Yoga Therapy & the Integration of Body, Mind & Spirit
The Yoga Therapist looks at the person as a 'whole' rather than concentrating on 'parts'. Yoga Therapy explores the subtleties of the whole bodymind with an awareness of energy flow and seeking to pinpoint any subsequent blocks in this energy that may be causing imbalance. The techniques used in Yoga Therapy are vast. However, in looking at the major differences between the Yogic and Western approaches, the main point of distinction is found with the breath. Yoga Therapy acknowledges the breath as a vital life-force that affects the individual on every level. This view ultimately gives the individual some control over his/her state of being. Western medicine tends to look for the problems outside the individual's control rather than focusing on the dynamics of the human energetic system.
In many ways, Western science deals with the body and mind as distinct faculties, which are then divided even further into specialised fields (like physiotherapy, psychiatry, cardiology, neurology, chiropractics, etc) whereas a Yoga Therapy approach recognises the integration of the body, mind and spirit and incorporates the subtle aspects of mental, physical and spiritual health into the assessment process. This is not to say that the Yoga Therapist deals with everything presented. On the contrary, there may well be instances when the patient is referred to another kind of specialist as a result of Yoga Therapy.