What is the difference between a Yoga Class and Yoga Therapy?
In western culture, public yoga classes are generally viewed as a system of exercise - opportunities to develop, deepen, or finesse a physical practice with like-minded individuals. More often than not, the class focus remains primarily on the physical body. While this approach can instill moments of peace and playful challenge that may offer a therapeutic effect, it does not always allow for caution or adaptations or self-advocacy to ensure your injuries or chronic conditions are taken into account.
Yoga therapy is an integrative mind-body therapeutic modality that adapts the yogic elements of breathing techniques, mindful movement, guided imagery, and meditation/visualization to address the disconnection and dis-ease in breath, body, and mind.
A client's unique experience and goals are supported by focus upon nervous system optimization, neuroplasticity to retrain the brain how to respond in stressful moments, neuromuscular re-education to teach the body how to be strong yet flexible, and improving a sense of connectedness to self and social networks.
For individual work with a client, a treatment approach begins with an initial consultation to build an understanding of the client’s situation, environment, history and desired goals, and to perform musculoskeletal assessments. Additional sessions allow deeper exploration and continued refinement of how mind, body, and breath align. A client’s collaborative input is integral to creating a specialized, realistic, and sustainable plan of care that respects time allowance, interests, healthy challenge, and which progresses toward identified goals. Consistency and commitment are key.
Plans of care are developed from scientific research and evidence-based practices proven to relieve suffering and/or illness symptoms; improve functioning across physical, energetic and mental-emotional layers; and, empower individuals through the process of self-reflection, healing, education, and personal evolution. Each approach is uniquely adapted to the needs of the individual client.
One does not need prior knowledge or experience with yoga to benefit from yoga therapy. Everything will be customized to meet you exactly as you are.