Yoga therapy and mental health

May is mental health awareness month, a designation made by Mental Health America starting back in 1949. Read on for a selection of posts about how yoga therapy can support mental health and well-being. 

We begin with an explanation of the differences between psychotherapy incorporating meditation and mindful movement and addressing mental health through yoga therapy. Author Tracy Sondik, PsyD, C-IAYT, writes, “I believe that psychotherapy and yoga therapy can complement each other and will often suggest to people to consider trying both modalities as part of their healing path—each discipline brings its own unique focus, and both can create a sense of well-being.”

Yoga therapy is primarily a one-to-one, individualized practice, much like psychotherapy. This post discusses how the integrative approach of yoga therapy supports mental health in many ways: Yoga “is a system that brings [mind, body, breath, and emotions] all together…working with the whole person, and the whole of our lives. And this is really powerful.”

Shelley Goldman, RN, C-IAYT, focuses on how yoga can support kids’ mental health:

[T]eaching kids that the peace they experience after a yoga practice is a feeling they created themselves empowers them. Giving them new tools that are effective and easy to use builds confidence. From confidence, we build hope that there is a way out of the emotional pain, and from hope, we can build resilience and help our children to be happier and healthier.

IAYT-certified yoga therapist Asya Haikin offers clients “deep relaxation and an accessible form of meditation [by combining] yoga nidra with sound bath.” She notes that one client shared that “holding both the sound and her thoughts in her awareness enabled her to create some distance from her thoughts, and she felt relaxed and more centered as a result.” 

Yoga therapy can support mental health, balance, and resilience in many ways. If you are interested in exploring this work, our searchable database of yoga therapists is the perfect place to start!