AdoreYoga AdoreYoga

adore yoga blog

“What yoga pose is good for back pain?” I’m sitting opposite Jade a newly qualified yoga teacher who’s just started mentoring with me. “Well”, I begin, “where is the pain?” Jade describes her student’s lower back pain and I ask a few more questions. How did the pain start? What is the student’s lifestyle? I suggest a few simple poses and ask Jade to teach them to me. She teaches the asanas, but doesn’t pay much attention to the breath. When I ask about her instructions for the breath, she seems surprised. “I thought we were focusing on the lower back,” she replies.

 

It’s never about the lower back. Or the neck pain. Or the insomnia. Or the eczema. As a yoga therapist, it’s always about the whole person. While it would be great if there was a yoga pose to fix every health issue (imagine a doctor prescribing ‘take two down dogs and call me in the morning!’), therapeutic yoga is a more subtle approach to wellbeing. It’s also more thorough. Jade’s student certainly needs to work on stretching and strengthening his back in order to relieve the pain, but any qualified physiotherapist could provide a set of exercises that would do that.  Why do yoga if a physio can fix it?

 

The answer is, yoga does more than move your muscles. Veteran teacher Judith Hanson Lasater describes yoga therapy as "the use of the techniques of yoga to create, stimulate, and maintain an optimum state of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health."

 

If you’re a yoga teacher, read that definition again. It’s a big ask. Yoga Therapy goes beyond the nuts and bolts of relieving musculoskeletal pain and nurtures the total wellbeing of the student. Even when addressing a simple case of lower back ache due to poor posture, taking all aspects of the student into account will make a big difference to their ability to heal – and to stay pain free.

 

As in the case of Jade’s student, the breath often plays a central role in yoga therapy.  The physical mechanics of the breath relate directly to correct posture and facilitate the stretching and strengthening of the key muscle groups involved in maintaining a healthy lumbar spine. On a more subtle level, the breath is an effective tool for relieving both mental and physical tension and creating new patterns of thought and behavior. If you want to let go of pain and create new habits that support healing, working with the breath is a good place to start.

 

But yoga therapy goes beyond working with the body and the breath.  It works with all five layers of our being – the five Koshas. Body (Annamaya), breath (Pranamaya), thinking mind (Manomaya), higher mind (Vignanamaya) and our true essence (Anandamaya). Disease can occur in any of the five layers and targeted yoga therapy can address each layer to bring about harmony and balance. 

 

Therapeutic yoga is not a set of poses designed to 'fix people' and their ailments. It's a truly holistic approach that considers every aspect of the student. Yes, yoga therapy can help relieve pain and improve sleep patterns, but it will also leave you with a greater sense of inner wellbeing and balance. 


Nikola Ellis is a yoga teacher trainer and therapist with over 20 years of experience. Learn more about yoga therapy here. Adore Yoga’s Level 2 Yoga Therapy Teacher Training begins February 2014.

Comments through Facebook

Trackback Link
http://www.adoreyoga.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=2848&PostID=337262&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Subscribe


Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Subscribe by email

Like us on Facebook

categories

Insight Yoga Yoga journal Yoga for Spring yoga alliance Philosophy yoga therapy accreditation yoga detox retreat ageing yogi yoga alliance yoga therapy Pizhichil unyogic Yoga retreat sydney Yoga day retreat Autumn yoga Level 2 Yoga Yoga Reach cancer yoga July yoga bali yoga for heart Mastectomy New years resolution Asthma learn yoga happiness anxiety Lucy Proud try yoga CCNSW Feminist yoga yoga alliance guidelines yoga in mosman hayfever creativity yoga for over 50 kids relaxation yoga styles easy meditation adore yoga in mosman Guinness World Record guided meditation yoga for trekking yoga teacher Yoga for bulimia Koshas Lauren Tober Yoga routine Rachel Zinman Yin Yoga yoga for sleep yoga cleansing yoga new to yoga yoga and alcohol detox yoga retreat Fresh Start Retreat birthday yoga Maurice Eberlein yoga 4 cancer Level 1 yoga teacher training Nikola Ellis kausthub desikachar Bhakti Yoga making yoga accessible yoga christmas heart health relaxation for children savoring Yoga Gives Back new yoga teacher meditation teacher one on one yoga Bali Paradise Retreat cancer council insomnia yoga guide breast cancer Trikonasana Relaxation India yoga retreat mosman yoga Gratitude Marianne Elliot samtosa Off The Mat Niyama yoga asana Weekend yoga retreat consumer capitalism yoga chain yoga cardiovascular yoga practice Yoga retreat NSW sitali contentment autumn recipes Spring Yoga Intensive Eve Grzybowski yoga cleanse Sukha Generosity Capturing Gratitude A Sound Life meditation made easy how to become a yoga therapist holiday yoga classes yoga for mums detox yoga Yoga of the mind Head massage AG Mohan soup city yoga retreat emotions Feminist yoga injuries yoga therapists yoga modifications Yoga in Paradise yoga blog yoga in Bali Yoga for anorexia anger women's cancers patanjali feminism daintree rainforest 2014 negative body image Mindfulness psychology Seane Corn chanting Yoga workshop Dr. NC yoga and body image coalition Angelina Jolie yoga body image yoga for bigger bodies people yoga for asthma yoga therapy guided relaxation Warrior 2 spring yoga teaching yoga KYM counselling detox retreat yoga for older students become a yoga teacher yoga therapy australia Edo and Jo Villa Boreh Yoga teacher training Pranayama Eating disorders 200 hour yoga teacher training January yoga retreat Manipura chakra Frittata healthy eating cleansing yoga massage in india Loving kindness meditation back pain, yoga for back pain teaching meditation yoga retreat india Pink Yoga men's yoga Anorexia Balance anti ageing santosha yoga philosophy meditation Jala neti yoga for eating disorders 500 hour yoga teacher training kids meditation meditation for children cardiovascular disease neti shitali pancha kosha detox Ahimsa Sarah Powers ayurvedic massage yoga, sleep, insomnia beginners yoga yoga instructor Yang yoga yoga student profile beauty Yama yoga retreat World's Longest Yoga Chain Brook McCarthy KHYF Seva Dharma private yoga class Compassion Bali yoga yoga therapy training Love savouring yoga commodification chakras Sydney yoga retreat stress Mentoring Meditation Teacher Training yoga competition mosman blog community yoga curvy yoga Teacher Training Queensland yoga retreat Photography Yoga inspiration Belinda Gurd Self Acceptance yoga teachers Yoga relaxation bali yoga retreat Tropical yoga retreat allergies Yoga Nidra Metta Meditation teaching yoga in nepal niyamas mature age yoga yoga lifestyle cancer survivor yoga yoga detox Student yoga teacher Adore Yoga day retreat learn to teach yoga cooling yoga Start yoga yoga e-book yoga teacher training sydney Reiki yoga for women Sthira recipes Ayurveda Transform your life pink ribbon yoga body image yoga classes yoga for winter anti ageing yoga yoga manifesto life change learning meditation shatkarma intermediate yoga yoga for cancer Elizabeth Armstrong Sarah Corbett Summer Yoga October yoga retreat daintree Adore Yoga Teachers yoga for over 40 Festival of Mosman Yoga and Money Ali Dear India advanced yoga teacher training yoga for men meditation for beginners asana Yoga poses Therapeutic yoga Valentines yoga adore yoga retreat yoga and body image

archive