“In recommending Yoga practices, one should always consider an individual’s particular circumstances. Just as other activities and practices must be adapted to the changes in one’s life, such as aging, so too Yoga practices need to be adapted as the practitioner changes.”
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WHAT IS YOGA THERAPY?
The use of yoga in a therapeutic context was originally introduced by Krishnamacharya, father of many of the yoga systems we know in the West today.
Like in other healing systems, a yoga therapist will identify various imbalances in a person and then offer techniques to bring those aspects into balance. Various techniques can be used to help a person find balance and heal, including movement (asana), breath work (pranayama), chanting, philosophy or point of view, and meditation to name a few.
HOW IS YOGA THERAPY DIFFERENT THAN YOGA?
A Yoga Teacher is trained to guide students through classes and sequences to better their health and wellbeing in a general way.
A Yoga Therapist has been trained to work with the system of yoga to treat specific conditions. Some examples may include physical pain (back pain, shoulder injuries), anxiety disorders, cancer support, PTSD, insomnia, depression, autoimmune diseases, addiction, obesity, and many others.
Yoga therapy can act as a useful adjunct to the western medical model or as a stand-alone therapy depending on the condition.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR FIRST SESSION?
Yoga therapy sessions are done in a private setting, either in person or online. A Yoga Therapist will do a thorough intake in order to get to know you and your concerns. Depending on the nature of your issue there may be a physical evaluation as well. Once the Yoga Therapist has decided on a course of action, they will begin the process of teaching you practices to help with your condition.
The relationship between Yoga Therapist and student is an important one, and often the support and structure provided by this relationship can nurture the healing process. You will be given practices to work on at home and will have follow up appointments to making sure things are improving for you.