What Is Yoga Therapy? What Are The Benefits Of Yoga Therapy?

Sunil Murthy
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Yoga Therapy By Definition

The term 'yoga' is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning 'to harness or yoke together'. Yoga therapy is a broad category that simply refers to the practice of using yoga, the physical yoga postures (asanas) as well as the relaxation and meditation techniques ('pranayama') to harness, unify, and direct one's energy (prana) for a wider range of emotional, psychological, and physical healing.

Therapeutic yoga is a term that has been used primarily by western medical practitioners. It refers to the practice of using yoga with one or more specific health concerns in mind. For example, it is commonly used in conjunction with a woman's pregnancy, for helping with symptoms from multiple sclerosis, and for seniors who have difficulty in mobility.

The most commonly practiced type of therapeutic yoga is that of hatha yoga, which uses specific postures performed slowly with the goal of improving one's mental and physical health.

Going in Details

Yoga Therapy Wellness Center was established to provide effective, affordable, and accessible Yoga Therapy services to the community of Allentown, PA and the surrounding Tri-State area. Our unique approach to Yoga therapy integrates a comprehensive treatment plan that has proven effective in addressing a variety of behavioral, physical, and psychological conditions at our Yoga Therapy Studio.

What is Yoga Therapy?

Generally speaking, Yoga Therapy is the practice of Yoga by trained experts as a therapeutic treatment. In Yoga therapy, Yoga’s primary goal is to treat a medical condition, rather than a recreational one. Therefore, our Yoga Therapist work with their individual client to improve or restore their abilities to participate in Yoga for physical, psychological and social well-being.

Benefits of Yoga Therapy

Yoga Therapy benefits guide you toward better health. Although the science is still being established, here are some of the benefits practitioners of Yoga therapy assert:

  • Lose weight and control high blood pressure
  • Alleviate depression
  • Improve diabetes
  • Sleep better
  • Relieve arthritis
  • Relieve tension headaches
  • Get relief from backaches
  • Relieve PMS issues
  • Relieve high blood sugar
  • Maintain good mental health
  • Release the knotty tension in the lower back
  • Give healing to the spine

History of Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy is an ancient but constantly evolving practice of treating physical, mental, and emotional ills with yoga poses (asanas) and breathing (pranayama) techniques. The actual origins of yoga and the link between yoga postures and physical and mental healing date back thousands of years to the sacred text of the Hindu Yoga Sutras.

Yoga, "to yoke" or "to unite," is a set of techniques aimed at uniting the practitioner with the universal cosmic consciousness that is believed to be the source of true happiness, or self-realization (atman-brahman). The ultimate goal of yoga is to break all barriers between one's own "self" and "the universe" by linking one's life energy or chakras, with the supreme universal life force or "god."

Initially, yoga techniques (including meditation and breathing exercises) were a vehicle for self-realization as a spiritual philosophy. Yoga was suppressed for much of the 1800s, but many of the original ancient yoga principles were re-introduced to the West in the 1920s by Swami Vivekananda, who taught that yoga can help well-being and self-realization.

What Happens in Yoga Therapy?

Yoga therapy healing sessions consist of techniques and practices involving breathing techniques, postures, proper body alignment, and relaxation exercises. It’s therefore hardly a surprise that yoga therapy is frequently used in combination with other therapies such as massage therapy, psychology, and disease management.

One of the benefits of yoga therapy is the way that it can have such a powerful impact on the body and mind. In addition, there’s also a great deal of evidence that practicing yoga has a positive effect and can be the primary way to cure certain illness, certain health conditions, as well as being able to help people with their physical, emotional and mental well-being.

There are many techniques and classes available when it comes to yoga therapy and there are three main types of yoga therapy that often used in different circumstances.

Nidra yoga is a type of yoga therapy focusing on the mind. It involves stretching, focusing on breathing and meditation in an attempt to relax the body and de-stress the mind. It has proved to be something of a therapy hit over the past few years as it helps the body and mind relax to ensure better physical and mental well-being.

What Can Be Cured By Yoga Therapy ?

Why People Prefer Yoga Therapy For Recovery?

Yoga has been proven to be one of the safest and inexpensive treatment methods used to cure many chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, stress, back pain, obesity, tumors, depression and other diseases.

