Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Burgeoning Field of Yoga Therapy

Yesterday, Time published an article about Yoga Therapy titled Psychotherapy Goes from Couch to Yoga Mat. The article describes yoga therapy as a way to allow yoga to empower people while priming them to access their deepest emotions.
"Emotional memories are stored in your body," Visceglia says. "A group yoga class, is not structured to enable you to process that. Ideally one would want to work with someone who is paying attention to both the physical and emotional experiences."
The article goes on to discuss how far research into the mind-body relationship has come:
Studies show that not only are your mental health and mood dependent in large part on physical factors like exercise, but also unchecked stress, anxiety and depression can affect physical health, increasing blood pressure, heart disease and even risk of death.
And the article quoted Mind-Body expert and YOGABEAR advisor Kelly McGonigal:
Now we have more licensed health-care providers, including psychologists, coming in who are interested in using yoga in their work.
Last Friday was my first private yoga therapy session. After a discussion with YOGABEAR volunteer Soleil Hepner, I decided to book a private session with a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist in my area.

I'm used to my yoga practice either being in the community setting of the classroom-- or the complete privacy of my apartment. But this time, it was a 1 on 1 private session with a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga therapist. We began the session with a meditation body scan, which requires you to focus your mind at one point and stilling the mind in order to perceive the self.

After this, I was asked to share how I was feeling and what my goals were for the day. I described my fear of pain, and my love/hate relationship with my body. I went into the difficulty I have stilling my thoughts, and the constant rush of "am I doing enough? what else can I do?". My goal for that session was to quiet my mind and remind myself that everything is okay just the way it is.

During the session, I transcended into a deep relaxation where time was irrelevant and life was endless. I had reached a point I am not able to achieve in the classroom or on my own. I left the session with a renewed sense of energy, calm state of mind, and centered connection.

Photo from


Soleil Hepner said...

Thanks Halle for the mention. The Time magazine article was, "timed" well!

I look forward to meeting you in June for the upcoming yogapalooza.

In Breath & Body.

Crystal Singing Bowls said...

I just found your blog. Great articles and well written. Namaste!