A Crash-Course in Yoga Therapy

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Yoga therapy is a new concept to many and one I feel deserves some explanation. For that, I present to you my crash course in yoga therapy. Here, I will lead you through what you need to know about yoga therapy in order to start on your journey towards self recovery.

What is yoga therapy?

Yoga therapy is the combination of mental health therapy and yoga.

According to Michael Lee (the founder of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy), yoga therapy is “the practice or method that produces a change from one state of being to another state that is enhancing”. While this is obviously a bit vague, I will add that it is the combination of mental health therapy and yoga– connecting with your body to understand that the pain it experiences is normally symbolic of a larger, more holistic problem. To now combine these two definitions, I will say that yoga therapy is the recognition of past physical pain, and the sometimes less than concrete means from which these pains stem. Once recognized and honored, yoga therapy then becomes about holistic recovery and healing.


What do you do within a yoga therapy session?

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My role within a session is to help my clients connect with their body-based experiences to uncover what is happening in their hearts and minds.

Donna Raskin candidly describes that a client’s role within a yoga therapy session:

“…combines assisted yoga postures, breath awareness, and nondirective dialogue based on the work of Carl Rogers, in which the therapists acts as a sounding board, repeating much of what the student says to allow her to stay with her own train of thought” (Raskin, 2010).

This article can be found in the Resources tab on my website if you are interested in reading further.

A traditional intro session within my practice would start with a discussion of your life as it stands at that moment: what is hurting you or holding you back, what is challenging you, testing you, etc. Then, I will guide you through simple, yoga moves. At this time, you really listen in to your body and see what is hurting or bothering you. Some experience an ache in their back, knee or shoulders, while others may favor one side of the body. While I never push people to the point they are in pain, it is important to note these experiences. We use this information after our guided movements to process the larger meaning behind the pain we’re experiencing.

Within my practice, you can sign up for a group or individual session. Please contact me for more information on scheduling.

What does one gain through yoga therapy?

Western medicine focuses primarily on physical healing or mental health; yoga therapy embraces the idea that these two are profoundly interconnected. The health of one does not guarantee the health of the other and true transformation acknowledges that you can’t change just one part of yourself without affecting all other parts.

Yothera offers a new, holistic approach to your wellbeing that supports a balanced life, a healthier relationship with yourself and a chance to become your more authentic self.

Feel free to check back on my resources page for additional readings, or reach out through my website with any additional questions.

References:

Raskin, Donna. “Therapy on the Mat.” Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Training, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, 22 Aug. 2013, pryt.com/2010/08/yoga-therapy/therapy-on-the-mat/.