What is yoga therapy?
Yoga therapy is a unique application of yoga in which the student, working with the teacher, is given a custom-designed practice to improve overall health and address specific conditions, illnesses or diseases.
A practice may include exercises/postures, breathing, sound, gestures, visualization, guided self-inquiry and meditation that can be designed in an infinite number of combinations. The student’s practice is non-invasive, progresses over time, and complements allopathic and alternative healing modalities.
By applying yoga’s tools in a manner that is both comfortable and appropriate for daily practice, A Yoga Therapy Practice is specifically designed for your situation and goals. Yoga therapy can help you:
- Improve physical/physiological, mental, and emotional well-being
- Manage, reduce or eliminate symptoms that cause suffering
- Change your relationship to your condition, disease or illness
Students may begin yoga therapy to help them manage and alleviate symptoms caused by their conditions, illnesses or diseases. Students may want to focus on their overall health and well being, maintain and improve flexibility, strength, balance and develop the resiliency to deal with life’s daily challenges.
How does Yoga Therapy work?
Each student, no matter the starting point, has the potential to benefit from a daily yoga practice that is specifically tailored to their individual needs and desired goals. When you commit to change and take appropriate action based upon your needs, yoga therapy has the potential to make you feel better. Practices may be short, 10 minutes 2-3 times per day up to 45 minutes per day depending upon the student’s needs and goals. The time of day, times and duration of the practices are specific to the individual needs of the student. All instruction is based upon the student’s comfort levels and individual circumstances.
Beginning practices may be done lying down, sitting in a chair, or standing. Exercises may range from simple breathing with no movement, to gentle movements, or to more vigorous standing, seated or lying exercises. All movements are coordinated with breathing techniques and ratios that are comfortable and address specific physical, mental or emotional challenges. All instruction is based on the student’s individual needs and comfort levels.
What is the difference between yoga therapy and a yoga class?
Yoga therapy is different. It offers you a personalized, daily yoga practice to do at home. The practice is efficient. The content and time it takes to do the practice is tailored to your lifestyle and how you are feeling when you begin yoga.
- Yoga therapy is all about you and your personal needs. Your practice is designed, modified and adapted to allow you to begin with comfort and ease. Over time you will move in a step by step process that takes you towards improved health and healing.
- Yoga therapy focuses on your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Your personal wellbeing is prioritized and addressed in your practice and its progression.
- Most students need only 4-6 classes over an initial 3 month period; future appointments are based upon the student’s needs and progression of the practice.
- The relationship you develop with your yoga therapist is confidential-the yoga therapist is present in private one-to-one sessions to meet your needs with respect, care and guidance.
- A yoga therapist has specialized training. The yoga therapist is a certified yoga teacher who has undergone extensive additional training offered by a Yoga Therapy School or who has apprenticed with a qualified practicing yoga therapist.
- Is group centered, working with the energy of the whole group rather than an individual
- Usually a one-time practice.
- Develops a connection with like-minded individuals that can provide inspiration for your personal practice, yet is more about the group than the individual.
All Yoga Is Good!
Can yoga therapy help me?
Yoga Therapy has been proven to aid in the improvement of many uncomfortable conditions, and dis-eases including
- Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome
- Auto Immune Diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis
- Back and Neck Pain
- Brain Diseases such as Parkinson’s
- Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
- Chronic Headaches/Migraines
- Chronic Pain
- Digestive: Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS)
- Heart Disease
- Life Stress
- Menstrual Syndromes
- Neuropathic Pain
- Orthopedic: Post-Injury/Post Surgery
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS)
- Spinal conditions such as degenerative disc disease, spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, spinal fusions
- Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI)
- And many, many more.
In my experience yoga therapy can be successfully used to address any goal, situation, condition or disease.
How do I get started?
Contact Annie to schedule your first consultation. The initial yoga therapy consultation runs 90 minutes to 2 hours and includes your first practice. A follow up appointment is required a week later to refine and modify your practice based upon your feedback and the therapist’s observations.
Future appointments are based upon the support and guidance you may need and the progression of your practice. Students make appointments that range between one week and a month apart. Typically, a new student will initially come 4-6 times over a 3 month period and then space out their appointments according to their needs and progression. Long term students often come several times per year and students from out of town will often see me one to two times per year.