With 2017 underway, this is a good time to consider different solutions to manage many of life’s problems and opportunities. Did you know that Yoga can be utilized for treating various conditions? Built on thousands of years of knowledge, Yoga is not just a physical exercise or something to relax your body and mind over the weekend. Yoga Therapy is a type of therapy that can reduce pain and suffering for people with different physical conditions, whereas Trauma Sensitive Yoga is a type of clinical treatment for treating trauma.

The power of Yoga Therapy to change lives is what has drawn me to it as a teacher.  Starting by working on myself, it allowed me to regain control of my life and improve the quality of life, physically through Yoga Therapy and psychologically through Trauma Sensitive Yoga.

Yoga Therapy teaches people how to allow healing to occur.  In teaching Yoga Therapy, I become the facilitator of healing. By getting to the causes and conditions required for healing, healing will naturally arise once everything is in place.

What Does a Yoga Therapist Do?

There are spaces in the medical community where Yoga Therapy fits. Part of the job of educating people is to properly distinguish Yoga Therapy from Studio Yoga. Well, the good news is, people are becoming very curious about it!

The IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists) has been in place for the last 7 years, and holds an annual conference, at which amazing presenters bring forward new concepts in Yoga Therapy and bring the therapist community together.

For example, Dr. Baxter Bell, who is an M.D., became a Yoga Therapist as it allows him to treat the entire family.  Yoga Therapy supports healthy ageing, and can be applied to young and old, middle-aged citizens as well as seniors.

What is Yoga Therapy?

It’s not Studio Yoga.  It is an amazing tool that can be taught to a student and be used on their own at home after a few sessions, with success.  Any situation that has taken you to a chiropractor, physiotherapist, or a myriad of other physical therapy modalities, can also be treated with Yoga Therapy.

You do not need to have experience in any form of Yoga.  Yoga Therapy comes from a thorough education of the human anatomy. It is biomechanical and the integration of all systems –the key is the mind – body connection.  With many physical conditions, there is a corresponding psychological component, whether it is a result of a motor vehicle accident, Post-Partum Depression, infertility or urinary incontinence, just to name a few.

What is Trauma Sensitive Yoga?

Life is traumatic, it just depends on the degree! Yoga, particularly Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TSY) can help us to reconnect to our body and feel at home in our own shell.  It can help us learn to blend our experiences into our daily lives.  Through exploring yoga and mindfulness, we will be able to better thrive emotionally. In turn, we can contribute to our own wellbeing, and beyond into our communities.  Students learn simple, body-based self-regulation techniques that will help to build resilience in their bodies. They will be able to better equip themselves to manage stress, trauma, depression, anxiety and rediscover the true self and feel comfortable in their own skin.

Through this gentle yoga practice the internal experience is emphasized, you will be free to make choices in a safe, supportive place of embodied empathy and attunement.  Trauma Sensitive Yoga is an ideal adjunct to psychotherapy.

Trauma survivors are often referred for Trauma Sensitive Yoga by their healthcare providers to cultivate, “the simple body awareness that makes it possible to gauge, slow down, and halt traumatic hyper-arousal, and to separate the past from present (Rothschild, 2000)”

I hope this helps explain some of the intricacies of Yoga Therapy and Trauma Sensitive Yoga for you, and if you have any questions I’d love to answer them! We truly believe in the power of yoga in physical, mental, and emotional well-being here at Alongside You and would love to see you experience it firsthand!


If you’d like some help to manage your emotions and anxieties, we’d love to help. Please give us a call at 604-283-7827, send us an email through our website, or book an appointment online and one of our counsellors would love to help you out!