Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions not answered on this page, feel free to email me.

What is yoga therapy?

The more clinical way to describe it is that yoga therapists use the principles and practices of yoga to customize the therapeutic application for individuals or small groups to promote greater self-awareness (enteroception), integration, and to help the body/mind/spirit come into balance. 

The creative way to describe it is that it's like shedding an old skin for new skin, like reptiles do.  You will see and experience things differently.  You still experience discomfort but no longer fight it, flee it, medicate it, or shut down. You grow new skills and gain new strengths for tolerating discomfort, experiencing joy, and surfing the waves, so to speak.

 

Yoga is often seen as a movement practice for thin and flexible people but there is so much more to it.  There are many entry-points to begin from including:

  • Self-inquiry into body sensations, quality of breath, impulse, window of tolerance, default behaviors...

    • in other words, finding out what the heck is going on with your feelings, thoughts, and sensations​ and learning how to apply non-judgment, compassion, and appreciation to the whole of you

  • Setting a daily routine for physical, emotional, mental, financial, social, and spiritual nourishment

    • in other words, feed yourself well on all levels, not just with food and drink

  • Identifying patterns and habits that contribute to pain or suffering and applying the appropriate antidotes

    • in other words, calling out your BS (blind spots) and giving yourself some TLC​

  • Building internal resources like setting boundaries, developing trust in self, connecting to values...

    • in other words, building yourself a strong foundation​ and understanding your Window of Tolerance

  • Using movement to connect mind and body and develop strength, flexibility, and balance

    • in other words, get moving and have fun with it!​

  • Creating steadiness of mind to reduce reactivity and inner turbulence

    • in other words, learn to stop making things worse with your own thoughts

  • Introducing non-judgment and self-compassion to soothe burnout, anxiety, self-criticism, doubt, and shame.

    • in other words, learn be kind to yourself ​

What is the difference between psychology and yoga therapy?

  • Psychotherapy and counselors can diagnose and offer treatment for a specific psychological disorder.  Yoga therapists focus on the whole of the person and do not diagnose specific psychological disorders.

  • Traditional psychology's mission is to reduce symptoms while yoga therapy is to restore balance from a whole-person perspective.

  • Psychologists/counselors may advise a patient based on symptoms and behaviors and the counselor must choreograph the desired change, whether that is through a cognitive, behavioral, family systems, gestalt, object relations or other therapeutic lens.  Yoga therapists will support the client in self-investigation through body, breath, and building self-awareness so the client is always the main driver.

  • Psychologists dig into a person's past to uncover patterns that inform present challenges.  Yoga therapists work on present-moment experiences, building internal resources, facilitating body/mind awareness, and integrating the somatic experience.

Trained yoga therapists understand their scope of practice (as written by IAYT) and will refer out to a licensed counselor if an issue exceeds their scope of practice.
 

How long does it take to see results or get relief?

With regular daily practice, you will feel the results right away.  Life is not linear so it may feel more like the cha-cha-cha, two steps forward and three steps back, but the benefits will accumulate.  Each person is so different so it's quite difficult to give a pat answer but with patience, dedication, and daily practice you will start to feel stronger, lighter, and more ease.  

Doesn't yoga therapy require face to face sessions?

Yoga therapy can be done in person or remotely.  There are certain advantages to in-person sessions such as hands-on work/physical adjustments or mirroring (regulating nervous systems based on physical presence).  

 

There are many avenues or entry-points to yoga and movement is only a part of it.  Remote yoga therapy lowers the overhead and is more accessible to a broader spectrum of people.  Mindfulness or awareness practices, breathwork, self-inquiry, setting up daily routines, building resources, do not require an in-person session.

Do I need certain clothes or accessories for these sessions?

Comfortable fitted clothes are recommended, particularly if you prefer a more active movement-oriented practice.  A yoga mat is nice for some specific poses as it offers a softer and slightly sticky surface so you don't slide around and potentially injure yourself.  
Other props like a blanket, bolster, strap, and block can be helpful to help you access some of the physical positions, again for a movement-oriented practice.  You may have some standard household items that can substitute in a pinch or if you don't want to commit to the expense right away.