Yoga therapy uses the traditional practices of yoga to improve physical and mental well-being. Practices for the body, breath, and mind are adapted to suit the individual needs of the student. This allows each student to begin at their own starting point and mindfully move toward their goals. Goals vary, but often include better pain management for chronic physical conditions, better breath support for those with respiratory conditions, better skills for stress management, more energy, better sleep, lower blood pressure, etc.
Most students choose to begin with private classes to address their particular condition or goal. In those sessions, I will listen to the student's concerns and then assess their posture, lifestyle, current habits, and other relevant factors. With the consent of the student, I will begin to teach the best practices to help the student move toward their individual goals. Those practices will become a written yoga program for the student to take home and practice. Yoga programs generally consist of some movement and breath work, but may also include other modalities such as meditation, sound, or Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine).
During sessions, I may use gentle touch to direct the student's attention to an area of the body. This may help the student to become more aware of better engagement or relaxation. I always ask before I touch a student.
I recommend student's return for their 2nd private session within two weeks of the first one to refine their understanding of the instructions and avoid the development of any unhelpful habits. Private sessions are generally more frequent in the beginning, every week or two, tapering off as time goes on to about once a month or longer, depending on the student. Between sessions, students practice at home until they are ready for more support or instruction.
From time to time, I also offer group yoga classes for students to attend in between private sessions. These group classes allow the student to refresh their understanding of some of the more subtle instructions, while I get the chance to see the student's progress in between private sessions.