What Is Yoga Therapy?
In the traditional Indian system of health care known as Ayurveda, hatha yoga is used as a therapeutic modality. The name Ayurveda combines two Sanskrit words, ayur, meaning “life,” and veda, meaning “science, or knowledge.” Literally translated, Ayurveda means “the science of life.”
In the Ayurvedic system, which is several thousand years old, poor health is believed to stem from being out of balance, both internally and with the universe at large. Ayurvedic therapies aim to restore an individual to a state of balance. The purpose of yoga in this context is primarily to work on bringing the whole person—mind, body and spirit—into harmony. While certain yogic practices have relevance to specific disorders—for example, pranayama (breathing exercises) for asthma—yoga therapy is generally not disease oriented. In contemporary settings, yoga is considered a complement to medical treatment if a disease is diagnosed.
“Yoga therapy” refers to the use of yogic techniques to help people with health challenges manage their conditions, reduce symptoms, restore balance, increase vitality and improve attitude. A leading teacher of yoga therapy in the United States is Gary Kraftsow, founder of the American Viniyoga Institute (AVI). The AVI “uses the term viniyoga to refer to an approach to yoga that adapts the various means and methods of practice to the unique conditions, needs and interests of each individual—giving each practitioner the tools to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation,” says Kraftsow.
To learn more about viniyoga and yoga therapy, see www.viniyoga.com.
For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.
© 2006 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
IDEA Newsletter Sign-up
|Extreme Interval Training
In this course you'll learn goal-focused intervals and over 50 dynamic exercises and drills to create extensive and intensive training formats.
|Cut to the Core
This is a raw, unedited video filmed live at the 2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention™. Cut to the Core is packed full of core-focused exercises that aim to improve the way you look, feel and live.
|September 2011 IDEA Fitness Journal Quiz 4: Plyometric Training
This continuing education quiz is an in-depth look at plyometric training. Plyometric exercises—jumping, bounding, hopping, arm pushing, and catching and throwing weighted objects such as machine balls—are movements that involve rapid eccentric and concentric muscle actions.