What is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga Therapy is often confused with a Yoga class. Yoga Therapy looks more deeply at the individual as a whole and tailors a program using the elements of yoga which would best suit their needs. Where as a Yoga Class is a more generalised approach. In this article I describe Yoga Therapy in further detail.

Isn’t all Yoga Therapeutic - What is the difference between a Yoga Class and a Yoga Therapy session? 

Yoga Therapy is specifically designed to help individuals manage or recover from health issues. It does not follow a particular sequence and doesn't require any level of fitness - it's accessible and available to everyone. Yoga Therapy selects from and adapts the many methods of yoga to support each individual. These methods include asana (postures) , pranayama (breathing techniques) moving or seated meditation, visualisation, chanting, relaxation techniques, self reflection practices.

Yoga Therapy is traditionally taught one to one, but can also be can be delivered in small focus groups. 

Unlike regular yoga classes, there is no 'one-size-fits-all'. The Yoga Therapist empowers students to find their own way to practice rather than 'instructing' them into particular shapes or ways of working. 

What’s the difference between a Yoga Therapist and Yoga teacher?

Gary Kraftsow, the founder and director of the American Viniyoga Institute has sums it up perfectly when talking about the difference between a Yoga Therapist and a Yoga teacher.

“Rather than focusing on yoga methods and practices, yoga therapists fundamentally focus on their clients’ needs.” the therapist's role is to empower clients to take a more active role in their self-care. The therapist’s role is less about teaching yogic techniques and more about helping clients to overcome their physical & mental challenges and gain independence”.

How does a Yoga therapy class work?

Students are guided and taught in a way that enables them to understand and gradually guide their own practice. The specialist class setting allows use of props and detailed sequencing, breathwork and meditation ensuring that students gain the most benefits from yoga to enhance the overall quality of life in spite of injury or illness.

Who’s Yoga Therapy for?

Yoga Therapy sessions are designed to empower and support individuals to manage their health issues and develop their own accessible yoga practice. Yoga Therapist each have their own approach, at Hara we begin with a one on one consultation with a senior teacher, then progress students to small group classes that ensure students receive individualized instruction within a safe and specialized environment.