What is it?
According to The International Association of Yoga Therapists, 'yoga therapy is the specific application of yogic tools—postures/exercises, breathwork, meditation techniques, and more—to address an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional needs.' I like to describe it as a holistic approach to self healing through the lens of yoga and yogic philosophy. Yoga therapy meets the person where they are. As a yoga therapist, I work to guide you to a better understanding of the physical, energetic, emotional and Ayurvedic influences that may be impacting your pain or causing a sense of imbalance.
What can yoga therapy help with?
Yoga therapy can provide effective complementary support for:
Chronic pain, including low-back pain, arthritis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and other types of pain such as that associated with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
Mental health, including concerns like anxiety, depression, trauma and PTSD, insomnia, and others
Neurological issues and complications of stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Support for illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease
Overall well-being and Healthy Aging awareness of what you need through your practice can guide you to your highest self
How does it work?
Once you've decided you want to see me for yoga therapy, the first step is to fill out health assessment form, which asks detailed questions about your health history and also gives me an idea about what you want to achieve through yoga therapy.
After that, we will plan to meet for a 90 minute session. During this session we'll go through the health information form and I'll clarify any questions I have and gather information I feel I need to know more about. This is a little like a 'talk therapy' session, where you'll have a chance to tell me how you feel and also what you hope to accomplish through yoga therapy. Eventually, we'll set some goals based on what you feel you need.
I'll then take a look at your posture, inviting you to move in different ways so that I can see the range of motion in your spine. I will ask you to move in various yoga postures so that are relevant to the particular condition we are addressing through the yoga therapy so that I can see how they work for you and you can tell me what feels ok and what does not.
Following the postural assessment, I'll take a look at how you breathe. Our breath can have a huge impact on our emotional and physical wellness and breathing efficiently is key in the healing process. I'll guide you through breathing in different ways so that I can see where your breath flows easily and where it gets stuck. This assessment is usually done seated or lying down.
Then, I'll invite you to make yourself comfortable and will help you find a well supported, restorative position on the mat. I will guide you into relaxation and will take the time you are resting (usually for ten to fifteen minutes) to plan a practice for you, based on my observations and your feedback.
When you come out of relaxation, I'll teach you the practice, tweaking it as needed, based on what does and doesn't work for you. The practice might include movement, breath techniques, chanting, meditation and restorative postures. It will be based on what you need most from your practice to bring yourself into balance.
After the session, I'll send you a copy of your scribed practice with stick figures to demonstrate the postures. I'll also send a recorded version of the session and of any meditations I have used.
How often should you have yoga therapy?
To really benefit from the therapy, it's important to have a few sessions, which is why I require clients to start with a minimum of three sessions. They don't necessarily have to be weekly, but should be relatively close together so that we can build on the previous practices.
After an intensive, two year, 600 hour training through the YogaCampus Yoga Therapy Training Programme, over two years, I am a qualified yoga therapist. I am registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) which requires a high standard of training and insurance.