- Yoga is therapeutic through its consistent practice of discipline, devotion and patience. It is not to be misunderstood as a prescriptive cure for specific ailments.
- Discuss with students how they expect yoga to help and then create a plan that incorporates their expectations.
- Yoga is an accessory to medical attention. Work with students so they feel autonomy and ownership of their own therapy.
- With disciplined practice, yoga can help manage back pain, insomnia, obesity, anxiety/depression and other ailments.
- Pregnant students and athletes are special populations who benefit from yoga because the practice offers a refined perspective on the current state of their physiology and psychology.
- Advanced asana is therapeutic for its physical challenge and disciplined approach.
Think about ways to offer yoga classes for different body types. Take notes as you work through this topic so that you’re armed with strategies for teaching different types of bodies.
- Video, audio narrative, photos or essay: Consider a demographic you are familiar with. Using any yoga texts, videos or your own creativity, describe a meditation, several poses and a mantra for your chosen demographic. Examples from previous YTT groups are: Desk-bound workers (desk jockeys), seniors, athletes, insomniacs, pregnant women, obese students, people living at a homeless shelter. Consider:
- What type of yoga are they looking for?
- What is their level of experience/fitness?
- What props are available?
- What type of language will you use to teach?
- How many demonstrations will you do?
Discuss and Teach
- Therapeutic Assessment: Think back to when you first started doing yoga. Ask your past self the following questions. Yoga as therapy hinges on making students feel comfortable and welcome on their mat. Creating a dialogue with your students who have special requests for a yoga practice will help you to cater to their requirements:
- What do you expect yoga to provide?
- What do you like about yoga?
- What makes you uncomfortable in a yoga studio?
- What makes you more comfortable in the studio?