WHAT IS YOGA THERAPY?
Yoga Therapy is an integrative medicine approach that EMPOWERS people to improve overall health and well-being.
Yoga Therapy focuses on the holistic treatment of various physiological, physical, or mental conditions ranging from back pain to cancer, to headaches, arthritis, anxiety, auto-immune, trauma, and injury rehabilitation. The ancient practices of yoga (movement, breath, meditation and more) are utilized to achieve system balance, enabling genuine transformation and healing.
Long Term Objectives of Yoga Therapy
Improve relationship with pain, to help manage ongoing symptoms
Improve mood and mental health
Improve function and overall quality of life
Create a strong sense of self-awareness and self-compassion
Yoga Therapy is about EMPOWERMENT!
YOGA THERAPY vs YOGA CLASS
You may have taken a yoga class at the gym, rec center or local yoga studio. How is a yoga class different from yoga therapy? Isn't all yoga therapeutic?
Both yoga therapy and traditional yoga classes aim to integrate body-mind-spirt, enabling a healthy state of balance and alignment. The biggest difference lies in focus and teacher credentials.
Traditional group yoga classes are typically designed to support movement, physical strength and flexibility. They strive to meet the wide and varying needs of a diverse group of people.
Yoga therapy is typically offered in guided, 1-1 personalized sessions with a highly trained and experienced Yoga Therapist. Sessions are highly customized for you, your lifestyle, and your health condition.
Your Yoga Therapist works with your doctor and health team as needed to support healing.
Yoga therapy is also available in small group sessions with a community of people that have similar goals or conditions (for example, cancer thrivers, alzheimers' patients, or diabetics).
YOGA THERAPIST vs YOGA TEACHER
A certified yoga therapist has over 1000 hours of training and clinical experience in anatomy, physiology, and the therapeutic application of yoga practices. Yoga teachers are required to have 200 hours of training. So, while there are many great yoga teachers leading valuable group yoga classes, most do not have the level of training and experience to work with different health conditions. The International Association of Yoga Therapists has established credentialing requirements and outlined the scope of practice for yoga therapists.
THE YOGA THERAPY EXPERIENCE
An intake is completed to assess your health history, current conditions and/or disease state, pain levels, and overall physical, mental, and emotional health. We discuss current treatment(s), including medications and evaluate your goals and intentions for yoga therapy.
Yoga Therapy sessions are typically 75-minutes in length and include a combination of movement, breath practice, deep relaxation, and meditation.Each yoga therapy session is tailored to your condition and goals for healing. For example, if you were recently diagnosed with cancer, your practice would be very different than that for a client seeking to improve strength, flexibility, and balance following a knee injury.
Together, we will design a yoga therapy practice for you to continue at home. The home practice is designed to create resilience in body, mind and spirit. It is intended to empower you to continue healing and realize your health goals. Most yoga therapy plans include about 20 minutes of daily home practice to support you with moving FORWARD. Your yoga therapy plan may also include recommendations to support sleep, nutrition, and accommodations to daily activities.
Follow-up Yoga Therapy sessions include yoga practices to reinforce and support your home practice. We also discuss questions, evaluate your progress and current condition. As you heal or your condition changes, we make adjustments to your therapy plan.
New clients generally meet with me weekly to reinforce the practices, establish a routine and support necessary habit changes. Regular visits also allow me to check in with your medical team and make adjustments as things change. Over time, we may adjust the frequency of visits as needed.
Yoga therapy sessions are offered at various studio locations around Madison, WI. If necessary, the session can be done at your home. Travel more than 30 miles may require an additional fee.
Remote Yoga Therapy and Meditation sessions are also available ONLINE, via SKYPE or Facetime. This option also allows us to continue working together when you are on vacation or out of town for business, or seasonal travel.
A combination of practices will be included with your practice and will likely change over time. At a minimum, all 75-minute therapy sessions will include guided movement, breathing exercises and deep relaxation.
Mantra and chanting
Deep Relaxation (Nidra)
Meditation & Visualization
No experience or fancy yoga clothes required!
In order to make the practice accessible, we often use props and other tools to support postures, breath, and movement. Props may include
- Yoga mat
- Blankets & pillows
- Yoga straps & blocks
- Towels or washcloths
I will supply most of these items. You are welcome to bring your own props to the session.