Therapeutic Yoga

Introduction to the Therapeutic Practice of Yoga to Help Alleviate Physical and Mental Health Problems

Are you looking for an effective way to reduce stress, improve your overall health, or treat a medical condition? Then yoga can be your answer.

With the complementary practice of healing yoga asanas and yoga techniques such as meditative relaxations with conscious breathing mentioned in this article you can bring balance to your body as well as mind, increase your awareness, and overall feel of peace, happiness, and fulfillment in your life.

Yoga practice has become increasingly popular because of its effectiveness for self-care, personal development, as well as therapy for injury or illness.

Its holistic approach has been found to work on a plethora of modern human issues, from insomnia to all sorts of disabilities.

There are thousands of yoga poses and for you to be able to incorporate the necessary ones into your practice it’s easiest to break them down into 6 simple groups:

  • Standing poses,
  • Twists,
  • Forward bends,
  • Back bends,
  • Inversions,
  • Relaxations.

And focus on their:

  • Benefits & how they work,
  • Precautions & modifications.

In this article, we’ll explore the therapeutic poses of yoga styles known as Iyengar Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Hatha Yoga with Props as per Beata Yoga Dhyan teachings, and we will break them down into the 6 above mentioned groups. We’ll also explore meditative relaxation with breathing awareness aspects of yoga.

Bonus Section – How Can You Correctly Design Your Yoga Program for Physical and Mental Health (at the bottom of this article)

Beata Yoga Harmony Asanas Drawings – Therapeutic Yoga Standing Poses (Benefits & How They Work)

Therapeutic Yoga Standing Poses (Benefits and How They Work)

Therapeutic standing poses that are static ground the volatile mind and empower the weak body structure. They correct your posture right from the foundations, therefore, heal the whole anatomy and physiology of your body.

Correct anatomical posture is necessary for your freedom of breathing, proper blood circulation, and nerve impulse transmission. When your body is aligned, all the organs function better because they have enough space (are not pressed) and are located in their rightful place.

Your body becomes aligned by working correctly with both razor-sharp awareness and absolute precision in the feet. This alignment also creates harmony and balance in the physical, mental, and emotional states of your being.

You gradually extend the time you spend in standing poses. In the beginning, you remain a minimum of 1 minute on each side, but with regular practice, they become light and meditative, so you will find that you can remain for much longer with ease.

The basic static therapeutic standing poses sequence:

  • Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  • Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
  • Vira Bhadrasana 2 (Great Hero Pose 2)
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
  • Vira Bhadrasana 1 (Great Hero Pose 1)
  • Parsva Uttanasana (Side Extended Pose)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Feet Forward Bend Pose)
  • Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)

You may also include the balancing therapeutic standing poses:

  • Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
  • Vira Bhadrasana 3 (Great Hero Pose 3)

However, in balancing standing poses you need to use additional support under the hands and the feet to experience lightness and achieve better body alignment for a full therapeutic effect.

At the beginning of practice, standing poses may demand significant energy input until ease and steadiness are found in them. Therefore, before or after standing poses, you can energize yourself with inversions such as:

  • Hanging Sirsasana (Head Stand Pose in Hanging)

from yoga hanging belt;

  • Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
  • Halasana / Karna Pidasana (Plough Pose / Knee to Ear Pose)

with adequate height under your shoulders to be able to pull your shoulders back and open your chest;

  • Viparita Karni (Legs Up the Wall Mudra)

preferably on a bolster to keep your neck long, shoulders pulled back, and chest open;

or Supine Relaxations with the chest opening on a bolster such as:

  • Setubandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose “Shoulder Stand”)
  • Supta Baddhakonasana Setubandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose “Shoulder Stand” with Entwined-Angle Legs).

Different standing poses have different effects on your body structure. Specific standing poses therefore will be recommended for your hips, lower back, middle back, and others for your upper back, abdomen, chest, etc.

All of the static standing poses bring earth element into your body system and are recommended for healing any disorders caused by the excess of air or air-fire elements together (in Ayurveda referred to as Vata dosha excess disorders).

