yoga teacherBy Bhavan Kumar

In general, people who have medical backgrounds often do well with yoga instructor training courses. Occupational therapists help people of all ages develop the skills they need to be successful in their daily lives and occupations. Whether it involves children with disabilities, people with traumatic injuries, or stroke victims, occupational therapy restores patients’ ability to perform tasks more efficiently and with less pain. Integrative therapy is becoming more popular, and many therapists are incorporating Yoga into their practices.

An ancient healing art connecting the mind, body, and spirit, Yoga has been practiced in the Eastern world for thousands of years. It first entered mainstream America in the 1960s and is now making headway into our ailing healthcare system. Teaching patients how to breathe, relax, and exercise safely is crucial to their recovery, and Yoga is the perfect complement to traditional care.

Why do occupational therapists need Yoga teacher training?

• To establish the relationship between Yogic techniques and anatomical knowledge

• To help patients find new ways of understanding and working with their limitations

• To learn how to use props and adapt postures to meet each clients’ individual needs

• To maximize recovery options by providing tools patients can use at home

How do clients benefit from Yoga?

• Learn to live healthier lifestyles

• Improve mental health; reduce depression and anxiety

• Age more gracefully

• Gain a sense of control over disabilities

• Participate more fully in rehabilitation

• Reduce the risk of health problems and complications

• Increase social skills and interaction with others

• Gain self-esteem and reduce feelings of helplessness

• Become more aware of the relationship between their bodies and their emotions

What techniques do therapists use?

• Poses that tone muscles, improve circulation, release blocked energy, calm the mind, increase flexibility, increase stamina and promote general well-being

• Breathing techniques to increase communication between the conscious and unconscious mind, decrease shallow breathing that restricts the intake of oxygen and stimulate the lymphatic system

• Meditation practices to calm the mind, raise the level of feel-good hormones and lessen the “fight or flight” response that results from stress

Teaching Yoga in a therapeutic setting requires a thorough knowledge of physiology and anatomy, and no one is more qualified than an occupational therapist. Clients also benefit from therapists’ comprehensive training and awareness of individual needs and limitations, making Yoga and occupational therapy a good match for professionals and clients.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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