The term “yoga therapy” is almost redundant, since just doing a little yoga will always have some sort of therapeutic effect, even if it’s as simple as helping you work the kinks out of your back (which is nothing to sneeze at!).
But sometimes we want to do our practice with the specific intention of helping ourselves with something in particular.
I offer a variety of techniques, including:
- relaxation training
- meditation (guided or buddhist-style)
- anatomy-centered meditation
- chakra work
- boundary meditation
- Thai yoga bodywork
- Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy
- Prenatal yoga
- Seniors Yoga
- Chair Yoga
- Yoga for specific injuries and conditions
Since Anatomy-Centered Meditation and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy are more specific than the others, I would like to write a bit more about them, here:
Anatomy-Centered Meditation is a blend of anatomy study and yogic meditation and movement. Yogic philosophy asserts that anywhere the mind goes, energy follows. Learning about, visualizing, sensing, feeling and exploring structures within your own body brings energy and consciousness to those structures. The primary goal of yoga is Consciousness, and maintaining the health of the body is part of the practice of hatha yoga–for how can we find Consciousness when our body is distracted by illness or dis-ease?
Further, research is showing more and more evidence that visualization techniques speed healing in very measurable ways: blood tests literally reveal changes before and after meditation. Other research on more general meditation practitioners of various levels is showing similar results, including increase of nerve cells in areas of the brain that govern critical thinking and well-being.
Anatomy-Centered meditation is born out of a wider-reaching practice called Body-Mind Centering ™ (or BMC).
Body-Mind Centering is a meditation and movement practice blending Western scientific study, eastern philosophy, and most importantly–individual exploration–to deepen the experience of union of body/mind/spirit.
BMC has infinite potential. BMC can be a celebration of the miracle and mystery of life. BMC can highlight movement patterns that lead to injury and give us new awareness and choices in our quest for balance, integration and efficiency of movement. BMC can speed the path of healing for illnesses or injuries. BMC can deepen the experience of one’s spiritual or physical practice profoundly. BMC is one way to svadhyaya, or study of the Self. (For more information on svadhyaya, see The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.)
Just as you might read a travel book before visiting a new country to give some structure to your exploration, so BMC uses maps from Western science to initiate exploration into the body-mind. The difference here is that the new territory we are visiting is not “new” at all—it is You! It is the Self in all of its expression. The fun of the work is exploring all the roads home.
BMC uses elements of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, developmental movement and touch. BMC is a cornucopia of toys with which to play, explore and be.
For more information, visit http://www.bodymindcentering.com/.
Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is a unique practice incorporating physical postures, supported stretching, and mindfulness meditation facilitated by dialogue. What is unique about PRYT is that the therapist is a facilitator who stays out of the receiver’s process almost entirely, allowing all realizations to flow from the receiver’s own direct experience. In my own experience receiving the sessions, I find the use of yoga poses and props helps me move into my direct experience (e.g., out of my thinking/planning/judging mind). I’m less likely to try to analyze everything that comes to mind out of an intellectual way of being, and more likely to witness what arises directly. In this way, I find it to be more effective, for me, than psychotherapy. PRYT also gives the same relaxation effects of meditation.
Some people experience a profound sense of healing during their sessions. Others experience deeper levels of awareness, and use the knowledge they gain in session to make more conscious choices in daily life. However the experience unfolds for the individual is perfect in its own way. Everyone who tries it experiences a profound release of stress and a new point of view.
Just as we go to yoga class to clear away thoughts and stresses of the day and simply connect with the body and the breath, so Phoenix Rising is a practice of remembering what yoga is all about: experiencing the connection to the whole self; body, mind and spirit.
PRYT is a useful practice in and of itself, or it can be used to support and deepen existing work in yoga, meditation or psychotherapy. Further, PRYT is an excellent way for beginners to learn how to meditate.
I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet this work and to bring it to others. I hope that everyone feels safe to try it, because I have great faith in its potential for self-knowledge and healing.