On the mental level static standing poses are indicated for people who suffer from:

  • Anxiety
  • General confusion
  • “Being all over the place”
  • “Running from one thing/place/person to another”
  • “Not knowing the right path nor the right destination in life”
  • Feeling of being dispersed without the capacity to concentrate neither on a short nor a long-term basis

Therapeutic static standing poses can also help with insanity and serious mental ailments like Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Depersonalization, etc. (and should be practiced with eyes open).

On the physical level, static standing poses heal:

  • Structural problems
  • Flat feet, hallux
  • Joint aches
  • Back pain and sciatica
  • Diseases of bones and joints like osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis

as well as

  • Loss of smell, taste, or touch
  • Infertility
  • Symptoms of menopause

Yogic therapeutic static standing poses due to their steading and corrective properties, are an essential part of your healing practice.

Beata Yoga Harmony Asanas Drawings – Therapeutic Yoga Standing Poses (Precautions and Modifications)

Therapeutic Yoga Standing Poses (Precautions and Modifications)

General Precautions and Modifications

  • For ankle, knee, hip, or back problems
  • During menstruation and pregnancy
  • And after back bends

Do not jump when getting into a standing pose but step your feet apart;
use a chair/stool to rest your fingertips in Trikonasana & Parshvottanasana;
and use hand and feet support for Ardha Chandrasana & Vira Bhadrasana 3.

Hyperextended Knees

Practitioners with hyperextended knees are encouraged to develop sensitivity allowing them to feel when the knee joint becomes hyperextended and not allowing it to happen.

Awareness of the centers of the mounds is the key to maintaining your leg straight without allowing the knee to fall backward.

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women are required to use more props (e.g., supporting their fingertips on the chair or stool rather than supporting their hands on the legs), to avoid any downward pressure on the abdomen and not to go into the poses too deeply.

During pregnancy women are naturally more flexible and excessive stretching, especially in the groin area, may lead to premature delivery.

During the first trimester the fetus is setting in the womb, and especially during this time, intense practice is not recommended.

PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the above precautions and modifications regarding all standing poses, each asana has specific modifications in case of various ailments. For more information refer to the particular standing pose teachings.

Beata Yoga Harmony Asanas Drawings – Therapeutic Yoga Twists (Benefits & How They Work)

Therapeutic Yoga Twists (Benefits and How They Work)

Therapeutic twisting poses are excellent practice for:

  • Cleansing your body
  • Curing your spine
  • Healing you emotionally

Let’s understand how they do this.

Therapeutic Twists to Cleanse Your Body

Twisting poses are very beneficial for cleansing the organs as well as the digestive system because they provide a squeezing effect on your trunk, similar to how you manually dry a wet cloth by twisting it. The twists:

  • Massage your internal organs,
  • Stretch the area around and below your navel,
  • Encourage the elimination of toxins from your body.

To enhance better digestion, detoxification, and elimination processes, drink plenty of water when doing the twists.

Therapeutic Twists to Cure Your Spine

The twists heal your spine because they reach the deepest muscles in your back providing release with the lateral movement.

It is important that you maintain the back straight, and don’t allow the body to fall to the sides. Also if the twisting pose is upright, don’t lean forward, or backward with your trunk.

Maintaining awareness of this alignment will provide you maximum benefits from twisting the spine, thus releasing the back.

There is no need to turn the head, as the main focus of the therapeutic twisting poses is to provide movement in the trunk where there usually is none. For the cervical release, you can refer to specific exercises for the neck and shoulders.

Therapeutic Twists for Your Emotional Healing

Regular twisting poses practice works as powerful emotional healing because they:

  • Operate on the water element level
  • Cleanse your organs

The water element is related to your emotional body as well as it helps to clean your body.

Your emotions are related to the respective organs. Since you cleanse your organs, you release the old emotions and enable yourself to experience the present moment with a fresh emotional body.

