Two Kinds of Yoga

by Marcel Allbritton

As a health care practitioner, I am constantly being asked, “What exactly do you do?” When I reply, “I’m a Yoga Therapist,” I often hear “Oh, I love Yoga” or “My wife does Yoga”. Only Yoga and Yoga Therapy are really quite different.  Yoga, as often thought of in the United States, is the practice of a series exercises or poses. Whereas Yoga Therapy is a clinical application of Yoga in a health care context designed to overcome health challenges and restore balance to the human system.

When you go to Yoga class, everybody is doing the same thing. If you have a health issue, the instructor usually doesn’t know. Yoga Therapy differs in this capacity in that it is administered by a trained clinician and is designed around the individual’s specific health concerns.

In my own practice, I conduct a thorough intake of each of my clients to determine life situation, health history, and physical and emotional well being. Using clinical observations, I customize a series of therapeutic movements and breathing designed to improve health, address client goals, and balance the human system.

After carefully teaching my client the practice, the client has a daily routine they do on their own. The client becomes a major participant in their own health and healing. They also begin to learn more about how to take better care of themselves becoming empowered with knowledge and tools to improve their health, change the state of their system, and be more relaxed and less stressed in life.

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