Janet Haigh – Student Story
After a 28-year global career as a high school English literature teacher, Janet Haigh was ready to try something new. She had taught yoga for 10 years and decided she wanted to take it further. “I was keen to investigate yoga therapy, working one-on-one with individuals to meet their specific wellness goals, whatever they might be,” Janet said.
She dove into the 12-week 300 Hour Foundations of Yoga Therapy program at VSOHA in October 2018, during which she got real-life practical experience after just 6 weeks of study during the student clinic component.
What was your experience in the 300 hour program?
“The Foundations course was far more in-depth and involved than I anticipated. We covered an enormous amount of material and were able to apply it right away with people in genuine situations. It really consolidated and solidified what we had learnt in class. And it was fun!”
Janet works at two complexes where she regularly offers chair yoga, mindful movement and meditation to elders. “I now have a grasp of the benefits yoga therapy can have for any body, literally. I’ve seen the changes in my senior clients and I’m excited to try tailoring the practice to help people in all kinds of different spheres of their lives.”
Janet intends to become a Certified Yoga Therapist, which is now possible with VSOHA’s accreditation by the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She is about to commence the 2nd term of the 500 Hour Advanced Yoga Therapy program during which she will complete a case study over the next 3 months.
“I love the variety of applications this healing modality offers. For my case study, I’m curious to investigate using yoga therapy to support mental health, particularly how it can help those experiencing PTSD and anxiety responses.”
What does Yoga Therapy do?
Research shows yoga therapy can help people in need of nervous system regulation. It can also help us to understand how the body experiences every emotion felt. Janet says that when traumatic events happen, physical impacts are stored in the body. These show up in different ways in the person’s lived experience, either physically, emotionally, mentally or otherwise.
“We are taught that we ‘hold the issues in our tissues’! Yoga therapy can help soften sharp edges and release compressions. It can help address the after-effects of a motor vehicle accident, of grief, anxiety, trauma … you name it!”
A Holistic View – The Panchakosha Model
Yoga therapy is unique in the way that the therapist looks at a person holistically and considers them in light of the panchakosha model – the 5 layers of human experience. These layers are the physical, energetic, emotional, mental, and spiritual. In many other therapeutic practices, however, often only one layer is addressed.
“What’s beautiful about yoga therapy is that your therapist views you as a multi-faceted being. We listen attentively to appreciate what a person is experiencing holistically and how their many layers interplay. Yoga therapy is an offering tailored to the individual’s chosen wellness goals. It’s a flexible, collaborative process led by the client.”
Working with Janet
Janet is currently building her own private practice and can be found at www.blueskyyoga.ca.
“It’s exciting to be part of something that’s becoming better understood by the public as a therapeutic practice and art. Given all its possible applications, working one-on-one with folks in a yoga context as a yoga therapist is terrifically fulfilling!”
Begin your journey in yoga therapy.
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