Differences between a yoga class and a yoga therapy session
In any common Yoga class, including classes for individuals or groups of people with specific conditions (include yoga for pregnant women, yoga for heart patients, and yoga for cancer survivors) the intention is to teach these students how to practice yoga while respecting their health conditions.
In a Yoga therapy session the intention for individuals or groups with specific conditions changes. The therapist’s job is less about teaching yogic techniques and more about helping clients to overcome their challenges and gain independence. Therapists will often focus on the specific symptoms that trouble their clients and identify methods to help them manage those symptoms
The Yoga therapy clients, they are usually not coming to learn yoga, but to get help with or relief from some symptom or health condition that is troubling them. In most cases, the instruction focuses on their condition and how the yoga techniques can help them feel better or improve their function, rather than on the techniques or methods of yoga practice.
While Yoga teachers focus on teaching various yoga methods in a correct and appropriate way, Yoga therapists fundamentally focus on their clients’ needs.
What To Expect From Yoga Therapy
When a person decides to initiate yoga therapy, the therapist will first conduct an initial assessment. This assessment is designed to do the following:
- Identify health problems
- Assess lifestyle and physical capability
- Discuss reasons for seeking therapy
- Create a course of treatment
How many times a week should we meet
Generally, once a week when first beginning yoga therapy. After a while, we may begin meeting every other week or once a month. Much depends upon your progress.
What components will include therapy sessions
Breathing Exercises (Prayanama)
The therapist will guide the person in therapy through a series of breathing exercises ranging from energizing breaths to balancing breaths.
Physical Postures (Asana)
The therapist will teach the person in treatment appropriate yoga poses that address problem areas.
Relaxation and mindfulness are the focus of meditation when it is combined with yoga poses.
The yoga therapist attempts to calm the body and mind by providing a guided visualization intended to bring inner peace.
An important element for any yoga practice is to find a way to incorporate it into daily life. Yoga therapists provide instructions on how to use what has been learned in treatment at home.
How long is the average treatment
Generally, you will see positive changes within 6- 8 sessions. Much, though, will depend upon what issues we are working on, and how consistent you are in your home practice and in changing behaviors that may aggravate the condition. Yoga therapy is an investment in you, but without your active participation it is difficult to progress.
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