yoga therapy

Yoga Therapy: What Is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga therapy takes a holistic approach that takes into account your body, mind, and soul. This exercise could support your medical treatment by assisting you to unwind, de-stress, and better manage any symptoms or underlying conditions you might be dealing with.

What Is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga therapy, in its most basic definition, is using yoga techniques to improve one’s physical and mental health as part of a larger effort to foster self-care and general well-being. In yoga therapy, we use specific yoga practices and their recognised advantages to assist in alleviating or healing mental and physical problems, much as general yoga practice has the potential for therapeutic effects due to its focus on body and mind cultivation.

Many medical professionals today are open to and even advocate for yoga-based therapies like yoga therapy. Numerous medical journals publish studies documenting yoga’s many advantages. Yoga is frequently recommended by professionals working in mental health, and some practitioners may even incorporate yoga into their practice. The Minded Institute has trained many mental health practitioners to implement yoga therapy in their therapeutic work.

Yoga therapy has such strong backing and supporting research that created an intervention based on yoga with the potential to treat cardiac disease. The results of his initiative were so positive that it is now included in national health care programmes. National Health Programme (NHS) is beginning to recognise yoga therapy’s potential advantages. 

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How Do Yoga And Yoga Therapy Differ From One Another?

The common belief is that yoga is a form of physical activity. Joining a local yoga studio or gym can help you get in shape and increase your power and flexibility.

In a yoga session, the instructor will lead the students through poses and breathing exercises, moving the class along rapidly. Proper yoga postures and methods are emphasised. The average class attendance is between two and three times a week. Two hundred hours of training is the standard for becoming a yoga teacher.

When people seek yoga therapy, they typically want to improve or alleviate their health. A yoga therapist will lead you through a personalised practice that emphasises applying yoga’s many therapeutic techniques to address specific needs and alleviate distress.

Breathing techniques, awareness training, physical postures, and meditation will all feature prominently in a session designed to alleviate symptoms, prevent damage, and restore health. Your yoga therapist will provide homework assignments to help you develop a sustainable self-care habit. The frequency of your sessions, often once or twice a month for a few months, will be based on your health goals and progress.

How Is Yoga Therapy Used?

A certified Yoga therapist can help a patient create and follow a Yoga regimen designed to address their unique health concerns and symptoms in an effort to give long-term, drug-free symptom alleviation. Yoga therapy can be preventative, curative, a means of managing the condition, or a facilitator of healing on many levels, depending on the nature of the ailment.

Yoga therapy involves matching a person’s specific health needs with yoga techniques that have been shown to have beneficial benefits by both yogic tradition and medicine. For instance, various yoga poses and postures can strengthen and support the back to ease the discomfort of a herniated disc. 

Similarly, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be treated with mild, specific methods that restore body awareness and nervous system regulation. Certain yoga postures have been shown to be effective in helping people with autism manage their emotions and decrease their levels of sensory stimulation. Breathing exercises, postures, relaxation methods, meditation, and encouraging lifestyle changes are all possible components of a session.

The Process Of Yoga Therapy, In A Nutshell.

Your yoga therapist will guide you through a series of poses and movements to improve your flexibility, strength, and balance. Your yoga therapist may suggest you wear loose, comfortable clothing to your session. The standard method of practising involves sitting in a chair and occasionally standing with the chair nearby for support. The following are just a few of the many possible sequences during a yoga therapy session:

  • Guidance on how to sit and stand correctly with awareness and in the most functional position.
  • Exercises that increase the range of motion and comfort in your joints.
  • Forwards fold and twist to free the chest and lungs.
  • To achieve the cat-cow position, you will simultaneously inhale and lift your back, heart, and tailbone. The next step is to curve your back, tuck your tailbone, and look down at your belly as you exhale. Your posture may benefit from this stretch. In addition, it helps keep your back mobile.
  • Sit comfortably and slowly twist your body to the right to stretch your spine. You’ll put your hands at your sides, spin to your right, and glance over your shoulder while you breathe deeply. These actions must be repeated on the left side as well. Twisting the spine promotes good digestion. In addition to relieving some lower back discomfort, they help tone and strengthen your core muscles.

