What is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga is an ancient practice from India that offers therapeutic benefits to the individual.  Yoga therapy is the customized application of tools including yoga postures, breathing techniques, meditation, mantra, mudra and balancing lifestyle rituals to support an individual’s physical, emotional and mental wellbeing .  

Additionally, the panchamaya model is utilized to understand the individual's presenting condition through the five koshas (sheaths or layers) of the body. These sheaths include the physical, energy/breath , mental/emotional, wisdom/intuition and bliss body. The panchamaya model suggests that the human system is interconnected and functions optimally when there is a state of dynamic balance . To better understand the panchamaya model, check out this post, A yoga therapy perspective on the human system: The panchamaya model.

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 philosophy and practice of Yoga.

What to expect during your first Yoga Therapy consultation?

  1. Intake Form - This is sent before the initial meeting for completion by the client. The intake form is a questionnaire that gathers information of current/past medical history, lifestyle habits and desired goals.

  2. Breath Assessment - This is a close review of current breathing patterns.

  3. Postural Assessment - Review of body posture. This may also be evaluated in different yoga postures.

  4. Musculoskeletal Assessment - This is a evaluation of muscle weakness/strength/tightness and basic range of motion seen in different yoga postures.

  5. Therapeutic Yoga Session - Client will be lead through a yoga therapy session based on your goals and assessment.

  6. Take-Home Practice - A short sequence specific to client's needs and goals will be sent directly to client after the session.

What is the difference between Yoga Class and a Yoga Therapy Session?

A  Yoga Class is often a group lead by a yoga teacher/instructor in which a set of postures and breathing techniques are practiced that all participants can do. Yoga Classes offer an excellent form of stress relief, community connection and do offer therapeutic benefits.

In contrast, Yoga Therapy sessions focus on individual assessments and client goals to help manage specific symptoms and conditions.   In Yoga Therapy, ancient wisdom, tools, and techniques of yoga combined with traditional and contemporary best practices are adapted to each individuals's unique situation and health challenges with the goal of helping clients improve and maintain optimized health. 

What do people undertake Yoga Therapy for?

  • Chronic pain

  • Stress Reduction

  • Anxiety/Depression

  • Digestive disorders

  • Autoimmune disease

  • Arthritis

  • Osteoporosis

  • Hypertension

  • Sleep disorders, Insomnia

What are the potential benefits of Yoga Therapy?

  • An increased sense of overall health and well-being

  • Improved Sleep

  • Improved strength, flexibility, and balance

  • Relief of chronic pain, low back pain, headaches, and tension in neck and shoulders

  • Increase range of motion, coordination and balance for clients with Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease

  • Reduce symptoms of many chronic disorders including arthritis

  • Stress management and greater ability to find calm

  • Enhanced resilience and heart rate variability

  • Emotional balance through mindful self awareness

  • Mood regulation