What Is A Yoga Therapist?

Yoga therapy is a growing field that utilizes yoga as a way of helping people to improve their physical, mental, and emotional health and has become increasingly popular in recent times. 

It is important not to get yoga therapy confused with yoga classes.

What Is A Yoga Therapist?

While yoga classes focus on both breathing techniques (pranayama) and physical postures and movement (asanas), yoga therapy goes beyond this, and incorporates more practices into the process, all of which are tailored to each person’s needs and goals. 

Throughout this article, we’ll take a closer look at yoga therapy and yoga therapists, so that you can get a greater understanding of this practice, and learn more about just how beneficial it can be! 

What Is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga therapy is a growing practice, especially in the West, so it’s not uncommon for people to be somewhat unfamiliar with what it is, and how it differs from the yoga classes that we know of. 

Yoga therapy combines many of the holistic approaches to medicine, and combines them with Western approaches to psychology and medicine to provide a unique and beneficial treatment for those who need it. 

Emphasizing the importance of the mind-body connection, as well as self-awareness, yoga therapy is designed to help tackle both physical issues, as well as mental ailments. 

Before undergoing yoga therapy, patients must undergo an in-depth assessment of their physical and emotional state, as well as their lifestyle, and what they’re looking to achieve.

This allows yoga therapists to create a personalized therapy treatment plan that will hopefully meet the patient’s needs. 

What Does A Yoga Therapist Do?

The work that yoga therapy does is spearheaded by yoga therapists, who are trained to work closely with their patients to help develop a treatment plan that is going to benefit them, all while keeping their physical abilities and lifestyle into account, which ensures that the treatment plan isn’t going to be too vigorous or dangerous for them to partake in. 

These therapists will help by employing many different practices in yoga therapy, such as asanas (physical postures), and pranayamas (breathing techniques), as well as meditation, relaxation techniques, and more.

These are designed to work in conjunction with the lifestyle changes and other complementary therapies needed to help patients get on the right track. 

Yoga therapists also help to set the goals the patient aims to achieve, which is an important part of the therapy process, as it helps to provide patients with a clear focus on their desired outcome, and makes tracking progress much easier too. 

Training And Certification For A Yoga Therapist

Becoming a yoga therapist is no easy feat, and requires individuals to undergo a rigorous accredited training program to be able to operate as a yoga therapist. 

These training programs typically require between a year or two years of training, and in that time, prospective yoga therapists learn more about anatomy, physiology, pathology, yoga philosophy, as well as teaching techniques and methodology. 

Once therapists have completed their training, they will then be able to apply for certification through the International Association of Yoga Therapists, which will ensure that all prospective therapists meet both the educational requirements, as well as pass the competency exam. 

With all of this completed and once they are certified, they will then be able to begin working with patients to provide them with the care and treatment they need. 

What Is A Yoga Therapist?

How Does Yoga Therapy Work?

One of the reasons why yoga therapy is becoming increasingly popular is thanks to the way it works.

This form of treatment focuses on making use of many of the body’s natural healing mechanisms to restore the balance across the emotional, physical, and mental health of the patient. 

This includes exploring the focus on the body-mind connection, as well as partaking in some personalized postures and breathing exercises designed to rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit of the patient. 

Yoga therapy’s effectiveness depends on the effort put in by the patient, as well as the quality of the therapist too, and it’s recommended to use it in conjunction with other forms of treatments and therapies, as opposed to relying solely on yoga therapy. 

Conditions Treated By Yoga Therapy

Yoga’s versatility means that it can effectively be used to treat a wide range of different conditions and ailments, which is another reason why it has become so popular in recent years. 

Things such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), as well as post-cancer surgery rehabilitation too. 

In addition to this, yoga therapy can also be particularly useful in managing the symptoms of conditions such as asthma, arthritis, and heart disease. 

So, whether the issue is physical, or mental, yoga therapy can be used in a way to help reduce symptoms and improve the condition, leading to a much better quality of life. 

Finding A Yoga Therapist

Finding a yoga therapist isn’t always easy, especially as the demand for them increases. However, there are some things to keep in mind when looking for a yoga therapist near you. 

The first aspect to keep in mind is qualifications, you should always make sure that the therapist you’re planning on working with has undergone the necessary training and qualifications, and has received accreditation from a recognizable organization, such as the IAYT. 

You should also ensure that you feel comfortable with your yoga therapist.

Just like any other form of therapy, you’ll be working closely with your yoga therapist throughout your treatment plan, so it’s important to find a therapist whom you enjoy spending time with, and who helps to push you forward. 

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide to yoga therapists has helped you understand more about the work they do, and how yoga therapy can help a wide range of patients. Thanks for reading! 

Laura Simmons
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