What is Yoga Therapy?

Although all yoga is potentially therapeutic and hopefully healing to the body-mind, yoga therapy is the specific application of yogic tools (postures, breathwork, meditation techniques, and more) to address an individual's physical, mental, and emotional needs.

You need not be ill or disabled to benefit from yoga therapy! Find out what a yoga therapy session entails.

Whole Yoga & Pilates offers private (one or two students) and small-group yoga therapy courses. Small-group courses are targeted to a specific concern or condition. Upcoming therapeutic offerings:

Yoga Therapy Series for Anxiety, Depression, and Stress

FRIDAYS, SEPTEMBER 14-NOVEMBER 9 (no class October 19), 4-6 pm.
THE COURSE HAS BEGUN, BUT PLEASE TELL US YOU’RE INTERESTED & WE’LL LET YOU KNOW WHEN WE SCHEDULE THE NEXT ONE! This evidence-informed series, which blends yogic tools with contemporary neuroscience principles, has been offered successfully by The Minded Institute in the UK for years. If you are anxious, depressed, or simply recognize that you're stressed-out and looking for an alternative way of Being, this 8-week series offers concrete tools to help. Students can expect a moderately active practice, but no previous yoga experience is required; if needed, we can arrange private instruction before the course begins. Please check your schedule before registering; to get the most benefit from this series, you will be committing to the full 8 weeks when you do so. $395 course fee includes manual and companion weekly audio practices. Please email us for more information and to register.

Many students choose to take the course more than once—a great idea, as there's lots to learn. Please ask me about discounted rates for series alumni!

Yoga Therapist Training

Although yoga therapists do not diagnose or treat diseases or conditions, they should have in-depth training in anatomy, physiology, and mental health; this allows us to interact with clients' other healthcare professionals effectively and to competently suggest referrals when needed. It is generally considered appropriate for a yoga therapist to have completed at least 1,000 hours of specialized training that includes significant grounding in yogic philosophy. (All yoga teachers at Whole Yoga & Pilates have completed a minimum of 200 hours of training, and in many cases much more.) Good yoga therapists maintain their own intensive dedicated yoga practices.

Whole Yoga & Pilates offers continuing education sessions for yoga instructors and therapists. (Ask us for more information!) Laurie is also honored to be working with Maryland University of Integrative Health to help train others in the high-quality application of yoga as therapy.

Additional Resources

yogatherapy.health - a website for the public, from the International Association of Yoga Therapists

Why More Western Doctors Are Now Prescribing Yoga Therapy - Yoga Journal, February 2016

The International Association of Yoga Therapists

"What Is Yoga Therapy?" video by Ann Swanson, Yoga Therapist and Visiting Instructor at Whole Yoga & Pilates

Why “Gentle” Doesn’t Always Mean Therapeutic in Yoga - Yoga International, January 2016