As a Yoga teacher and a Yoga therapist I am often asked, what is the difference between Yoga and Yoga Therapy? Isn’t all Yoga therapeutic? The benefits of a well-rounded Yoga practice are multiple and many people now attend Yoga classes to become fitter or feel more relaxed. This of course is great news and to be encouraged. However, with different schools of Yoga providing different teacher trainings there are many classes out there offering a variety of styles of yoga. As such, it can be overwhelming to know where to go and which ‘type’ of Yoga will be the best choice for you. Any given class will be run by a teacher who offers a series of Yoga practices within her/his style of Yoga to a group of individuals. Usually, everyone will do the same pose (perhaps with a modification or two) and will be led through the same sequence of postures with perhaps a little bit of Pranayama (breathwork) and/or meditation. A good teacher should always ask about any current injuries within the group and be mindful not to exacerbate these. But everybody’s anatomy is unique so can s/he really ensure that guiding somebody into a particular posture won’t do just that? Or even worse, create a new injury which unfortunately is not unheard of.
Then of course there is the mind. People come to a Yoga class with different intentions and for differing reasons. Some to relax, others to stretch, others to get fit. Whether we are talking about physical needs and limitations or psychological needs and desires, it is just not possible to accommodate everyone fully in a class setting. This is not to say that classes aren’t helpful. Of course they are. But the truth is, yoga is not a “one-size-fits-all” practice.
Yoga Therapy is essentially a subset of Yoga. It’s aim is to empower an individual to improve health and well being through the application of the teachings and practices of yoga. Each client is viewed holistically as an integrated being of mind, body and emotions and as such Yoga Therapy addresses all these aspects as appropriate. Yoga Therapy is a self-care approach to health, guided and supported by a qualified Yoga Therapist. In his book, ‘Yoga As Medicine’ the physician Timothy McCall M.D. describes Yoga Therapy as ‘simply the most powerful system of overall health and well-being.’
Most of us today lead fast paced, busy lives, often leaving us vulnerable to excessively high levels of stress which can then manifest as disease of some kind. In recent years the growing field of neuroscience has begun to show exactly how Yoga and Mindfulness work to reduce our stress levels, boost our immunity and enhance our physical and emotional wellbeing. The Yoga Therapy I offer draws on both of these traditions. As an experienced psychotherapist, I am all too aware of the interplay between body and mind. Most talking therapies focus predominantly on the mind to the exclusion of the body. As a Yoga Therapist I address both the physical and psychological aspects of wellness to help you improve your overall health. Yoga Therapy can be used as a stand alone treatment or alongside counselling, psychotherapy, physiotherapy and conventional medicine to treat a wide number of conditions. The following list shows conditions I frequently work with:
Individual sessions can also be very helpful for those who are thinking of joining a class but would initially like some individual guidance. Whatever your circumstances, you will recieve and experience a Yoga practice that is tailor made for you and you will be given a home practice to do in between sessions with support available if needed. No previous experience of Yoga is necessary. If you feel that you could benefit from individual sessions, please do get in touch so that we can discuss your requirements.
Cost: £60 for initial 75 minute session, £50 for subsequent 60 minute session