Your yoga therapist will lead you through breathing exercises to be performed in tandem with your movements. These breathing exercises help you relax and cope with discomfort. The session will close with a relaxation exercise to help you calm your thoughts and muscles.


Although one-on-one sessions are the norm, yoga therapists can work with smaller groups. In such situations, the group’s collective energy may hasten the recovery.

The following methods may be used in a therapeutic yoga session.

Yoga Poses/Asanas

Therapeutic yoga, like regular yoga, uses several postures (Asanas). In yoga therapy, the therapist will work with the client to determine which yoga postures will be most beneficial and then instruct them in those poses. Common yoga props that stabilise here include belts, blocks, and even chairs.

As an alternative to more challenging inversions like shoulder stands, “Legs Up the Wall” may be taught as an inversion in therapeutic yoga classes. Anxiety and insomnia, among others, are reported to benefit from adopting this posture.

Breathing Exercises/Pranayama

The yoga therapist will conduct breathing exercises known as Pranayama in yoga. Breathwork intended to increase energy and balancing breathing exercises are two examples.

Meditation And Relaxation

Yoga treatment may also incorporate meditation and other forms of relaxation. Meditation can be practised on its own or in tandem with Asanas and Pranayama.


Yoga therapists may also use other techniques, such as guided imagery and visualisation. This article aims to provide a guided visualisation to help quiet the body and mind and bring about inner peace. In addition to physical poses, prayer, chanting, rituals, readings, and spiritual counselling can all be incorporated into a more standard yoga therapy practice.


Again, unlike a “regular” yoga session, homework is integral to yoga therapy. Instead of practising the techniques once a week in the setting of a therapeutic yoga class, students or clients will benefit greatly if they learn to incorporate them into their daily lives. Yoga therapists typically tailor their approach and techniques to their students or clients’ ages, physical capacities, and individual needs. 

In addition, every asana (posture) and Pranayama (breathing technique) in yoga therapy strengthens the bond between the spirit and the flesh. This is true of any yoga practice, but a yoga therapist will go into further detail, relating the purpose of each exercise and yoga posture to the client’s specific health issue. In this approach, yoga therapy connects yoga’s physical and mental aspects. A yoga therapist will discuss how the client’s specific condition (anxiety, for instance) might be addressed through the poses they recommend.

Yoga Therapy’s Objectives And Benefits

Mind-Body Concentration 

Yoga therapy incorporates physical and mental practises to achieve holistic well-being. In this way, it helps its practitioners cultivate an in-depth understanding of their bodies and minds. This strengthens their awareness and trains them to be in the present moment with their bodies.

Increases General Fitness

The healthy and disabled aren’t the only ones who can benefit from therapeutic yoga. Therapeutic yoga is not just for people with health problems; it may also help people who are otherwise healthy become more physically fit, improve their posture, and enhance their balance, strength, and flexibility. 

High blood pressure, bad posture, obesity, and lack of physical fitness are all supposedly improved by yoga therapy.

Less Negative Effects

Side effects are possible with every medication, whether used to treat a physical or mental illness. Some drugs’ side effects lists may be more extensive and alarming than others. In contrast, when practised properly and by a skilled therapist, the adverse effects of yoga treatment are minimal, if any at all.

Alternative Therapy Methods

Last but not least, there is a limit to what may be accomplished by traditional treatment. Conventional treatment may not be able to help some people or some conditions. Sometimes, patients may refuse treatment or medicine because the potential risks are too great. Yoga therapy might be an excellent alternative or supplementary treatment for people who benefit most from a comprehensive mind-body strategy.


Fewer randomised control trials have been conducted on yoga therapy than on more conventional treatments. However, there is mounting evidence that yoga treatment may have positive effects. Anxiety, bipolar disorder, sadness, alcoholism, PTSD, and schizophrenia are just some of the mental health issues from which yoga has been shown to benefit. Researchers showed that yoga, unlike medication, has fewer negative side effects when used to treat mental health disorders.

