Yoga Therapy is a process of meeting a person's current states of health, and gently applying the yogic techniques that would contribute most to the client's wellbeing.
There is no single protocol for Yoga Therapy, which honors the uniqueness of the individual at various points in their life.
I start the first session by reviewing my client's intake form, in which they tell me what brings them to Yoga Therapy, and any present health concerns or diagnoses they've received. I may seek their permission to communicate with their doctor(s) if I have any concerns or questions about keeping the client safe in my care. For about half of the first session, the client tells me about what they're facing, and answers questions I put forth.
When it's time to switch gears, I let the client know that my role is to add to their wellbeing, rather than to focus on what's "not working." I let all my clients know that there is more wellness within them than illness, and that our efforts can add to their resiliency and quality of life, no matter what they're facing.
Given their intentions for being in Yoga Therapy, I guide the client through a few simple techniques, which may include breath work, guided meditation, functional movement and postural yoga. All the techniques I present are recommended to address a specific area of the body, a bodily system that's acting out of balance, or to set the space for the individual's own healing integration.
I'll educate the client on bits of yogic philosophy that may alleviate their suffering, or suggest ways to create a lifestyle that supports their intention.
Because Yoga is a "self-activating medicine," according to my teachers, it is generally advised that the client practice a few things on their own between sessions, with whatever regularity they choose. I provide notes and instructions on what they can work on independently until we meet again.
In subsequent sessions, the clients' feedback on their experiences helps us fine-tune the practices and reorient our plan as needed. In the yogic worldview, we are considered "multi-dimensional beings," which means that I may see a new client who is having low back pain, and through the process of Yoga Therapy we may uncover an emotional or psychological component to their needs. I like to say that Yoga has an "app" for everything in the human condition.
The biggest aspect of my role as a Yoga Therapist is to hold the space for the person's healing, and to offer them the tools that could be most beneficial to their wellbeing. It's a truly holistic model of working with someone, and if you'd like to experience it for yourself, please know that I would be honored to hold a session for you.
Wishing you peace and victory,