What is the distinction between Yoga Therapy sessions & Yoga classes?
Yoga is an ancient practice of harmonizing the physical body, the breath and the mind, using postures, breathing and mindfulness according to references made by the Yoga Sutras of Patangali and Ayruvedic contexts related to Yoga in the 20th Century. As a hands on practice, it is a process of self discovery. Yoga therapy is a process of ones empowerment through the application of the teachings and practices of yoga, thus enhancing health and wellness….sounds just like yoga right?
So, What exactly makes them different?
As a matter of fact, Yoga & Yoga therapy seem similar & sound similar too. Although all yoga is therapeutic to some extent, not all teachers, classes or practices could be considered Yoga therapy. The most relevant distinction lies within the application of the technique of Yoga, the understanding of a specific issue, the experience & locating the matter to alleviate, whether physical, emotional or transcendental. Still all sounds a bit same same…
Well, aside from the educational organisations that define their differences within the YA (Yoga Alliance) & with reference to their definitions, there are skill sets where the mat meets the floor.
According to the IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapy) with reference to their definitions, The role of a Yoga therapist is founded on a different focus, a diverse education and an alternative set of skills. Furthermore, although a Yoga therapist can also be a yoga teacher the roles are specific and cannot be swapped.
So, what’s in a term; session & class, don’t I reap the same benefits?
According to a recent article by Gary Kraftsow which caused quite a stir in the yoga community, Yoga classes are as a standard more about the transmission of methodology & education while, Yoga therapy sessions are geared more into healing and treatment of conditions.
Those seeking Yoga as a therapeutic tool, are usually in search of relief from a symptom or a condition in which case the Yoga techniques or methods assigned, improve their function and make them feel better.
Teacher vs Therapist?
Rather than making methods and practices, the target focus of Yoga therapists is the application of energy on their clients, through consultation locating an understanding, supporting them through listening, questioning, observing, physical contact, developing a practice & highlighting goals by establishing Yoga methods and practices to specifically benefit ones needs also in line with the professionals qualifications to manage the administration of therapeutic benefits.
So will I benefit from both Yoga classes and Yoga therapy sessions?
All in all, due to the therapeutic potential and nature of Yoga with reference to many articles, experienced professionals & Yoga journals in recent years, no matter what type of session or class one chooses, one stands to receive a multitude of encompassing benefits.
Briefly, both Yoga therapy & Yoga are gilt-edged professions and those who seek any Yoga practice can only benefit of what they stand to receive through its practice and inclusion in their everyday life in accordance with its wholesome transmission by a professional within the field as a complementary tool to Rhiyz onwards and upwards beyond any limitation.