What is Yoga Therapy? 

Yoga Therapy refers to the adaptation and application of Yoga techniques and practices to help individuals facing health challenges or life struggles at any level, manage their condition.  Yoga Therapy is different than a general yoga class because the practices are specifically designed to address short term and long term goals to:

  • Reduce the symptoms of pain, frustration or at the very least, manage
    the symptoms that cannot be reduced.

  • Dive deep wherever possible to uncover causes that lead to unconscious behavior patterns.

  • Improve life function, vitality.

  • Shift attitude and perspective in relationship to life’s challenges.
     

What to expect? 

If you have studied yoga with me for a while, you have likely already noticed subtle, positive changes in your life. This may show up as general equanimity, ease and fulfillment that naturally occurs in your weekly practice. 

On this basic level, I work with you in class on practical, therapeutic life-style issues to keep this balance in place. These issues may include muscle strength, alignment and periodic release of anxiety and even the release of mental stress.  I can also work one-on-one with beginners or those that are coming back to practice after injury. These Yoga Therapy sessions are designed to help you find strength and confidence in your practice so you can join a group class easily. By maintaining a balance in all these areas, together, we help you prevent further discomfort, injury and chronic dis-ease. 

Why go deeper? 

There are those times of immense change, transition and upset where one-on-one Yoga Therapy can take your commitment to a new and I will say, exciting level.  I work with chronic diseases like cancer, low back pain, anxiety and depression.  These issues can be debilitating and interrupt your life and life-force. Yoga therapy is a powerful tool for the committed individual who is willing to practice in the intimacy of a one-on-one ongoing relationship.  Many of you are feeling that pull of inspiration and I am ready to help you take this next step.  

*Yoga Therapy WINTER Special.

Now is the time to naturally move into a deeper commitment and into the next level of health and wellness. Please contact me for this life changing work or call me at
415-259-8900 for prices and scheduling. 

Yoga verses Yoga Therapy? 

Yoga therapy has become the new buzzword of the yoga world.  What is it really?  Isn’t yoga a therapeutic practice anyway? What is the difference between a yoga class and a yoga therapy session? To illustrate the difference, let’s break it down, differentiating between a yoga class and a yoga therapy session, and a yoga teacher and a yoga therapist.

Yoga Class vs. Yoga Therapy Session

People attend yoga classes for a variety of reasons but they usually start out seeking exercise within a community.  Along the way, they may discover that yoga has more to offer that just a physical workout; they may find an interest in pranayama, meditation or chanting.  Yoga classes offer students a variety of techniques so they can learn different ways to explore this ancient health care maintenance system.

A yoga therapy session is more specific: it is all about you and your issue(s). A yoga therapist’s goal is to investigate your specific symptoms and offer personalized solutions for controlling and/or mitigating them.

Yoga Teacher vs. Yoga Therapist

A yoga teacher should be trained in both the art and science of yoga as well as effective teaching methods.  A good yoga teacher knows how to assess the needs of the students in any given class and teaches techniques that will be of interest to that group as well as enhancing their general knowledge of yoga.

A yoga therapist is a yoga teacher who further trains to assess the needs of and determines an intervention for an individual.  Yoga therapy training involves in-depth study of a range of conditions along with the corresponding therapeutic interventions. 

 

Let’s look at an example: You have developed low back pain that often keeps you up at night.  Attending a gentle yoga class helps to ease that pain for a while as you learn to coordinate your breath to movement.  However, you are still not finding enough relief to be able to sleep well at night.  You go to visit a yoga therapist, who asks you a variety of questions about your life, your work, your habits, and your diet, and works over a period of time to develop a personal practice that will directly address the specific, current issues that are preventing you from feeling relief.

What your first session looks like: 

The first session requires 75-90 minutes. We sit and chat about what brings you to Yoga Therapy and then through questions about your health and lifestyle, decide upon your top priorities. From there, I ask you to do some simple yoga movements  to access your range of motion or places of immobility and/or "stuckness". From this assessment, I suggest a short term and long term plan and send you home with a prescriptive sequence especially designed to address your top priority. Depending on the issue and priorities, one session may be perfect or you may want to take advantage of a series of sessions to help you integrate yoga therapy into your life with an ongoing practice. 

As a Yoga therapist, my goal is to empower you to learn about your own body and to guide you into understanding the best Yoga practices and adaptations that bring about continued balance and peace into your life. 

Please contact me for this life changing work or call me at 415-259-8900 for prices and scheduling.  If you want to learn more about Yoga Therapy as a profession, please contact The American Viniyoga Institute (AVI) which provides training for both yoga teachers and yoga therapists.  And, The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) .

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