I have worked as a yoga instructor for the past 12 years. Even if you've never stepped foot on a yoga mat, you probably still have a basic understanding of what I do. When I tell people I am also a yoga therapist, however, a look of confusion usually precedes a a question resembling, "What's that?" Explaining what a yoga therapist is and what a yoga therapist does is not so simple. Although yoga therapy is an ancient practice, it is relatively unknown as a healing modality. Elevator answer? A yoga therapist works individually with a client to promote healing and wellness in both body and mind. That's an answer, but what does it mean? When you are ill, a doctor creates a treatment plan that usually includes tests, medication, and/or surgery. Those things certainly are a necessity in many cases, but are they the answer for all? For people who wish to heal or improve their health without the use of medications, invasive tests, and surgeries, yoga therapy is a holistic alternative. Let me illustrate this by giving some practical examples. Over the next few blog posts I will list five common conditions of poor health to which yoga therapy presents solutions. These are five areas of yoga therapy that are seeing increased growth as people discover and appreciate what a yoga based treatment plan can do.
Number One: Injury Recovery
Even minor injuries can present significant life style changes. People with injuries can feel great loss and a sense of displacement. A yoga therapy treatment plan seeks to address the physical injury as well as the emotional responses. A session could include asana to create mobility, stability, and blood flow to the injury site.
Visualization, breath exercises, and meditation are also used to as tools for coping with the challenges and pain of being injured. If surgery is required, yoga therapy is also a positive alternative for post-operative recovery and would follow a very similar treatment plan.
I enjoy the work I do as a yoga therapist. Even if few people understand it, it is deeply satisfying to empower another person with the courage and knowledge to follow their own path for healing. When I first started offering yoga therapy , in hubris I believed that everyone should it choose it. But experience has taught me that some diagnoses are very complex, and a healing treatment plan often requires multiple solutions. The protocol a doctor offers can be life saving. for those who want less invasive and natural treatments, yoga therapy can be life changing. Yoga therapy may not be the only modality for healing, but it is a viable one. If you have questions about yoga therapy, please contact me and together we can create a treatment plan that is right for you.