what is yoga therapy
Yoga is all about posture, mindfulness, movement, focus, breath, and rest. Yoga therapy is the amalgamation of these factors and a carefully tailored practice suitable for the individual. It is the art and science of applying the tools and teachings of yoga and its sister science, Ayurveda, in order to to create, stimulate, and maintain an optimum state of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Yoga therapy is a highly individualized process. Therapists work one-on-one with an individual to address a specific health challenge or manage wellness goals. Often, conditions that can be treated through Yoga Therapy cannot be effectively managed in a public class setting.
Every body is different every day. Our cells are constantly dying and being replaced. Every day we wake up having already stressed or rested, taxed or replenished our minds and bodies in different ways. We can become desensitized to the body, dwelling too much in the mind until it almost feels like we are two separate entities.
A yoga therapy session differs from a standard private yoga session. Yoga therapy empowers individuals to transform their health and wellness through yoga asana, mindfulness and breathing practices, self-care tools and lifestyle changes, while a private yoga session targets a student’s asana practice goals.
While group yoga classes are plentiful, diverse in style, and beneficial, they cannot meet the unique needs of the individual; and even gentle yoga classes might be too much for some beginners with specific needs. A yoga therapy session might include consultation regarding expectations and limitations, instruction in static or dynamic postures, use of modified or adaptive postures, restful restorative postures, breath work, guided meditation, and relaxation.
Each session is different and tailored to your needs on that particular day. There are posture and breath practices that energize, calm and balance. Some treatment protocols might be rigorous with a focus on physical strengthening. Others may focus on relaxation which is a discipline in and of itself. Yoga therapy doesn’t ditch form for flexibility or for a faster pace. And we use yoga props not to make it easier but to enable you to reap the full therapeutic benefit of postures.
Individuals with specific goals can benefit greatly through targeted yoga practice above and beyond what is currently available in classrooms. Yoga therapy systematically addresses a client’s physical, mental and emotional states and needs.
Yoga therapy recognizes that relief of symptoms is just one facet of the healing process and that not all illness and disease can be cured. It does, however, provide a methodology to heal lives, reduce pain and stress, and relieve physical symptoms and psychological suffering. Yoga therapy recognizes that the healing process is unique to each individual and modifies practices appropriately depending upon the individual characteristics. The goals of yoga therapy include eliminating, reducing, or managing symptoms that cause suffering; improving function and helping to prevent the occurrence or re-occurrence of underlying causes of illness; and moving toward improved health and wellbeing. Yoga therapy also seeks to help you change your relationship to and identification with your condition.
Health Benefits of Yoga Therapy:
Yoga therapy can support you in reducing or managing symptoms, improving function, and improve your overall outlook in relation to health conditions such as:
- Digestive issues
- Eliminating, reducing, and/or managing symptoms that cause suffering
- Improving function
- Helping to prevent the occurrence or re-occurrence of underlying causes of illness
- Moving toward improved health and well-being.