Yoga Therapy is a discipline where Yoga teachers, who have extensive additional training as Yoga therapists, apply classical Yoga practices, techniques and concepts to help treat common ailments, injuries, and diseases, both physical and mental. More than that, Yoga therapy promotes sustained health and wellness.
At the heart of the Yoga therapy approach is the belief that a person
is made up of mind, body, and spirit–elements that are so deeply
integrated that you can’t effectively treat or nurture one part without
considering the other two. It is a holistic approach.
The support of Western Medicine for integrating Yoga in the treatment
of illness and promotion of a healthy lifestyle is growing rapidly.
Timothy McCall, M.D., wrote in the Yoga Journal:
As yoga becomes more and more mainstream, and as research
dollars for alternative and complementary health systems continue
to grow, studies of yoga are getting not only better but also more
numerous in both India and the United States. In just the last few
years, research has documented the efficacy of yoga for such conditions as back pain, multiple sclerosis,
insomnia, cancer, heart disease, and even tuberculosis. Studies are also increasingly documenting how
yoga works. Among its many beneficial effects, yoga has been shown to increase strength, flexibility, and
balance; enhance immune function; lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels; and improve psychological
well-being. One of yoga’s most prominent effects, of course, is stress reduction.
(See the full article: “The Scientific Basis of Yoga Therapy”)
While this is an emerging field, it is important to note that Yoga therapists are not doctors. They do not diagnose illness or injury. Yoga therapy should be thought of primarily as a complimentary therapy. For any serious injury, disease, or unidentified chronic pain, yoga therapy should be only undertaken with a doctor’s knowledge and/or consent.
If you would like to discuss the ways in which Yoga Therapy might be beneficial to you, please contact me.
As a leader in the growing field of yoga therapy, the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) is committed to advancing yoga therapy education, training, and research, and the professional development of its members.
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Yoga Therapy Intern at the
Simms/Mann Venice Family Clinic