Individual Yoga Therapy Sessions

What is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga Therapy 1Yoga is a holistic, healing discipline that offers a broad range of tools for supporting health, healing and personal transformation. Yoga’s tools include postures, conscious breathing techniques, meditative practices, gestures, the use of vocal sounds, guided self-inquiry, and much more. These tools can be utilized in an infinite number of combinations to suit the unique needs of the individual throughout the ever-changing stages of his/her life.

Personalized One-on-One Instruction

All Yoga taught by Yoga Well Institute is adapted to meet the specific needs of the individual. We take time in a one-on-one setting to understand each client’s current needs and goals and then design a program just for them.

What to Expect: the process of a yoga therapy session.

  • Upon arrival, student fills out an intake form detailing their health history “and current situation, complaints, goals, etc.”
  • Yoga teacher talks with the individual regarding that history, as well as asking questions about their living situation, current lifestyle, diet, activities.
  • The Yoga teacher asks the student to do simple movements so that s/he can observe what is happening with the student on the physical level. During this process we will often talk with the student about aggravating and relieving factors involved in their problem.
  • The Yoga teacher will instruct each student individually so that s/he can develop a relationship with each of their students, and the personal element or relationship aspect of our approach is important. Once the teacher understands the individual’s issue(s) and circumstances, s/he will develop a home Yoga program that emphasizes three things: conscious breathing, gentle physical movements, and individualized purposeful sequencing of those movements in coordination with the breath.
  • Each course is carefully constructed to stay well within the physical limits of that person.
  • Then the Yoga teacher instructs this personalized program to the student, revising it according to the student’s response.
  • The student is strongly encouraged to practice this course at home on his or her own schedule. In fact, the practicing of their individualized yoga program at home is critical to the successful process of healing through yoga since by practicing on their own, the student becomes an active participant in their own healing process and is thus able to take responsibility for their own healing at some level. After the student has practiced the yoga program at home for some time (lengths vary for different people and situations, etc.) the student has follow-up sessions with the Yoga teacher on a regular basis (as determined by the needs and situation of that individual). Along the way, the home yoga program will be revised according to the changing needs of the student. As the individual’s condition improves, their personalized home Yoga program will also evolve to reflect their changing needs and abilities. Of course, the student is always encouraged to check in with the Yoga teacher if they have any questions or concerns.

The initial consultation and class typical lasts 90 minutes and follow up sessions are usually 60 minutes in length.

To book an appointment, please email thewell@yogawellinstitute.com

“It was great to see you, thanks for your teaching, and thank you for continuing to be present for me and for being a really wise and dedicated teacher, I am so thankful that I was led to you!”

~ Beth Byron

BACKGROUND

As a holistic form of healing, Yoga views the human system as not just the physical body, but as comprised of several dimensions, including the physical body, breath, mind, personality and emotions. These dimensions of the human system are interconnected and therefore, interdependent. For example, when a person becomes angry (emotional), breathing becomes short and shallow (breath), the face turns red and the hands tremble (physical), attitude becomes negative (mental), and communication becomes aggressive (personality), etc.

Yoga Therapy 2For this reason, Yoga teaches that just because an illness manifests at the physical level does not necessarily mean that its cause is also in the physical level. The cause of the physical problem may, in fact, be rooted in problems related to another dimension of the student’s system. By the same token, any practice a Yoga teacher or therapist offers has the potential to impact every dimension of the student’s system. For example, a meditative practice may influence not only our mind and emotions, but our physical body, as well. A breathing practice may influence mind and personality, and so on.

We offers private instruction (also known as Yoga Therapy) and in keeping with our focus on personalized Yoga for specific health and wellness needs. Yoga Therapy is offered on a one-to-one basis for purposes ranging from general fitness and wellbeing, to addressing specific health concerns. In each case, the teacher adapts the tools of Yoga to meet the needs and goals of the individual.

Empowering the Individual

An important result of the client’s commitment to their personal practice is that s/he becomes an active participant in the healing process. The teacher’s role is primarily one of understanding the student’s needs, designing and teaching the student appropriate practices that are both healing and motivating, and reviewing the practices as the student’s needs and goals change. It is up to the student to do the practice, however, for it to have any effect. Healing thus comes from within the student, rather than from an outside source. This is one of the most powerful aspects of Yoga as taught by Yoga Well Institute. We believe that when the student is engaged in their own healing process instead of being a passive recipient of treatment, there is even greater potential for healing to happen and for the student to retain the benefits and the good habits learned for the long-term.

Highly Trained Staff

All Yoga Well Institute teachers have undergone rigorous training to utilize all the tools of Yoga competently, effectively, and in the appropriate manner. Teachers are specifically trained and tested in the holistic model of Yoga, including observation skills, modification, appropriate sequencing of postures and therapeutic application. In addition to internships, our training emphasizes the importance of personal practice and an ongoing relationship with a mentor. Currently, we know of no other Yoga teacher or therapist training programs in the US that offer this kind of in-depth training and professional support.

“I just had a call from a private client who wanted to check in with me to make sure it was ok that she has started crying during her practice. Loudly and vocally as she describes it, so different from her normal, mostly silent tears. This is someone who suffered indescribable abuses at the hands of her father many years ago, I doubt I could ever understand what that is like….but I totally knew how to reassure, encourage and hold space for her new-found voice, for her release of some of what has prevented her healing until know. I knew how to do that because you did this for me. Thank you for being a teacher and a healer Chase, your work is reaching out to humanity in a ways that you might not always be aware of…I had to share this, it was just too precious. XO, M”

~ Mary Stewart

FAQ

What is the difference between Yoga Therapy and physical therapy?

Western physical therapy evaluates only on the individual’s structural level. Most people regardless of age or level of fitness will leave the office with the same set of exercises for similar issues.

Yoga Therapy also uses the tools of breathing and focusing techniques in order to treat the entire person; the structural, the physiological and on the mental/emotional dimension. Yoga Therapy also takes into consideration the person’s age, current health status and level of fitness.

What is the difference between Yoga Therapy and psychotherapy?

A western psychotherapeutic evaluation often evaluates an individual based on past experiences as well as the current level of stress. Then, the process is to have the person focus on these past experiences in order to bring forward feelings around these experiences and hopefully begin the process of “digesting” them.

Yoga Therapy starts with what is happening right now with the individual on both the physical and the mental/emotional levels. While past experiences are considered, we try not to keep the focus there. Instead we try to create a different focus that can start the healing process around these experiences. The process is much more subtle, but it can be profoundly effective. As the person creates a new focus, some of the effects of the old experiences begin to fall away and not be as influential in the person’s life.

Can Yoga Therapy work in conjunction with physical therapy and/or psychotherapy?

Absolutely! With yoga therapy, much of the work is done by the individual with their personal practice, so the frequency of visits are usually less. The individual is responsible for doing a personal practice and therefore, an active participant in their own healing process. It can become quite empowering as the person begins to realize that they can influence how they feel by doing a certain set of movements, breathing and focusing techniques.

How does the Yoga Therapist decide what someone should do for a personal practice?

Taken into consideration is respect for the individual’s current state of health, their physical capacities, their schedule and their personal beliefs. All of this will be discussed in the initial intake appointment.

How is this different from a session with a personal trainer?

It is not considered exercise. It does not require flexibility, strength, special clothing, heated rooms, esoteric spiritual practices or any other things associated with what most people in the west perceive yoga to be.

“Chase – This work with you has a profound impact on me and I want to do much more work with you. Thanks so much for training yourself and giving me these practices.”

~ Carol Blanchard