What is Yoga Therapy?

Nan-Palmer-BreathThe International Association of Yoga Therapists defines it this way:

“Yoga therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the philosophy and practice of Yoga.”

Gary Kraftsow of the American Viniyoga Institute describes it here:

“Yoga therapy, derived from the Yoga tradition of Patanjali and the Ayurvedic system of health care refers to the adaptation and application of Yoga techniques and practices to help individuals facing health challenges at any level manage their condition, reduce symptoms, restore balance, increase vitality, and improve attitude.”

Why do I practice and teach yoga? Because it nourishes me, grounds me, and helps me to be a better human being, constantly reminding me to stay fully present. Through yoga I am called to listen, to observe, to pay attention, so that I can use my God-given gifts to assist others in their journey to peace and well-being. –Nan Palmer

As a graduate of the Essential Yoga Therapist training, Nan is grounded in musculoskeletal conditions, yoga for emotional health, Ayurveda and Western physiology, and participated in a Clinical Practice Immersion, addressing the conditions and needs of volunteer clients from Union, Washington, community (monitored and guided by the Essential Yoga Therapy faculty).

Yoga Therapy as taught by the Essential Yoga Therapy program is based on the ancient Kosha system, addressing the whole being at these levels:

  • Anamaya kosha – the Physical body, learning to listen to the body, hearing messages beyond pain
  • Pranamaya kosha – the Energy body, connecting to the breath as a conduit between mind & body
  • Manomaya kosha – the Mental body; changing your ‘tune’ through mantra & affirmation
  • Vjinimaya kosha – the Wisdom body, becoming skilled at changing the internal channel we’re listening to
  • Ananandamaya kosha – the Joy body, using prayer, ritual & daily acts of kindness to ourselves & others, remembering our connection to others and the wholeness of our being.