It is no secret that yoga has tremendous healing potential. Western medicine is now embracing yoga therapy as a valid preventative, complementary and alternative treatment for a variety of issues, including back pain, breathing disorders, anxiety, depression, insomnia, fibromyalgia, cancer recovery, chronic pain and many more. Indeed, yoga’s deepest health benefit lies in its reliance on empowering the practitioner to be the agent of his or her own healing.
The yoga tradition is a classical model of what we currently describe as a holistic approach to healthcare. In it there are five dimensions to the human being, which correspond roughly to the physical, physiological, intellectual, emotional and spiritual bodies. While specific conditions can be targeted, the focus is always on the individual as a whole.
A yoga therapy session is personally tailored to address specific health and wellness issues. It may incorporate asana, breathwork and specific mindfulness meditation techniques that are performed as a “prescription” in compliment to other alternative or western remedies. At Indigo Yoga, our approach to yoga therapy is rooted in the Viniyoga tradition, where the pose is adapted to meet the individual exactly where they are. Yoga therapy practices often incorporate Ayurvedic practices as well as recommendations for bodywork and Reiki. Students are taught specific yogic practices in the session and are then asked to perform these practices on their own. Support from their yoga therapist is always available between sessions via phone or email.
While yoga therapy can be a powerful healing modality, it cannot be used in times of acute distress. In addition, prior to a therapeutic session, the student should first consult his or her physician about the suitability of mild to moderate breath and movement practices.
For more on yoga therapy and Viniyoga, please visit the American Viniyoga Institute at www.viniyoga.com.