Yoga therapy or Yoga for Cure is a concept where Yoga is taught (in a group of people suffering similar problem or one-to-one) to deal with his/her physical, emotional and psychological health. With yoga therapy one can manage arthritis, multiple sclerosis; control asthma and digestion problems, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness etc.
While undergoing Yoga therapy, the person/patient in the beginning is trained to practice yoga postures or asanas to recover from an injury or illness, and then some more advanced postures to receive support in improving the quality of life where medical treatments aren’t helping.
When you approach Yoga for medical reasons (as a therapy), i.e. to get treated for a problem, you will need to be patient as your tutor or instructor will start with slow, small steps, gradually increasing the time, intensity, & frequency of postures and levels. If you be at it you will gradually feel better and a day will come when your life will be back on track.
For example if you suffer chronic back problem at the slightest and most unexpected trigger; i.e. you get a catch on simply bending down to lift something really light, develop bad back for sleeping on the wrong side, or while doing something as routine is wearing your pullover….means you suffer from chronic back problem.
You may always keep balm, pills, and ice pads handy, but over a period of time you realize that you need more than this. You need preventive treatment or something that can cure you of it. This is where yoga therapy will help.
Back problem is just an example; you may have your own peculiar problems that might be throwing life out of gear for you when you get the bout or attack; e.g. insomnia, snoring, IBS, etc. In all such cases yoga works best. You just need to be patient and complete the treatment as told.
When you approach the yoga expert or practitioner with your problem, he’d typically scan through your medical reports if you have, examine you personally, ask questions etc. to arrive at diagnoses. Post his observations he’ll start you on some gentle light Yoga postures to test your strength, thereby stabilize your condition. If you get past it, i.e. your physical strength and flexibility permits you to do the postures, bending, stretching etc., you’ll experience relief, and it is now that your instructor will introduce you to the next level of yoga postures (complex poses, longer duration or what s/he thinks appropriate).
While the basic postures are aimed at making one stable, the next level generally involves your mind. As working on your physical body is underway which strengthens your back muscles or parts where the problem is; you are given in depth understanding of the reasons and causes of occurrence of this problem. This insight helps you to become more careful and aware of the surroundings, and steer clear of situations that may be giving rise to the problem.
With regular practice people with back problem have had fewer flair ups, the intensity of attack isn’t the same; and intensity and duration of pain also remarkably reduces. The good thing here is that Yoga offers a new perspective. It may not necessarily cure you of the problem; sometimes it helps to create a new environment in the body where the problem can’t make its way through. As you gain experience, therapy yoga can offer solid support required to manage everyday life.
Yoga therapy not only helps you at physical and psychological level, it also offers support at energy level. People who take to therapy with complete sincerity have felt mentally more stable and have become far better equipped to cope with life; and have felt more alive and energetic.