Yogasana Therapy

Yogasana therapy is a type of therapy that uses yoga postures and guided imagery to improve mental and physical health. The holistic focus of yoga therapy encourages the integration of mind, body, and spirit. Modern yoga therapy covers a broad range of therapeutic modalities, incorporating elements from both physical therapy and psychotherapy.

ISSUES TREATED BY ASANA THERAPY

ASANA therapy is a growing field and scientific evidence has begun to emphasize its efficacy. It is used to treat existing mental and physical health issues, but can also be used as a self-care strategy for prevention and maintenance.

YOGAASANA therapy is well established as a treatment for depression and anxiety. A meta- analysis cited in the Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders found that yoga therapy also shows promise for the treatment of posttraumatic stress (PTSD)and schizophrenia. Additionally, yoga therapists have begun to develop treatment modalities to suit children with autism. Mental health professionals point out the way yoga positively impacts the parts of the mind and body susceptible to addiction. Studies have shown that yoga boosts the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which is important because GABA levels are statistically low in people who experience substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. Because of its concentration on mind and body integration, yoga therapy is also used to address many physical health issues. It has been effectively used to treat back pain, heart conditions, asthma, chronic fatigue, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, and side effects of chemotherapy.

PRACTICE AND BENEFITS OF YOGA THERAPY

YOGAASANA therapy is practiced in a wide range of formats. Physical therapists, for example, often implement yoga techniques in their delivery of massage and other treatments. Yoga therapy practice can resemble physical therapy, rehabilitative therapy, and/or psychotherapy. Unlike a standard yoga class, yoga therapy sessions are typically conducted in one-on-one or small group settings. Yoga therapy can be provided as an adjunct therapy to complement other forms of treatment, or it can be used to directly treat a specific issue. Yoga techniques range from simple to advanced, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Potential benefits from yoga therapy include stress reduction, psychological well-being, improved diet, and efficient functioning of bodily systems. A 2011 qualitative study from Inkanyiso: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences examined the effects of yoga therapy on anxiety. The findings not only indicated that yoga therapy effectively reduced subjects' anxiety, but improvement across several dimensions of physical and mental health including physicality, relaxation, and mindfulness.

MODERN HISTORY OF YOGASANA THERAPY

Yoga therapy is rooted in the ancient practice of yoga, which originated thousands of years ago in India. Yoga made its way to the United States in the late 1800s, but yoga therapy emerged in a formal manner in the 1980s as the result of a study conducted by Dr. Dean Ornish. The study illustrated how the implementation of a healthy lifestyle program could reverse heart disease. Ornish’s program included therapeutic yoga and was the first of its kind to highlight the benefits of using yoga in this way. This program for treating heart disease was approved for insurance coverage in 1990 and it marked the beginning of the medical field's acceptance of yoga as a treatment option. In 1983, the Biomedical Yoga Trust was founded to further develop and standardize the field of yoga therapy. The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) was founded in 1989 and has since hosted yoga conferences, published the Journal of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and contributed to the creation of yoga therapy training standards. Both organizations have facilitated research to explore the extent of yoga therapy's potential.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOGASANA THERAPY?

When a person decides to initiate yoga therapy, the therapist will first conduct an initial assessment. This assessment is designed to do the following:

  • Identify health problems
  • Assess lifestyle and physical capability
  • Discuss reasons for seeking therapy
  • Create a course of treatment

Once the treatment plan is established in this first consultation, the frequency of sessions is agreed upon and sessions are scheduled. From this point, therapy sessions will most likely include the following components:

Physical Postures called Asana: The yoga therapist will teach the person in treatment appropriate yoga poses that address problem areas. For example, the “Legs Up the Wall” pose is used to treat things like anxiety and insomnia. In this pose, the person lays on his or her back with legs positioned up against the wall.

