6 essentials that make yoga, yoga therapy
Yoga is about what we do, or not do, with our lives, finding our own life philosophy that leads to a state of optimal balance. Simply that. It offers tools to practice, to embody our own philosophy. It’s about moving toward mental and physical wellness and mindful presence over time.
Where a general, public yoga class can certainly ease everyday aches, pains, and mood complaints - in general, a yoga therapy session takes it a bit further, because it is tailored to the individual needs or wishes of a person.
What makes this form of therapy, 'yoga therapy'?
Yoga therapists took in-depth training to help them assess and keep their clients safe. They work with you to address your specific goals while considering any limitations you might be experiencing.
Yoga therapy is a profession that empowers practitioners (or clients) with both the knowledge and tools of YOGA to take care of their own health and wellbeing, including physical, mental, social, and spiritual health, in the most efficient and beneficial way without harming body or mind.
If yoga is therapeutic by nature, then is all yoga also yoga therapy?
Yoga therapists work with individuals as well as institutions and professionals in other fields, such as medicine, mental health, physical therapy, social welfare, education and many other disciplines.
Very often, yoga therapists have another professional title too and they merge both professions, especially in the therapist trainers we see this often. And that is not very strange.
There is a lot to learn and share in the overlap of different disciplines. For example me, I am a registered nurse, working in psychiatry since 1998 and specialized in complex psychiatric care (and very much interested in trauma, psychosis and schizophrenia). Since years I bring yoga into psychiatry, but also I teach yoga teachers about trauma, social psychiatry and positive psychology for example.
Because, I believe that yoga therapy, backed by modern science and research, can enhance complex systems, including our healthcare systems.
We can never do it alone. But together, we could get really far in creating a more conscious and healthy future for the next generations!
YOGA THERAPY IN A NUTSHELL
As a yoga therapist it's very important to keep learning and practicing yoga. Yoga therapists have in-depth knowledge of traditional yoga and how it applies to address and promote mental and physical health.
I am investing lots of my time and energy studying yoga in a way that makes sense to me. I am grateful to have found teachers (AG Mohan and Indra Mohan) who are wise and reflective at the same time. They show me a way and they make me think, always. They studied with Krishnamacharya who played an important role in yoga how we look at it, often in the west. He was saying: 'Teach what is appropriate for each individual'. Which sets a clear tone, of what yoga therapy means.
As a yoga therapist it's important to keep feeding your own curiosity and knowledge and stay inspired while staying focussed on what yoga is.
Besides yoga I've been trained well in Mindful Self Compassion, Compassion Focussed Therapy and social psychiatry. I see a clear overlap in these fields and it's very exciting to be able to study, practice and learn more about myself too.
And so, reflection, reflection, reflection...
I think yoga therapy is creating your own life philosophy. Step by step growing into a more clear understanding of these questions: who am I? And, why am I? Reflection is a must. Alone, with a journal, or with a group of yoga therapists: all adds-up towards a greater understanding and professionalizing our amazing job.
EASE DAILY COMPLAINTS
A public yoga class or session can certainly ease everyday aches, pains, and mood complaints. Generally, a yoga therapy session goes further because it is tailored to the individual and is designed to work towards mental and/ or physical health.
There is no type of yoga for depression or back pain. Also, there is not one asana or series of asanas for a certain issue. It's about finding an optimal balance, which is different for each person and it might even be different each and every day.
Yoga therapy enjoys diversity in terms of lineage, areas of specialisation, and techniques, but the underlying philosophical principles that make up the foundation of yoga therapy as an integrated mind-body practice are understood and shared throughout the profession. .
WAY OF LIVING
Pause, breathe, practice, reflect and being able to make changes in an effective way towards optimal balance and inner peace.
For me, yoga and yoga therapy is a way of living. It all starts with myself, and my practices being my own therapist. Its a daily practice of ceremonial living, where I mindfully celebrate the fact that I can move, and breathe.
Where I challenge myself to take a pause, and find my patterns. Where I slowly unravel my personal stories until I get to the essence for me, of life. Of my life. Finding my own philosophy. And embody this philosophy, in my practice. Leave out what I do not need, stay grounded with my optimal balance.
YOUR NETWORK OF LIKE MINDED
Network Yoga Therapy supports healthcare professionals and yoga trainers who believe that yoga as an ancient science has a place in modern medicine and research. Our mission is to bring attention and awareness on how yoga can enhance our current healthcare system when integrated in it.
We believe that well-being is more than just absence of disease, but an all encompassing state of physical, mental and emotional wellness.
That’s why we created a clear path to train and inspire you to use yoga and compassion based practices – for yourself and your clients. Your first step in joining is get connected through email.
Please comment below to share your thoughts with us and SIGN UP here to receive the email updates plus a reminder every time a new blog is posted here!
Warmly, Anneke Sips
Founder of Network Yoga Therapy, C-IAYT, RN psychiatry
hi, i am ANNEKE
You are your own therapist, and I am here to support you!
As a sustainable life philosophy for health and wellbeing, yoga and meditation offers great tools.
I hope to inspire you improving your habits, find a state of optimal balance and live your happiest and healthiest life!
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