What is yoga therapy?

Many people do not know the difference between yoga and yoga therapy. They believe yoga and yoga therapy are the same things. There are significant differences that need to be shared.

Although yoga as a practice is curative, there are essential differences between a yoga instructor and a yoga therapist, involving a yoga class and a yoga therapy session. Clarity about those differences is excellent for the therapist and the client. Yoga therapists often think about the entire person through a yogic framework known as the Pancha Maya Kosha Model. This model considers the physical health of the individual as just one layer in addition to four other layers to health beyond the physical. Many yoga therapists will also be trained at a similar western approach, known as the biopsychosocial model.

Because yoga therapists are employing yoga techniques to help customers find relief from symptoms, they need to not only have training from the yoga methods or practices themselves but should also have training in the therapeutic application of those techniques. The minimum training standard for a yoga instructor is 200 hours, while the minimal standard for a yoga therapist is 1000 hours. This extra training for yoga therapists includes instruction about many health conditions and how to apply yoga techniques to cover the entire person.

The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) is the organization that is responsible for certifying yoga therapists. The IAYT defines yoga therapy as the specific application of yogic tools asanas, exercises, meditation methods, breathwork, and more to deal with a person's physical, psychological, and psychological needs.

Yoga practices encompass a lot more than the bodily exercise (asana) part of the clinic most commonly known in the west. Yoga includes breath practices, meditation, and much more, and yoga instructors will have varying degrees of experience and training in sharing an assortment of yoga practices. Some yoga instructors will have considerable experience with a vast array of yoga practices and be comfortable discussing them with yoga students to help them advance.

While the focus of a yoga instructor is teaching yoga methods, the yoga therapist is most concerned about implementing specific yoga techniques to help someone reduce symptoms they might be dealing with. Yoga therapy targets the practice of a particular condition within a particular person. A yoga therapist takes a holistic approach and concentrates on their specific needs or goals - if those relate to diminishing symptoms of chronic pain, injury recovery, mental health, illness support, healthful aging, enhancing flexibility, or general well-being.

When clients seek a yoga therapist or a therapeutic group, they are normally not coming to find yoga but to get help with or relief from a symptom or health condition that's troubling them. Generally, the education concentrates on their condition and how the yoga techniques can help them feel better or improve their function, as opposed to the methods or techniques of yoga training.

See: Yoga for cancer patients side effects

Yoga therapy vs. yoga

- Yoga client: There are several reasons why students go to a yoga class or seek out private yoga instruction. Students would be wise to look deeply at their goals for looking for yoga instruction, yoga instruction, or yoga therapy. Yoga provides the resources for a process of self-investigation and self-development that ultimately guides professionals toward self-realization. However, most view yoga as an exercise method. Students go to a yoga class to work out in a place with a like-minded community. Those who come to realize that yoga is more than exercise might search for education to explore its other elements, such as pranayama or meditation. Irrespective of the intention, they will get some benefit by studying and practicing yoga.

- Yoga therapy client: When customers seek a yoga therapist or a therapeutic group, they usually are not coming just to learn yoga. They are trying to get relief from a symptom or health condition that's troubling them. Generally, the education concentrates on their condition and how the yoga techniques can improve their symptoms, as opposed to the techniques or methods of yoga training.

- Yoga teacher: There are significant differences between yoga teaching styles. Some teachers focus primarily on education, guiding students through their clinics, and assisting them to practice correctly. The range of instruction can vary from asana to pranayama to meditation, but teachers mostly use this style to direct the students in their clinic. This teaching style enables students to direct their own experience, whether they're practicing independently or in a group setting.  Whether their style is educational or educational, yoga instructors concentrate on teaching them a variety of yoga methods in a proper way.

- Yoga therapist focus: As opposed to focusing on yoga procedures and practices, yoga therapists mainly concentrate on their customers' needs. Their job is to understand why their customers have come to see them and determine what they can do to support them. Therapists are trained to evaluate clients through listening, questioning, observing, and suitably touching. Therapists search for ways to help their customers reduce or manage their symptoms, enhance their function, and assist them with their attitude regarding their health conditions. After analyzing clients, therapists establish appropriate objectives, develop a practice intervention, and teach clients to practice the right intervention for their condition. Therapists choose yoga techniques and how they will specifically benefit individual customers. As opposed to focusing on yoga procedures and clinics, yoga therapists basically focus on their customers' needs.

- Yoga class: Yoga teachers may offer an assortment of yoga classes, including courses for individuals or groups of individuals with specific problems. Frequent examples include yoga for pregnant women, yoga for heart patients, and yoga for cancer survivors. In these classes, yoga instructors need to understand the contraindications by working with individuals who have these conditions while teaching the appropriate yoga.

- Yoga therapy class: After a proper intake and evaluation, therapists will often concentrate on the specific symptoms that issue their customers and identify approaches to help them manage those symptoms. Examples include helping customers with digestion, migraine, pain management, fatigue, or insomnia. The therapist's role is also to enable clients to have a more active part in their self-care. The therapist's task is less about teaching yogic practices and more about helping customers to overcome their challenges and gain independence. The role of the therapist represents a different objective, training, and skill set.

Students report good therapeutic benefits from their yoga classes, whichever sort, they are attending. This healing occurs due to the inherent curative potential of yoga. It shouldn't confuse the distinction between a yoga class and a yoga therapy session. Even though the differences might seem subtle, the yoga student and yoga therapy customers need to be clear about their intentions. Additionally, yoga professionals need to be honest about their level of understanding and training. Although both yoga instruction and yoga therapy are legitimate and valuable professions, they're different. People must become clear about these distinctions.

See: Yoga for Diabetes Type 2

Yoga professional bodies IAYT & YA

The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and the Yoga Alliance (YA) are two different nonprofit membership trade and professional associations for yoga therapists and yoga teachers, respectively. Their voluntary registries recognize schools and teachers who've received a particular standard of yoga and yoga therapy teacher training.

The YA created standards for yoga teachers who required the Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) program to have a 200 hours minimum of Teacher Training. The IAYT certified yoga therapists with a requirement for at least 1000 hours of training to become certified. So there's a significant difference in the amount of training required for certification.

The principal difference between the two is a yoga therapist utilizes the techniques of yoga with knowledge about a particular problem, experience, and intuition to help alleviate this problem. Yoga therapists frequently face challenges such as managing ailments like cancer (in addition to the side effects of cancer treatment,) recovery from surgery or injury, PTSD, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, osteoporosis, and chronic pain.

The physical tools used by yoga therapists may be different than the conventional props used in many yoga classes. Along with standard yoga props, a yoga therapist may pull out other things not often utilized in a standard yoga setting.

See: Yoga for GERD

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