Yoga Therapy

Integrative Yoga Therapy---What is it?    
(this article was written by Sherry and printed in the Sussex Co. Women’s Journal 2010)

By now, most Westerners are familiar with the Eastern philosophies of yoga as a way to reduce stress and create flexibility in the body.  Therapeutic yoga approaches healing from a yoga perspective with emphasis on the person’s condition including the physical, energetic, emotional and spiritual layers unique to the individual.  In practice, the yoga therapist draws on the original meaning of the word therapy, which means “caring for the self”.  The yoga therapist provides guidance for the individual’s journey to healing and self discovery.

Yoga therapy is for anyone seeking tools for self healing, personal growth and development, and self awareness.  Yoga therapy empowers the individual to become more responsible for their own health and well-being.

Yoga therapy is for groups or individuals with certain health challenges at any given time.  For example, there are therapeutic yoga groups for cancer; MS, arthritis, PTSD and heart disease just to name a few.  On an individual basis, you might work with a yoga therapist to design a program that will target your individual needs or goals, for example someone recovering from a hip or knee replacement, weight loss, digestive issues, chronic back pain, anxiety or depression.

The yoga therapist will sit down with you and conduct an initial evaluation that includes a personal health assessment with a focus on the individual’s objectives.  The yoga therapist might design a program that incorporates yoga postures that not only stretch and strengthen the body but also can improve balance and circulation.  Besides the physical aspects of yoga therapy, a program may involve exploration of the energetic body that would include breathing techniques, identification of any energetic blocks and the means to work through those issues.

Meditation has long been recognized as a way to reduce stress.  Yoga therapy incorporates relaxation techniques and guided meditations.  Yoga Nidra, which means “yogic sleep” for example, is a form of guided meditation offered by a yoga therapist.  This guided meditation process offers a specific multi-level integration of body, mind and spirit.  Yoga Nidra is ideal for specific conditions such as anxiety or insomnia and other conditions related to the autonomic nervous system.

With today’s hectic lifestyle, we can all benefit from taking time to slow down, nurture ourselves and seek optimal care to preserve our own vitality as we age.

Sherry Yost is a 200hr. Kripalu Certified Yoga Instructor and has been teaching in the local area for over 5 years.  Sherry has completed a 255 hour intensive course at Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, MA in the field of professional Integrative Yoga Therapy.  She currently offers group, series and individual private sessions by appointment.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, you can contact Sherry at 302-226-2050; by email or you can visit her website at