Yoga Therapy is a practice that brings various techniques, such as postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), meditation, and relaxation, to help individuals with physical, mental, and emotional health issues. Yoga Therapy aims to help achieve balance and harmony in our body, mind, and spirit and to alleviate symptoms of various health conditions, such as anxiety, stress, and depression and be a complement to therapies for other ailments. Combined with other holistic therapies, such as acupuncture and massage therapy, it can be a comprehensive approach to healing and well-being. It’s a great addition to your week at The Ranch.
Former Rancho La Puerta yoga teacher and now visiting presenter Stacey Filice joined us for a week of teaching Yoga Therapy and explained more about it to me.
Who’s the ideal participant in Yoga Therapy?
Everyone can benefit from the practice. It helps get all the pieces and parts of ourselves back into our bodies, becoming embodied, reconnecting to our true selves, and being reminded of who we truly are. You connect and feel the sensations of your body and get to know yourself. You come to that space of awareness of the true self.
What do you mean by come ‘back to your body’?
We live in this world and often get pulled away by external stimuli. We start to identify with external stimuli as if it’s us. It might be a job title, a salary, a car, the clothes we wear, or our house – when really none of that is who you are as a human being. We then start to identify with those things as if they were us. Sometimes it’s even with other people. But that’s not really who you are. Who would you be left with if your car disappeared, or your salary, or whatever? That is really your true self. None of those things are wrong or bad. The over-identification with them can often cause suffering for people. Yoga Therapy connects to who we truly are so that we know we are safe and know ourselves. I understand who I truly am and who you truly are.
What is the class not?
This class is not a workout. It’s an invitation to become grounded. It’s about harnessing our energy and becoming settled. The goal of yoga is to create a relationship with yourself, which then improves your relationship with the world and others. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means to unite, to join, union. It’s this idea you’re uniting with yourself, your true self, and coming to understand who you really are and what your patterns are.