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  • Writer's pictureAsya Haikin

Why see a yoga therapist?

Today over fifteen million Americans regularly practice yoga. It is easy to find a yoga class to fit your needs and your schedule. Why go an extra mile and see a yoga therapist? Who might benefit from that?

Yoga therapy is the application of yogic tools such as physical postures, breathing, chanting and meditation to the specific needs of an individual. In our minds yoga is firmly connected to the class format, but a yoga class is, in fact, a fairly recent phenomenon, dating back to the early 20th century. During that time the yoga of the physical postures (asanas) was gaining popularity in India, partly under the influence of emerging western interest in physical fitness. From India Yoga was transported to the West, where the class format became the most popular way of practicing yoga.

Before yoga classes gained popularity, yoga was often transmitted one-on-one, from teacher to student. The practice was adapted to the individual, made to address whatever issues the student was dealing with. With most yoga classes around nowadays being highly athletic and physically demanding, there is a movement towards making yoga more accessible. Yoga therapy is part of this movement to make yoga responsive to the needs of the individual, and bring it into the field of integrative healthcare. Here are some of the reasons you may want to see a yoga therapist:

  • Do you suffer from chronic pain? Persistent pain has been shown to respond well to a combination of gentle movement and mindfulness that yoga therapy provides. We know that, although pain originates in the body, it is often intensified by our mind’s reaction to it. Yoga’s mind-body approach can help us reduce our perception of pain.

  • Chronic illness can be well supported by yoga therapy. Yoga therapy encourages a healthier lifestyle, brings relief from the stress associated with the illness, and can change your relationship to the illness itself.

  • If you are a caregiver by profession, or if you are taking care of a loved one, you can benefit from the stress reduction and self-care aspects of yoga therapy.

  • Neurological conditions, like Parkinson’s, MS or brain injury, can benefit through our brain’s quality of neuroplasticity. Working with the body and with the nervous system can positively affect the symptoms of these conditions.

  • Yoga therapy has been successfully used as a supporting therapy in mental health, benefiting people with anxiety, depression, and trauma.

Even if you are just dealing with everyday stresses and with life cycle events like pregnancy, or natural effects of aging, yoga therapy can be a great way to support yourself through those life transitions. To find a qualified yoga therapist near you go to:

yoga therapy


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