Yoga therapy is a relatively new phenomenon, but it’s one that has nevertheless become increasingly popular in the past few years. Yoga therapists are trained to do therapy for specific conditions using yoga, not teach more generalized yoga classes. This means that rather than taking place in large group classes, yoga therapy revolves around private sessions between a yoga therapist and their client.
Physical therapy centers on physical wellness and recuperation, while mental therapy revolves around treating the symptoms and causes of psychological distress. Yoga therapy is unique in its focus on trying to address both mental and physical conditions, providing holistic evaluations and solutions for clients. Anyone with the right mindset and training can take up yoga therapy as a means of helping others.
Given its focus and setting, there are certain qualities of a good therapist that make someone fit for yoga therapy. So if you’re interested in taking it up yourself, have a look.
The first quality of a good therapist is being grounded, primarily in their own practice. Yoga therapists able to stay grounded and present in their own practice can translate this skill over to client practices. The practice of grounding helps individuals tolerate large emotional states and connect with their inner selves. Yoga therapists should know how to help clients achieve this, and what better way than to understand how to do it on their own?
Yoga is more than just a state of mind. The science of yoga focuses on human elements such as anatomy, psychology, and physiology. Yoga therapists should understand and be able to apply this knowledge to every practice. In fact, they should have a drive for learning and applying this knowledge every step of the way.
Contrary to some beliefs, yoga and yoga therapy are not the same. Therefore, yoga teachers and yoga therapists aren’t exactly the same, either. To properly conduct sessions, yoga therapists need to understand how to apply yoga practices to health conditions. This practice extends beyond finding inner peace or healing and aids in the entire human system. Yoga therapists should have a clear understanding of the context behind yoga therapy.
Yoga therapy training doesn’t just end when you receive your certification. There are always new practices and applications that emerge as we learn more about the human system. Yoga therapists should be aware of this and maintain a strong self-awareness and desire to grow. By understanding their strengths and weaknesses in the yoga realm, yoga therapists can continue to strengthen their skills to better assist clients.
Yoga therapy offers more than one application method. Yoga itself is a versatile practice that can be adapted to fit the needs of those practicing. Therefore, yoga therapists should look to their role as being a co-creator. Instead of approaching every client with a “one-size-fits-all” mindset, yoga therapists should approach each client without an agenda. Be open to establishing a relationship with every client that focuses on the individual client’s needs.
Yoga is an inherently holistic science. That’s why one of the best qualities of a good therapist is a holistic perspective. Addressing health conditions through yoga therapy should go beyond just a physical approach and take the entire being into account. Yoga therapists should factor this approach into their training and prepare to maintain this perspective throughout their tenure.
Last but certainly not least on our list of yoga skills for therapists is being an educator. Many clients seek out yoga therapy in hopes of better understanding their bodies and minds. The responsibility of providing education, then, falls to the yoga therapist. As a yoga therapist, you should be able to clearly explain each step of the practice and the science and purpose behind it.
Yoga therapy is a discipline that requires much of those who practice it. As a yoga therapist, your clients will rely on you to closely guide them on the path to mental and physical wellness. They will trust in your knowledge, compassion, and authenticity as you use your unique expertise to help them work through what is burdening them.
If you display the qualities of a good therapist, you can make the yoga therapy journey more effective for your clients. At the same time, learning yoga skills for therapists will ultimately end up being more rewarding for you, too. Is this a journey you’re willing to take with your clients? If so, then to see how you can become a yoga therapist who makes a difference in others’ lives, visit Breathing Deeply today.
Brandt talks about common questions applicants have about the Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program. Tune in to get the full program details.
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