Yoga has been growing in popularity and application since it first arrived here in the West in the early 20th century. 21 million adults in the U.S. practiced yoga in 2012, imagine what those numbers are now! The newest development in the healing of yoga comes in the form of Yoga Therapy.
What is Yoga Therapy?
People everywhere are realizing the importance of body-mind connection, proper breathing techniques, a balance between physical strength and flexibility, and healing through meditation. What do we get if we combine traditional yoga instruction with Physical Therapy standards of care? That means knowledge of anatomy and common disorders, familiarity with medical care standards, and focus on alignment in position. This is Yoga Therapy. This type of care is not new to the scene, having been practiced for thousands of years in India. Now with recent advancements in integrative healthcare, Yoga Therapy can thrive. Offered the setting of a clinical Physical Therapy environment, Yoga Therapy is a perfect supplement to any PT treatment, exercise routine, or side yoga practice.
What is Yoga Therapy used for?
Looking for pain relief, stress relief, acute injury rehab, improved flexibility, or more strength? Yoga Therapy creates a space for a student to heal and improve through a personally tailored yoga practice. Yoga Therapy targets a client’s issue, whether it’s chronic knee pain or scoliosis, with a set of tools geared specifically towards that condition.
Some of the tools used in Yoga Therapy include:
- Customized yoga poses that soothe pain, strengthen muscle, stretch tight areas and scar tissue
- Core stabilization for low back pain, hip pain, and balance difficulties
- Breathing techniques to strengthen lungs and core, and improve endurance
- Yoga’s philosophic principles to address psychological aspects of healing
- Balance training
- Relaxation techniques and meditation
- Alternative pain management methods
- Optimizing immune and lymphatic systems through movement and postures
- Education on yoga home practice and natural remedies
Therapeutic yoga can be used in the treatment and management of a wide range of issues. These include orthopedic problems, fibromyalgia, post-surgery and post-injury recovery, scoliosis, disorders such as sciatica and plantar fasciitis, even depression and anxiety. It is often used for people dealing with cancer and heart disease for reduced pain and stress. It is also used as a means of prevention. Practicing yoga with an experienced instructor can help prevent joint problems, arthritis, weakness, poor posture, balance troubles and falling, and some respiratory issues. Yoga is a whole-body experience. It reminds us that the body systems are interconnected. By affecting one area of the body, we may see positive results in other areas as well.
How Can I Get The Benefits of Yoga Therapy?
Meeting with a yoga therapy practitioner for a customized session is as easy as a phone call! If you’d like to learn more about meeting with a certified, registered yoga instructor specializing in alignment and therapeutics, call us now. Our yoga therapy practitioner, Becca Chamberlain is a certified yoga instructor with years of experience, a licensed massage therapist, and a physical therapy technician. Becca is also a certified nutrition coach and studies herbal medicine, giving her a holistic perspective of health issues and care. Choose to incorporate yoga within your regular PT appointment, or to add on the service separately. We are well equipped to help you through your first yoga therapy experience in a controlled, physical therapy setting.
-Written by Becca Chamberlain, LMT, RYT