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What is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga therapy is the professional application of the principles and practices of yoga to promote health and well-being within a therapeutic relationship that includes personalized assessment, goal setting, lifestyle management, and yoga practices for individuals or small group.
Yoga is a scientific system of self-investigation, self-transformation, and self-realization that originated in India. The teachings of yoga are rooted in the Vedas and grounded in classical texts and a rich oral tradition. This tradition recognizes that the human being’s essential nature is unchanging awareness that exists in relationship to and identification with the changing phenomena of the empirical world.
The yoga tradition views humans as a multidimensional system that includes all aspects of body ;breath; and mind, intellect ,and emotions and their mutual interaction. Yoga is founded on the basic principle that intelligent practice can positively influence the direction of change within these human dimensions, which are distinct from an individual’s unchanging nature or spirit. The practices of yoga traditionally include, but are not limited to, asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, chanting , mudra, ritual and a disciplined lifestyle.
Yoga therapy is the appropriate application of these teachings and practices in a therapeutic context in order to support a consistent yoga practice that will increase self-awareness and engage the client/student’s energy in the direction of desired goals. The goals of yoga therapy include eliminating, reducing ,or managing symptoms that cause suffering ;improving function; helping to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of underlying causes of illness; and moving toward improved health and wellbeing. Yoga therapy also helps clients/students change their relationship to and identification with their condition.
The practice of yoga therapy requires specialized training and skill development to support the relationship between the client/student and therapist and to effect positive change for the individual.
Yoga therapy is informed by its sister science, Ayurveda. As part of a living tradition, yoga therapy continues to evolve and adapt to the cultural context in which it is practiced ,and today, it is also informed by contemporary health sciences. Its efficacy is supported by an increasing body of research evidence, which contributes to the growing understanding and acceptance of its value as a therapeutic discipline."International Association of Yoga Therapists, June 2, 2020
Private or Group Sessions
Integrative yoga therapy is based upon the Panchamayakosha model of health and healing: Annamayakosha- the physical body; Pranamayakosha- the energy/breath bdy; Manomayakosha- the psycho-emotional body; Vinyanmayakosha- the wisdom body and Anandamayakosha- the bliss body. The yoga therapist and the student work together to assess whatever imbalances are contributing to a certain medical condition.
Fill out the intake Form- this is a questionnaire that helps the yoga therapist get to know the person. It also helps the individual take a closer look at themselves. We usually do this over the phone. It can also be done by email if necessary.
The first visit is an evaluation- At the end of the first session I will give you a general outline of your yoga program that is tailored specifically to you. A client should understand that there are a minimum number of sessions in order for them to benefit. I usually recommend 3 sessions since this is the minimum needed to see any results. Often clients will return for a tune up session in six months or so.
Homework- Clients are required to complete homework assignments that usually require 15-30 min. a day but this depends on the individual and their needs. Yoga cannot work if it is not practiced but I also understand time constraints with responsibilities and commitments. I will discuss any time management issues with you before giving any assignments.
Private yoga therapy sessions offer a student one-on-one attention. There are many reasons people choose this. Clients may include those that are out of shape and need a personal modified program, those that do not feel comfortable in a group yoga class, those that want to develop a yoga practice specific to them or those that are dealing with chronic medical conditions. Some medical conditions I can address include arthritis, asthma, cancer, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, musculo-skeletal injuries, stress management and stroke. I also have years of experience working with seniors. I have completed the Yoga for Cancer training at Kripalu with Tari Prinster.
I will travel to your home or place of business. I also have limited use of a small yoga studio depending on the time of day.
Price: 1st session- Evaluative: $70 for 1.5 hrs.
Treatment Sessions: $60 for 1.5 hrs.
Yoga therapy groups focus on a population that are dealing with similar medical conditions i.e., arthritis, autoimmune disorders or weight issues. Although these are group sessions you will still get individual attention as these groups are usually 4 to 6 students but can vary depending on the needs of the group. Time spent on yoga postures is usually less than in a regular yoga class. Emphasis is also placed on body awareness, breathing and sharing. Further sessions are created based on the group's dynamics and feedback
I received my 200 hr. Sun Power Yoga Teacher Certification in 2005 in Leceister, England with Anne Marie Newland. She developed Sun Power Yoga by uniquely blending four styles of yoga- Hatha, Iyengar, Sivananda and Ashtanga. Anne Marie is an outstanding yoga teacher known throughout England as well as other countries.
I became certified as a yoga therapist (800 hrs.) through Integrative Yoga Therapy with Joseph LePage in 2009.
I am also an Occupational Therapist employed in the field for 31 yrs. I became frustrated with dealing with many medical conditions that could have been prevented. My experiences in the healthcare field made me truly appreciate the healing power of yoga. I like the fact that both disciplines give the individual the tools to help themselves. I use the postures, breathing and relaxation techniques in my OT work when appropriate.
Anyone who is breathing can do yoga. Yogatherapy for everybody is for every body. Yoga should be adapted to the person, not the person to the yoga. I love being able to modify yoga poses and techniques to make yoga accessible to all. I hope to give my clients a better quality of life.
I am registered with the National Yoga Alliance (YA) and the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT.)