Yoga therapy is a type of therapy that uses yoga postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and guided imagery to improve mental and physical health. The holistic focus of yoga therapy encourages the integration of mind, body, and spirit.
This practical science can be broken down into five major principles.
1 Proper Exercise (Asanas) Proper exercise is necessary to keep the body healthy, strong and flexible.
2 Proper Breathing (Pranayama)
3 Proper Relaxation (Savasana)
4 Proper Diet and Nutrition.
5 Positive Thinking and Meditation.
Yoga therapy is a self-empowering process, where the care-seeker, with the help of the Yoga therapist, implements a personalized and evolving Yoga practice, that not only addresses the illness in a multi-dimensional manner, but also aims to alleviate his/her suffering in a progressive, non-invasive and complementary manner. Depending upon the nature of the illness, Yoga therapy can not only be preventative or curative, but also serve a means to manage the illness, or facilitate healing in the person at all levels.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOGA THERAPY
When a person decides to initiate yoga therapy, the therapist will first conduct an initial assessment. This assessment is designed to do the following:
Identify health problems
Assess lifestyle and physical capability
Discuss reasons for seeking therapy
Create a course of treatment
Once the treatment plan is established in this first consultation, the frequency of sessions is agreed upon and sessions are scheduled. From this point, therapy sessions will most likely include the following components:
TBreathing Exercises (Prayanama): The therapist will guide the person in therapy through a series of breathing exercises ranging from energizing breaths to balancing breaths.
Physical Postures (Asana): The therapist will teach the person in treatment appropriate yoga poses that address problem areas. For example, the “Legs Up the Wall” pose is used to treat things like anxiety and insomnia. In this pose, the person lays on his or her back with legs positioned up against the wall.
Meditation: Relaxation and mindfulness are the focus of meditation when it is combined with yoga poses.
Guided Imagery: The yoga therapist attempts to calm the body and mind by providing a guided visualization intended to bring inner peace.
Homework: An important element for any yoga practice is to find a way to incorporate it into daily life. Yoga therapists provide instructions on how to use what has been learned in treatment at home