Yoga Therapist

Definition - What does Yoga Therapist mean?

A yoga therapist is someone trained to use yoga techniques to meet his/her client's physical, mental and/or emotional health needs. Yoga therapy is a relatively new field, but it integrates the ancient practice of yoga with an understanding of modern medicine and psychology. Yoga therapists often work hand-in-hand with doctors and physical therapists to alleviate and manage pain, rehabilitate after injury and emotionally deal with severe illness.

There is no state or federal regulations imposed on yoga therapists nor is there any agreement on the definition of a yoga therapist, but the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) is a trade group that offers accreditation of training schools and certification for yoga therapists.

Yogapedia explains Yoga Therapist

The IAYT defines yoga therapy as “the appropriate application of (yoga) teachings and practices in a therapeutic context in order to support a consistent yoga practice that will increase self-awareness and engage the client/student’s energy in the direction of desired goals.”

Among the conditions that a yoga therapist might help treat are back pain, fatigue, multiple sclerosis, cancer, addiction, high blood pressure, depression and PTSD. In helping the client, the yoga therapist may use asanas for stretching and alignment, meditation, pranayama breathing exercises and even mantras.

Because yoga therapists come from many different schools, the approaches can be as varied as the types of yoga in practice today. Yoga therapists need more than just a knowledge of yoga philosophy; They need an understanding of anatomy, physiology, disease, medical care, ayurveda and other healing systems.

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