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Yoga Therapy

'The Part Can Never Be Well Unless the Whole is Well'



Yoga therapy is defined by the International Association of Yoga Therapists as “the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and wellbeing through the application of the teachings and practices of yoga.” It has also been described as “the application of yoga for therapeutic purposes and as preventative medicine.”1

The western model of health often looks at each body part or system separately, whereas the yogic model of health addresses every aspect of life holistically. 

And, although all yoga has the potential to help heal and general public classes may ease stress and everyday aches and pains; yoga therapy is a holistic and multidimensional philosophy and practice that offers a methodology to work with the underlying causes of pain and suffering. It is informed self-care guided in relationship with a trained therapist.

The framework of yoga therapy provides a clear model of integrative health through which to understand and work with the multiple domains of health: physical, psychological, cognitive, social, and spiritual. 

Through a dynamic therapeutic relationship, yoga therapists facilitate a self-empowering process through which they guide and adapt practices based on individual needs to assist the client in their journey toward self-healing and greater well-being.

Many yoga therapists have specialized in a specific health niche and since 2020 the majority of yoga therapists now offer their services online (telehealth), so no matter where you live, you can find a yoga therapist specially trained to meet your individual needs.

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Yoga Therapy is the application of yoga for therapeutic purposes and as preventative medicine

1  The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care, Khalsa, Cohen, McCall, Telles

Yoga Therapists -  Providing Safer, More Impactful Yoga


The yoga therapist is an emerging healthcare professional. C-IAYTs are yoga therapists that have been certified by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (hvae 1000+ hours of training and specific competencies to work with individuals who have health concerns).

Many yoga therapists are also licensed in other healthcare modalities (PT, OT, RN, Psychologist, etc.) and they employ the biopsychosocial medical approach to health care.

Yoga Therapists:

  • Use yogic practices, tools, and philosophies to address mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual imbalances, or “dis – ease” in the individual

  • Often work in hospital settings, outpatient clinics, physical therapy settings, rehabilitation centers, senior-care facilities, military facilities, and prisons, in addition to private practice

  • Conduct an individual assessment with clients in a formal intake process, then, through a dynamic, ongoing therapeutic relationship, offer their clients practices that are continuously adapted to empower the client in their own journey toward self-healing and greater well-being

  • Usually work in one-to-one settings, but may also offer small group therapeutic classes to individuals with the same underlying health concern 

  • Conduct both in-person and online (telehealth) sessions

  • Often work with clients who have exhausted other health alternatives 

Yoga therapists first conduct an assessment and understand your health needs and objectives.

Only then will they create tailored practices to address your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. 

(Reach our white paper to understand why first having a health assessment and working with a qualified yoga therapists is important for your safety!)

What to expect from a yoga therapy session


In an initial meeting or assessment, the yoga therapist will work with a client to understand the client’s goals and intentions, as well as to evaluate and assess the primary issues and to understand the health problems that are being experienced.

The yoga therapist then crafts a personalized program that may encompass:

  • Physical exercises with adaptations and variations

  • Breathing exercises

  • Meditation and / or relaxation practices that can range from affirmations, mantra, visualizations, guided imagery, progressive body relaxation techniques, and chanting

  • Discussion of yoga philosophy, ethical precepts, and lifestyle advice 

Most clients work with their yoga therapist over a period of time as they progress toward their health and well-being goals.

Yoga for Better Health:

Yoga Therapy Tools & Services for the Community
Safer Yoga for Everybody

Yoga heals, but not all yoga is therapeutically beneficial - particularly for individuals with health concerns. 

If you're like 2 in 3 individuals who have an existing health concern, you'll want to be careful about the yoga you practice!

Our free app 'Yoga for Better Health' shares safe(r) yoga practices and connects you with yoga therapists trained to help you stay safe and improve your health and well-being using the principles and practices of yoga.

Free download for Apple & Android users.
For healthcare organizations and healthcare professionals

Launching in August 2021, Yoga for Better Health will be piloting a yoga therapy well-being program for 300 individuals at a large US healthcare system. 

In September, we will also be launching a 12-week program for individual healthcare professionals focused on enhancing resilience, lowering stress and burnout and improving sleep. 

Click here to learn more and be a part of the pilot program!
August 13-15, 2021

Join us August 13-15 (US) / Aug 14-16 (Asia / Australia) for the 2021 Global Yoga Therapy Conference.

A three day conference for healthcare professionals and individuals wanting to better understand how yoga therapy can be used as a holistic practice to help create better health & wellbeing.

Featuring keynotes, panel presentations and experiential practices with more than 80 doctors, researchers and yoga therapists; including Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr Sara Lazar, Dr. Ananda Bhavanani, Dr. Shirley Telles and so many more! 
Download our FREE app - Yoga for Better Health

Accessible, Safe, Therapeutic Yoga

Yoga is for everybody... and if you can breathe, you can do yoga. Download our free Yoga for Better Health app which quickly shares safer, therapeutic yoga practices. It also features our directory of yoga therapists and specialists, so you're ready to be found by the right individuals looking for your skills.