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Local yoga instructor brings awareness to Lyme disease

May marks Lyme Disease Awareness Month.
Milena Pastore created a yoga class that is gentle enough for Lyme disease pain

Milena Pastore is passionate about yoga. She’s also passionate about increasing awareness of Lyme Disease.

The low point for Pastore came after college when she went from having strange neurological issues and frequent migraines to experiencing debilitating fatigue, swollen glands, constant pain, anxiety and panic attacks. When she wasn’t in pain, she was worried about when the pain might return.

“I thought I just needed rest,” Pastore said. “I made all these changes to my diet, stopped drinking, but my health continued to deteriorate until I could barely care for myself.”

In the fall of 2017, Pastore finally got some answers. Using a Western Blot Test commonly employed to diagnose infectious diseases, Pastore was diagnosed with Lyme disease. After tracing her symptoms back to the beginning, she realized she first contracted the illness as a child, playing in her grandmother’s yard in Boulder.

Lyme disease remains relatively rare in Colorado, with the CDC showing just 10 reported cases in 2022. If caught early, the disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics.

Pastore has been interested in health and wellness for most of her life – a journey that led her to become a yoga instructor. Lyme disease forced her to change the way she practices.

“For years, I couldn’t even attend a gentle yoga class,” Pastore said. “I took what I learned from my illness and my healing journey and applied it to my yoga practice. I developed a format of yoga that is very gentle, intentional and accessible to people with sensitive bodies.”

Pastore has earned many yoga certifications and recently launched a small business called Soul Tribe Yoga Collective, dedicated to providing access to yoga for persons with chronic health conditions. 

May marks Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Pastore has become a dedicated advocate for the cause. Earlier this year, she met with members of Congress to discuss funding initiatives for Lyme disease and submitted letters to the Health and Human Services Tick-Borne Disease Working Group.

Now, Pastore is bringing her advocacy into her yoga studio, providing a sense of healing and community to people impacted by Lyme disease.

“I’ve really wanted to do something relating to yoga and meditation on a more widespread basis for the Lyme community. There are many who used to have a regular yoga practice but can no longer pursue it. There are also many who have never tried yoga but are curious to experience it for the first time. What I offer can be a great way for patients to experience something they love in a new way and add another resource to their healing journeys,” Pastore said.

This month, Soul Tribe Yoga partnered with Full Circle Yoga on Main Street in downtown Longmont to offer a community class benefitting people impacted by Lyme disease. A little over a dozen people attended the class, and the Colorado Tick-Borne Disease Awareness Association (COTBDAA) was on hand to answer questions.

Monica White, president and co-founder of COTBDAA, said that Saturday’s event offered a rare opportunity for patient engagement.

“We do a lot of awareness events throughout the state, but this is a great way to get patients themselves involved,” she said.

Pastore is also hosting weekly community meditations specific to Lyme disease on Fridays throughout May. These meditations provide mindfulness challenges participants complete at home.

For more information or to get involved, you can go to