SYTAR - What is Yoga Therapy?
It has been almost 15 years since I was asked to bring yoga to a class of people that would hopefully be able to experience the many benefits of yoga first hand. People who due to injury, age related issues or illness would never in a million years take even a gentle yoga class on land.
The water is a very compassionate place to explore the function or mal-function of the body, and make lasting imporvements, for what we learn in the water can actually be of great benefit to the body functioning on dry land. Balance for example so I am told improves greatly from being in the water. A stronger trunk and pelvic floor for those who spend their day in a wheel chair.
Some of you who have already begun your journey teaching students in the water probably have lots of stories to tell about how students are coming to appreciate the precise movements and mindfulness of a yoga class.
Last year at the Symposium for Yoga Teherapy and Research, I was delighted to present a few students stories in the common interest section over the weekend. Since then some of the people I had met have trained to share Aqua Kriya Yoga with their chosen speciality field.
(FT Lauderdale - Florida teachers)
This year I was invited back to be a part of the 11 specialist schools at the pre-conference in Newport Beach. It was such a wonderful experience to hook up again with people in the physical therapy, yoga and Ayurvedic worlds that seem to merge together these days effortlessly. Nancy and I are hoping that with my extended training program which I am busy writing at the moment, we will bring the training to 40 contact hours as well as introduce a continuing graduate alumni program to keep abreast of any changes, research done in this field and re-connect with one another.
Phew....... (yes, Nancy will be busy too)
(in this photo Anne can stand in the water to move and improve how her body functions on land where she cannot walk)
At the conference many people were curious as to how the program came about and I always get so excited to talk about the many students that have told me their personal account of life imporvement through becoming more aware in the water. They are after all the 'engine' behind my efforts to take this program out and share it with the world.
Almost anyone can become more aware of what their body can or cannot do and how they can improve on that.
As Ganesha Mohan said at one of his lectures before I had to dash off and catch my plane home.
"The label (diagnostic) does not help us. Don't chase paradigms" (dosha)
The individual if inspired has every opportunity of improving his or her life.
He reminds me so much of my primary hatha teacher, Kim Schwartz in his 'no nonsense approach to training teachers. He also advocates what Goswami Kriyananda has been telling yoga teacher training students for decades at the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago, "Keep it simple, make it fun."
"Sensible people talking simple things in plain language. That is Yoga Therapy. - Ganesh Mohan"
My kind of yoga therapist.
Looking forward to next year in Virgina and would love to see some Aqua Kriya Yoga teachers there. We have a long way to go to educate people on an amazingly compassionate and beneficial practice medium: Our friend the water.
In the Kriya Dharma
we have more training dates across the country this year: San Jose, Dallas, Austin, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, San Diego, Portland.