It is estimated that around 36 million Americans practice some form of yoga.
And that number is on a steady rise.
The health benefits of yoga have been documented for a long time, and it’s no wonder that it’s now being used to treat a whole variety of illnesses. One of the best examples of this is yoga therapy.
It’s a form of therapy that uses techniques and exercises from yoga to target not just the physical well-being of the individual, but also their mental health. Unlike most therapies, it requires the study of the individual in their entirety.
And that’s why its benefits extend physically, mentally as well as spiritually.
Exploring the Physical Benefits
In general, yoga therapy has been found to be extremely effective in increasing flexibility, mobility and balance. The good thing about it is, no matter what stage you are at, there are always ways to build up to something more advanced. It meets you where you’re at, and lets you progress from thereon.
It enhances your own awareness of your body while alleviating pain in areas that may cause hurt or distress. It’s a great tool for coping and curing things like back pain, muscle aches, knee pain, and other chronic illnesses.
The key is, to be honest with your yoga therapist. Because, like most forms of therapy, it is catered to the needs of each individual.
Emotional Benefits and Mental Health
As far as emotional benefits go, yoga therapy is particularly helpful in calming one’s anxiety. It helps you develop better ways of coping with stressful situations, trauma and negative feelings.
Most patients see great improvements in their concentration abilities and attention spans as well. It also helps sooth the physiological effects of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder by calming the body and the mind.
If you are someone who gets easily overwhelmed, it is definitely something you should try. However, the key to truly effective yoga therapy lies in the expertise of your yoga therapist, and the connection they share with you.
Do your research and find out more about your therapist, their methods and whether you can get a one-on-one session.
What’s the Difference Between Yoga and Yoga Therapy?
So, now that you know what yoga therapy is, you might wonder, what makes it different from yoga?
The answer to that is fairly simple. While yoga by itself can be immensely therapeutic, a typical session still remains under the guided control of a yoga instructor. At its core, it’s more about what is good for everyone, in general, rather than you, specifically.
Yoga therapy, on the other hand, is focused entirely on you and your needs. It’s all about your progress to better physical, emotional and spiritual health. It’s much less of a cookie-cutter approach and is tailored to treat specific things that you need help coping with.
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