What is Yoga Therapy
“Yoga must be made to suit the individual, not the individual to suit the yoga”
Yoga therapy (Yoga Citiksa) is an ancient tradition as old as the teachings of yoga themselves. My teacher Dr Chandrasekaran writes
“Yoga therapy is an application to bestow healing”
“The science of yoga is concerned with the integration of the body and mind. Yoga therapy refers to the application and adaption of your for therapeutic benefit.”
Yoga Therapy Australia
Let’s look at these ideas a little closer… Group Yoga classes are what we use to in most yoga studios in the west. The yoga class/practice is designed by the teacher and is then applied to students in class. Students are expected to fit themselves into the Yoga postures and practice.
In the Yoga Sutra’s one of the most important texts on yoga it describes;
Tasya bhumisu viniyogah (PYS III.6)
Application of yoga should be according to the constitution of the individual. This yoga sutra instructs that the application of yoga should respect the individuality in every individual. No two individuals are identical in all respects.” Dr N Chandrasekaran.
“Viniyoga is giving what is appropriate.
By an appropriate person,
To an appropriate person,
It is not casual or routine,
Not by anybody to everybody,
Not anything and everything.
It is specific and highly individualized.”
Dr N Chandrasekaran
In Yoga therapy the yoga practice is designed for the individual….. it begins where the student is at. It is totally modified to address issues the student might be facing to invite optimal health and well being. There is one metaphor used to describe this… the Yoga therapist is like the rice farmer who directs the flow of water into the rice paddy – the Yoga therapist directs the flow of Prana (Life force) to invite the body to heal it’s self.
Yoga therapy can help with all health issues that we experience and can also support our general health and well being. Since studying with Yoga therapy Australia and with Dr NC in 2011 I have had 8 practices designed for me that have developed over the time that I’ve had consultations. Personally I’ve experienced the power of this ancient practice. My practices aren’t fancy they are focused mostly on the breath and use sequences of postures (Vinyasa), breath and chanting. I’ve experienced many benefits such as reduced period pain, reduced anxiety and weight loss since I’ve began this highly personal practice. I still attend classes but have something I can practice daily alone that I know is benefiting me.
There is also something very special practicing alone, once we develop a new pattern the practice becomes part of our daily routine. We can experience something very subtle there’s no one else there, no one watching us, no one telling us what to do.. it just me and the breath. Is this that state of yoga I ask myself…..??
Yoga therapy is suitable for those with no experience of yoga and can aid those with chronic conditions such as cancer, depression, diabetes and chronic fatigue. It can also help with issues such as fertility, menstruation and menopause it is totally complimentary to alternative or western medical treatments.
I offer an introduction package of 3 sessions for $180. I find this helps the student get into a routine with the practice, there’s totally flexibility some students spread out the sessions and other have them closer together to build confident and understanding.
Consultations might also include diet and lifestyle advice as I’m also an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counsellor and Professional Counsellor. I’m able to see people in my clinic in Bulli or to make home or clinic visits.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you or anyone you know might benefit from knowing more. I’m available to speak to professionals and individuals alike and will gladly work as part of a team with other health professionals. I hold a Post Graduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy a qualification that I did over a 3.5 year period the first of its kind in Australia.
If you are a yoga teacher interested in learning more I would highly recommend the the Post Graduate Diploma in Yoga therapy that i completed earlier this year. I believe it is the most authentic and detailed course available in Australia with Yoga Therapy Australia
What to expect from a Yoga Therapy Consultation
- discussion on your health and lifestyle
- a physical assessment
- the design of a personalised practice to suite the specific needs of the individual (this may include simple movement, breathing techniques, sound, relaxation, meditation techniques)
- teaching of the various practices prescribed (this make take place over a series of private classes)
- a written copy of the program for you to practice
- other lifestyle and dietary guidelines.
- Once you have a practice it is appropriate to meet with your teacher from time to time, to check in that you are practicing it correctly and to update it in accordance with changes as they take place.
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