What is Yoga Therapy?
There are many definitions of yoga therapy and the two that we like the best are:
(Yoga therapy is) the use of the techniques of Yoga to create, stimulate, and maintain an optimum state of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
–Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D.
Yoga comprises a wide range of mind/body practices, from postural and breathing exercises to deep relaxation and meditation.
Yoga therapy tailors these to the health needs of the individual. It helps to promote all-round positive health, as well as assisting particular medical conditions. The therapy is particularly appropriate for many chronic conditions that persist despite conventional medical treatment.
–Yoga Therapy and Training Center (Ireland)
Why do yoga therapy and thai yoga therapy go together?
Yoga therapy and thai toga therapy are natural complements to one another. In yoga, a skilled teacher draws from literally hundreds of poses and adaptations. The same is true for the thai massage practitioner. Using these modalities together allows an individual to see symptoms and conditions improve over time by being both a recipient and an active participant in their own health and well being.
Thai yoga therapy and yoga are both physical and energetic practices and should be tailored to the individual, including the condition of the body and environment. Individual adaptation is the key to applying yoga and thai yoga therapy properly.
Who can benefit and what are the benefits of yoga therapy?
Everyone. In a small class or private session we have the opportunity to observe patterns in our bodies that create aches and pains. We might be surprised to discover that this is not just the inevitable “old age,“ but rather the result of unconscious repetitive movements. These can be seen in the ways that we walk, sit, recreate, or even in the way that we practice yoga. Once we can observe these patterns in our selves, we can work to change them
What if I’m a total beginner?
There’s a quote by Shunryu Suzuki that says, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” At some point in time, everyone is a beginner and when we first begin something we are fresh and open to new ideas and thoughts. It’s only when we think that we know something do we start to get in trouble. Yoga encourages keeping a beginner mind set and staying away from fixed and rigid ideas about the practice and ourselves.
What if I’d had my injury for years? Or I’m just not flexible?
As with most success in life, working through an injury can be long, slow, and with time, rewarding work. The body is constantly changing and muscle and fascia (connective tissue) remain pliable throughout our lives. What’s important is not what the pose looks like on the outside, but how it feels on the inside. This is an important distinction. There is no perfect pose and no destination other than the present moment. If we are fully engaged in the process of discovery, then we are fully engaged in the practice of yoga, whatever the state of our bodies. So, we suggest measuring success by the improvement you experience over time
What if I am already a yoga practitioner?
Great! If you are already practicing yoga, a more therapeutic and alignment-based focus can help you build more ease and comfort in your daily practice. We can build on your knowledge base and evaluate movements that may be causing stress or tension in your body. We can offer posture modifications and individualize the practice to fit the needs of your body. We also have built a substantial library of resources over the course of our respective practices that we’re happy to share as research tools. It is not unusual to hear a new instruction with a bit of mental resistance (“that’s not the way I learned it”). We’d like to provide new approaches to lead to greater access and understanding.
How do I know if you guys are any good?
This should be asked by everyone of all teachers. Please read our bios; come talk with us; just as importantly talk with our clients and students. They are living proof that we are bringing skills to bear on solutions. Beyond all of that, we think it’s very important to have an attitude of inquiry and openness – it’s very relevant to ask a teacher where they’ve studied and what they have learned with their progression through a practice.
OK, but what “style” of yoga is this?
We’ve had the genuine benefit of studying with teachers versed in many styles. Based on our experiences we’ve concluded that being dogmatic about one style doesn’t serve any of us very well. However, we also believe that studying deeply in a tradition with a strong basis in anatomy and physiology, along with gaining an understanding of the other limbs of yoga, creates an informed practice.
Do I have to change my diet, or even worse, wear spandex?
Yoga does not have to be practiced in a special place (a “studio” just like real artists!) nor with special clothing (sorry Lululemon). Yoga should contribute to a sense of ease and comfort. Greg practiced for years as an overweight middle aged guy who sweats a lot! His first non-slip towel on the yoga mat was a Sponge Bob beach towel (resulting in his spiritual name “yogi sponge bob”).
On the subject of diet – sure, we’d love for you to change your diet to a more healthy one. Who wouldn’t? But there are no requirements. People find that they will be naturally be more inclined to eat healthier when they are taking good care of themselves in other ways.
Yoga and Thai Yoga Therapy can be beneficial for:
Musculoskeletal conditions such as:
- Low back pain
- Shoulder and rotator cuff pain
- Hip and knee pain
- Neck pain and headaches
- Post-surgery recovery
Neurological and Chronic Pain Conditions such as:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Other Conditions that can be helped through yoga and thai yoga therapy
- Cancer related pain and symptoms throughout treatment and recovery