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Yoga Therapy

Yoga Therapy

By March 26, 2011February 26th, 2015No Comments

I just finished the first couple levels of my technical training for Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy.  Wow, what an experience.  I really had no idea what a beautiful and in-depth practice and training I was stepping into.  I have a long road ahead of me to become certified, but it is really exciting.  I plan on blogging about my journey as I move through the course work and practicum.  To begin with, I thought it would be a good exercise to describe what yoga therapy is, as taught by Phoenix Rising

It’s body work, like receiving a massage, but instead of massaging, I am moving the   receiver’s body through yoga postures.   It is not strenuous, nor does one need to be good at yoga or fit and flexible; it is accessible to everyone.  There is also an aspect of dialogue that helps the client connect to the immediate experiences of his or her own body during the session, and through this process the receiver is using his or her body as a source of wisdom for self reflection and source of knowledge.  This can illicit change on various levels, e.g. physical/mental tension release, life decisions, and balance to the physical and emotional body.

After the training, I needed to consult with my supervisor at work to share with her about my decision to pursue certification as a Yoga Therapist.  Coming from a workplace of kinesiology and physiotherapy where the medical model is “I help you heal an injury”, my supervisor of course wanted to understand what exactly yoga “therapy” is.  I found myself explaining, “Yoga therapy is body work.  I move your body through yoga postures; however, not from the perspective that you come to me with pain or physical injury and I will help heal it for you, but rather you come for a session for the same reasons you might take a yoga class”.  And as I said those words I realized it’s truth.  The same reason why people take up yoga are the same reasons why a person would try yoga therapy.  Why do people start yoga?  Some try a class because they are curious about this practice called “yoga” which has become so popular.  Some are interested in the physical health benefits of flexibility, strength, and tension release that yoga provides.  For others it may be healing after illness or injury or stress reduction.  And for many, there is an underlying current of need for connection and intimacy in their lives.  They move day in and day out without feeling connected internally, and therefore, disconnected to the people and world around them.  It’s desire of intimacy and search for greater meaning that drives many to a yoga studio, and so it is with yoga therapy… and that sounded like a good thing to me.