What Is Yoga Therapy?

Jan 1, 2023

A Unique Approach To Healing

Yoga therapy offers a unique approach to healing that aims to improve mental and physical health. Yoga therapists guide clients through a range of yoga practices, including movement, breathing, chanting, affirmations, and meditation, which have been clinically proven to be effective in therapeutic settings.

In addition to home practices, the yoga therapy process might also include recommendations on dietary resources and lifestyle support. In this way, yoga therapy creates a safe space for clients to explore practices at their own pace. 

Rooted in traditional practices and informed by Western medicine and neuroscience research, yoga therapists take a holistic approach to healing. Yoga practices are tailored to each individual’s needs. That means that yoga therapy is always practiced one-on-one. This personalized approach sets yoga therapy apart from group yoga classes taught by yoga instructors. The one-on-one format allows the yoga therapist to develop a deep understanding of the client’s physical, emotional, and mental state and design a customized plan to help them reach their healing goals.

What happens during a yoga therapy session?

A typical yoga therapy session ranges from 50-90 minutes. A session always includes three things:

  1. A check-in to discuss how a client’s home practices are going.
  2. Experiencing and learning practices to do regularly at home between sessions. Take-home materials to support the home practice might include printed sequences, or video and audio aids.
  3. A discussion of any changes in their health status. 

At the time of intake, clients should expect to have a transparent discussion regarding the anticipated investment. This discussion includes whether yoga therapy is likely to help the client, and an estimated number, frequency and duration of appointments. In addition, the yoga therapist works with the client to schedule in time for home practice.

What Types of Conditions Can Yoga Therapy Help With?

Yoga therapy can help with a variety of mental and physical health conditions. Some common conditions we work with include: anxiety disorders, PTSD, trauma, depression, addiction, eating disorders, obesity, autoimmune disease, heart disease, neurological disorders, and cancer support.

Some people seek relief from stress or difficult life transitions, while others look for help with managing illness, pain, or fatigue. Whatever the reasons for seeking yoga therapy, a trained yoga therapist can help develop a personalized approach to facilitate healing. A more complete list of conditions is located here.

In a yoga therapy setting, suffering is always self-diagnosed. The only requirement for working with a yoga therapist is a desire to feel better and a willingness to take action towards achieving that goal. 

How much does yoga therapy cost?

Yoga therapy rates are usually in line with private talk therapy rates in your area. These rates typically range from $165 – $280+ depending on where you live. Most clients see a yoga therapist for 4 – 6 sessions, which is a total investment of about $600 – $1,200 to find ongoing relief. The limited duration of the work makes yoga therapy a very attractive investment in one’s health. 

Do yoga therapists take insurance?

In the United States, health insurance does not currently cover yoga therapy. However, you can reimburse yourself for yoga therapy services from your health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) with a doctor’s letter of medical necessity.

Additionally, if you are a Connecticut victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, you are eligible to apply for reimbursement for yoga therapy to support your recovery through the Victim Compensation Program. Similar programs may exist in other states.

How can I find a yoga therapist?

For help finding a local yoga therapist in Connecticut or via telehealth, contact Yoga Therapy Associates. We can help you set up a consultation to find out if yoga therapy is right for you.

Recommended Reads

Paper cut brain and flowers on yellow background, evoking the complexity and beauty of neuroscience and meditation for mental health.
The Rise of Meditation in Mental Health: Leveraging Neuroscience in Clinical Practice

The Rise of Meditation in Mental Health: Leveraging Neuroscience in Clinical Practice

As meditation gains wider acceptance and clients increasingly seek out these services, mental health clinicians are rising to meet the challenge. Many clinicians currently integrate weekly mindfulness exercises into sessions with clients. However, a critical question arises: 'Is one moment of mindfulness per week sufficient?' 

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