While all yoga is potentially therapeutic and healing, yoga therapy is the specific process of improving physical and mental well-being- for maintaining health, resolving conditions of ill health and for addressing an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional needs. Well established as a treatment for depression and anxiety worldwide, practices in Yoga Therapy could include a combination of the below:

  • Exercise routine(asana) ranging from a gentle to a vigorous routine, depending on the condition being addressed

  • Breathing techniques(pranayama)

  • Meditation or visualization practices(dhyana)

  • Physical postures that address specific areas of discomfort or musculoskeletal imbalances(sthira-sukham-asanam)

  • Suggestions pertaining to diet, lifestyle and environment(ahara)

Vastly different from a traditional yoga class, yoga therapy focuses specifically on curing physical and mental illnesses. Hence it may be incorporated as a complementary form of therapy where traditional methods such as psychotherapy or antidepressants may not show much improvement or as an alternative form of therapy for individuals who may not participate in these traditional interventions due to factors such as side effects, unmet needs, lack of access/resource, and personal choice.