What is Yoga Therapy?
As defined by the IAYT (The International Association of Yoga Therapists) it is:
“the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the teachings and practices of yoga.”
What makes Yoga Therapy unique?
Though you may be suffering from pain or side effects from cancer treatment, or rheumatoid arthritis, sleeplessness or a multitude of other problems, your experience is different from anyone else who has the same thing. Whether due to past history, your physical or emotional state, living conditions, genetics, stressors, age, etc. each is a different factor to be considered.
What often happens elsewhere that can be 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 makes yoga different is the focus of bringing awareness to what’s really going on in your body, in the way you move, breathe and go about your day. This often brings to light what’s just under the surface … that may be getting in the way, causing pain, limiting your movement, and instead help you to gain strength, stability and better mobility. We look to bridge that gap.
What will happen during a private session?
Together, we’ll take the time to review information based on your past history, medical information, current treatment plans and ‘your life as it is today’. Next, clarify what goals or primary issues you want to address. This may include eliminating, reducing, or managing your symptoms, improving function, 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.
Using the tools of yoga, that being gentle movement and relaxation techniques, you will learn to better observe yourself. Within this safe environment, we’ll explore gaining or retraining movements that may have felt out of reach before. You’ll learn skills to help calm your nervous system, which may play a part in the pain or limitation you’re experiencing.
At the end of each session, you’ll be provided an individualized, unique program to take away and practice.
How often will you need to attend a session?
Usually, at least to start, we’ll meet every two weeks to evaluate and assess progress, and how I can further support and progress you. After some time, it may be that we only meet every couple of months or six months to a year. Whenever you think it might be beneficial to reconnect, or you feel stuck, or want to work towards new goals.
What will you learn from me?
Information, simple skills and tools you can use anytime from home. What makes Yoga Therapy (and some other forms of bodywork) different is, once you learn to tune into your body’s signals they will help 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.