Practice Yoga Therapy, Our Mission
Our yoga therapists work collaboratively with you to uncover your inherent capacity for peace and joy through the science, art, and wisdom of yoga. We work as educators, guides, and support as you walk along your pathway to balance in your body, mind, and life. We are steeped in the philosophy of yoga and informed by evidence and best practices that promote health, resiliency, contentment, and ease.
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What is yoga therapy?
Yoga therapy is a process dedicated to the healing and wholeness of the person. Each of us is attempting to navigate life’s trials and tribulations and many of us have become unsatisfied with traditional western methods. Western treatments have become reductionistic and fail to see our differences and the necessary components of living a rich and thriving life.
Yoga therapy takes into account our uniqueness, identifies the source of our “dis-ease” and seeks to balance all layers of our “beingness.” Through the skillful application of yoga therapy, we begin to recognize how to live our lives in such a manner that we may initiate and maintain optimal health across all aspects of our lives.
Does this mean we should forgo western treatment for yoga therapy? No, it doesn’t. Modern treatments in medicine, psychotherapy, physical therapy, etc.. are all important and necessary as part of treatment and recovery. Yoga therapy doesn’t diagnose or treat but helps us build a lifestyle conducive for healing to occur.
We may be facing obstacles preventing us from achieving our goals that are physiological, psychological, or spiritual. We may be experiencing a general lack of fulfillment in our lives. Yoga therapy not only promotes optimal healing and recovery but can help us move from a life of simply existing to thriving. Through the process of yoga therapy, we learn to recognize our potential and how to address the obstacles which stand in the way of living our best life.
In western terms, yoga therapy works through a biopsychosocial-spiritual methodology that addresses musculoskeletal conditioning and balance; changing neurological processing and nervous system regulation. From a yoga perspective, yoga therapy works through the Panchamaya Kosha Model as taught in the ancient Indian teachings found in the Taittiriya Upanishad. This school of thought reflects the inextricably interconnected human system and how layers of this system may become unbalanced and dysfunctional. These layers of our human system include our physical health, vital energy, thought processing, correct perception of ourselves and the world around us; and spiritual connection or contentment.
The relationship between the yoga therapist and client is in line with traditional yoga in that the teacher and student used to work together on an individual basis. A certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT) guides their client through sorting out long-term and short-term goals and helps them understand where they are and break down what is standing in the way of getting where they want to be. Together with the therapist and client design and implement practices that promote harmony within their system and daily lives enabling the client to move towards their goals in a sustainable and manageable way.
A yoga therapy program is developed collaboratively between the yoga therapist and their client which may include the 8 limbs of yoga, hatha yoga consisting of, but not limited to, the physical practices including postures, breathing practices, meditation, imagery, chanting, personal study, healthy nutrition, obtaining and adequate rest.
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The Difference between Yoga and Yoga Therapy
A general yoga class has a differing focus than a yoga therapy session.
Instruction in yoga techniques
General practice often with a fitness orientation towards achieving a posture(s)
Limited individual adaptations
Yoga Therapy Session
Individual assessment and formal intake
Addresses specific concerns
Practices are tailored to client goals and encompass a vast range of yoga interventions
Individual self-empowerment for healing
Yoga as a lifestyle for homeostasis and evolvement
Possible group focus and support
A C-IAYT (Certified-International Association of Yoga Therapists) has a minimum of 1000 hours of training in the field of yoga therapy. This includes the minimum 200 hours of training required to be a yoga teacher and an additional 800 hours of training that includes therapeutically oriented philosophy, advanced kinesiology, and movement, psychology, and biomedicine, in-depth anatomy, and pathophysiology, the adaptation of yoga tools from evidence-based and best practices; as well as an extensive clinical practicum.
What to expect on your first appointment
Before your appointment, your yoga therapist will ask you to complete a history form. This informs your yoga therapists about your relevant medical history and aspirations for seeking yoga therapy.
During your first session, you will get to know your yoga therapist and they will interview you more in-depth about your concerns, your lifestyle, and your personality and discuss your goals and begin to break them down into manageable steps. They will inform you of the process you two will go through and begin working with you on practices that will help you move towards your goals. Your yoga therapist will collaborate with you on how a practice best fits into your lifestyle and work with you on scheduling your practices. You both will discuss the frequency and duration of your practice plan and schedule check-ins and follow-up visits.