What Is Yoga Therapy And How Can It Benefit Me

what is yoga therapy

Yoga is also one of the eight Āstika Schools of Indian spiritual traditions.

Yoga Therapy

A close up of a person

Yoga therapy is used to treat all aspects of human health, from stress, pain, fatigue, aging, anxiety, depression, to illness and disease. The most commonly treated areas are: physical/mental illnesses, physiological illnesses, substance abuse/addictions, pregnancy, aging, and arthritis/injuries. In addition, some other areas of specialty are pain management, breathing control, geriatric, neurological issues, fertility, pediatric, and relaxation techniques. In fact, many modalities of yoga are used for these problems, such as Pranayama, EFT, and Hatha Yoga.

A physical therapist is someone who is trained and specializes in the application of what is called “asymmetrical postures.” These postures have been identified as facilitating healing in a variety of health issues. For example, when a client has to deal with chronic pain, a good therapist can help her use the suitable postures (the four asanas) to alleviate pain. The therapist can also help the client to determine what foods can be added to her diet to facilitate healing. Alternatively, she can learn relaxation techniques such as distraction or deep breathing to help alleviate her symptoms, or she can visit a therapist who is skilled in providing massage and/or a poultice to help the client manage her symptoms and promote healing.

Yoga Therapy Deals With Anxiety Disorder

Yoga therapy has also been effective in dealing with some types of anxiety disorders. In fact, it has been used in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy methods for decades. For example, relaxation techniques, such as yoga meditation, have been successfully combined with cognitive behavior therapy, which addresses the thoughts and beliefs that lead to feelings of anxiety or depression. This type of treatment allows the client to discover “which thoughts and feelings are serving as triggers” and “how those thoughts and feelings are contributing to her illness.” This kind of well-being treatment is sometimes very effective in the reduction or elimination of mental health issues.

Yoga Therapy Treats Psychological Conditions

In addition, several studies have found that yoga therapy is helpful in the treatment of certain psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety, as well as in the management of various physical conditions, such as low back pain. For example, one study done at the University of Miami found that there was a significant difference between those who practiced yoga therapy and those who did not in terms of improvements in mood, mental state, and bodily functions such as blood pressure and respiratory rate. Similarly, a study published in the American Journal of Psychology found that the degree of change was greater for those who were instructed to participate in yoga sessions versus those who participated in a counseling program. Similarly, a study published in the Archives of General Psychology found that those who were taught yoga had greater decreases in depression symptoms than those who were not.

Summing Up

There are many reasons that you might be interested in learning more about what is yoga therapy and how it can benefit you, but whether you have an injury or simply want to feel relaxed during your workouts, you will likely enjoy the therapeutic effects. Just don’t expect to do this kind of exercise on your own. You will need the assistance of a certified yoga therapist to properly perform these postures. Look for a therapist who has experience in providing therapeutic treatment and is familiar with the techniques you wish to try.

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