If you are working through the challenging affects of a traumatic brain injury, chronic illness or persistent pain, you may be wondering why yoga therapy would help.
That’s understandable…An emerging field, yoga therapy can be confusing to the general public.
Acting as a much different modality than just a yoga class, yoga therapy is healing method that works hand in hand with Western Medicine. Therapists are required to study for a minimum of 850 hours (versus the 200 hours needed to become a registered yoga teacher), though most schools require around 1000 hours. Looking at the individual and their specific health concerns, a yoga therapist oftentimes works in tandem with medical doctors, mental therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists as well as other healthcare professions.
When meeting with a yoga therapist, the initial intake and appointment may be very reminiscent of meeting with a physical therapist or nurse practitioner, with time spent on discussing the unique health concerns that the patient has. After the initial assessment, a yoga therapist will begin to sculpt a individualized wellness plan that can include a variety of healing tools, including, but not limited to, yoga postures, breathwork, relaxation techniques, postural assessment, meditation, visualizations and fascia manipulation. With a patient assessment, the application of these tools are sculpted into an easy-to-implement at-home plan that the client uses daily, helping to peel away the layers of dis-ease and allowing the client to regain a thriving life.
But what does that mean exactly?
What are the benefits of yoga therapy?
Continue reading to learn five benefits of yoga therapy that help heal traumatic brain injuries, chronic illness and that pain that just doesn’t want to go away…
Yoga therapy helps to regulate the nervous system.
Certain tools within the yoga therapy tool box are magicians at helping to bring the sympathetic and parasympathetic into balance. As a culture that tends to live in a state of fight or flight, our sympathetic nervous systems are taxed, leading to a whole host of health issues. By helping to bring the nervous system into balance, we eliminate the myriad of symptoms created by stress, illness or pain.
Yoga therapy develops the ability to control one’s emotions.
Maybe one of the greatest gifts of having a yoga therapy plan that is created just for you is that it touches on your specific challenges. If you are having problems with regulating your anger, sadness or frustration, yoga therapy has the tools to empower you. You are more than your emotions. Yoga therapy offers a way to climb above the fog that can linger from too much anger, sadness or frustration.
Yoga therapy allows us to pause.
Oftentimes a health challenge comes into our life to force us to pause. This demand of stopping our life can be abrupt, harsh and, sometimes, debilitating. Even in the midst of intense injury or pain, yoga therapy can be a support system to lean on that creates an inner sense of ease, comfort and, even, joy. Just the tool of meditation alone can shift our relationship with our illness. In the words of Pharmahansa Yogananda, “By the practice of meditation, you will find that you are carrying within your heart a portable paradise.” In other words, by using tools like meditation, you can learn to control the mind, shifting the focus so that healing may occur. Learning that all that we experience, is an experience that is created by the mind, is a huge step for empowerment.
Yoga therapy reduces inflammation.
Many of the chronic pain and illness challenges that many are suffering can be connected to inflammation in the body. Yoga therapy is rich in tools for helping people to release stagnant energy and inflammation. Though using pranayama, asana and the aforementioned opportunity to regulate the nervous system, we help the body to release that which no longer serves us.
Yoga therapy brings the body back into proper postural alignment.
It is so interesting as a yoga therapist to see that many of my clients find the most relief from body pain by coming back into their neutral, healthy alignment while standing and walking. When we are injured or ill we oftentimes, without knowing it, start to create a postural compensation or irregularity that develops into what is known as an “overuse injury”, because the body is slightly out of alignment causing wear and tear on the joints and bones where it shouldn’t be. By correcting these slight postural misalignments we can alleviate not only pain throughout the body, but we can come upon a mental clarity we didn’t previously have while finding it easier to breathe and having more energy.
These are just five small ways that yoga therapy can help you create the healthy and happy life that you deserve. Are you ready to thrive? Let’s chat! I’m ready to support you.