Gentle Yoga for Therapy
Yoga as a Gentle Form of Therapy
The definition of gentle yoga is rather open to interpretation: What may be "gentle" yoga to one person may be challenging—if not impossible—to another. Simply asking someone to get dressed for a yoga therapy session may be too much if they are in cancer treatment; a person with multiple sclerosis (MS) or undergoing chemotherapy may find that "gentle" yoga involving multiple props, getting to a class and returning home, and then showering are enough to bring on several days of utter exhaustion. In contrast, expectations and presumptions may hinder an individual: many 50 to 70+ women can benefit from a yoga practice as a lifestyle therapy, with some modifications as acknowledgement that their body is not that of a 20-year-old; someone with Parkinson's can get up and down off the floor much more readily than they are given credit for if they are shown how, rather than merely offering them a chair to sink into; pain can be a significant obstacle, yet is often ameliorated by regular, gentle movement, such as a guided yoga therapy session.
Yoga for the Person
Yoga is an individualized practice. Although yoga therapy is not yoga instruction per se, it can lead to a newfound sensitivity to one’s state of mind, as well as an awareness of the body in its unwelcome states of illness, discomfort, fatigue, or the welcome states of health, wellbeing, ease, and energy. A yoga therapy client essentially becomes a yoga student, be it at the most basic physical level or gaining insight into the more subtle aspects which may be beneficial at the mental and emotional level. For some that shift begins as an almost imperceptible change: lessening of chronic pain, improved gait, or having a brighter outlook on life. Others may experience dynamic change, reconnecting with their body years after the onset of neurological disease or cancer, or moving past depression and once again partaking in life. This is the essence of a gentle, individualized, therapeutic yoga practice (traditionally referred to as yoga cikitsa)—resulting in positive and lasting change which heals and sustains.
The owner is a highly skilled yoga therapist and educator with a wide breadth of knowledge in yoga for specific conditions and populations. I would recommend Second Nature's services to anyone looking to learn more about yoga therapy or for those who need a practice outside of the typical yoga studio "workout."