Sukhashanti Yoga Therapy
I have had the good fortune to spend the last 6 years focussing my work on yoga and yogis.
Ive spent years living in Mysore India where there is a large and diverse mix of people coming to practice asana. The kinds of people who come to me for sessions fall basically into two categories, those who are using yoga to heal and overcome pre-existing conditions and those who have become injured with their practice.
The work I enjoy most is to assist Yogis to understand their own bodies and minds and help them to make the most of their own practice and avoid the pitfalls. Simple changes in techniques can resolve many issues and then setting priorities about what to practice, how to practice it, how to progress the practice and especially what not to practice. I consider all yoga to be therapy and teach yoga regularly to help alleviate stress related conditions and postural anomalies. Many of the recurring injuries from Yoga practice can be alleviated by simple modifications that pay attention to alignment. Compression and over stretching in particular poses leads to soft tissue injuries, by finding supportive alignment many of these pitfalls are avoided and healing occurs. Many times pre-existing soft tissue injury makes many Yoga postures inappropriate and modification is required to get the desired effect without the downsides.
Nowhere else in the world would a therapist be able to regularly assess and treat so many yoga related injuries. I have had scores of patients with knee problems, spinal hypermobility and compression, shoulder strain and rib subluxations. These are some of the common and regularly recurring syndromes I treat. Also there have been many interesting and fascinating cases where people have unusual alignment issues.
The way I apply therapeutic interventions has also changed over time. Rarely am I using my treatment modalities as a chiropractor, acupuncturist and body worker. I find these treatments most useful for acute conditions. For long term postural patterns and for managing chronic somatic issues Yoga Asana is my treatment of choice. I have adopted asana as my primary form of medicine and believe that asana can be prescribed with detailed specificity to achieve particular results.
Yoga Therapy Essentially Is The Use Of Yoga Based Exercises For Health.
Fitting the right practice to the individual requires a systematic process and then a trial and reappraisal to see if it is actually working. This work has challenged me to question basic assumptions about yoga practice and about my approach to healing. Always I have had to come back to the basic concepts I learned during my clinical training at University. I find myself spending more time taking a careful history, observing posture patterns and conducting orthopedic tests both standardized and specialized based on asana.
Postural assessment is a process of differentiating between soft tissue patterns of tension and differentiating this from underlying skeletal patterns. The richness and magic begins when we discover where the nervous system is holding muscles in contracted states. Muscle and strength test reveals the basic level of muscle strength. Weakness is a major factor in Inbalanced posture, the other is tension and the last is genetic skeletal patterning for which acceptance is advised.
Treatment consists on the one hand of advice about what to avoid and minimize. On the other hand its asana prescription.
Passive stretching of connective tissue is a major focus especially for the joints. Active stretching lengthens muscles and takes the strain away from connective tissues. Fitting the approach of asana practice to the body requires adjustment and modulation of the poses. Sequencing and progressing allows many things to become possible without causing inflammation.
Rehabilitation is a transitional phase that gets yogis back on track to a deep and happy experience of practice. Often I prescribe a warm up sequence and a second therapeutic practice to support an existing practice.
Most of my work is educational and instructive the lesser part is interventional and palliative.