Yoga therapy has been sitting by quietly, while the mainstream population has begun to "try Yoga," but that may soon change. With the world's governments and financial markets struggling along, there will be many changes in the near future. The world's governments will have to consider the massive cost of national defense, retirement programs, education, healthcare, energy, education, and preventative health.
At this time, prevention in healthcare is a "field of dreams." As we know, some medical conditions are inherent within our specific genetic pool. However, there are many ailments, diseases, and conditions, which are preventable.
This is where healing modalities such as, Yoga therapy can become cost-effective alternatives to an over burdened medical system. Below is a question and answer session about the need for Yoga as a recognized form of therapy.
Q: What is Yoga Therapy?
A: Most of today's Yoga therapy can be traced back to Sri Swami Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who trained his share of modern masters, including his son T.K.V. Desikachar (Viniyoga) and B.K.S. Iyengar (Iyengar Yoga).
Yoga has therapeutic value and can be modified for any person. This is not the same form of Yoga movement seen in most health clubs. Yoga therapy involves teaching customized techniques, to one individual, based upon his or her specific needs.
This may encompass postures, specific breathing, meditation, and a large variety of Yogic techniques. The Yoga therapist's primary objective is to treat the whole person. Complete physical health cannot be separated from emotional and mental health.
In fact, spiritual health also plays an important factor in recovery. We know that the power of prayer, mantra, and positive affirmation, will enable a person to heal faster. There is much conflict over which specific religion a person practices. Yet, this is a private decision and, as such, should be left to the individual.
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Q: Why should Yoga teachers be concerned with Yoga therapy?
A: Some teachers are content teaching athletic forms of Yoga. This is a wonderful thing, but as we, and our students, grow older, teachers become aware of a variety of ailments. Constant pain creates a need for relief, because you can think of nothing else.
If you have a migraine, or back pain, can you think of much else? The mind is totally focused on pain. Hence, there is a need for inner calm and pain relief, which therapeutic Yoga can give.
Q: What is Yoga Therapy's future role in alternative health?
A: Yoga is the source of many different healing modalities. As I have stated many times, "Yoga is the mother of all health maintenance systems." Contemporary medicine and Yoga therapy have plenty of space together on the path to heal humanity.
There is no shortage of people who are in pain. Yoga is a cost-effective form of therapy. Together, medicine and Yoga can effectively help people who are suffering from a variety of ailments.