WHAT IS YOGA THERAPY?
Yoga Therapy is a holistic modality that applies specific yoga techniques to generate healing based on individual assessment. Working with physical movement, breathing, chanting, visualization, meditation and mindfulness based practices we aim to unite mind, body and breath to increase vitality, promote healing, bring greater ease to the body/mind and improve overall well-being. Through a one on one consultation a personal home practice will be prescribed for specific individual needs to empower the individual to take their health into their own hands.
WHO CAN BENEFIT?
No matter your age, background or belief system Yoga Therapy welcomes all. From the focused sports person wanting to improve their fitness and stamina both mental and physical to someone suffering from chronic pain or in a wheelchair - if you have the capacity to breath, we can work therapeutically with yoga. There are infinite ways that the yoga postures, the breath and the practices can be modified to suit individual needs. It is possible to work on a scale from very simple gentle and dynamic movements all the way to more complex and strengthening and longer held movements.
Adherence to your daily personal practice can help with rehabilitation from injury, musculoskeletal issues, relief from chronic pain, anxiety, depression, cardiovascular conditions, poor mental function, poor circulation, allergies, endocrine conditions, fertility issues, auto-immune conditions, sciatica, nervous system conditions, general maintenance, improve physical well being, bring balance and strength to the entire human system and so much more.
~ Yoga Therapy has something to offer everyone~
THE TOOLS OF YOGA THERAPY
Depending on individual needs, a combination of the tools listed below are selected and crafted into a specific and individualized personal practice to create healing and balance in your body and mind.
Asana - Body Movement
The use of the physical postures of yoga are applied in a MODIFIED form to suit the needs
of the individual to help create mobility, greater ease, freedom and balance in the body and mind. With thousands of postures to choose from and modified versions are applied, the potential and possibilities are limitless.
Pranayama - The Breath
A variety of yogic breathing techniques are used in therapy to bring the body either up form an under-stimulated state (think lethargy) or down from an overstimulated state (think anger or anxiety) to find a middle ground that is balanced, energized yet calm. Focused breath awareness taps directly into the nervous system and helps to sooth and balance a multitude of conditions. Breath techniques focus on all aspects of the breath; The inhale, the exhale, and the quiet spaces in between. As we progress, different elements are gently introduced including retention after both the inhalation and exhalation (kumbhaka) to enhance the desired effect of the practices.
Mantra - Chanting and Sound
Sound as music can profoundly alter the way we feel. The use of sound in Yoga Therapy can assist in many interesting ways. The use of sacred sound connects us to thousand year old tradition. It is believed that specific syllables and mantra carry special vibrations that connect with our physical, emotional and psychic systems to bring harmony, peace and clarity.
Sounds as syllables can be introspective, opening or harmonizing or a mantra can be used to help heal an aspect of your life related to the positive and uplifting meaning and vibration of the mantra- depending on the needs of the individual.
Nadi Pariksa - Pulse Diognosis
Our special unique pulse rate presents a deeper awareness of our physical and emotional state. Through careful listening to the quality, rate and rhythm of the pulse we can pick up subtleties that are manifesting at a deeper level, a level that is not necessarily spoken.
Depending on what is read in the pulse, either a stronger or more relaxing practice is prescribed.
Dharana - Meditation
It is stated in the Ancient Yogic Text, The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, that the purpose of the physical Yoga postures (Asana) is to enable us to sit comfortably for long periods of time so that the physical body does not distract the focused mind during meditation. Meditation has been proven to increase concentration which in turn has a ripple effect on healing and positively transforming all levels of our constitution from the gross physical body to the deeper subtle energy bodies.
Bhavana - Visualization
The use of visualization in Yoga Therapy can be an incredibly powerful tool on the path to healing. Once the body is in a state of relaxation, the effects of visualization can take hold at a deeper level free of fear, judgement and our habitual behavioral patterns (Samskaras). We may draw on the healing qualities of the moon or the energizing power of the sun as visual tools- by inviting these qualities into our life, we embody them and they become a part of us.
Chakra and Nadi - Subtle Energy Body
The Nadi are channels that transport Prana (life force energy) around our physical body. The number is unknown and is beyond our scope however, in Yoga Therapy, we focus on three major Nadi - Ida Nadi governs the Left side of the body, Pingala Nadi governs the right side of the body and Sushumna Nadi travels up the center of the body. At seven major junctions along the center of the body front and back, these Nadi cross and form the Chakra system. Starting from the base of the Pelvis (Muladhara Chakra), travelling up to the lower abdomen (Svadisthana Chakra), to the navel (Manipuraka Chakra), to the heart Center (Anahata Chakra) to the throat (Visshudhi Chakra) to the center of the brow (Ajna Chakra) and finishing at the crown of the head (Sahasrara Chakra). These powerful energetic junctions govern Pranic energy that flows through out out our bodies. Physical weakness on one side of the body can be an indication of a blockage in a Nadi and certain imbalances in the Chakra can effect different areas of our emotional lives depending on where the symptoms are manifesting. Although we can not physically see or dissect the Nadi and Chakra, by applying different breath techniques, Yoga poses or specific mantra we can directly effect these subtle energy bodies and help to open up blockages that inhibit healing.
As Yoga Therapy is a holistic healing modality, a wide variety of Yogic tools are applied. Rather than focusing specifically on one symptom, we as Yoga Therapists aim to bring relief to the most pressing symptoms then examine deeper into the other systems so that we create an environment in the body where all systems can once again communicate and work together in a harmonious state. It is for this reason that Yoga Therapy is a very effective, powerful and accurate form of therapy when applied correctly and practiced regularly by the practitioner.