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Important Factors

Finding a therapist with the right amount of education and experience is crucial. You should check that your therapist is a registered yoga therapist or has equivalent training from an accredited training programme. This training variation is due to the yoga therapy practice’s emphasis on sustainability. For instance, many yoga therapists have backgrounds in other fields, such as psychology, psychotherapy, physical therapy, or yoga teachers, and that they incorporate yoga into their work. Finding a therapist with whom you feel a good therapeutic alliance and who you respect professionally is important.

Can Yoga Therapy Replace Medical Treatment?

Yoga therapy does not purport to treat diseases, but it helps relieve the discomfort of their symptoms, such as exhaustion, pain, and mental difficulties. That’s why you can supplement conventional treatment with yoga therapy. Whether or not therapeutic yoga practises can be helpful to the individual and how they would operate in conjunction with other forms of therapy are always important considerations.

Many people have found success with yoga therapy, but it’s vital to remember that yoga isn’t a panacea. Yoga therapists and their patients need open lines of communication about the nature of the presenting health problems, the patient’s medical history, and the expected benefits of the treatment. 

Nonetheless, anyone of any age, flexibility level, or strength level can benefit from yoga therapy if this is considered. Since therapeutic yoga sessions may be tailored to meet the needs of individual students or customers, this is especially true.


Yoga therapy is a whole-person method that uses yoga techniques to help people improve their physical and mental health. It is often suggested by doctors and people who work in mental health because it has been shown to help people because it focuses on body and mind development. Yoga therapy is now part of government health care programmes, and the government Health Service (NHS) is starting to see its benefits.

Yoga therapy is a personalised practise that focuses on using yoga’s healing methods to help with specific problems and reduce stress. It includes ways to breathe, train your mind, move your body, and meditate. A trained yoga therapist can help a patient come up with and stick to a yoga routine that is tailored to their specific health problems and symptoms. This gives them long-term, drug-free relief from their symptoms.

Depending on the illness, yoga treatment can be preventative, healing, a way to deal with the condition or a way to help the body heal on many different levels. It can be used to help things like herniated discs, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and autism. In yoga therapy, the client is led through a number of poses and movements to help them get more flexible, stronger, and more balanced. The therapist may suggest that you wear clothes that are loose and comfortable to the lesson.

During a yoga therapy session, the therapist will lead the client through different sequences, such as the right way to sit and stand, how to increase the range of motion in the joints, and how to get into the cat-cow pose. The lesson also includes breathing exercises to help people relax and deal with pain, as well as a relaxation exercise to calm the mind and muscles.

Therapeutic yoga treatment uses a variety of techniques and methods to help people feel better in all areas of their lives. These include yoga poses, breathing routines, meditation, visualising, and doing homework. The therapist works with the client to figure out the best moves and then shows the client how to do them.

Pranayama is a breathing exercise that can be done instead of difficult inversions like shoulder stands, which can help with sleeplessness and nervousness. Meditation and other ways to calm down can be done on their own or with Asanas and Pranayama. You can also use visualisation to calm your body and mind and find peace within.

Homework is an important part of yoga therapy because it helps students or clients use the skills they’ve learned in their everyday lives. Yoga therapists adapt their methods and techniques to the age, physical ability, and needs of each student.

The goals of yoga therapy are to focus the mind and body, improve general health, and have fewer side effects than traditional treatments. It is a great option or addition to treatment for people who get the most out of a full mind-body approach.

Yoga therapy is not very effective, but it has been shown to help with anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, drunkenness, PTSD, schizophrenia, and other mental health problems. It is very important to find a therapist with the right education, experience, and training from an approved training programme.

Yoga therapy can be used along with other treatments to help with tiredness, pain, and mental problems. But it’s important for therapists and patients to talk openly in order to figure out how well therapeutic yoga practises work and how well they work with other kinds of treatment.

