“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot.”
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)
What is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga has been used for thousands of years, and is now being empirically proven to provide relief from mental and physical disorders.
Similar to traditional psychotherapy, both have a goal of improving mental health. Each also facilitates self-awareness and introspection, behavioral change, cognitive change, self-acceptance, and connection with the larger world.
While the yogic lifestyle is based on the Eight Limbs of Yoga, in my therapy sessions we are only focused on two aspects: pranayama (or breathing exercises) and pratyahara/dharana (sense withdrawal and focused concentration), which may lead to a meditation practice. In a therapy session, the goal is to cultivate mindfulness through meditation, encourage self-acceptance and love, and provide opportunity for relaxation.
My training in LifeForce® Yoga was intentionally designed to work with and manage the mood. Tools utilized include breathing exercises, visualization, intention-setting, meditation, and relaxation rituals. Using these tools, clients typically experience relief from depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as gain an increased sense of self-efficacy and overall well-being.
How Is LifeForce® Yoga Therapy Used in a Therapy Session?
When clients desire to incorporate yogic principles in a therapy session, basic psychoeducation explains how yogic principles may help the client while taking place within a compassionate listening environment to support one’s physical and emotional state.
Due to changes and limitations of my insurance, asanas (poses) are not allowed to be performed during sessions.
What Can Be Achieved Through Yoga Therapy?
- Increases “feel good” hormones, oxytocin and prolactin
- Decreases cortisol levels
- Increases serotonin
- Relaxes chronic muscle tension
- Restores natural diaphragmatic breathing
- Improves oxygen absorption and carbon dioxide elimination
- Elevates mood