Yoga Therapy


The What


“Yoga therapy is a self-empowering process, where the care-seeker, with the help of the Yoga therapist, implements a personalized and evolving Yoga practice, that not only addresses the illness in a multi-dimensional manner, but also aims to alleviate his/her suffering in a progressive, non-invasive and complementary manner.

Depending upon the nature of the illness, Yoga therapy can not only be preventative or curative, but also serve a means to manage the illness, or facilitate healing in the person at all levels.” TKV Desikachar & Kausthub Desikacha.


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Yoga therapy is rooted in the ancient practice of yoga, which originated thousands of years ago in India. Whilst yoga has always been considered as therapeutic, yoga therapy emerged in a formal manner in the 1980s as the result of a study conducted by Dr. Dean Ornish. The study illustrated how the implementation of a healthy lifestyle program could reverse heart disease. Ornish’s program included therapeutic yoga and was the first of its kind to highlight the benefits of using yoga in this way. Since then yoga therapy has emerged as a growing field with a growing body of scientific evidence behind it to support its therapeutic benefits to treat existing mental and physical health issues and also as a self care strategy for prevention and maintenance. The practice has been shown to be very effective for depression, anxiety and trauma, with growing evidence for PTSD and other mental health issues. Because of its concentration on mind and body integration, yoga therapy is also used to address many physical health issues. It has been effectively used to treat back pain, heart conditions, asthma, chronic fatigue, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, and the side effects of chemotherapy.


….The how


I offer 1-2-1 yoga therapy sessions which have the ultimate goal of empowering you towards greater levels of wellness in a fully holistic and integrative way. Within a session, you would expect to practice a range of techniques that have been scientifically proven to foster wellness and ease within the mind and body (see below). After an appropriate intake and assessment, I work with individuals to identify specific symptoms and establish appropriate goals and methods for addressing their symptoms. Individuals will leave each session with a highly customized practice to apply regularly at home. Throughout this process, the student is encouraged to consult me regularly as questions and inquiries arise as well as provide feedback so that the practice can be refined, as needed. In this way, Yoga becomes a personal journey and the individual develops the skills to observe the subtle changes that occur in his or her own system and the tools to respond to them consciously and creatively. By developing a self practice the individual is empowered to take control of their own health and wellness.


The Body

For the body we use therapeutic postures (asana) that are adapted to fit your individual need. These will range from postures to develop strength, flexibility, balance, release tension and decrease pain. We also cover breathing practices (pranayama) that work to calm the nervous system, improve cardio vascular & respiratory function as well as reducing pain and relaxation.


The Mind

For the mind we use a range of relaxation techniques that invite the individual to find a way to release tension, let go of anxiety and become more resilient to stress. By setting intentions and affirmations we start to explore the process of self enquiry and discovery. Using visualisations we can harness the power of the subconscious mind in order to release negative thought patterns and shift old habits. Guided meditations and yoga nidra are used to promote stillness and deep relaxation.



…and the why


According to Dr. Jennifer Hunter, a senior research fellow at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine in Sydney, Australia, holistic wellness is about “the whole person, not the parts.” In 1976, Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute in the US, developed a model of wellness that included six dimensions of health: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, occupational, and social. Since then environmental health has been added to the list.


Yoga has been shown to improve people’s lives on both the psycho-spiritual and psycho-physical level as it inspires people to be motivated to change – to find ways to move the body in a safe and empowering manner, to find emotional outlets, to study & learn, to find greater levels of spiritual growth, to engage in meaningful work, to develop deeper relationships with others and to seek more connection with nature.


Studies report that by practicing yoga people are happier, more content with their lives and more equipped to deal with stress and anxiety. As Ghandi said “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”


By developing a yoga practice that is entirely authentic to you, your body and your needs you will be amazed by the shifts and changes that will happen in your life.