Are you tired and want to feel more energised? Feeling anxious and ready to be calmer? Have you been experiencing sadness and need to boost your spirit? Regardless of how you are feeling, yoga therapeutics is a method to help you find the perfect pose to help bring you into balance and help you get in touch with your mindfulness in order to deal with whatever is plaguing you. After all, you are unique and your yoga practice should be too. 

Did you know that yoga was originally created as an experience between one teacher and one student? The teacher would deeply assess his or her student’s body and presenting health issues, and then offer specific yoga poses to help the student achieve maximum energy flow and peace of mind. Yoga therapeutics closely mirrors this ancient process.

Health benefits of the therapeutic effects of yoga

Yoga therapeutics is the process of empowering the individual through yoga with a deep awareness and integrated understanding of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body. Yoga techniques and practices are adapted to the client’s specific needs in order to restore balance and promote optimal health and wellbeing. 

Like psychotherapy or physical therapy, yoga therapeutics deeply relies on a therapeutic relationship. This involves working with a thoughtful teacher who will be able to deeply listen to what you are sharing and can tailor the practice accordingly. Yoga therapeutics is not confined to psychological or physical – instead, it works with the whole person, and furthermore, addresses the underlying root causes of our pain, suffering, and disease which are often subtle and deep. It has been shown to help relieve the pain of physical issues, as well as help ease continuous emotional and mental issues like anxiety.

Yoga and Chinese Medicine

Yoga therapeutics is derived from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) 5 Element Theory, the same science used in acupuncture, and heavily focuses on yoga as a tool for healing. In TCM, the channels that conduct energy throughout the body are called ‘meridians’ – these conduits form an inner network. This network lines up specific meridians and muscles to organs. If the network is disrupted, then blockages occur, and the body will not function properly. When energy cannot flow properly, the organs will not perform their function, and imbalance arises in mind, body, and spirit.

When the meridians are clear and open, energy flows freely and all is well once more. Thus, the goal of yoga therapeutics is to clear and open the meridians pathways within the body to optimise muscle and organ health, and get you feeling your best. 

How does therapeutic yoga work?

Yoga therapeutics is a particularly effective practice for those recovering from, or living with, injury or illness. It combines restorative yoga (supported postures), gentle yoga, breathwork, hands-on healing, and guided meditation techniques. This combination serves as an excellent choice for those who need something gentle yet effective for bringing the body into balance and reducing stress. Also, yoga therapeutics is a deeply meditative experience – it provides the opportunity to step away from the business of the outside world and access the deeper wisdom that resides within us.

In a typical one-on-one yoga therapy session, you could expect:

• A thorough intake inquiring into your medical history, along with your physical, mental, energetic, and spiritual needs.

• An analysis of your breath, posture, gait, balance and various yoga poses.

• Physical poses chosen and yoga sequences adapted for your needs.

• Breathing, meditation, and a relaxation practice.

• Homework! You must practice yoga both in and out of the session to get the best results. 

Easy yoga poses for beginners and their health benefits

Yoga pose to boost energy: Downward Dog

1. Yoga pose to boost energy: Downward Dog

Start by setting up a cozy space and lay down a yoga mat. Start on all fours, then push your weight backwards and raise your hips upwards while your legs spread out behind you. Spread your fingers and toes and ground yourself to the earth. This is one of the most popular yoga poses for beginners and is a great rejuvenating stretch. In combination with controlled breathing, elevating your body promotes drainage from excess fluid build-up, and gravity assists circulation by facilitating the return of blood back to the heart. Try for 1-3 minutes and feel your flow rebalance naturally.

Yoga pose to relieve anxiety and increase inner calm: Child’s Pose

2. Yoga pose to relieve anxiety and increase inner calm: Child’s Pose

Protect your knees by starting on a yoga mat, and either have your knees together or spread them in a V-shape. Reach your arms up and stretch forward as far as you can, close your eyes and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Allow your body to melt into the mat and try not to hold tension in your muscles. It’s a very relaxing pose that you can feel comfortable and safe in for as long as 15 minutes.

Yoga pose to boost happiness and ease sadness: Sun Salutations

3. Yoga pose to boost happiness and ease sadness: Sun Salutations

Sun salutations vary, however they all help to improve blood circulation and strengthen your body. The practice also increases the vital energy of prana in your body, which helps remove energy blockages helping to increase happiness and reduce pain and frustrations. A series of sun salutations can be a nice cardiovascular exercise increasing flow around the whole body.

After an appropriate intake and assessment, the yoga therapeutics teacher will often focus on the specific symptoms that trouble their client and identify methods to help them manage their symptoms. In addition, the teacher's role is to empower clients to take a more active role in their self-care. The teacher plays a supportive role in helping clients to overcome their challenges and gain independence. Most students find that using yoga a therapeutic tool has very positive side effects, as their whole being comes into a healthier state of balance.

READ NEXT: Tried and tested remedies and products to help you practice mindfulness.

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