Different variations of yoga have emerged to cater to various needs and preferences. Physical therapy yoga is one of the emerging variations of yoga prioritizing health over relaxation. Learn the differences between traditional yoga and yoga therapy below:
Traditional yoga is a holistic practice that incorporates physical exercises, breath control, and meditation to align the mind, body, and spirit and promote wellness. Some yoga styles promote spiritual awareness and self-development, while others focus on enhancing strength, balance, and flexibility. Beyond the primary benefit of inner harmony, yoga can help with stress relief and relaxation.
Physical therapy yoga is tailored to address specific physical and mental needs. This form of yoga is a healthcare intervention often combined with traditional treatment to support recovery. Like any other healthcare practitioner, yoga therapists have an initial consultation with patients to understand their health conditions and then work out a program to help them attain specific health goals.
Yoga Versus Yoga Therapy
Yoga and yoga therapy are therapeutic practices, so it might be challenging to decide between the two when you want to improve your well-being. Below are some fundamental differences between yoga and yoga therapy:
Yoga therapy entails the application of yoga exercises to address specific mental, emotional, and health needs. Therapists who practice yoga must clearly understand a person’s condition and the effects of different practices on the body. Yoga is more general than yoga therapy, focusing on spiritual growth, self-discovery, and general well-being. Rather than focusing on a particular outcome, yoga teachers teach students how to perform different yoga exercises correctly.
Yoga therapists employ a more structured approach, guiding each student on techniques adapted to their needs. Students only practice the exercises featured in their personalized plans. The instructor may adjust the yoga poses as the student progresses, but each adjustment aligns with the student’s goals.
Unlike yoga therapy sessions, which are personalized according to the client’s needs, yoga sessions apply standard yoga tools. Yoga teachers prepare a sequence of exercises for all the students in their class to practice together. Although the students do the same activities, the yoga teacher allows for modifications based on students’ experience but is keen on maintaining the same pace for everyone.
Physical therapy yoga is clinical and science-based, and yoga therapy instructors undergo more advanced training than yoga instructors. During training, yoga therapists are taught the mechanics of the body and organ systems and the impact of different yoga combinations on the body. Yoga therapists also undergo psychological training to understand how to work with clients with mental health issues.
Yoga instructors train primarily to teach physical yoga practices. This training does not focus on the suitability of different exercises for specific mental and physical issues. Not all yoga poses are suitable for everyone, so when you have a particular goal for doing yoga, it may help to have an instructor with more specialized training.
Because of their in-depth training, yoga therapists have the knowledge required to work with other healthcare professionals. Integrating yoga therapy into comprehensive treatment plans may help relieve symptoms, manage pains, and support recovery.
Yoga supports overall wellness but may not be useful as a complementary therapy for medical treatment for specific conditions. The training may also not be sufficient for instructors to develop personalized routines for different healthcare needs.
Book a Physical Therapy Yoga Session
Yoga and yoga therapy share the fundamental principle of improved wellness but differ in their goal and application. Yoga suffices if you want to improve your general health. But if you have a specific health goal, consider physical therapy yoga. Get started searching for the right yoga class near you.