Today is Global Yoga Therapy Day…
What is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga Therapy by definition of the International Association of Yoga Therapists is, “…the process of empowering individuals to progress towards improved health and wellbeing through the applications and practices of yoga.”
What are the practices of Yoga Therapy?
Yoga Therapy is empowering as it creates the environment and space for discovery and exploration of one’s own internal landscape. The first 2 practices of yoga involve looking first at our relationship with ourselves and second, with others. These practices of self-study look at the individual both as a whole, (mind, body, social, spiritual), and how living in relationship to others effects their experience. It looks to find the roots of suffering and pain, while creating space to hold those realizations without fear.
It is not the intent to cure pathologies or diseases, there are other professions geared to that. Yoga Therapy helps us in 3 areas that are contributing to non-communicable, lifestyle related diseases that current healthcare has limited resources for addressing:
These issues become more philosophical in nature. We get to a certain age where we start searching for meaning, where pain starts showing itself in our bodies and when we start having to face our mortality. Making sense of our reality cannot be found outside of ourselves. This kind of awareness requires time and space for connection. For care of Self. It requires readiness & Self-Responsibility.
In cases of long-term chronic pain, (more than 3 months), the issue becomes complex, involving variables that extend far beyond just the inciting tissue damage. Stress, work, ability changes, emotions, mood…begin a cycle of pain that changes our nervous system and disconnects us from our bodies. Yoga Therapy can guide us to reconnect, sense and feel in new, novel and safe ways that help reprogram the alarm signals. Pain is part of the human condition. It is our body trying to keep us safe. There are many systems of the body that come into play to relay these signals to the brain, including past experiences, stress level, emotional state, and belief systems.
Yoga Therapy can help bring awareness to and regulate some of the factors that increase the perception of pain. It helps us connect and sense into communication within ourselves and with others, to better sense and hold our emotions, ability to respond vs react, to calm fear reactions, connecting the life experiences with self-understanding, building empathy, and an understanding of our connection to the larger whole.
Many of us, (men and women), are encouraged to push down or deny any dependence or need for help. Society conditions us that to be strong is not to show any weakness or vulnerability. When we disconnect from each other and try to do everything ourselves we cut ourselves off from genuine relationship and meaning with others. Creating space to understand how you create meaning for yourself is part of knowing why you are here. Letting go of perfectionism and exploring ways to increase compassion, understanding and kindness towards ourselves, in turn creates the ability to extend these gifts to others.
Did you think Yoga was something you did? Just an exercise or a relaxation class?
Yoga is something we become. A state of being. It is freedom in mind and body that comes from creating intentional time and space for silence, for connection…inward. It is growing awareness of your internal landscape, of conditioning, belief systems, long held emotions and tuning into ways that you can self-regulate your physiological and mental processes to move towards health and wellness. It is for those who are ready and wanting to go deeper. To get real. To make meaning for themselves. To find freedom in mind, body in connection to themselves & others. Is this you? Are you ready?
Happy Global Yoga Therapy Day! This is just the beginning folks…