ASANAS FOR BEGINNERS
  • Datta Mudra (movement of neck)
  • Shavasana (corpse pose)
  • Swastikasana(auspicious pose)
  • Tadagasana (pond pose)
  • Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose)
  • Uttanpadasan (both legs)
  • Uttanpadasan (one legs)
  • Shalabhasan (half)
  • Makarasana (crocodile pose)
  • Parvatasana (mountain pose)
  • Vrikshasana (tree pose)
  • Preparatory Movements 1 - 12
  • Hasta Sanchalan Types 1, 2, 3
  • Pada Sanchalan Types 1, 2, 3(legs)
  • Janu Sanchalan Types 1, 2, 3( knees)
  • Skandha Sanchalan Types 1, 2(shoulders)
  • Kantha Sanchalan (movement of neck)
  • Sukha Pranayam (deep breathing)
  • Janu Hastasana (hand to knee pose)
  • Hasta Shirasana (hand to chin pose)
  • Sahajahasta Bhujangasana Ek Pad(cobra with sole of foot touching thigh)
  • Sahajahasta Bhujangasana Ek Pad (cobra with knee outside chest)
  • Sahajahasta Bhujangasana(easy hand cobra pose)
  • Adhvasana (downward facing pose)
  • Sulabha Pawanmuktasana Ek Pad(easy gas release pose 1 leg)
  • Brahma Mudra (movement of neck)
  • Tadagi Pranayam(easy abdominal breathing)
  • Sulabha Pawanmuktasana Dwi Pad(easy gas release poses 2 leg)
  • Ardhachakrasana 1, Ardhachakrasana 2(half wheel)
  • Anantasana 1, Anantasana 2(lord Vishnu pose)
ASANAS FOR INTERMEDIATE
  • Surya Namaskara (aundhakar system)
  • Vipritakarani (inverted pose)
  • Sarwangasana (shoulder stand)
  • ashwini Mudra(horse gesture )
  • Matsyasana (fish pose)
  • Halasana (plough pose)
  • Naukasana (boat pose)
  • Pawanmuktasan (bent neck)
  • Gomukhasana Baddha Gomukhasana
  • Bhujangasan (with straight hands)
  • Bhujangasana (with bent hands)
  • Shalabhasana (locust pose)
  • Dhanurasana (bow pose)
  • Noukasana (boat pose)
  • Samasana/siddhasan
  • Padmasana (lotus pose)
  • aakarna Dhanurasana(type 1) (bow pose in sitting)
  • aakarna Dhanurasana(type 2) (bow pose in sitting)
  • Padmasan Yoga Mudra Type 1
  • Padmasan Yoga Mudra Type 2
  • Vakrasana Type 1 (twisted pose)
  • Vakrasana Type 2 (twisted pose)
  • ardha Matsyendrasana(half spinal twist)
  • Sharanagata Mudra (forward bending)
  • Vajrasan Yoga Mudra Type 1
  • Vajrasan Yoga Mudra Type 2
  • Paschimottanasana(half forward bend)
  • Supta Vajrasana Veerasana (warrior pose)
  • Trikonasana (triangle pose)
  • Niralamb Bhujangasan(unsupported cobra pose)
  • Niralamb Shalabhasan(unsupported locust pose)
  • Halasana - Vistrutapad(plough pose)
  • Karnapeedanasan(folded plough pose)
  • Chakrasana (wheel pose)
  • Simhasana (lion pose)
  • Kukkutasana (cockerel pose)
  • Garbhasana (foetus pose)
  • Padangushtasana(single toe balance pose)
  • Merudandasana (crow pose)
  • Utkatasana (toe balance pose)
  • Tolangulasana (scale pose)
  • Ekapadahastasana(hand to single leg pose)
  • Ugrasana (ferocious pose)
  • ardhapadmabandhasana(half lotus bound pose)
  • Hansasana (swan pose)
  • Ekapadashirasana(one leg to head pose)
  • Shirshasana (headstand pose)
  • Parivarta Trikonasana(inverted triangle pose)
  • Ekpada Hastasana(hand to leg pose)
  • Sankatasana (difficult pose)
  • Garudasana (eagle pose)
  • Mridang Bandha (drum pose)
  • anantasana Type 3
  • Patangasana (kite pose)
  • Veera Bhadrasana Type 2
  • Ushtrasana (camel pose)
  • Paschimottanasana(full forward bend)
  • Vajra Matsyasana ardha Naukasana (half-boat Pose)
  • Tiryak Naukasana(diagonal boat pose)
  • ardha Dhanurasana(half bow pose)
  • Tiryak Dhanurasana(diagonal bow pose)
  • Urdhwa Mukha Shwanasan(upward dog pose)
  • Shwanasana adho Mukha Shwanasana
ASANAS FOR EXPERTS
  • Vistrut Pad Sarvangasana
  • Tiryak Sarvangasana
  • Eka Pad Bbhumisparsha Sarvagasana
  • Padma Sarvangasana
  • Halasana (toes stretched)
  • Utthan Pad Kati Chakrasan(rotating legs like a wheel)
  • Vajra ardha Paschimottanasan Vajra ardha
  • Naukasan
  • Vajra ardha Matsyendrasan
  • Vajra ardha Bhujangasan
  • Vajra ardha Veerasan
  • Vajra ardha Dwikonasan
  • Vajra ardha Padmasan
  • Vajra ardha Matsyasan
  • Parighasan Mayurasan (peacock pose)
  • Padma Mayurasan(peacock pose)
  • Dwi Pad shirasan
  • Malasan
  • Bhunamanasan
  • Bakasan (heron pose)
  • Vistrut Pad Shirshasan
  • Tiryak Shirshasan
  • anantasana ardha Naukasan(half-boat Pose)
  • Tiryak Naukasan(diagonal boat pose)
  • ardha Dhanurasan(half bow pose)
  • Tiryak Dhanurasan(diagonal bow pose)
  • Urdhwa mukha shwanasan(upward dog pose)
  • adho Mukha Shwanasan(down dog pose)
  • Gomukhasan
  • Baddha Gomukhasan
  • Supta Vajrasan
  • Vajra Matsyasan
  • Ushtrasan (camel pose)
  • Veera Bhadrasan type 2
  • Bhunamanasan(earth worship pose)
  • Patangasan (kite pose)
  • Eka Pad Bhumisparsha Shirshasan
  • Padma Shirshasana
  • Purna Matsyendrasan(full spinal twist)
  • Chakrasan From Standing(wheel pose)
  • Vashishtasan (inclined anantasana)
  • Kashyapasan(inclined ardha padma bandhasana)
  • ardha Padma Bandhasan (standing)
  • Vatayanasan (horse face pose)