh, and I have to cut you off. Unfortunately. We’re gonna run out of time here. Time flies. So can you give us a really quick wrap up on how people would find you? And I know Registration is open right now. So if somebody did want to look into the classes and register, where would they go?
We have this great website called Saskatoonphysioyoga.ca and on There, we have direct links to our booking sites. So if you are interested in our approach to physical therapy, and you’re within Saskatchewan, we would love to connect with you and see what we can, what we can create together and what we can foster together.
And then our physio yoga classes, as well, I can be registered through the website.
Perfect. And you’re on lots of different social channels, Instagram and Facebook, then I know I’m probably a few more perfect,
Yeah, those are our main two for sure.
Okay, awesome. Well, thank you very much for being with me here today. Just, you know, what I really appreciate is how your business is taking a holistic view, like that whole view of someone because of an injury, you know, when you start to weigh in the nutrition and the stress and it really starts to change the picture.
So I know personally, I find all of that very fascinating. So thank you.
Well, we find it fascinating too. And just like I said, the deeper level of healing that’s available when you kind of look beyond just the physical pieces is just kind of stunningly beautiful. Exactly.
Alright, if anyone in the audience would like to be a guest on the show, you can email me at BB at above the fold dot live, or reach out on our Facebook or Instagram page at above the fold. ca. You can even ask questions in advance of our live show when you see who our guest is. So keep track of our Facebook page.
I’m your host, Bart McGrath, local business owner and Google girl. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.
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Prior to becoming a Physiotherapist in 1999, Linda competed at a national level in four different sports and medalled in two. She chose to elevate her private practice skillset by completing her Professional Yoga Therapy certification, becoming the first in Saskatchewan to do so and one of only five in Canada.
With this unique approach to rehabilitation, Linda founded Saskatoon PhysioYoga, Saskatchewan’s ONLY fully integrated physiotherapy and medical yoga therapy studio (Am I the only one who had no idea medical yoga was a thing??).
Linda and her team empower independent learners – especially those who are proactive and ready to go “all in”. They help people take control of their lives, make the changes they know they can make and live the life they desire.
Listen in as this lady learns me up on what medical yoga is and how her clinic is using a holistic approach to helping their clients heal.
Connect with Linda @ Saskatoon PhysioYoga:
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