A Yoga Therapist starts as a yoga teacher, then goes through an additional 1,000 hours of specialized training. This includes anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, physical conditions, mental health conditions and the therapeutic application of yoga to bring the individual back into balance.
Orthopedic, neurological, autoimmune, mental health and emotional conditions including, but not limited to:
Yoga Therapy sessions are ideal for training seasoned yoga practitioners to modify their practice to accommodate new injuries. It is possible to modify the way that you do poses so that you can continue to practice yoga without aggravating these conditions.
Evaluation: (60-90 minutes) The first session will be used to go over your intake form to understand all aspects of your health. Bring the completed form with you and you can review any sections you are unsure of with the therapist. The Evaluation will then involve some basic assessments of your movements, posture, flexibility, strength, balance and breathing patterns.
Treatment: (60 minutes) the second session will begin your treatment. The session will be specially designed based on the findings in the evaluation and your own personal goals. The purpose of the Yoga Therapy treatment session is to create a daily practice for you to do at home. The practice will vary from 10 minutes to an hour long, and it will be done 1-2x each day. Consistency of practice is the key to success in Yoga Therapy. 2-3 treatment sessions will be used to establish your home program. Treatment may continue for as many sessions as you feel are beneficial.
Follow up Treatment: Once you are independent with your daily home yoga practice you will continue on your own for a few weeks. When you feel that you are ready for an upgraded practice you can return for another Yoga Therapy session. The Therapist will evaluate how you are doing and what needs to be added or modified to update your home program. This may consist of 1-2 visits each month depending on your needs.
The End Result: Once you are comfortable with what is safe and appropriate for you to practice it is possible to transition into a group class. You will use your training from Yoga Therapy to modify the group class to meet your needs with support of the teacher. In addition to group class you will have various home programs that you can follow based on how you are feeling that day.
Your Yoga Therapist will create a program using the "Tools" of Yoga Therapy, based on what you want to work on during your treatment sessions. The wide variety of techniques used in treatment make Yoga Therapy a truly holistic system.
Laura's specialty as a Yoga Therapist includes the use of a wall to enhance body awareness and alignment. The wall is a valuable tool when working on postural training, balance training and stabilization. Like many props, the wall can be used to make some poses easier or to increase the challenge of a pose. Laura's book, "Yoga Therapy at the Wall" will be released in 2017.
The term "yoga" is a broad concept that encompaces a large scope of traditions, teachers and practices. There are 8 main aspects to a complete yoga practice that are utilized in Yoga Therapy to create a holistic treatment system. These 8 limbs are:
Over the 5,000 year history of yoga there have been many different types of practices that formed. These schools of yoga each have a unique focus, specific techniques and movements that they employ. In yoga therapy techniques are used from various forms of yoga to achieve the desired effect. These can include:
Ayurvedic medicine is one of the oldest medical systems in the world. It works on the basic principle that our daily habits, diet and activities can be used to keep the body in balance. When something is out of balance the result is disease in one of the layers of our body.
The Ayurvedic system believes that people are comprised of three different doshas. A dosha is a group of characteristics that are present in varying levels from person to person. Our dosha is what makes us prone to a particular body type, to prefer certain foods and to have a specific sleep pattern. Since we all have different combinations of doshas what is healthy for one person may put another person out of balance. It is essential to understand your personal dosha composition so that information can be used to bring you to optimum balance. A detailed questionnaire can be used to determine what your dosha composition is and where you may be out of balance. This will be included with your Yoga Therapy intake form.
The three Doshas are:
In the Kosha system the body is seen as having 5 layers around our soul. Each of those layers represents an aspect of our existence that can be healthy or out of balance. An imbalance on one layer will impact all of the other layers, therefore it is important that any therapeutic program address all layers. You will notice that the intake for Yoga Therapy will touch on all of these areas.