Yoga therapy takes a holistic approach to treat a person’s mind, body, and spirit. (Pixabay)

Yoga therapy takes a holistic approach to treat a person’s mind, body, and spirit. (Pixabay)

The Yoga Room: Moving Out of Pain with Breath, Movement, and Stillness

Yoga therapy offers healing for all kinds of conditions and ailments

By Barb Minichiello, Certified Yoga Therapist, The Yoga Room

For good health we require strength, flexibility, structural alignment, proper functioning of body systems, and mental steadiness.

Yoga therapy, is a new but ancient kid on the healing block, which compliments western medicine and other healing modalities such as physiotherapy, massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic care.

A yoga therapist’s main tools are breath, movement, and stillness. This can include different yoga postures perhaps deconstructed to smaller movements, breathing methods, mindfulness, relaxation, and meditation. While yoga classes are often taught in groups, yoga therapy is usually one on one and very specific to the person in the session. Yoga therapy is people centered. It treats the person rather than the disease. It is a compassionate look at a person’s way of being, moving, and doing and a look into how they think, breathe, and eat. Each person is given a unique program specially formatted for them based on how they are in the present moment.

Yoga therapy is all about treating the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. It is based on the belief that human beings are born with the ability to heal and need only to remove the physical, emotional, and spiritual blocks in order to let that natural ability to shine through. A yoga therapy session works through all the onion layers of a person utilizing the five dimensions of the body (the koshas) from the yogic tradition.

1. Physical balance: Physical balance focuses on the importance of sustaining joint stability, good posture, increased mobility, and balance.

2. Energetic balance: Your energetic bank account is helped back into balance.

3. Mental balance: Yoga therapy combines yoga postures, breath work, hand gestures, and mantras to create new neurological pathways which sharpen memory and keep you active.

4. Emotional balance: Replenish what makes your heart sing! Through a powerful combination of breath work, gentle restorative poses, and relaxation, anxiety decreases and a state of calm connectedness follows.

5. Spiritual balance: Nourish your spiritual heart and stay connected to what sustains you.

Some of the powerful but simple principles in a yoga therapy session include fostering connection between mind and body. Becoming aware of what you feel in your body helps to positively influence your condition. Breathing is a cornerstone in every session. It is important to create balance and a sense of ease. Conscious relaxation is taught and practiced, as stress is often a major cause of illness. Relaxing deeply can increase your immunity, have a positive effect on every cell in your body, and give you a much-needed rest that creates rejuvenation.

Whether you are facing a serious condition, recovering from surgery or a physical injury, dealing with mental or emotional issues or wanting to improve your movement, yoga therapy can help you on your way back to wellness and vitality.

While a yoga therapy session focuses on specific issues, it does so by using your body, mind, and breath to reconnect to your own natural ability to be healthy, happy, and joyful. It reconnects you back to the wonderful being that you already are.

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