So, what is yoga therapy?
Yoga therapy uses the practices and teachings of yoga to alleviate the effects of specific physical and mental health conditions – whether that be back pain, diabetes, cancer, depression or PTSD. Whilst it is not a cure for disease, it can help you to manage symptoms and work towards an overall state of health and wellbeing.
What are the benefits?
Advances in science mean we better understand how the practices of yoga and other mind-body therapies work and there is a growth in medical and scientific research that supports these claims. Some of the benefits of yoga include:
- Improved flexibility, balance and co-ordination from the physical postures
- Increased lung capacity through breath practices
- Ability to regulate stress, mood and boost resilience
- Improved cognitive functioning
Yoga’s ability to manage stress is a particularly important part of the piece as chronic stress impacts almost every biological system in the body and is a risk factor for many diseases.
Increasingly yoga is finding a place alongside conventional treatments – and other complementary therapies – in modern healthcare systems. You can read more about the work of the Yoga in Healthcare Alliance in the UK here. In the US, Dean Ornish’s yoga-based programme to treat heart disease has actually been shown to have the ability to reverse heart disease and is now covered by public health insurance. Mindfulness is recommended in the UK NICE guidelines (independent, evidence-based guidance for health professionals) as a treatment for a range of conditions including depression.
What happens in a 1-2-1 yoga therapy session?
Before the session, you would be asked to fill out a detailed health and lifestyle questionnaire. In the first session we would discuss your needs and what you’re hoping to get out of yoga therapy before working through a series of practices which might include: breathing techniques, postures, meditation, relaxation techniques or discussion of lifestyle behavioural changes, based on the teachings of yoga. Sessions generally last 50 minutes.
Want to work with me?
I work with people 1-2-1 as a yoga therapist. I also offer occasional courses and workshops in therapeutic yoga, mindfulness and relaxation techniques. Sign up to my e-mail list to find out more. I am interested in working with organisations to develop yoga therapy and mindfulness programmes – in clinical, corporate or community settings. If you are interested in talking to me about how I could work with your organisation, please get in touch.