Originating in India 5,000+ years ago, yoga emerged as a way to prepare the body for lengthy meditation. Here, in Western culture, we often think of yoga as a form of exercise…and it is; however, utilizing yoga therapeutically allows practitioners to address certain health conditions and regain the mind-body connection that we tend to lose as we run on the “hamster wheel” of daily life.
Many clients have contacted me with the desire of regaining mobility and working with their special conditions and limitations. Together, we discuss their goals and evaluate how they move, where dysfunction in the body is occurring and use yoga poses to address these concerns and help heal the body.
When a client comes to me, I use restorative and therapeutic techniques that I have learned from my teachers, including Leeann Carey of Yapana Yoga, Brian Legere of YogaWall® and Christopher Harrison of AntiGravity® Fitness to address their specific needs. We can use props like the bolster, blanket, strap, block and chair to support the body bringing stretch as well as release. The Great YogaWall ® allow us to provide strength and stretch through the application of traction. AntiGravity® techniques give us the ability to move freely through all planes of space while giving us the accessibility of a zero compression inversion to relieve stress and compression on the spine.
Together, we work in the studio privately to address the client’s needs; however, I also give the client suggestions that they can do at home between appointments allowing for them to feel relief in between sessions as well.
Some benefits that my therapeutic yoga clients have described include:
- Decreased pain
- Improvement of physical limitations
- Improve flexibility
- Reduced stress & anxiety
- Improved sleep
- A greater sense of wellbeing
- Improved posture
- Better overall quality of life
The relationship between the client and yoga teacher is one that is built on trust and respect and the mutual desire for improved health and wellness. For me, using yoga as a complimentary aspect to enhance someone’s life is a gift. Being able to watch someone improve their mobility, regain confidence and feel better is a pleasure and privilege that I am grateful for each day.
Lisa Muehlenbein, E-RYT 500
Owner of Zen Garden Yoga