Based on the International Association of Yoga Therapists, “Yoga Therapy is the professional application of the principles and practices of yoga to promote health and well-being within a therapeutic relationship that includes personalized assessment, goal setting, lifestyle management & yoga practices for individuals or small groups”
Based on my understanding of Yoga Therapy, it is inclusive for everyone and offers endless possibilities through personalized adaptations. The approach I’ll be using is multidimensional, working with the physical, psychological, social & spiritual aspects that influence the perception of pain.
First off, let’s clear some confusion, yoga is not the solution to everything in life. Simply put, as we practice, our mind becomes clearer, our body healthier & therefore our decision making more efficient.
That being said, yoga therapy can transform lives by adapting people’s perspective, positively influencing habits & manage symptoms of dis-ease in the body.
If you don’t already know, stress is the root cause of all dis-ease. Our body can sense when something is not right and stressful, it actually remembers everything.
Through the practice of yoga therapy we work without pain, growing through the pain rather than going through the pain, it’s all about safety and simplicity.
The use of yoga therapy in modern medicine and psychotherapy is limitless. It is a slow, reflective process following the principle of bringing balance into one’s life.
I’ll try to make this as short as possible!
I chose the path of yoga therapy for one reason –HELP PEOPLE!
I was intrigued by how much yoga transformed myself and that’s what got me curious to dive deeper into the world of transformation through therapeutic yogic practices. I knew that yoga therapy was my calling right after the 200HR yoga teacher training, I started doing my research as soon as I got back from Bali and I found the school which I am currently enrolled in, The Yoga Therapy Institute. I reached out to them straight away, got all the information I needed and here I am, a proud student, extremely grateful for finally following my dreams 18 months later.
Now the question is, WHY did it take me 18 months to pursue my dream?
I decided to build a solid base, because just like building a home from scratch, you need to start from the base, so I took the time to gain practical experience through teaching yoga in conjunction with my corporate life. Just like most corporate jobs, I was occupied during the day until late afternoon so I only taught morning sessions in the weekends and nighttime sessions during weekdays which worked perfectly well for myself and clients.
With yoga, we can’t just read and learn without implementing the actual learnings, it’s all about the practice and experience so teaching was vital for me before jumping into the Yoga Therapy Diploma.
What approach did I use while gaining experience teaching in those 18 months?
I always saw yoga as a safe and comfortable way to explore the mind & body, for me it wasn’t just about getting into physical poses and teaching fast paced classes. I actually never taught a fast pace class, not that anything is wrong with that, everyone has their own preference. With my approach in teaching everything was slow, gentle, and catered to the needs of my clients, continuously asking them what they would like to focus on.
Funny thing is that I was never really a fan of teaching large groups, I found my comfort in teaching private sessions and small groups. This week during one of our lectures, one of our teachers informed us that Yoga Therapy is only taught one to one OR if necessary, a very small group, which validated my comfort in wanting to teach and focus on smaller groups. As the days go by in my journey with The Yoga Therapy Institute, I am more convinced that Yoga Therapy is my path in life to help people around me with whatever it may be.
In my teachings I always felt internal satisfaction knowing that my clients were content, and their lifestyle was slowly transforming. My happiness is to make a difference in life and contribute positively, and what a liberating feeling that is.
So what does a yoga therapist actually do?
Role of a Yoga Therapist:
- Assess each client using tools & maintain records
- Identify any risk factors or contraindications to ensure the safety of clients
- Develop a therapeutic plan for each client’s condition
- Guide clients in implementing the therapeutic plan
- Teach an integrated set of practices aligned with clients’ needs & goals
- Provide appropriate follow up
- Provide clear goals for each session
- Provide clear instructions for any recommended home practice
- Provide clear processes for client feedback
- Provide guidance for lifestyle changes
Interested to know more about Yoga Therapy?