Yoga therapy has been around for many years. It has been proven to help with many different physical and mental ailments. The Primary Care Companion for CNC Disorders reported on ten studies that evaluated how yoga therapy helped psychiatric disorders.
The report found that yoga therapy was a viable alternative in treating certain mental health disorders. Learning breathing techniques, meditation and postures were of noticeable help.
In recent years, yoga therapy is gaining popularity now that researchers are revealing its numerous benefits. To decide as to whether yoga therapy is right for you, it’s important to understand everything about the treatment.
Below you will learn the definition of yoga therapy, along with its benefits, poses, and its connection to mindfulness.
What Is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga therapy involves the entire body, including the mind. Research has shown there is a connection between your mind, body and spirit. Healing just one of these does not lead to total recovery. It’s important to heal all three areas. Yoga therapy helps you do just that.
It is a practice that incorporates breathing techniques, yoga poses, meditation and mindfulness into your teachings. This is so you can experience both mental and physical improvements, so you can experience all benefits.
Benefits of Yoga Therapy
There are literally hundreds of benefits of yoga therapy. Some advantages common to many include becoming more flexible and less stiff. It also increases blood flow and heart rate while also decreasing blood pressure, blood sugars, and stress.
Yoga therapy teaches you to focus on both the mental and physical health needs of your body. You will also notice improved concentration outside of therapy. This practice has also been stated to relax the tension built up in your system, boost your immune system, and regulates digestive issues.
Furthermore, yoga therapy can boost self-esteem, which can help you make clear decisions, and encourages you to continue working on yourself.
Yoga therapy helps circulation, metabolism and helps you build a higher pain tolerance. You may also notice higher strength, better sleep, balance and improved mood. The better you feel, the happier you feel. And when you feel good and happy, you are likely to experience an improved social life and an overall positive outlook on life.
Many yoga therapists will start your treatment by teaching you beginning yoga poses.
Beginning Yoga Poses
There are hundreds of yoga poses. In the beginning, however, there are a few you should focus on, so you can build confidence and learn poses you can do anywhere.
Yoga poses for the beginner includes the mountain pose, which is the base for all standing poses. Downward Dog is used in for stretching and strengthening. Balance and support are of utmost importance in our health. The cat pose helps warm up your back for the downward dog.
The plank helps you learn to balance on your hands while using the whole body for support. The child’s pose is said to help relax the nervous system, while two warrior poses help strengthen your concentration.
The corpse pose may not seem like a big deal. Some may even think of it as just lying on your back. However, this pose creates a sense of calm throughout your mind and body and can also enhance your breathing, which is one of the most important parts of yoga therapy.
Yoga Breathing Exercises
Getting oxygen to all your body parts is essential for proper functioning, both mentally and physically. There are specific yoga exercises that have enormous benefits, even if you practice them for a few minutes a day.
Breathing exercises in yoga, or pranayama, can be done anywhere.
The lion’s breath has been called a fun exercise, maybe because you inhale deeply and then exhale loudly with your tongue out. It helps you let go of the day’s stressors and may even give you a laugh or two.
If it’s energy you need, the breath of fire and the skull cleanser have been known to help. Or, if you are having trouble sleeping or relaxing, try three-part breathing. Further exercises for breathing include bee breathing, bellows breath, victory breath, and alternate nostril breathing.
Through breathing exercises, you can gain more focus and clarity, which will help you even further when you begin connecting your mind, body and spirt.
Importance of Mindfulness Meditation
Yoga and mindfulness meditation go hand in hand, giving all parts of your body attention and service. You can use meditation as well to help you enhance the abilities of your brain. Meditation is a way to transform the brain, so you can see things clearly and calmly.
You can’t relieve stress until you recognize what it is doing to each part of your body. Mindfulness helps you concentrate on those parts, listen to your body’s needs, and ease the stress it feels.
It is much better to work with a yoga therapist in the beginning of your journey to healing. They can offer their experience to your treatment, giving you valuable insight into how to improve everything from your poses to your meditation.
Finding a good yoga therapist is key. Look for one who knows how to apply yoga based on a person’s individual needs. One person may need yoga for mental health problems, while others may need it for physical reasons. Yoga therapists will know which poses to use for each condition.
Yoga therapists should know anatomy and the infrastructure of the human body and how it functions. They do not try to diagnose you, however. That is for a physician. They simply understand why your body is not working correctly and how to apply yoga poses to help ease your symptoms.
Yoga therapists should also have teacher training, certifications, apprenticeships, or some form of higher education that proves they received specialized education on how to teach yoga to others.
There are many great yoga therapists out there waiting to share their knowledge with you, and help you resolve any mental or physical issues you may have.