Yoga Therapy can be a bit illusive to define. Yoga comes from a vast and ancient tradition and our modern day approach to the practice can be experienced in so many different ways.
Yoga Therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the teachings and practices of Yoga.— IAYT Educational Standards for the Training of Yoga Therapists
Yoga Therapy can take a personalized approach to health and well-being and incorporate it into our daily lives. It can help us see the patterns of choices that might be causing us to be in physical, emotional or spiritual pain. It provides a daily practice to help sustain serenity in our body, mind and spirit.
Yoga therapy adapts the practice of Yoga to the needs of people with specific or persistent health problems not usually addressed in a group class.— Larry Payne Ph.D. Samata Yoga Center
Yoga Therapy (Yoga Rx): How can it help?
For most people a yoga therapist will not be their first choice when it comes to health related issues. In our western society, when is comes to our health we tend to go to the doctor first. If that isn’t working, then maybe we reach out to an alternative health care provider. Maybe we see a chiropractor, acupuncturist, or a naturopath. Our first thought is not yoga. Yoga is an exercise class, right? Yoga can be just a form of exercise for some people and that is evident in how we have often approached it in the west. Much of what see is just a commercialization of a small portion of the practice or yoga – the asana practice. Yoga Therapy seeks to incorporate a holistic approach to each person’s aliment and need. We are more than our physical bodies. However, our bodies are often the recipient of the suffering we are experiencing in our mental, emotional and spiritual selves. Yoga therapy can help empower you to see where you are stuck or a pattern you are repeated without realizing it and as a result your body and mind are afflicted with pain and suffering.
Yoga is a journey, of the self, through the self, to the self.The Bhagavad Gita
Yoga therapy is a process for individuals to be empowered to a new path of healing. This doesn’t mean that every ailment can be “fixed” through yoga therapy. It means that we can come to an acceptance of where we are and see what we need. Then, in this process of healing come to a place of peace with ourselves and the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual challenges we face in this life.