What Is A Yoga Therapist?

If you have recently heard of yoga therapy and are wondering what it is, then you have come to the right place. The growing trend for yoga therapy means that there are more people than ever taking up this practice.

So, what exactly is it? Yoga therapy is done by a health professional who specializes in yoga to treat a patient through the process of healing.

What Is A Yoga Therapist

For example, the patients could range from dealing with mental health and anxiety issues, all the way to being pregnant, having cancer, or living with chronic pain. A number of people can benefit from taking up yoga therapy.

In this article we shall take a look at what a yoga therapist does in more detail, and how this can benefit a wide range of clients. 

What Exactly Is A Yoga Therapist?

A yoga therapist is a person who specializes within the field of health on a professional level. They use yoga as a way to treat a plethora of different people who are suffering with a wide range of issues.

It does not matter the age of the person, or the background that they come from, yoga is a great tool to help people deal with trying to heal, whether mentally or physically. For example, a client may be suffering with mental health or anxiety issues.

They may also be suffering with some form of chronic pain, insomnia, or even depression. A person may have cancer, or be pregnant and looking to find other ways to deal with what they are going through.

A lot of yoga therapists also treat those who are suffering with some form of trauma or PTSD. Yoga therapy is sometimes also used for inmates at a prison too. 

How Does A Yoga Therapist Work?

A yoga therapist is a qualified person who deals with a client in a clinical setting by helping them to heal on a holistic level, rather than dealing with their actual diagnosis.

This means that it will not cure a person’s physical symptoms, such as with cancer for example.

Often people undergo yoga therapy to deal with how they are feeling about a certain situation, such as being unwell or in pain. Perhaps a person needs to find calm during extreme anxiety?

A yoga therapist uses several teachings that they have learned and then passes them on to their patients to help with their daily lives. This could be by meditation, taking part in pranayama (breathing exercise), techniques to relax, and asanas (poses). 

A yoga therapist might even speak to their clients about the philosophy of yoga and how a person can incorporate these teachings into their everyday lives. Doing so means a person has tools to help them fight against any negativity that they might be feeling. 

What Does A Yoga Therapist Offer A Client?

What Does A Yoga Therapist Offer A Client?

Some of the most common ways a yoga therapist can help a client is by:

  • Metally – yoga has the ability to help the mental health of a person by using spiritual teachings and practices as a main part of the treatment. 
  • Emotionally – meditation and techniques used for breathing play a big role in helping those who need treatment for emotional issues.
  • Physically – when it comes to chronic and physical pain, asana (positions) are often used to help manage the everyday condition to help relieve a person from the stress that may be associated with it. 

How Does General Yoga Differ From A Yoga Therapist?

A yoga therapist goes through a different certification process to acquire the C-IYAT (which stands for Certified-International Association of Yoga Therapists), while a toga teacher becomes certified in having a RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher).

The reason the certifications are different is because a person who wants to specialize in yoga therapy will take the 200 hour yoga teacher training program, and will then specialize in yoga therapy by doing at least 300 hours more of training to become fully certified.

However, yoga, no matter what form it takes, is there to be used as a way to help a person improve their mind, their own lives, and their health. Even so, there are differences when it comes to a yoga instructor and a yoga therapist.

The latter works with a client one-on-one (and even in small groups) and focuses on a type of yoga that will help a particular issue, while the former normally works within a larger group setting. 

What Might You Experience At A Session Of Yoga Therapy?

During the first yoga therapy session, you will discuss what the issue is and how yoga therapy can help. This will be followed by creating a plan, and discussing how many sessions you might need.

Often this is only a rough guidance, as more sessions might be needed. Usually, a yoga therapist may initially plan only 6 sessions. You will also figure out what type of yoga will help you.

You will find that your yoga therapist will also give you guidance on how to practice yoga at home to help you with your daily life. This means you can implement yoga to empower and enrich your time outside of these sessions, and when yoga therapy ends. 

Final Thoughts

A yoga therapist is a person who deals with a client during a one-on-one basis to create a plan that focuses on a medical and health matter.

Whilst they base their sessions on the teachings of yoga, they implement them by focusing on a client’s needs, rather than through a general group setting. 

While it does not treat a condition (for example cancer or physical chronic pain), it can help a person on a spiritual level to deal with the symptoms.

Experiencing yoga therapy means that a person can receive focused help that is tailored to suit their own needs in order to live a more fulfilled life, especially if they are suffering with something that is holding them back from enjoying their days.

Angela Frederik
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