By the time you leave a yoga class, most people experience some improvement in their health and wellbeing. That’s why many doctors, health practitioners (and spouses!) are recommending yoga, to help people learn to relax, tone their muscles, balance their emotions and calm their mind. So, isn’t all yoga ‘therapeutic’ and what is Yoga Therapy anyway.…??!’
Yoga may have a generalised effect on your body, breath, emotions and/or mind. However as yoga is predominantly taught in a group class (and usually a large one!), the practice invariably caters to the group not the individual. Of course, as you attend more often and learn some of the practices, you can modify for yourself.
As the year’s progress or even before they do, our habitual patterns, behaviours and lifestyle affect our external and internal bodies, emotions, mind and spirit. The consequence is typically ‘pain’, some degree of limitation in movement and/or unprecipitated life changes. This is where Yoga Therapy is invaluable.
So what is Yoga Therapy?
- Works with the person not the condition, illness
One of the most vital ingredients in Yoga Therapy is for me to understand from you how your presenting condition affects you and your life. Everyone is unique and no two people that I have seen with similar symptoms or conditions, present with the same issues. Yoga Therapy develops you a unique program because of your priorities and needs, not mine.
- Invites you to take the driver’s seat with your health – it’s about your commitment to change
Recognising that every decision we make affects our health is a powerful insight into our health behaviours and presenting symptoms. Wholistic yoga practices teach us self-awareness and the capacity to slow down and be present. This places you in an influential position. It invites you to change your relationship with your condition and create the steps for change.
- Involves a personal program and daily practise by you
Gradually, slowly, day by day habits are developed and changed. The deep grooves we have carved (in yoga called samskaras), require consistent attention to unravel. Discipline, focus, practise, practise, practise…
- Is offered by an accredited Yoga Therapist, who is an experienced Yoga Teacher with additional qualifications and credentials
The word ‘therapeutic’ may be used to describe a yoga course, practise or class. However your Yoga Therapist must be accredited with the necessary credentials to practice and use these terms. Ideally your Yoga Therapist has a minimum of 500 hours of yoga teacher training and 5 years of practice prior to completing a Yoga Therapy qualification. Ideally this course is accredited to the international standards.
- Is a complementary addition to both western and eastern approaches to your health.
It’s been known for centuries that the ancient tradition and practices of yoga create long lasting health of body, mind and spirit. Now that the research is proving this, there is greater acceptance by the medical profession. However, Yoga Therapy does not and may never replace the role of modern medicine and other healing disciplines, nor is it the intention.