Here is the list of some of the disorders that may be improved by practising yoga therapy:

  • Neurosis
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Stress
  • Cancer
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Heart problems
  • Headaches
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Autism
  • Ear infections
  • Back pain
  • Seizures
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Anxiety

Mental Conditions

Some of the most popular and well-known types of yoga therapy are:

  • Yoga therapy is used as a form of treatment for anxiety and depression.
  • Yoga therapy is also used for healing cancer.
  • Yoga therapy is used for healing heart diseases.
  • Yoga therapy is used as a form of treatment for spinal problems.
  • Yoga therapy is used as a form of treatment for pregnancy.
  • Yoga therapy is used as a form of treatment for skin and hair problems.
  • Yoga therapy is used as a form of treatment for insomnia, weight gain, and many more.

Yoga therapy is probably the best therapy known to man for solving a wide range of health problems. There are no known side effects of yoga therapy.

Physical Conditions

Another major reason yoga is often used as a therapy is for physical conditions such as back and neck pain. The life that many of us live today is in a huge contrast to how we lived even a century or two ago. In the old days, we had to work hard to survive and there never was a day where you could just sit still for a few hours. You had to get up, go get some food, prepare it and eat it, walk or run to collect some wood, bring it back, bring the cattle or goats home and ready them for the night, etc.

The older we get, the more sedentary the lifestyles become and this is especially true for people living in developed nations. This inactivity leads to stiffness in your muscles. Stiff muscles need more energy in order to function properly. If those muscles lack this energy, they slow down. Stiff muscles also make you feel weaker, they lead to back and neck pain and they also increase the chances of injury.

That is why yoga is superb at improving muscle flexibility. Those who do yoga on a regular basis have discovered that it is a great way to keep the body limber and this is reflected in an increased range of movement.

Yoga also reduces the stress levels in your body and this is because yoga involves you focusing on your breathing and your body. Yoga will focus on your whole body and this can be especially good for anyone who is stressed.

Benefits of Yoga Therapy

Yoga is an ancient practice with origins in the Hindu religion. In fact, the word yoga essentially means to unite or join your body and mind to the Consciousness. And we all know that muscle-mind coordination is critical to achieving the highest performance.

Since its ancient beginnings, yoga has become one of the world's most popular forms of exercise, with millions of people practicing in the West as well as in India itself.

Today, it is used as a therapy, for treating medical conditions, as well as for overall health and well-being.

Yoga Therapy is a type of physical treatment practiced by a trained yoga therapist. It has proven to be an effective and holistic therapy for conditions related to the immune system, bones and joints, respiratory system, muscular-skeletal system, reproductive system, etc.

Yoga has also been found extremely helpful in treating anxiety and stress, which is one of the leading causes of chronic diseases, related to the respiratory system.

8 Clear Benefits

Stops shallow breathing and calms down the mind ‫ Yoga therapy is all about breathing. Breathing has the power to regulate and balance the mind and body. You can do two things to increase your breathing: Increase the intake of oxygen to your body or decrease the waste product, carbon dioxide (which is brought about by shallow breathing).

Increase the intake of oxygen by pushing your chest up with your hands and expanding the lungs. This action, in turn, leads to an increased flow of oxygen and a better balance of blood oxygen levels for calmness.

Decrease the flow of carbon dioxide by shallow breathing. You can do this by decreasing the mobility of your upper chest, and the flow of carbon dioxide will decrease. This will initiate a chain reaction in which the mind will be calmer.

{1}. Improves blood flow ‫ In Yoga therapy, you focus attention on your breathing. This is done by increasing the intake of oxygen and relaxing the flow of carbon dioxide. Increasing the intake of oxygen will directly lead to better blood circulation.
{2}. Improves flexibility ‫ Yoga therapy is not just designed for relaxation. People with long-term diseases and inflexible tissues can greatly benefit from this therapy. Yoga therapy uses stretching exercises to improve the mobility of the body's joints. This way, mobility is regained and pain can be relieved.

Is it Safe ?

Concluding Thoughts

Over the course of your lifetime, evolve to discover the many ways in which you can be happy, healthy, successful, and joyful. Choose to be young at heart, hungry for success, and willing to take risks. Choose to be at peace with yourself and give yourself permission to relax, to forgive, to love and to play.

Your options for success and happiness are myriad. Yoga therapy provides an opportunity to reflect, clear the mind, and to discover a different path or a better way.

Exercise is not a luxury; it is a necessity. You don’t always have to go to the gym or go out of your comfort zone. Every day you make choices about how you treat your body. Choose wisely.

When you make the decision to choose Yoga Therapy to improve your health, you will be doing the same thing that you teach your child to do everyday: make healthy choices.

Why not take the first step yourself today and get started living a healthier life.