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What is Yoga Therapy and how is it different from Yoga?

Yoga is a union of the body, mind and soul and gives us tools and habits to work on all aspects of ourselves- physically, energetically, mentally, intellectually and spiritually. It is a way to find our internal happy peaceful place and the connection to the universal consciousness.

Yoga Therapy is typically taught as a one on one practice. Usually the client has an issue or injury that needs specific attention. In Yoga Therapy, we do an individual assessment of the client to uncover issues then we empower the client to heal his/her self using the tools of yoga.

Here is a definition from the main association that awards credentials to Yoga Therapists, The International Association of Yoga Therapists

IAYT Definition

Yoga therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the teachings and practices of Yoga.

“Yoga is not a medical system. Yoga is a set of principles that show us we are interconnected, multidimensional beings composed of body, breath, and mind. These teachings suggest strategies for identifying and reducing obstructions that can occur in any of these dimensions.

When obstructions (klesha) are reduced, it is the human system itself that reestablishes a healthy balance. We simply show people how to make more space (sukha) in their bodies so prâna can flow more freely. It’s the body’s own resources that do the healing. In other words, the teacher doesn’t heal the student, the teachings do. This is my definition of Yoga therapy — it’s Yoga applied to the individual.” Leslie Kaminoff

To become a certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) it is1000 additional hours of study after you become a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200). In my program at Loyola Marymount University lead by Larry Payne we are trained by some of the brightest: Medical Doctors, Registered Nurses, Physical Therapist, Ph Ds, Chiropractors, Ayurvedic Doctors and Yoga Therapists in their respective field. It can take a minimum 3 years to complete this training and we gain a wealth of knowledge during that process.  I am so grateful that I decided to take this path, which has helped me become both the student and teacher of yoga that I am today.

I infuse Yoga Therapy into all of the group classes I teach using the knowledge I am continuously learning so my students can receive the tremendous benefits from yoga physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Private sessions can focus more on an individuals needs then a customized program can help them get back to health and happiness.