Yoga Therapy is that facet of the ancient science of Yoga that focuses on health and wellness at all levels of the person, physical, psychological and spiritual. Yoga Therapy focuses on the path of yoga as a healing journey that brings balance to the body and mind through an experiential understanding of the primary intention of yoga: awakening of Spirit, our essential nature. The Healing journey is unique to each individual and Yoga Therapy therefore selects, adapts and modifies the practices of yoga appropriately for the individual with respect to age, culture, religion, and specific physical challenges and conditions to facilitate optimal health and healing of the body/mind.
The Yoga Therapy journey is a remembering and homecoming to a place of inner balance, awareness and wholeness that, however distant, is always present in the student. Yoga Therapy sees each person as an expression and reflection of infinite possibilities and intelligence. The skill and practice of the Yoga therapist comes through an in-depth understanding of all the facets of yoga in order to open the door to the own potential for health, healing and awakening
The general long-term goals of Yoga Therapy include:
- reducing the symptoms of suffering that can be reduced
- managing the symptoms that cannot be reduced
- rooting out causes wherever possible
- improving life function, and
- shifting attitude and perspective in relationship to life’s challenges.
The Role of the Yoga Therapist
The yoga therapist serves as a guide or mentor in the student’s journey of healing and self-discovery. Rather than offering a diagnosis and treatment for a specific condition, the yoga therapist creates a safe learning environment where the student can remember his/her own innate healing resources.
Yoga therapy offers a unique perspective on health and healing distinct from the western allopathic model. The Yoga Therapy approach to health is based on the integration of body, mind and spirit through an experiential connection to the source of life itself. Illness is seen as a separation from our true essence. Yoga Therapy addresses the larger questions of the meaning of life and the role of health and healing within it.
From the Yoga Therapy perspective, the entire life journey is a healing process of reunion with us, with nature, with other people and with Spirit. One way to think of yoga therapy is as a replacement therapy that is, replacing old bad habits with better new ones. As such, yoga therapy encompasses not only the body and the movements we do on the yoga mat, but how we live and treat others and ourselves off the mat, which is ultimately what matters for a healthy and whole life.
I am a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists