What is Yoga Therapy?

Definition of Yoga Therapy from the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), Educational Standards for the Training of Yoga Therapists (p. 4)
 

“Yoga therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and wellbeing through the application of the teachings and practices of yoga.

Yoga is a scientific system of self-investigation, self-transformation, and self-realization that originated in India.The teachings of yoga are rooted in the Vedas and grounded in classical texts and a rich oral tradition.This tradition recognizes that the human being’s essential nature is unchanging awareness that exists in relationship to and identification with the changing phenomena of the empirical world.

The yoga tradition views humans as a multidimensional system that includes all aspects of body; breath; and mind, intellect, and emotions and their mutual interaction. Yoga is founded on the basic principle that intelligent practice can positively influence the direction of change within these human dimensions, which are distinct from an individual’s unchanging nature or spirit. The practices of yoga traditionally include, but are not limited to, asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, chanting, mudra, ritual, and a disciplined lifestyle.

Yoga therapy is the appropriate application of these teachings and practices in a therapeutic context in order to support a consistent yoga practice that will increase self-awareness and engage the client/student’s energy in the direction of desired goals. The goals of yoga therapy include eliminating, reducing, or managing symptoms that cause suffering; improving function; helping to prevent the occurrence or re-occurrence of underlying causes of illness; and moving toward improved health and wellbeing. Yoga therapy also helps clients/students change their relationship to and identification with their condition.”

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“Yoga is therapeutic when it is systematic and holistic. It is transformational as it harmonizes body, mind and spirit.” Yogini Kaliji.  

Who Can Benefit from Yoga Therapy?

Current research shows that practicing yoga benefits a wide range of conditions and illnesses including, but not limited to, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, cancer, low-back pain, anxiety and depression. Research has shown that yoga reduces stress, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, improves sleep, elevates mood, alleviates pain, improves strength and flexibility, and improves overall quality of life.

What Practices are used in Yoga Therapy?

Yoga is holistic and includes practices for the body, mind and spirit. The scope of yoga therapy practice includes:

  • Pranayama (breathing practices)
  • Asanas (poses)
  • Yoga Nidra (relaxation and guided meditation)
  • Concentration and visualization
  • Meditation
  • Mudra (focused hand and eye gestures)
  • Mantra and affirmations
  • Chanting/music
  • Lifestyle modifications (diet, laughter, music, nature)
  • Self reflection (setting goals, intentions, finding purpose and meaning)
  • Seva (selfless service)
  • Sangha (supportive community

What to Expect in a Yoga Therapy Session

Yoga Therapy Sessions in Boston MABefore your session you will be asked to complete a Total Health Assessment and set your goals for yoga therapy.  During your first 1.5 hour visit your yoga therapist will review the assessment, your health information, and your goals. Additional assessments may also be done the first session, including posture, Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DSS), sleep, nutrition, and pain. You will then be given a set of of practices designed best meet your goals. Short daily practices have been shown to be more effective than longer periods a few times a week for fostering new healthy habits. You and your therapist will determine the  amount of time you can comfortably commit, usually a minimum of 15 minutes once or twice a day.  

During additional sessions progress towards goals and your experience with the practice will be reviewed. Modifications and additions will be suggested as appropriate.  

 

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”  B.K.S. Iyengar

What Does it Cost?

We recommend a minimum of 3 sessions to successfully create a daily practice that will help you achieve your goals. The first session is 1.5 hours. Additional sessions are 60 minutes. Discount packages are available. 

Initial assessment and consultation – 90 min $150
1 hour $108
Initial 3 sessions (3.5 hrs) $325
3 1-hr sessions – Save 10% $290
5 1-hr sessions – Save 15% $459

 

If you are interested in yoga therapy but a private session is too expensive, once a month we offer a Yoga Therapy Clinic. The clinic is a practicum for interns completing the Yoga Therapy Training program. All interns are 200 hr certified yoga teachers, have advanced yoga therapy training, and are supervised by Brahmi Gold-Bernstein and Lorrie Jacobsohn.

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Yoga Therapists Brahmi and Lorrie are both certified yoga therapists (C-IAYT)

Lorrie

Lorraine (Lorrie) Jacobsohn RN, MSN (Masters of Science in Nursing), PMHCNS-BC (Psychiatric and Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist – Board Certified), Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, Co-Director of TriYoga Boston Yoga Therapy Teacher Training. Lorrie is a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist with expertise in Trauma, Sudden Bereavement, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.

Lorrie provides yoga therapy services for those suffering from depression, anxiety, trauma, sudden bereavement, sexual assault, domestic violence, Parkinson’s and chronic disease. 

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Brahmi (Beth Gold-Bernstein), Director TriYoga Boston, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, Senior TriYoga teacher and Teacher Trainer. Brahmi has been practicing yoga for 40 years, teaching for 33 years, and practicing TriYoga for 23 years. She is a senior TriYoga instructor and Teacher Trainer. Brahmi is the director and lead teacher for the RYS 200 hr TriYoga Teacher Training program the the RYS 500 hr Therapeutic Teacher Training Program.  Brahmi is a former back sufferer of 30 years and now enjoys a pain free back. She has also successfully recovered from wrist, knee and shoulder surgery.  

Brahmi focuses on Yoga Therapy for back, shoulder, knee and other chronic pain, Parkinson’s and chronic disease.  

Please call 781-609-2497 or email info@triyogaboston.org if you are interested in learning more about how Yoga Therapy can help you or to make an appointment.