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 Four: Yoga Therapy for Weight Loss
Diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are all linked to poor diet and exercise. Yoga therapy offers asana practices geared to the specific abilities of each client with the goal to build strength, flexibility, and body awareness. A session could also include visualization, meditation, and Ayurvedic dietary suggestions. I believe an important component of any weight loss journey is emotional support and as a yoga therapist I always provide space for talking, expressing, and sharing one's emotions.
Much research has been done on the positive effect yoga has on cardiac patients. Learning to breathe deeply, listening to the body, and participating in a regular community yoga class are among the top suggestion for heart health. Good communication between client and yoga therapist helps create an effective and appropriate treatment plan for anyone struggling with weight, heart disease, and diabetes.
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. Like everything else in life balance is necessary. Yoga therapy may not be the only modality for healing what ails you, but it is a viable one which is less invasive, less expensive, and gives you more control over your body. If you have questions about yoga therapy, please contact me and together we can create a treatment plan that is right for you.