Therapeutic classes and private sessions
What is yoga therapy? There’s a buzz of discussion about that right now in our profession. Here’s my take on it: All yoga can be practiced as therapy (as distinct from doing is as a fitness regime) and the possibilities for mind-body-spirit healing are vast. When we do yoga as a therapy, we have one or more particular intentions for healing. Students come to me saying they want to reduce back pain or knee pain, or they want to breathe better or sleep better. They want to strengthen their bones to prevent osteoporosis, or reduce the symptoms of arthritis. They want to reduce and prevent headaches, shoulder stiffness, or wrist pain from too much typing.
In a therapeutics class we focus on essential alignments and actions for preventing and healing injuries and strains. One class might have a focus on the shoulders, another on the knees or the lower back. We work more slowly, and often I will “deconstruct” a pose to practice particular parts of it that are important for truly understanding the challenges and also the healing potential of the pose. Even though the pace is slower than a regular class, the work is deep. There’s time and space for real transformation and better self-understanding.
I always encourage students to develop a home practice, even if it’s just ten minutes a day, to make progress toward their goal more quickly and reliably. In fact, that support and empowerment is a big part of my goal as the teacher.
Workshops might focus on one part of the body; shoulders and lower back are always the most popular topics. The poses might be familiar, but there are more technical details geared toward healing common problems.