Often, I am asked, "What is the difference between a yoga teacher, and a yoga therapist?" Perhaps I could answer by describing what my day will look like today. . .
MY DAY AS A YOGA THERAPIST
It's 6 am, and I'm about to start my typical day,--if there is such a thing--as a yoga therapist. It's Monday morning, and I am seeing 3 private clients today, each of them very different in their needs or their reasons for why they come. For the sake of confidentiality, I am not using their real names,and limiting what I have to share. Still, it gives you an idea. . .
This morning I will work with Claire, who has been coming for private sessions every week for 9 months. She began coming to me after several months in physical therapy, for what she described as "pain all over my body". She also was concerned that she'd been falling down a lot, as in twice a month. In her late 60's, this was a concern to her. She was anxious about living alone.
We work with a customized set of breathing techniques and postures. She practices at home "here and there" between sessions, too. She hasn't fallen AT ALL since she began practicing yoga, and is pain free 85% of the time. I'd also like to mention that her breathing capacity has increased by leaps and bounds. Claire was referred by her Primary Care Physician.
Increasing one's breath capacity is typical of what I include in most people's sessions, and will certainly be a focus for a new client coming in today. Jackie will be driven to her first session, because she can no longer drive. I've spoken to her on the phone--in brief phrases--and she describes herself as "extremely anxious" and was recently diagnosed with emphezema. She recently began using oxygen, too. She'd like to learn how to breathe as well as she can. I've never worked with someone on oxygen before, but I certainly want to try and help her. We'll see how it goes. Jackie was referred by her psychotherapist.
I travel onsite to a private home, twice a week, to work with Betty. I've been working with Betty for 3 yrs. She has a variety of symptoms that we work with, including diabetes and MS. As a result of her yoga sessions, and bringing yoga into her everyday experience (stretching at the kitchen counter, chanting on the patio lounge chair!), she has lost 50 lbs, and is no longer on insulin. With MS, we never know from week-to-week how she'll be feeling. Her energy level goes up and down. Her balance is 80% improved, her breathing capacity has doubled, and she has re-discovered her body and what she CAN do, which increases as the years go by. When we first started working together, she had trouble walking to the mailbox. Now she can visit a museum, or walk through the city to shop for several hours, before she has to take a break. She was "referred" by her daughter, who found my website, and called her Mom, encouraging Betty to contact me. We're both so glad that she did.
Back home to Swansea, to prepare for two sessions of "Office Yoga" which I will teach tomorrow at a large corporate business in RI. I've been teaching Office yoga--in a chair--and a more traditional class of yoga therapy--on a mat--at this corporate setting, for 5 yrs.
So that's my day, folks! I'm rather looking forward to it! As you're reading this, I hope that you are having a good day, too!
In peace & wellness,