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The Reason You Need To Do Yoga Therapy

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

What is Yoga Therapy?

The adaptation of yoga for therapeutic benefit is yoga therapy. An individual yoga program is designed for your specific needs to gain optimal well-being.

Yoga Therapy empowers and supports individuals with illness and chronic injuries to manage their own health using the principles of Yoga and applying a range of Yoga practices developed within a professional therapeutic relationship.

Yoga Therapy engages in an holistic approach to assisting an individual’s health, and will usually encompass the wellbeing of the whole person rather than focusing on a single condition.

A Yoga Therapist may use include asana (postures), pranayama (breath awareness and techniques), mudra (gestures), relaxation, meditation, dietary advice, lifestyle counselling and self-development guidance.

Lotus Yoga Pose or Padmasana
Lotus Yoga Pose or Padmasana

At your initial consultation, your physical needs are assessed, followed by a series of private lessons for about a month to help you learn your program of daily activities (simple movements, breathing techniques, sound, relaxation and meditation).

Yoga Therapy is most commonly provided by way of an individual consultation, although small therapeutic groups may be offered for those experiencing similar health issues. You do not need to have prior yoga experience to benefit from Yoga Therapy.

How is Yoga Therapy different to Yoga?

While yoga is a healthy pursuit that can benefit practitioners in its general form, yoga therapy is an evolving field which focuses on using evidence-based yogic practices in the treatment of specific health conditions.

Yoga One Leg Upward Bow Pose or Eka Pada Urdhva  Dhanurasana
Yoga One Leg Upward Bow Pose or Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana

What are the 5 principles of Yoga?

  • Proper Exercise – Āsana.

  • Proper Breathing – Prāṇāyāma.

  • Proper Relaxation – Śavāsana.

  • Proper Diet – Vegetarian.

  • Positive Thinking & Meditation – Vedānta & Dhyāna.

What is Functional Yoga Therapy?

Functional yoga therapy merges ancient yoga techniques and modern wisdom to identify imbalances and create a unique path to healing and wellness. This approach sees the human being as an integrated body-mind-spirit system that is at its best when all three parts are in a state of dynamic balance.

Split Pose or Hanumanasana
Split Pose or Hanumanasana

What is a Yoga Therapist?

A Yoga Therapist is an experienced Yoga Teacher with additional qualifications, specialised skills and knowledge in the application of yoga within a therapeutic setting.

A Yoga Therapist draws from the principles of yoga and the full range of yoga practices, bio-medical knowledge and assessment skills to establish a professional relationship with clients. Together, the therapist and client will develop a self-empowering therapeutic program appropriate to the client’s needs.

Yoga Therapists have undertaken additional training beyond that of a yoga teaching qualification, to become a certified Yoga Therapist and adhere to professional ethics, guidelines and codes relating to the practice of Yoga Therapy.

What does a Yoga Therapist do?

Rather than focusing on yoga methods and practices, yoga therapists fundamentally focus on their clients’ needs. Their job is to understand why their clients have come to see them and determine what they can do to support them.

To help them in their work, therapists are trained to assess clients through listening, questioning, observing, and appropriately touching. Therapists look for ways to help their clients reduce or manage their symptoms, improve their function, and help them with their attitude in relation to their health conditions.

After assessing clients, therapists establish appropriate goals, develop a practice intervention, and then teach clients to practice that intervention. In this sense, therapists choose yoga techniques in relation to how they will specifically benefit individual clients.

Staff Pose or Chaturanga Dandasana
Staff Pose or Chaturanga Dandasana

How is Yoga Therapy different to Physiotherapy?

Yoga physiotherapy or yoga physical therapy is combining yoga and physical therapy used by a qualified, registered Physiotherapist or Physical Therapist.

Yoga and physical therapy, or physiotherapy both include therapeutic breathing techniques and hatha yoga therapy physical exercises moving the body or holding static poses, called asanas in yoga, a body balancing yoga.

Conditions using physiotherapy yoga for treatment includes rheumatoid arthritis yoga treatment, back pain treatment yoga, lower back pain treatment yoga, sciatica pain treatment yoga, or yoga for sciatica treatment, yoga and exercise for back pain, and yoga for sacroiliac joint pain treatment.

Yoga as a complementary therapy to standard physiotherapy combines mind with body practices and assists with relaxation and meditation in addition to physical, full body movements.

Yoga physiotherapy courses are for a set number of weeks, progressing and building on techniques.

Professional yoga therapy is with a yoga therapy teacher, registered yoga therapist or clinical yoga therapist, who doesn’t have to be a qualified physiotherapist.

What is therapeutic yoga?

Therapeutic yoga is using yoga as a therapeutic intervention for specific health issues rather than a more general series of yoga exercises. Yoga therapy health benefits are physical and mental, using yoga as therapeutic exercise.

A yoga therapy program is constructed based on assessment in a yoga therapy clinic, yoga therapy studio, yoga therapy centre or yoga and therapy center, providing a home or online yoga therapy program.

After assessment private yoga therapy sessions, therapeutic yoga classes or specific yoga therapy classes are usually provided rather than large, generalised groups.

Yoga and therapy yoga treatments include structural yoga, yoga healing therapy, myofascial yoga therapy and yoga nidra therapy, a relaxation practice.

Yoga Corpse Pose or Savasana
Yoga Corpse Pose or Savasana

Yoga as complementary and alternative medicine?

Yoga therapy care includes yoga complementary and alternative medicine.

Yoga alternative therapy, yoga and alternative therapy or integrative yoga, may include therapeutic restorative yoga, myofascial release and yoga and inversion therapy yoga.

Pt and yoga

Yoga and pt, or yoga personal training is usually more fitness based, using yoga poses or asanas to strengthen or stretch particular muscles, rather than for specific health conditions. Often breathing and meditation are not a focus.

Handstand Pose or Adho Mukha Vrkhasana
Handstand Pose or Adho Mukha Vrkhasana

What is yoga therapy used for? What is yoga therapy good for?

Yoga therapy for insomnia.

Yoga therapy for weight loss.

Therapeutic yoga for seniors.

Energy healing yoga.

Restorative yoga therapy.

Yoga for insomnia treatment.

Well woman yoga therapy.

King Pigeon Pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotanasana
King Pigeon Pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotanasana

For what diseases can yoga be a therapy?

Yoga therapy for diseases including:

Yoga therapy for thyroid problems.

Yoga therapy for cancer patients.

Yoga for cancer treatment including yoga therapy for cancer, yoga for chemotherapy patients or chemo yoga.

Yoga and mental health therapy?

Yoga therapy for depression and anxiety.

Yoga therapy for stress and anxiety.

Yoga treatment for depression.

Yoga therapy for stress.

Yoga therapy for depression.

Yoga therapy for anxiety.

Tree Pose or Vrksasana
Tree Pose or Vrksasana

What conditions benefit from yoga therapy?

Multiple sclerosis yoga therapy.

Yoga therapy for special needs.

Yoga therapy as a creative response to pain:

Yoga therapy for shoulder pain including frozen shoulder yoga therapy, rotator cuff yoga therapy and general shoulder yoga therapy.

Yoga therapy for knee pain or knee yoga therapy.

Postural yoga therapy.

Yoga therapy for back pain including yoga therapy for sciatica, yoga therapy for lower back pain, yoga therapy for back pain and stress relief.

Yoga therapy for neck pain.

Yoga therapy for plantar fasciitis.

Joint pain yoga therapy.

Yoga therapy for rheumatoid arthritis and general yoga therapy for arthritis.

Yoga pelvic exercises and pelvic floor yoga therapy.

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