YOGA THERAPY is fast becoming an accepted health modality in Australia, offering people, including those experiencing a wide range of ailments or disabilities, guidance and personal tools that they can use to enhance their life.
What sets yoga therapy apart from almost all other health modalities is that it operates on all levels, influencing all aspects of the individual, and enhancing the ability to cope with the stresses of life. Further, yoga therapy recognises that everyone is different and that no single approach or practice will be appropriate for all.
- T Krishnamacharya
It is a common misconception that yoga is only for the fit and able. The reality is that almost the whole spectrum of human conditions are able to be accommodated by an appropriate and intelligent practice. Even a person with severe physical restrictions can do, and will benefit from yoga, physically, physiologically, and emotionally.
The tradition of yoga encompasses a lot more than postures with physical health benefits and offers a number of tools that can be employed towards the objective of total health and well-being on all levels.
The tools of yoga that are used include postures or movements (asana), regulation of the breath to balance the physiology (pranayama), meditative practices for psychological and emotional wellbeing (dharana and dhyanam); guidance for a healthy and harmonious life (yama and niyama), chanting, visualisation, and many other subtle concepts to reflect the inner self.
The art of Yoga therapy is to combine and modify a selection of the available tools of yoga in accordance with the needs of the individual to achieve specific outcomes. Each personal practice must be logically planned and prescribed in accordance with the needs of the individual, their attributes and personality, and where they are at the time they commence, and their longer term goals.
During a private consultation the therapist will observe and assess the individual in order to design an appropriate practice for that person. A practice might include some or all of the tools of yoga including movement, breath, chanting, visualization and meditation. In time, that practice will change with the circumstances and progress of the individual.
To be assured of gaining the benefits of yoga a commitment to daily practice is necessary. One of the benefits of yoga therapy, and of having a personal practice, is that it enables a person to choose to take responsibility for his or her own health. However, to experience the profound benefits of a practice, it must be practised regularly.
Once you have a practice it is appropriate to meet with your teacher from time to time, to check you are practicing correctly and to update it in accordance with changes as they take place. The number of classes you will have will depend on your situation and needs. Generally a few classes are held over the first month, then less frequently as the practice progresses.
We are proud of our fast growing network of highly competent yoga teachers and therapists. Please see our Find a Teacher page to find a YTA yoga therapist near you.