The necessity for individuals to sustain their physical and mental wellbeing has increased recognition yoga and its health benefits. There is a shift toward more in-depth knowledge and application of yoga’s holistic and specialized therapies for present-day health conditions. The results are clear: the healing power of yoga is not a matter of belief, but of scientific fact.
Yoga therapy, or yoga chikitsa, meaning ‘therapy, cure, medicinal application and treatment’, is one of the earliest sciences of healing and self-care to address specific health and lifestyle issues that human beings face.
As a long-time teacher, and Chair of the GWI Yoga Therapy Initiative, I advocate for yoga therapy and its power to heal a variety of structural, physiological, mental and emotional conditions. Usually conducted via one-on-one sessions, it can improve health in real and accessible ways.
Here are five powerful, self-healing yoga therapy strategies:
- Nourishing the physical: For postural issues, back pain and range of motion, asanas or bodily movements create overall physical health and integration of the body and mind.
- Boosting energy and vitality: For metabolic balance, vital energy and physiological health, the science of conscious breathing can improve everything from digestion and immunity, to reducing anxiety and stress.
- Sustaining attention: The science of chant or sound is used to increase cognitive capacity, memory, concentration and focus.
- Shaping character and behaviors: Meditation is the ancient science of directing the mind to improve brain function, self-awareness and spiritual growth.
- Finding purpose and fulfillment: A personal ritual is a sequence of activities set in a prescribed order used to help empower an idea, intention or goal.
Yoga therapy is an integrative and holistic approach built on a foundation of ancient practices, informed by contemporary medical science.