What Is A Yoga Therapist? Yoga Therapists have received certification from the International Association of Yoga Therapist, an organization from which our training school is authorized as one of their accredited training programs.
Our yoga therapists have over 1200 hours of training beginning with the 200hr Yoga Alliance Certification, progressing through the 300hr Advanced Yoga Teacher Alliance Certification and then completing their 800hr IAYT Yoga Therapy Training. They have completed 150 hours of mentored practicum and continue to receive mentoring from Sarahjoy.
Yoga Therapists provide Individualized Yoga Therapy sessions tailored to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. Yoga therapists may come with additional professional training and expertise in their background such as physical therapy, mental heath therapy, nutritional therapy, naturopathic or Western medicine, occupational therapy, or other.
Yoga therapists are not licensed practitioners even though the requirements for training and certification are equivalent or beyond the requirements for Licensed Massage Therapists and other areas of licensure. That being said, Yoga Therapists follow ethical codes of conduct both in our professional criteria and in our dedication to the yogic principles of the yamas and niyamas.
Yoga therapists can not bill insurance with the exception of those who also have licenses in insurance billable fields that accept mindful exercise, therapeutic exercise, or mindfulness and lifestyle recommendations as a part of what is covered by the insurance policy.
What Is Yoga Therapy? Yoga therapy address health conditions from a multi-disciplinary perspective. At the heart of the approach is compassion. We inquire compassionately into the nature of the symptoms with an intention to understand the root causes, the contributing factors, and the pathway toward alleviating the symptoms. As any one symptom in life is connected to the entire eco-system of the individual, we use trauma-informed, holistically-oriented approaches while drawing deeply from the ancient teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda.
Symptoms are seen as a sign of imbalance in various systems of the body, both subtle body (energetic) and gross body (physical). Bringing those systems back into balance is one of our primary aims, whether the condition is physical or mental. This may include yoga practices such as asana, pranayama, meditation, chanting, inquiry, or lifestyle changes recommended by Ayurveda, regarding sleep, diet, and routine.
Symptoms are also view through the lens of past traumas, unresolved life events, or intergenerational inheritances. This expands to include societal, cultural, and environmental influences. Yoga shows us the models of the koshas, vayus, doshas and gunas. The myriad influences acting upon us that may cause today's imbalances frequently have root causes in various aspects of our lives.
Our yoga therapists are trained in both Yoga and Ayurveda as well as in Trauma-Informed, Brain-Sensitive Yoga, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Compassionate Inquiry, Attachment Theory, Art Therapy techniques, and the foundations of Internal Family Systems Therapy. They are trained with an integrative methodology that enables them to be with clients who have a wide range of symptoms and a wide range of health goals.
Ultimately, yoga therapy is a client-led journey. Your Yoga Therapist will be tuning in to you and help you to access the inner healing intelligence that is already within you. The process may involve supporting you to release physical or emotional stress or tension as a pathway to ultimately resolve any problematic belief systems, repetitive patterns of self-subduing or self-harm, conditioned ways of thinking that no longer serve you, or recurring issues that plague you.
What Are The Tools Of Yoga Therapy? Yoga Therapists may offer yoga practices such as physical asanas related to your symptoms and health goals. Yoga asana may include both active and restorative practices. They may incorporate yoga props such as blocks or straps. In some cases they will adapt the yoga practices to be done with a chair. In addition, our yoga therapists are trained to incorporate foam rollers and physio balls into session when appropriate.
Yoga Therapists may also offer pranayama, or breath-centered, practices. Pranayama is a powerful tool in yoga as it can empower you to be a chaperone of your own nervous system and to learn how to have thoughtful inner leadership over your mind, your mood, and even your subtle body. Pranayama is tailored to you with respect for the symptoms showing up in your doshas, vayus, or koshas. A Yoga Therapist may show you a pranayama intervention or remedy as well as help you develop a pranayama practice.
Yoga Therapists may also incorporate chanting in your session. This can include the vibrational sound of Om, or the Bhramari breath, or chanting the Bij sounds of the chakra system. (Chanting is always optional and offered according to the comfort level of the client. Research done during the global pandemic has shown significant improvements in nitric oxide levels, mental well-being, sleep, mood and digestion!)
Yoga Therapists may also offer personal inquiry practices for you. This can involve self-reflection, journaling, art therapy or parts work. This area of practice in yoga therapy is called Svadhyaya, the study of the Self. Yoga Therapists may also recommend yogic readings or other inspiring teachings for you to consider.
Yoga Therapists may guide you in creating a healthier Dinacharya in your life: Your life routine. Routine matters greatly in your overall health, vitality and longevity. It's so foundational to everything that is, that Ayurveda places it in high regard. Ayurveda also tells us that most diseases are diseases of lifestyle, which translates to: ROUTINE! Routine includes when you are waking, sleeping, meditating, working, eating, exercising, and all of the wonderful activities of daily living.
Yoga Therapists may make recommendations to you for seasonal eating, improving digestion and elimination, cultivating a mindful relationship with food and your body, reducing unhelpful dietary habits and increasing healthful dietary habits. We are not Registered Dieticians, however, we have collaborative relationships with registered dieticians and can, with your permission, work together on your health goals.
What Symptoms Can A Yoga Therapist Help With? Because of yoga's depth and breadth, as the science of optimal health, Yoga Therapists can address a wide variety of symptoms. In addition, our Yoga Therapists are trained to build collaborative relationships and whenever possible to work with a client's team of providers. In the absence of a team, we may make suggestions via referrals. For example, a physical therapist, a functional medicine nutritionist, an Ayurvedic doctor, a licensed mental health provider, a neurologist, and so on.
Symptoms and health conditions appropriate for Yoga Therapy: Anxiety, Depression, PSTD, Mood Fluctuations, Addiction, Compulsive Behaviors, ADD / ADHD
Joint pain, back pain, overall muscle pain, injury rehabilitation and prevention, preparation for and rehabilitation from surgical procedures such as joint replacements, scoliosis, chronic pain syndrome
Digestive challenges such as IBS, SIBO, GERD, constipation, diarrhea, malabsorption
Menstrual challenges, cramps, irregularities, pre-natal and post-natal care, infertility, menopause
Insomnia, Diabetes, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Scleroderma, conditions of the Thyroid, Concussions, Traumatic Brain injuries.