Often when I tell people that I am a Certified Yoga Therapist they are happy to report the benefits of attending their favorite yoga class. Now this is terrific… for those who are generally well. Sometimes a physical or mental illness, injury or even simple limitations can cause people to shy away from traditional yoga classes and the self-improving wellness techniques provided through the practices.

As a Yoga Therapist, certified with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), I work with people one-on-one dealing with the individual challenges that accompany disabling circumstances. I apply yoga philosophy and techniques to improve well-being across all layers of the whole person, including: physical, physiological, mental/brain, emotional and spiritual, because they all affect one another. Thoughts affect emotions which drive neuological and chemical reactions in the physiological and physical person — the research and science is very clear on this.

In a Yoga Therapy session, we can use a variety of techniques to help reintegrate the person’s human system, such as:

  1. Modified postures

  2. Individually tailored breath practices

  3. Specific sounds and meaningful words

  4. Mindfulness of the moment, environment, self-talk and internal sensations

  5. Meditation on an object that supports the person’s goal

  6. Visualization and positive thinking toward a meaningful endeavor

  7. Guidance in adjusting unhealthy though patterns

According to IAYT, Yoga Therapy is defined as: “The process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the teachings and practices of yoga.” Yoga Therapy is about helping people to have more self-awareness and understanding on all layers so that they can have more license and authority over their own well-being.

While I specialize in neurological and brain dysfunction (such as: ADHD, Autism Spectrum, Parkinsons, dementia, Post-Stroke, brain injury, and executive dysfunction), these techniques can be applied to a wide variety of challenges and across the lifespan. I have worked with a 2-month-old and a 102-year-old using some of these same principles and techniques.

The power of your thoughts are strong. YOUR BODY IS LISTENING!.

So, to celebrate Global Yoga Therapy Day, I encourage you to find one thing that you are grateful that your body or mind can do. Yes it is difficult when you have serious challenges facing you — and even the minor ones too. You might find you like this idea and make it a daily habit.

For me?…. Today, I am grateful to have the training, persistance and mindset (ohhh yes, daily effort) to share with you about the power of Yoga Therapy.