The practice of Yoga Therapy, like a river, can branch off in any number of directions. Each potential client/patient can expect a customized, well thought program tailored to meet his/her needs. Some of the more common reasons students and clients seek Yoga Therapy are:
1.) Students with a daily personal practice:
These students have a well developed daily studio and/or home practice already established but recognizes the need for individual Therapy to improve their range of motion and flexibility. They might also need individual attention to address specific musculoskeletal imbalances caused by prior injury, dis-ease condition or repetition of Yoga postures improperly (bad Yoga).
2.) Students wishing to develop a personal daily practice:
These students are looking to strengthen or renew a practice that may be stuck in a rut or plateau. These individuals might be looking for personalized help in moving deeper into Yoga or needed counseling on issued related to pain or discomfort.
3.) Patients/Students with Chronic Metabolic Diseases and Dysfunctions:
This is Yoga Therapy at its purest, most organic level... All metabolic, acute or chronic disease has, at its most fundamental level, a history of high levels of the chronic stress syndrome. A Professional Yoga Therapist is trained and equipped to work with patients/clients AND their primary care physicians to bring about a reduction in symptoms and an overall improved quality of life. NOTE: YOGA THERAPY IS NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR ANY TREATMENT OR MEDICATION YOUR DR. HAS PRESCRIBED FOR YOU. YOGA THERAPY IS USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH YOUR CURRENT MEDICAL PROGRAM.
4.) Beginning Students
Beginning Yoga students can benefit greatly from personalized introduction to asana (postures). Many established studios do not offer Yoga specifically aimed at entry level students causing many potential new students to shy away from starting something new. Other students have expressed concern over their lack of flexibility, weight issues, or prior injuries.
Some students feel better combining studio classes with private sessions. The private sessions allow the student to go to a much deeper, organic level. When that student then goes to a group class, he or she is better equipped to protect the body and can then move deeper into the postures completely secure in the belief that they aren't doing more harm than good to themselves. By working closely with a Yoga Therapist, novice practitioners can prevent serious injury and have all their questions and concerns addressed in a 'one-on-one' session.
5.) Individuals Experiencing Chronic Pain:
Many people not involved with Yoga per se who find themselves afflicted with pain in different areas of the body can benefit from sessions with a Yoga Therapist. Pain can come from prior sports activities, work related stiffness or an acute injury. Physical pain can also be a manifestation of emotional imbalances and lack of internal peace and harmony.
Yoga Therapists are trained in the subtle sciences of treating the patient/client holistically. In this way, the patient has a new perspective on the contributing factors for their pain and discomfort.
Many times, it is thru the efforts of Yoga Therapists that people who never thought of Yoga before begin to see it as a powerful form of relaxation leading to pain relief and inner peace and harmony.
As you can see, Yoga Therapy services can be beneficial to experienced Yogis and Yoginis as well as people not connected to the practice as well. In fact, Yoga was used over 5,000 years ago in conjunction with Ayurvedic Medicine to keep people well and to return the sick to optimal health much like the Western Model of Health Care operates today. The key is the individual attention to all details given to each prospective client.