As defined by the IAYT (The International Association of Yoga Therapists) it is “the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and wellbeing through the application of the teachings and practices of yoga.”
What makes Yoga Therapy unique?
Instead of focusing on your condition or disease specifically, we look at the whole person, their whole life, as it is today.
Though you may be suffering from pain or side effects from cancer treatment, or rheumatoid arthritis, sleeplessness or whatever, your experience as a whole is different from any other who may have the same thing. Whether due to past history, physical or emotional state, living conditions, genetics, stressors, age, etc. Each is a different factor to be considered in the experience of whatever your situation is.
What often happens elsewhere that may prove unsuccessful is a ‘treatment’ is provided that is the same for everyone with (insert ‘condition’ here). Or sometimes the treatment provided removes immediate pain or suffering, but over the long term doesn’t ever get to the underlying issue. (Think – the whole diet industry and why it generally fails due to both factors just mentioned).
What will happen during a private session?
Together, we’ll review information based on your past history, medical information, current treatment plans and ‘your life as it is today’ and then clarify what goals or primary issues you want to address. This may include eliminating, reducing, or managing symptoms, improving function, helping to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of underlying causes of illness, and ultimately moving toward improved health and wellbeing. It may also include my referring to other health care professionals and/or consultation with those currently working with you.
Throughout, you will learn to better observe yourself; learn skills and tools to progress you to your stated goal. At the end of each session, you are provided with a unique program to take away and practice. After a set time period, we meet again to evaluate and assess progress.
What also makes Yoga Therapy (and some other forms of body work) different is, once you learn to tune into your body’s signals they will guide you. Your mind may be great at many things but the body succeeds in expressing what’s really going on. With practice, you become the agent of your own wellbeing.
(I do not ‘diagnose’ as that is not within the scope of practice for Yoga Therapy)
What about group sessions?
Group work can be an effective way to present the overall tools that are helpful to most people. Though not getting into specifics for each individual, it offers the same principles, tools and information that can be built upon over time.