Yoga Therapy? What’s That?
Yoga therapy helps you to get in touch with your own body and diagnose your own condition and work with your state wherever you’re at. The idea is to gain “mastery” over your own mind chatter so that you can learn to look, observe, and work with what is there and deal with it. This doesn’t only pertain to the mind, but in particular the body.
I’ve had the opportunity to be introduced to this process, specifically Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy with Alison Wesley who not only works as a Corporate Yoga instructor, but has a deep knowledge and understanding of the principles of the Ayurvedic doshas (Pitta, Vata, Kapha) and integrates and strengthens spirituality in her practices. Each of these dosha types have an impact on your well-being and can get off balance with different seasons, foods, exercises, you name it! After this detox/cleanse, I thought it would be perfect to integrate more of the Ayurvedic philosophies and maybe learn to be more present with my body.
I’m already a member of Bally Total Fitness, as well as Core Power Yoga, and they are a nice balance with my physical form. I’ve noticed over the last 6 months of Yoga at Core Power with consistency, my body is changing…perhaps that is what serendipitously led me to the cleanse?
I just attended a workshop (FREE) mind you, at the 12 Step Buddhist group last night and Alison was the guest speaker. She connected instantly with the group, and being the first day of my “official” cleanse, I also connected deeply.
Here are some of the key highlights of the Auyervedic Doshas. Learn your’s by taking this quiz: http://www.whatsyourdosha.com/quiz/. If we can understand and determine our dominant dosha it will help to re-align our energy and re-balance:
- Vata: Air, Space, Ether – when you have an excess of Vata, you tend to have more depression, bi-polar moods, mental imbalance
- Pitta: Fire and Water – when you have an excess of Pitta, you tend to burnout easier and you are more prone to digestive problems and anger
- Kapha: Earth and Water – these types tend to have thicker tissues and are prone to stagnation and/or depression
We also discussed how the postures of yoga represent and reflect ideas and principles such as:
- Surrender vs. Force
- Letting Go
- Self Care
When we explore our “edges” in yoga, this is the point in which you are making progression towards a posture, and you feel the edge of the move. You have to listen to your body and then breathe into that posture in order to understand where your edge is with the pose.
When we are FORCING we have this edge in mind and we tend to push through vs. SURRENDERING where we lead with the heart and listen to the edge and only go as far as your limit. The hard part about this edge is that it changes constantly depending on our consistency, balance or imbalance, and energy of the day. When we learn to LET GO we focus on where we are vs. where our mind tells us we want to go. This is the root of suffering in yoga, the ATTACHMENT to our physical form. It was mind blowing to me to hear Alison say, “our body is now our truth”. This only means it is not the end result, our true nature and self is beyond physical form, we just don’t know how to listen to this very well.
Next Up: discussing the different Asanas (postures) and meditations that were prescribed!