A Holistic Approach to Healing
Yoga is inherently therapeutic. The International Association of Yoga Therapists defines yoga therapy as “the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the teachings and practices of yoga.” The yoga tradition views humans as multidimensional systems that include all aspects of body, breath, mind, intellect, and emotions and their mutual interaction. Yoga is founded on the basic principle that intelligent practice can positively influence the direction of change within these human dimensions.
Most clients that come to yoga therapy are usually not coming to learn yoga, but to get help with or relief from some symptom or health condition that is troubling them. In most cases, the instruction focuses on their condition and how the yoga techniques can help them feel better or improve their function, rather than on the techniques or methods of yoga practice.
How is Yoga Therapy Different
Probably the most significant difference is a yoga therapy session is typically 'one on one,' a program tailored to the individual that addresses a specific health concern or condition, whereas when most people think of yoga they think of going to a yoga 'class.' Most group classes are not designed to accommodate special needs, nor are they tailored to specific health concerns. And that is where yoga therapy comes in. There are techniques that a yoga therapist will use that one may never experience in a group yoga class. Simply put, yoga therapy uses the tools of yoga to promote health and wellness on the individual level.
Yoga Therapy Can Help With
Musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, muscle weakness, posture and balance.
Physiological conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue, cancer, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease.
Psycho-emotional conditions including anxiety, depression, and chronic stress.
Yoga therapists choose yoga techniques in relation to how they will specifically benefit individual clients. Each yoga therapy session will address the person as they are, given their strengths and current constraints. This approach works with all abilities, all ages, all levels of experience and any health condition or medical concern.