During a therapy session, a mental health counselor can utilize Yoga Therapy as a therapeutic modality to aid in the process of healing. By engaging in the mind-body connection, one can experience several positive impacts on their state of wellness, including but not limited to:
- Decreased stress and anxiousness
- Emotional management and regulation
- Reduced tension
- Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
A Yoga Therapy session allows individuals to reflect intro and interpersonally, creating a deeper sense of compassion and understanding for themselves, other individuals that come into contact, and the surrounding environment. Through yoga breath-work, meditation, and yoga poses, one is exposed to a safe space that allows exploration, deciphering, and processing difficult or repressed emotions.
But what makes Yoga Therapy differ from a yoga class? It's subtle, but significant. During a yoga class, instructors will guide their students through the poses and meditation with the single goal of teaching the practice. They might make modifications to avoid injury, inform about the history of yoga, or suggest posture and body changes. In a Yoga Therapy session, counselors will assess mental health symptoms, lifestyle conditions, any physical limitations, and other areas that concern health to create a treatment course, with an objective to address individually specific needs. Yoga-based interventions, such as breathing exercises, meditations, postures, guided imagery, and homework are used to enhance the understanding of a person's unique mind-body connection.