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Yoga Therapy

The journey inwards.

What is Yoga Therapy?

International Association of Yoga Therapists

Yoga Therapy is the professional application of the principles and practices of yoga to promote health and well-being within a therapeutic relationship. It includes personalized assessment, goal setting, lifestyle management, and yoga practices for individuals or small groups.

YogaRx | Sara's Approach

A key element of Yoga Therapy is helping clients develop resilience practices to alleviate pain, reduce the effects of stress, and improve or maintain health. Yoga Therapy is personalized for all types of health challenges. The power is given to the client to participate in their plan of care, from the practices to the pace. My role as a Yoga Therapist is to help the individual from a holistic perspective. I will not diagnose or treat in a space beyond my scope. If for any reason I believe another health care professional can better serve an individual, or that we can work together in partnership, I will make an appropriate referral to best serve the client’s needs.

On campus at the Natural Care Center at Maryland University of Integrative Health, where I earned my Master of Science in Yoga Therapy.

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" I’d recommend yoga therapy with Sara to anyone, no matter age or condition. Sara takes the time to listen, completes a thorough assessment and then provides exercises for the mind and body. I always feel refreshed and relaxed after our session. I have the tools now to help take control of my health and well-being thanks to Sara! "

- Kim S, Yoga Therapy Client

How it Works

Yoga Therapy is a powerful form of mind-body medicine that approaches health in a holistic manner. It recognizes that physical concerns also have emotional, mental, and spiritual components. No yoga experience is required to participate in yoga therapy!

PREPARATION

You have come to realize that you are experiencing health challenges and it is holding you back from being your best self. You are ready to get to the bottom of it, and willing to make changes.

TAKING ACTION

Beginning with a discussion about your health concerns, we will work together to create a personalized plan that suits your abilities, health challenges, interests, and time.

GROWTH

It’s important to recognize that, while yoga has great power to heal, it only works if you practice! Because regular practice is essential to gain the benefits of yoga, it’s helpful to plan on three to six yoga therapy sessions to get you started then I will offer support as you establish your home practice.

MAINTENANCE

After the initial period, some individuals enjoy having regular sessions, monthly or weekly. Others return for occasional “touch-up” visits.

What to Expect

Yoga Therapy is different from a typical yoga class, where the teacher guides a group of students through a mostly physical practice. Yoga Therapy sessions are focused on the needs of an individual, including postures, breathing, and meditation. Despite the common misconception that you need to be flexible to practice yoga, Yoga Therapy can help people who have limited mobility, as well as people who are active. All you need to be able to do to practice yoga is your breath!

What happens in a Yoga Therapy session?

Benefits include:

  1. Deep listening. The initial session is 90 minutes and begins with an in-depth conversation designed to bring understanding to your health challenges, history, concerns, interests, and goals.
     

  2. Breathing and movement instruction. You will be guided through some simple movement and breathing practices to assess your strength, flexibility, and balance as well as your habits of body and mind.
     

  3. Creation of a personalized practice. A personalized yoga practice will be designed to suit your abilities, health goals, medical challenges, interests, and time. This may include postures, breathing techniques, and meditation, as well as the application of yogic principles.
     

  4. Practice instruction. After a guided practice, you will be provided materials (handouts and sometimes audio and/or video recordings) to help you practice regularly at home.
     

  5. Return sessions. Follow-up sessions are 60 minutes. They will help refine your practice and, as you become more skilled—and/or your needs change—offer modifications and/or new material.

  • Easing chronic pain
    such as neck and back pain 
    as well as pain from arthritis and fibromyalgia.
     

  • Enhancing mental health
    relieving anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
     

  • Positively impacting 
    cardiovascular health

    reducing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and enhancing lipid profile.
     

  • Improving the quality of life
    for people with illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
     

  • Boosting wellbeing
    through practices to help decrease or manage stress and enhance strength, flexibility, and balance. 

Ready to see for yourself?

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The Research

Yoga Therapy can help with management of health challenges, including reduce symptoms, restore balance, increase vitality and improve attitude.

- Gary Kraftsow, American Viniyoga Institute

CANCER

Improving Quality of Life

Yoga is commonly recommended and has been shown to improve physical and mental health in people with different cancer types.

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

Improvement for At-risk Patients

Examining yoga as an alternative and complimentary therapy for patients at-risk for and/or suffering from cardiovascular disease.

DEPRESSION + ANXIETY

Stress Measures & Mood

A systematic review of randomized control trials on effects of yoga on stress measures & mood.

CHRONIC PAIN

Neck & Back Pain Relief

Researchers found that yoga was as effective as standard physical therapy for treating moderate to severe chronic low back pain.

CANCER

Reducing Stress

This study finds yoga to be helpful in reducing stress during treatment and post cancer treatment disturbances in sleep and cognition.

FIBROMAYALGIA

A Mindful, Holistic Approach

These findings indicate that the benefits of Yoga of Awareness in fibromyalgia are replicable and can be maintained.

ARTHRITIS

A Mindful, Holistic Approach

Yoga is a safe, feasible option for many living with rheumatic conditions, providing opportunities to enhance psychological well-being.

CHRONIC PAIN

Yoga Therapy, Pain & Inflammation

This paper examines the role of yoga therapy in comprehensive integrative pain management (CIPM)

MENTAL HEALTH

Neurobiological Effects of Yoga

Yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and stress-related physiological measures.

 
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Interested in learning more? Yoga Therapy offers many physical and mental health benefits.