With so many wonderful styles of yoga offered these days, it’s essential to find the right practice to support you when working through an illness or an injury. Therapeutic yoga is a gentle approach that can be used to create space in areas that are compressed, relieve tight muscles and help induce the relaxation response when restorative postures are incorporated. Classes are designed to move slowly so you can feel what’s happening on the inside. There is a strong focus on breath, and many aspects of the sequences are done dynamically in an effort to bring more blood flow to the muscles. The intention is to create healthy movement patterns so circulation can flow and improve joint mobility.
I suffered from sciatica pain for over a decade as a result of a car accident I had in my early twenties. Therapeutic yoga found me soon after I took my first 200-hour teacher training in 2003, and I became very interested in learning how to heal my own back pain. Several years later I began teaching Therapeutic/Back classes and have since developed a very successful Therapeutic Yoga Program for YogaWorks Valencia where I offer a number of these classes per week. You can also find some of my therapeutic classes online on myyogaworks.com.
What I’ve found to be so incredible is how these therapeutic classes have tapped into a large demographic that might have otherwise never tried yoga. It’s been amazing over the years to see how many students have gravitated to these classes and cultivated a consistent practice where so much healing has occurred.
The most important aspect for me as a teacher is that my students can leave the practice feeling better than when they came in, and most importantly that they feel successful regardless of the injury, disease or illness they’re fighting. I want them to feel like they can do yoga.
The body craves movement and that movement doesn’t have to be intense or extreme – even the simplest of movement can be incredibly effective. There’s something very powerful about moving from a place of grace and ease that helps us break free from the habitual patterns created by the ego, which can cause harm and injury.
Slowing down and being patient with your body will help you heal faster. So consider this next time you find yourself injured: sometimes we need to be given permission to slow down and be soft with ourselves. Give yourself that permission and you might be surprised by the effects.
Dani has been a long time student of yoga and has been teaching for over 13 years. She’s a certified YogaWorks Trainer/Mentor leading local and export trainings, ERYT-500, Urban Zen Therapist, and Advanced Reiki Practitioner. Dani specializes in Restorative and Therapeutic Yoga combining breath work and her passion for mindful movement to create an environment in which physical and emotional healing can occur. Practice with Dani at YogaWorks Valencia and Pasadena or online with myyogaworks.com. To learn more about Dani visit daniibarra.com