Therapeutic Twists Include:

  • Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
  • Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose)
  • Utthita Marichyasana (Standing Sage Twist Pose)
  • Bharadvajasana (Sitting Twist On Chair)
  • Marichyasana (Sitting Sage Twist Pose)
  • Pasasana (Nose Pose)

Remember that the arm muscles are stronger than the back muscles, so be careful not to exaggerate the pushing and pulling movements. Pain in the back indicates you have gone too far.

When you do self-practice, always start with

  • the standing twists and the twist on the chair

before doing

  • the sitting twists on the floor

You will also find that the intensity of the twists increases as you access the lower areas in the abdomen through the sitting twists.
Always do the twist towards the right side first and then towards the left.

This way of sequencing follows the natural digestive process from top to bottom as well as from the right to the left (right side ascending colon and left side descending colon), thus encouraging the best procedure for detoxification.

Beata Yoga Harmony Asanas Drawings – Therapeutic Yoga Twists Poses (Precautions and Modifications)

Therapeutic Yoga Twists Poses (Precautions and Modifications)

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women are NOT to practice twists, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy when the fetus is setting in the uterus.

Menstruation

During menstruation, only very mild twists like Parshva Upavistha Konasana are allowed.

To practice other twists, variations, where the trunk rotates in the opposite direction to normal variation, are required, to keep the abdomen open and not to put any pressure on it.

After Back Bends

Twists can be done before, but are not recommended after intense back-bending practice.

PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the above precautions and modifications regarding all twists, each asana has specific modifications in case of various ailments. For more information refer to the particular twisting pose teachings.

Beata Yoga Harmony Asanas Drawings – Therapeutic Yoga Forward Bends (Benefits and How They Work)

Therapeutic Yoga Forward Bends (Benefits and How They Work)

Therapeutic forward bends help reduce any excess excretion from the body, be it an excessive flow of menstruation, mucus, or diarrhea.

Forward bends performed meditatively cool the body temperature and mental “fire”, allowing the practitioner to be calmer and quieter and go within.

During the therapeutic meditative forward bends don’t allow your mind to wander, keep the awareness directed inwards.

If you experience mental uneasiness due to stretching of the shortened back part of the body, it is recommended to support the forehead at the exact point between the eyebrows (third eye).

Supporting the point between the eyebrows and watching the exhalations (naturally deeper and longer while bending forward) are both very beneficial in the forward bends practice. They allow you to go deeper within and reach a profoundly relaxed state of body and mind.

Sitting forward bends like Paschimottanasana are to be avoided if you have back pain, however, Adho Mukha Virasana as well as supported Adho Mukha Svanasana from the belt are recommended.

In the therapeutic forward bends, we constantly focus on maintaining the abdomen long, and chest open, thus maintaining space in the front part of the trunk.

We give more importance to having the body straight and ascending to extend the spine in line thus avoiding stretching the front or back side of the vertebras too much.

In therapeutic practice of yoga, it is generally recommended to avoid hurried attempts to make your body more supple, as this can cause injury and take a lot of your energy.

Flexibility will come naturally as a side effect of regular practice. Especially for the therapeutic focus of practice, you should allow time and gravity to do the work rather than force it muscularly with arms.

Therapeutic Forward Bends:

  • Hanumanasana Variation (Groin Stretch)
  • Rajkapotasana Variation (Buttocks Stretch)
  • Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana (One Leg Folded Sitting Forward Bending Pose)
  • Paschimottanasana (Sitting Forward Bending Pose)
  • Parsva Upavisthakonasana (Sideway Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bending Pose)
  • Supported Adhomukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose from the Belt)
  • Adhomukha Virasana (Downward Facing Hero Pose)
  • Pavan Muktasana (Gas Release Pose)

Beata Yoga Harmony Asanas Drawings – Therapeutic Yoga Forward Bends (Precautions and Modifications)

Therapeutic Yoga Forward Bends (Precautions and Modifications)

People With Strong Lower Back Pain

If you have strong low back pain avoid sitting forward bends like Paschimottanasana.

With practice, the condition improves, however, you need to remain very gentle and not lean forwards too much or over-pull the yoga belt.