Content Summary

  • Yoga therapy adopts a holistic approach, addressing body, mind, and soul.
  • It complements medical treatment by aiding relaxation and symptom management.
  • Yoga therapy enhances physical and mental health for self-care and well-being.
  • Specific yoga practices are used to alleviate mental and physical issues.
  • Medical professionals endorse yoga-based therapies like yoga therapy.
  • Numerous studies showcase the benefits of yoga therapy in medical journals.
  • The Minded Institute trains mental health practitioners in yoga therapy.
  • Yoga therapy’s success led to a yoga-based cardiac disease intervention.
  • National Health Programme (NHS) recognises yoga therapy’s potential.
  • Yoga enhances physical fitness, power, and flexibility in local studios.
  • In yoga sessions, poses and breathing exercises are led by instructors.
  • Yoga therapy aims to improve health and alleviate distress.
  • Yoga therapists guide personalised practices for specific needs.
  • Breathing techniques, postures, and meditation are used in sessions.
  • Yoga therapy prevents damage and restores health through tailored exercises.
  • Certified yoga therapists create regimens for long-term symptom relief.
  • Yoga therapy matches specific health needs with proven yoga techniques.
  • Yoga poses strengthen the back and ease herniated disc discomfort.
  • Specific methods alleviate PTSD and restore body awareness.
  • Yoga aids autism management and emotion regulation.
  • Yoga therapy includes meditation, relaxation, and visualisation.
  • Homework is crucial in yoga therapy for sustainable self-care.
  • Yoga therapy sessions are tailored to individual health goals.
  • The practice strengthens the connection between spirit and body.
  • Yoga therapy combines physical and mental aspects for holistic care.
  • Mind-body concentration enhances self-awareness and presence.
  • Therapeutic yoga benefits physical fitness, posture, and balance.
  • Yoga therapy improves high blood pressure, posture, and obesity.
  • Yoga therapy’s minimal adverse effects set it apart from medication.
  • Yoga therapy serves as an alternative or complementary treatment.
  • Research suggests positive effects of yoga therapy on mental health.
  • Proper therapist training is crucial for effective yoga therapy.
  • Finding a therapist with relevant education and experience is vital.
  • Yoga therapy doesn’t treat diseases but alleviates symptoms.
  • Yoga therapy complements conventional treatments effectively.
  • Open communication between therapists and patients is essential.
  • Yoga therapy is beneficial for individuals of all ages and abilities.
  • Therapeutic yoga sessions are personalised for each student.
  • Yoga therapy’s benefits extend to the physical, mental, and emotional realms.
  • Yoga therapy contributes to overall well-being and self-care.
  • The Minded Institute trains mental health professionals in yoga therapy.
  • Yoga therapy offers tools for self-care and symptom management.
  • Yoga poses, breathing exercises, and meditation are part of the sessions.
  • Therapeutic yoga complements conventional treatments effectively.
  • Yoga therapy’s potential is recognised by the National Health Programme.
  • Yoga therapy involves personalised practices for specific health needs.
  • Yoga therapy is suitable for various ages, abilities, and health conditions.
  • Open communication between therapists and patients is key.
  • Yoga therapy enhances awareness of the body and mind connection.
  • Yoga therapy supports holistic well-being and self-awareness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Meaning Of Yoga Therapy?

According to the International Association of Yoga Therapists: “Yoga therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the teachings and practices of Yoga.”

Why Is Yoga Therapy Important?

According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep.

What Type Of Therapy Is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga therapy is a type of therapy that draws on yoga exercises, practices, and philosophies, to improve mental and physical health. While yoga is commonly associated with stress relief, yoga therapy can also help treat several other mental health conditions.

How Effective Is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga should be considered a complementary or alternative medical therapy method in treating stress, anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders, as it has been shown to create a greater sense of well-being, increase feelings of relaxation, and improve self-confidence and body image.

Is Yoga Therapy Safe?

Yoga is generally considered a safe form of physical activity for healthy people when performed properly under the guidance of a qualified instructor. However, as with other forms of physical activity, injuries can occur.