What is yoga therapy?

This is a question I get a lot.  Yoga has a long tradition of healing practices, but most of what Americans see as yoga is the physical practice (what is called ‘asana’ practice).  That is because when yoga came to the west, asana practice is pretty much all that was taught. 

But the yoga tradition has many components that can aid in healing. Yoga therapists use these other practices, in addition to asana, to support healing and building resilience. These include breath practices, meditation, guided self-study, and Ayurvedic practices (yoga’s sister science).

My training, as a Level I yoga therapist, is in SomaYoga. SomaYoga adds another set of tools to the yoga therapist toolbelt – somatic movement. My teachers at the International SomaYoga Institute have reshaped many of these somatic movements to integrate them better with all of the elements of traditional yoga practices. SomaYoga is a very effective method to re-educate muscles so that tension can be relieved and alignment can be improved. 

Who would find yoga therapy useful? 

You don’t have to do yoga to find yoga therapy helpful. I have clients that are both experienced yoga practitioners and who have never stepped into a yoga studio in their lives. 

Yoga therapy is a gentle form of therapy that individuals can build their own self-care practices around – after a few sessions, clients often take control of some of their own aches and pains and move towards resilience.

Yoga therapy can be especially helpful when –

  • You are going through a stressful time and need new tools for self-care
  • You are recovering from an injury, surgery or illness
  • You are going through intensive medical treatment (such as chemotherapy)
  • You are returning to movement, or you want to expand your capacity for movement
  • You are pregnant or recently gave birth
  • You have chronic or recurring muscle or joint pain
  • You have pain during yoga practice

Yoga therapy can also be great for young people. Teens involved in sports, younger kids with mental or physical health challenges, youths with test anxiety . . . each can benefit from the tools and skills yoga therapy provides.

How to test out a yoga therapy session?

All of my weekly classes include therapeutic components.  But if you would like to explore a private session with me, start by going here

Also note that I offer discounts to certain groups (for example, individuals who are low income, have disabilities, or who are veterans). Let me know if you fall into one of these groups or if cost is a barrier for you.

I would love to hear from you! Email me at: jenifer@witnesstreeyoga.com.

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