We define “therapeutic yoga” as applying the techniques of yoga specifically to alleviate health problems.
Yoga, by its very nature, is therapeutic. It is common for those practicing yoga to report positive effects on the body and mind and an improved sense of well-being. While these benefits may occur naturally during the practice of yoga, they are not the primary objective.
Therapeutic yoga on the other hand, has the objective of directly addressing the patient’s medical condition or mental state. It may be included as part of the treatment for those living with chronic illness or injury, as well as pregnant women and the aging populations.
Following an appropriate intake and assessment to determine the patient’s medical condition, therapists focus on the specific symptoms that trouble their clients and select yoga techniques in relation to how they will help their patients to reduce or manage their symptoms, improve their function, and help them with their attitude concerning their conditions.
Such needs may include helping clients with pain management, range of motion in joints, fatigue, compressed disks or even sleeplessness. The therapist’s may also encourage patients to take a more active role in their self-care. Therapeutic yoga is about helping patients to overcome their challenges, not just about teaching yoga techniques.