"I need help finding a teacher that knows enough about working with people with medical conditions."

from Margaret,

This is a topic that I have always had a keen interest in. I’ve been fortunate enough to have Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani as a friend and yoga mentor in my life, a man who has a rare deep understanding and insight into yoga chikitsa (yoga therapy).  Unfortunately, I have to agree that modern yoga therapy has missed the mark almost entirely when it comes to treatment through yoga. It is an approach that Dr. Ananda has so aptly coined, “yogopathy,” a seemingly irresistable tendency by modern yogis to approach yoga as simply an exotic form of physiotherapy.

Dr. Ananda has prepared an excellent series of articles on the yogic approach to therapy. For those who would like to explore this subject further, please have a look at the following articles:

Yoga As Therapy: by Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
Keys to Yoga Therapy: By Yogacharya

International Yogalayam

** see more “Yoga Hurdle” posts here …

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4 Comments so far

  1. arjun on August 28th, 2009

    “Yogopathy”! That’s the perfect word to describe the modern approach to yoga therapy, isn’t it? Those are great articles you linked to. I wish today’s yoga therapists would read them, and then maybe they would have a better idea what yoga therapy really is!

  2. Sam on August 30th, 2009

    It seems like most yoga therapists are stuck halfway between two places, being neither experts of yoga, nor qualified medical practitioners. I think your analogy of yoga therapy today being looked at as an exotic form of physiotherapy is fitting. Personally, if I had an injury, I would rather see a physiotherapists, and leave the yoga for yoga class.

  3. Marcus on September 2nd, 2009

    I agree. Unless we look at all the dimensions of the person, then we can’t say we’re providing “yogic therapy”.

  4. Lyn Banas-Petronsky on September 5th, 2009

    “Yogopathy”, is not what I learned at the American Viniyoga Institute, Gary Kraftsow’s school, in their 1000 hour Professional Yoga Therapist Training Program, during fours years of training. It was two stages, the first 500 hours is the core teachings and the 2nd 500 hours is learning and practicing the adaptation and application of Yoga techniques and practices to help individuals facing health challenges at any level manage their condition, reduce symptoms, restore balance, increase vitality and improve attitude.

    Yoga Therapy is about the individual person, not the disease. (A traditionally trained and skilled Yoga Therapist is not a Doctor or Physiotherapist, or any other western medical “figure”, nor are they trying to be.)