I regularly undertake professional development sessions with other psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists and have recently begun to realize the amazing effects that yoga is having on my therapy practice. Compared to traditional Western styles of psychology and psychotherapy, yoga therapy enables us to work somatically with the non-verbal memories and patterns of holding in the body. Have you ever been in a bad mood and not known why? Talking styles of therapy can take many years of work to uncover the underlying processes and strongly held beliefs that lead to negative thoughts that feed bad moods. Yoga therapy, on the other hand, can explore the body with much greater efficiency, helping you to develop awareness of where you hold stress or anger and awareness of when the body gives you clues to indicate what triggers your anger or sadness. With yoga asana or pranayama we can gently and safely bring about different feelings in the body and watch the mind’s reactions as the feelings arise uncovering the cause of these feelings and moods. Once you know why you are in a bad mood you have the choice and the power to address the cause of the mood. A good yoga therapist guides you through this process in a way that you learn the skills to continue doing this work yourself, without needing to engage in years and years of expensive therapy in order to understand yourself. Once you have these skills, each time you step on to your mat you become your own therapist, you will begin to know yourself in a deeper way than you perhaps ever thought possible.
If you know the benefits of yoga and deal with anxiety, depression, stress, anger, frustration or worry on a regular basis, or if you are wondering ‘why am I here?’ , ‘what is the meaning of all of this?’, please consider yoga therapy as a powerful and effective way of transforming yourself through knowing yourself and understanding your place and purpose in this world.