Yoga therapy is a relatively new method of healing born out of an ancient tradition.
Yoga has been around for over 1000 years. The idea of using yoga in a therapeutic context has been credited to Tirumalai Krishnamacharya who died in 1981 at the age of 100.
We can think of yoga therapy the same way we might think of other healing systems such as chinese medicine. We have a system that helps us identify various imbalances in a person and then we offer techniques to bring those aspects into balance. A Yoga Therapist uses various techniques to help a person find balance and heal such as movement (asana), breath work (pranayama), chanting, philosophy or point of view, and meditation to name a few.
What makes a Yoga Therapist different than a yoga teacher?
A Yoga Therapist has been trained to work with the system of yoga to not only to better peoples’ health and wellbeing in a general way but to ttreat specific conditions. Some examples may include physical pain (back pain, shoulder injuries), anxiety disorders, cancer support, PTSD, insomnia, depression, autoimmune diseases, addiction, obesity, the list goes on. Yoga therapy can act as a useful adjunct to the western medical model, or as a stand alone therapy depending on the condition and/or the skill and experience of the Yoga Therapist.
What happens at a yoga therapy session ?
Yoga therapy sessions are done in a private setting. Typically a Yoga Therapist will work with small groups or personally . He or she 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 client is an important one. Usually you will be given practices to work on and will have follow up appointments to making sure things are improving for you.