Yoga Therapy is a growing field of complementary therapy that integrates traditional yogic practices, and evidence-based Western medical and psychological knowledge.
Yoga therapists prescribe yoga practices to treat physical and mental health conditions, and empower individuals with skills and knowledge to enable them to be proactive in their journey to optimum health.
Yoga therapy may assist with depression, anxiety, back pain, scoliosis, heart conditions, asthma, chronic fatigue, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, cancer, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and autism.
Yoga therapy should be used in conjunction with existing medical and psychological treatments rather than a replacement.
Yoga Therapy is not a cure but it can improve quality of life.
Yoga: A holistic view of health and wellbeing
The yogic tradition views humans holistically, as a multidimensional system comprising of the body, breath, mind, emotions and intellect.
These dimensions interact and influence each other, and yoga practices are designed to target and positively influence these dimensions and their interactions.
Therefore, yoga therapy is a highly individualised holistic approach to wellbeing that encompasses physical health, mental health, lifestyle, diet, relationships and self-development.
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What to expect from a yoga therapist and a yoga therapy session
A yoga therapist has completed industry recognised training in yoga therapy, which is beyond their yoga teaching qualification.
Yoga therapy is commonly provided through individual consultation and occasionally in small group sessions for those experiencing similar health issues, for example the Cancer Council provide free yoga classes for people living with cancer and their carers.
During an individual consultation, a yoga therapist will work with a client to develop an individualised treatment plan that is designed to achieve specific outcomes according to the needs of the individual.
Yoga therapy is suitable for anyone, regardless of age, mobility and fitness levels, and no yoga experience is necessary.
Yoga therapy is for those who are interested in a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, and want to actively manage their health.
You can search for a local yoga therapist, registered with Yoga Australia, at www.yogaaustralia.org.au