Yoga – Exercise or Therapy

The Dictionary defines the word therapy as a ‘treatment intended to heal or treat a disorder’. Yoga, which is popularly practiced for both physical and mental fitness is also known as Yoga therapy. It is often puzzling whether yoga is an alternate form of exercise or possesses the ability to heal.

Yoga Therapy

Here’s the answer to this mystifying query.

Yoga therapy is the application of yoga practices including poses, asanas (postures), meditation and pranayama (breathing techniques) for overall well being. In fact, all forms of yoga possess the inherent quality to provide physical, mental and spiritual benefits. Categorically, yoga has therapeutic benefits.

However, all kinds of yoga may not be therapeutic for everyone. Yoga techniques are tuned in different ways to heal specific disorders. For; all poses and postures practiced in a regular yoga class may not be suitable for people with health disorders.

For instance: People with lower back and knee pain may suffer with potential injuries by practicing Surya Namaskar (a series of poses saluting the Sun). Therefore, yoga therapy classes are different from regular yoga sessions. They are designed to address specific issues; for instance yoga therapy for heart disorders, back pain, pregnancy etc. The asanas and pranayama vary according to the disorder.

It is advisable to consult the doctor and the yoga instructor before joining a class for therapeutic benefits. However, it is important to understand that yoga is not a substitute for medical treatment. It provides improved results when practiced in addition to medical treatment.

All kinds of yoga boast of therapeutic benefits. So, although regular yoga practice prevents illnesses and promotes overall well being, all yoga is not apt for healing all health conditions. To heal disorders, specific yoga therapy sessions under the supervision of the right therapist are essential.

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