As we'll be starting to offer Yoga Therapy here at The Shala, Yoga Therapist and Pregnancy teacher Vera Dubrovina answers a few questions about what exactly it is all about...
What is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga Therapy (YT) combines techniques and tools from many styles and branches of
yoga with the aim to develop self-practice, the key ingredient of which is the integration of mind and body
that kick-starts the healing process. Although YT is a relatively new branch of holistic treatment from clinical
recognition perspective, it is gaining respect among main stream medical practitioners as they start using yogic
techniques either for themselves or their patients. It emerged formally in 1980s as a result of the study
conducted in America by Dr Dean Cornish to illustrate how this type of treatment can work with reversal of
heart disease. Since then many more research programmes have been conducted to demonstrate yoga
therapy effectiveness in management of health issues especially in relation to chronic back, shoulder and hip
pain, sciatica, general pain management, dealing with anxiety, depression and stress, addiction management,
insomnia, chronic fatigue, asthma, multiple sclerosis, cancer treatment support (both from palliative care and
support during chemotherapy and radiology) to name a few. Yoga therapy is based on an incremental
approach which tends to be safer and more effective than some of the stronger physical therapy practices but
I often work alongside other practitioners such as chiropractors, physiotherapists and osteopaths in developing
a holistic programme in management of more serious conditions.
How is it different from you general yoga class or one-to-one yoga session?
Of course all yoga practice is
therapeutic at some level as you work with your body, breath and mind, but what is particularly important in
yoga therapy session is that you are not there to learn yoga postures or techniques, you come to the therapist
to get help with specific symptoms or health conditions that is causing you concern or pain. The therapist will
then focus on how to help to address those concerns, develop proper intervention programme to manage the
symptoms and work with the development of mindful attitude in relation to those conditions. As the time
progresses, you will develop more confidence in taking more active role in developing your self-care
programme. More importantly, you will progress at your own speed and you don’t need to be experienced in
yoga prior to the start of the session. I will meet you at the point where you are in terms of your health, level of
flexibility or stage of your life. The programme that we will develop will be done taking into consideration your
life circumstances. All that is required - your commitment to practice and patience!
What to expect: we meet for an initial assessment that will cover analysis of physical posture and gait as well as
discussion around current health concerns and goals. After this a programme will be created for you to follow
at home and we will meet at the agreed frequency of sessions.
How many sessions do people usually need?
I normally recommend at least 6-8 sessions at
two-three weeks interval to start seeing some changes.
I know that this works as I have myself experienced the power of the mind and body integration when a life
changing skiing injury to my knee and hip was threatening to leave me crippled with two small children on my
lap. Only patience and carefully managed rehabilitation programme that I developed helped me to come to
terms with the injuries and then recover without going for an operative intervention to the amazement of my
consultant. Many times I hear people say after the session that they feel relieved when the pain is eased and
they always wonder at the simplicity of the approach. I will offer 25 years of my studies of yoga, anatomy and
auyrveda as well as 14 years of therapist experience to support your recovery. Just come and try it!
How do people book in for a session?
Email for more information.