In the past couple of years, almost everything has shifted to the online world. Everything from online yoga classes to virtual yoga therapy became accessible at any time from anywhere. This has created space for many people to be able to access services that they may not otherwise.
How is Yoga therapeutic?
Yoga Therapy is the application of yogic tools in the support of healing. But, just what is Yoga Therapy? In short, it is the combination of yoga, mindfulness coaching, and meditation that is intended to be holistic in its approach and customizable for each individual student. Some students seek virtual yoga therapy for physical reasons such as recovering from an injury or an operation and wanting to find ways to adapt their personal practice to support themselves as they are. Some students seek yoga therapy for more psychological reasons such as working through habits, or samskaras, that are no longer serving them with the support of yoga. It is through the application of the eight limbed path of yoga and the practice of mindfulness that the client is able to find the change they are seeking within themselves. This change is not an inherent change in who the client is; yoga does not judge and believes in the divinity within everything. The change is in perspective and action.
Yoga Therapists are not the same as certified mental health psychologists or therapists. Yoga Therapists, unlike other mental health therapists, are not concerned with the story that is associated with deeply rooted samskaras. It is not within their scope of work to assist the client with the story. The yoga therapist is there to support the client with practices to release the samskara and develop new habits and practices that serve them and their goals.
After taking an initial 200-hour online Yoga Teacher Training, an aspiring Yoga Therapist will start their 800-hour or more training, most often if facilitated virtually, including a 300-hour online yoga teacher training.
Yoga Therapists are governed by a different certifying body called the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). Yoga Therapists who wish to be certified must complete an IAYT-accredited Yoga Therapy Program, through an online yoga school that offers the program, such as My Vinyasa Practice. You can also find donation-based Yoga Therapy, virtual and in-person, services with IAYT certified yoga therapists with My Vinyasa Practice.
What To Expect From a Yoga Therapy Appointment
Though Yoga Therapists are different from Talk Therapists and other mental health therapists, the format of each session can be similar. When you first begin working with a Yoga Therapist, you will fill out an intake form that prepares the yoga therapist for the appointment to be able to support you and your specific needs/wants/goals. This is typically submitted a few days before the appointment to give the therapist time to review and adequately prepare. The first appointment will be a session that will establish the groundwork for all ensuing sessions. You and the therapist will have a conversation about why you’re seeking support and how you feel the therapist can be of service to you. The therapist will take time to get to know you and formulate a plan to help you in pursuit of your goals. During this session, the length of care will be established; for example, in virtual yoga therapy, the therapist might suggest that you meet once a week for four weeks and reevaluate on the final session.
It is important again to acknowledge the scope of work of a Yoga Therapist – they will not work with the stories that come up. They are there to remind you of the tools at your disposal to support yourself and your healing. Ultimately, the goal of yoga is to ease the suffering that is precipitated by the mind and release self-limiting beliefs. The Yoga Therapist will remind you of this and offer recommendations that they think might help you.
Can Yoga Therapy Be Done Online
As mentioned above, as everything began to shift online, so did Yoga Therapy! You can access yoga therapy online from anywhere in the world through My Vinyasa Practice. You have the opportunity to meet with IAYT-certified therapists for a donation as well as the opportunity to experience FREE yoga therapy sessions with MVP Yoga Therapy students in training as they gain practical hours towards their certification. If you’re interested, book your appointment today!
You can also become a Certified Yoga Therapist online with My Vinyasa Practice as long as you register before the end of 2024 and have completed your online yoga teacher training for more than a year! Their program is accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists and exemplifies the main tenets of My Vinyasa Practice: accessibility, affordability, and authenticity.