Please note that the yoga therapy clients in these examples are fictitious, although they are based on clients I have worked in with in similar situations.
H.G. is a young woman in her thirties who is suffering from anxiety and depression. She thinks it is probably due to some childhood trauma. Our sessions focus on yoga postures that promote a sense of confidence, strength and presence for H.G. in her body. As H.G. brings more awareness to her body, she finds that some feelings associated with her childhood begin to emerge. (This is common, as we often store unprocessed emotions in the body.) We progress carefully (so that it is never overwhelming for her), and we begin to focus on doing postures and breathing exercises that focus on grounding and creating a sense of security. We also begin to practice loving kindness and compassion. This gives H.G. the tools she needs to be present with emotions that are surfacing, and as she does this, she slowly begins to feel better and better in her body and mind. Her need for medication decreases, her panic attacks subside, and she finds that after 9 months of yoga therapy she is feeling better than she has in years.
L.M. is a woman in her forties suffering from adrenal fatigue. She is working with a naturopath to help restore her adrenals, but she feels that there is more healing potential available for her within the realm of yoga and meditation. Our sessions include postures and breathing practices that work directly with the adrenal glands themselves, as well as some suggestions about some Ayurvedic herbal remedies that might be helpful. As L.M. begins to feel better, we begin to cultivate mindfulness and steadiness to help balance out some of the tendencies that created the adrenal burnout in the first place. After several months, L.M. is feeling much more energized and balanced, and has lots of tools to keep her stress levels in check.
D.L. is a man in his 60’s with chronic low back pain. Although the doctors have performed a lot of different kinds of examinations and imaging they cannot find anything that would indicate a problem. Our sessions include working to release and strengthen some of the musculature that supports the low back, such as the hips, pelvis, shoulders, feet, spine and neck. We are careful to keep D.L.’s movement within a pain free range of motion, so that nothing we do exacerbates his pain response or over stimulates his nervous system. We also work with specific postures and breathing techniques that stimulate the parasympathetic branch nervous system. This is the part of the nervous system that governs rest, digestion, integration and healing. Activation of the parasympathetic state allows D.L.’s system to release the neurological feedback loop that his chronic pain has created. As he steps out of that cycle, his body begins to heal. Within 6 weeks he is almost completely pain free and back to many of the activities he enjoys.