Members of the public can now experience the healing power of Yoga Therapy at our Student Clinic from November to January! Sessions are given by our student therapists at exceptional value ($30 / 60 minute session) and give students an opportunity to put their learning into practice in a safe, supervised environment.
What is Yoga Therapy?
“Yoga Therapy is a beautiful and empowering practice that merges Western understanding of anatomy, physiology and mind-body psychology with ancient Eastern Yogic practices. It’s a holistic approach to healing that recognizes the interconnectedness of your emotions, thoughts and body,” says Chelsea Lee, Program Director of Yoga Therapy at the Vancouver School of Healing Arts (VSOHA).
Your First Session
For your first, 60-minute session, it’s recommended that you arrive fifteen minutes early to fill out an intake form which will guide your student therapist’s decisions. To get the most out of a session, it’s best if you have a specific need in mind. Do you have a physical injury you’d like to address, mental or emotional stressors or trauma, or perhaps you have a combination of all these things?
“The beautiful part of yoga therapy is that we look at the whole person. If something is coming up in the physical body, what are the other things that show up? What else happens because of the physical injury or stress? Yoga Therapy can address all of that in one single session,” says Chelsea.
Your student therapist may ask you about your occupation and whether you have ever practiced yoga. Because all practices can be modified to suit each person’s needs, it’s not necessary to have yoga experience in order to participate in yoga therapy. For example, students are trained in chair yoga and can modify postures so you do not need to be able to get down on the floor to participate.
How does Yoga Therapy differ from Yoga?
Yoga therapy can be more conversational and is more personal than a typical yoga session.
“Depending on time,” says Chelsea, “there are fewer postures in a yoga therapy session. There is a constant dialogue as we adapt and modify as things progress. It’s a very hands-on process.”
At VSOHA’s Gastown studio, the heritage building’s exposed-brick walls and soft lighting give the space a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The studio is accessible by elevator. Within the clinic area, private, individual spaces are curtained off for Yoga Therapy sessions, and friendly staff are available to guide clients through the initial visit.
Ending the Session
At the end of session, you have a a check-in, and a home practice may be given if you would like one. You will fill out a feedback form for your student therapist and are encouraged to return.
“We encourage people to come every week for the five clinics,” says Chelsea. “The benefit of coming again is that there is no lengthy intake, so you have more time the next session to dive into the movement or breath work. It also gives you time to integrate the practice into your life and take things deeper. How did it work for you? How did you feel the next day? Coming for five sessions gives each client exposure to yoga techniques so they see what they love and have a full, developed home practice.”