Yoga Therapy in Your Library

Following are just a few of the great books recently authored by IAYT-certified yoga therapists and other yoga professionals to support the use of yogic practices for a range of populations. Full reviews appeared in Yoga Therapy Today.

 

Yoga for Amputees: The Essential Guide to Finding Wholeness After Limb Loss for Yoga Students and Their Teachers, by Marsha Therese Danzig

The author draws on her own experience and that of other amputees sharing their stories and making yoga more accessible to others. Those wondering how yoga could help amputees will have their questions answered immediately, with discussion of a variety of key benefits, including less grappling with prosthetics, better body image, pain management, and more freedom of movement. The book offers a number of practices, including easy and detailed instructions for many asanas (poses) and their variations for each type of amputee.

 

 

Yoga Life: A Workbook of Authentic Practices, by Caroline McCarter

This book is a tool to help yoga students, teachers, and therapists to deepen their understanding of classical yogic concepts relating to the mind. Focused on the reader’s experience, the author balances defining yogic philosophy with personal and transformational reflections. Prompts for exercises include thoughtfully designed questions that will remain fresh and interesting over time. Also included are illustrations of simple asana and pranayama (breathwork) practices and a Sanskrit glossary with a phonetic pronunciation guide.

 

 

Yoga Therapy for Arthritis: A Whole-Person Approach to Movement and Lifestyle, by Steffany Moonaz and Erin Byron

This much-needed text weaves a conventional medical perspective on arthritis with an overview of yoga philosophy, practical advice, and testimonials from those with arthritis who have experienced yoga therapy. Practices ranging from simple breathing exercises to mental and energetic techniques and asana are provided throughout the book, and an appendix offers information on how to adapt and modify postures for specific needs. The authors explain how yoga can be practiced safely by those with arthritis and give an overview of the research that is making yoga a core medical therapy for chronic pain.

 

 

Although all families can benefit from this material, new moms will especially appreciate the ease and affordability of yogic tools they can use without worrying about getting out of the house—recognizing “shoulds” and changing them to “coulds,” practicing self-compassion statements, doing quick physical practices to move with anxiety or rage, practicing honesty, and even practicing when holding the baby. Pregnancy and early parenthood can be a challenging time, and quick, realistic ways to bring yoga into the day are useful supports. The book addresses perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) using yoga therapy, covering the thoughts and feelings that come with PMADs and the available treatment options.

 

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These books may be of particular interest to yoga therapists themselves and to other healthcare professionals.

Yoga for Mental Health, edited by Heather Mason and Kelly Birch

This is a useful reference for mental health and yoga professionals seeking to explore advances in applied yoga therapy practice and research. Nearly two dozen contributors create a holistic application of yoga as an integrative and complementary adjunct practice in behavioral health. As Timothy McCall, MD, writes in his foreword, “It is a testament to the tremendous growth in the scientific investigation of yoga that it is now possible to publish a professional-level textbook on the use of the ancient practice as well as modern adaptations of it for psychological disorders.” The text is organized around common classifications found in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Anxiety, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, insomnia, trauma, eating disorders, and schizophrenia comprise its core, with the final two chapters focusing on children and adolescents and the future directions of yoga in mental health. The methods outlined here and elsewhere all work to help promote embodiment and mental flexibility.

 

 

Yoga Therapy for Stroke: A Handbook for Yoga Therapists and Healthcare Professionals, by Arlene A. Schmid and Marieke Van Puymbroeck

This book covers the complexities of post-stroke life concisely and clearly, making it easy for a range of professionals to integrate yogic practices into their work. A down-to-earth overview of yoga philosophy basics inspires hope for better integration of this age-old practice in healthcare settings. The physical practices are clearly described, with images, modifications, and options suggested for the range of specific issues with which stroke survivors may be living. Downloadable handouts and links for further reading are helpful bonuses. This accessible read lends itself well to recommendation to clients and their caregivers, including survivors’ family members. Case studies from a range of therapist types and experience levels, plus stories and client feedback, demonstrate how yoga therapy can make a meaningful difference in stroke survivors’ lives.