Yoga awareness month might be over, but it’s not too late for you to stretch it out! I’ve invited friend and colleague, Lara Eisenberg to tell us about her unique practice as a yoga therapist.
Lara has years of experience as a counselor and yoga instructor in San Diego. She specializes in trauma, addiction, healing from illness and stress management for at-risk youth and adults. Lara helps clients understand the connection between dis-ease and lifestyle choices including nutrition, thought patterns, stress and unresolved childhood wounds.
Lara on Healing with Yoga Therapy
Lets face it, our modern society and information age with all of its complexities have left most of us feeling overwhelmed and ill equipped to deal with stress. Eat this, not that. Wear this, not that. Call, don’t call. Work out here, not there. Take this, not that. Forgive them, don’t forgive them. Do this, not that…yada, yada, yada. To make matters more challenging, our never ending responsibilities at work, in the home and balancing our personal relationships make it difficult to spend meaningful time with ourselves.
This reality presented an interesting dilemma for me. Like you, I
wondered, how I could select foods that nourished my individual
physical nutrition and my Yoga practice to produce REAL solutions to
the deeper healing that my body, mind and spirit craved?
Yo-YOU – What about Yoga Therapy?
While I discovered Yoga 13 years ago, I didn’t discover Yoga Therapy until about six years. Up until that point, Yoga for me was primarily a physical practice with meditation; still focused on doing rather than a way of listening, healing and being. When I experienced Yoga Therapy, I found a way to create a tailor-made solution to address my own pain and suffering. After nearly seven years of deep searching, I finally found a sustainable lifestyle practice to live by; that brought me more peace.
What exactly is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga Therapy is the application of ancient yogic techniques to enhance
one’s physical, psychological, spiritual and energetic health. Relief
from symptoms is just a part of the healing process. Integrated healing
and wholeness arises when we bring our whole being into balance and
realize our true nature-peace.
What is the difference between Yoga and Yoga Therapy?
Yoga Therapy sessions are tailored specifically to meet the needs of the group or individual. An emphasis is placed on spiritual, emotional and physical facets which differs from other forms of Yoga where the asanas (physical practice) are emphasized without taking into consideration the psycho-emotional and psycho-spiritual dimensions of a person.
What are some modalities used in Yoga Therapy?
Yoga Therapy uses meditation, asanas (physical postures), visualizations, affirmations, mudras, pranayama (breathing practices) etc. The path of Yoga Therapy is based on the eight-limb path. Each limb is used to facilitate healing in the therapy process.
The limbs are:
- Yamas-ethical practices and importance of skillfull action
- Niyamas-precepts that emphasize the importance of spiritual aspiration
- Asana-physical postures
- Pranayama-role of breath and vital energy (prana)
- Pratyahara-sense withdrawal allowing for more introspection and exploration of the nature of the self
- Dharana-practice of training and directing the mind
- Samadhi-integration of the individual with the whole
What is the framework/model for the practice of Yoga Therapy?
Yoga Therapy sees each individual as multi-dimensional, having five koshas (sheaths or layers of our being). They are the physical body, energy body, psycho-emotional body, wisdom body and bliss body. Yoga Therapy utilizes techniques to address and facilitate healing on each level of ones being.
If you seek temporary relief of symptoms, continue to eat well and attend an occasional yoga class. If you yearn for a deep healing and integrative experience and struggle with stress, illness, trauma and addiction in your life – give Yoga Therapy a try!
Ready to give it a try?!
Contact Lara at:
Yoga Therapy San Diego or call (619) 501-3121 to schedule a
complementary consultation session today.
Lara holds dual Masters degrees in psychological counseling from Columbia University. She is an active member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Lara is a certified Yoga Instructor, Meditation teacher and Integrative Yoga Therapist and has completed coursework in Emotional Freedom Technique, Bodywork and Aromatherapy. Continuing to enrich her practice, she is currently studying Somatic Experiencing – a body awareness approach to resolving trauma.