The main aspect to focus on in the therapeutic sitting poses is to learn how to sit up straight effortlessly with the trunk ascending (using the necessary height).

Don’t concentrate on stretching the back part of the body e.g., the legs as this may pull your lumbar region and give back ache.

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women shouldn’t go too deep in forward bends as it puts downward pressure on the abdomen.

The belly should always be kept open and extended upwards.

Pregnant women should always do the positions mildly and never overstretch in order not to induce contractions and therefore preterm delivery.

PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the above precautions and modifications regarding all forward bends, each asana has specific modifications in case of various ailments. For more information refer to the particular forward-bending pose teachings.

Beata Yoga Harmony Asanas Drawings – Therapeutic Yoga Back Bends (Benefits and How They Work)

Therapeutic Yoga Back Bends (Benefits and How They Work)

Therapeutic back bends are energizing poses that naturally open the chest in the area of the heart.

Back Bending Poses – Effect on the Mental Level

Back bending poses practice has a strong psychological effect. They increase:

  • Confidence
  • Open-mindedness
  • Dynamism and sharpness in mental processing

And alleviate:

  • Fear
  • Depression

In fact, regular practice of intense back bends together with specific pranayama (breathing exercises) is the most effective way to cure depression.

Back Bending Poses – Effect on the Physical Level

On the physical level back bends practiced therapeutically are wonderful:

  • Cure for breathing difficulties
  • Remedy for abdominal problems (both digestive and gynecological)

They are a strong corrective therapy for a habitual stooping posture with the back curving backward and the shoulders falling forward.

They open the entire front side of the trunk including the chest and the abdomen starting from the lowest area below the navel behind the pubic bone.

Back bend increase digestive power as well as the mental capacity to “digest” new information.

In all backbends, the face, the neck, and the abdomen must be relaxed to get the maximum effects and benefits.

Therapeutic Back Bends include:

  • Suptavirasana (Supine Hero Pose)
  • Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Stick Pose)
  • Suspended Viparita Dandasana (Suspended Inverted Stick Pose)
  • Urdhva Dhanurasana (Inverted Bow Pose)

Therapeutic back bending poses are done in a different way than in a normal practice because there must be:

  • Specific preparation sequence to follow
  • Emphasis on elongation of the lower back

The lumbar area has to be elongated even in the poses where normally people would fail to do so like the supine hero pose or bow pose. There is a way to ensure the frontal part of the vertebras remains open, and not only the back part of the spine stretched.

Therapeutic back bends have very detailed instructions on how to maintain the spine alignment (front to back and left to right sides) which is crucial for lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis, as well as when having back pain.

Beata Yoga Harmony Asanas Drawings – Therapeutic Yoga Back Bends (Precautions and Modifications)

Therapeutic Yoga Back Bends (Precautions and Modifications)

Menstruating Women

Back bends are very powerful yoga postures that strongly stretch and stimulate your body. Listen to your feelings about how much can you stretch the abdomen.

During menstruation the body is vulnerable, so be sensitive and recognize when to finish the practice.

Strong back-bending practice increases the bodily flows, making the bleeding stronger, therefore it’s better to do mild, passive, and more relaxing back bends rather than active ones.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Active back bends slightly increase pressure during the session, so a person with a medical history of hypertension should first prepare the body with more passive poses. Regular practice of relaxing back bends before starting more intense active ones should be done.

Static relaxations with chest opening on a bolster like Setubandha Sarvangasana or Viparita Karni can also be practiced to stabilize the body, and calm the mind but still provide energizing and uplifting effect.

Contact lenses

Even if the contact lenses are flexible and thin, they still hold the iris.

When you go upside down or do intensive back bends the pressure in the head increases, and the eyeball expands a little bit but due to the contact lense the iris is not allowed to stretch equally with the rest of the eye.

Put on glasses for your practice. And even take the glasses off for longer relaxing poses.

After Back Bends

  • Release the back with relaxing forward bends (Adho Mukha Virasana, Pavan Muktasana, Supported Adho Mukha Svanasana) or standing poses (without Virabhadrasana 1).
  • Do not make any kind of a back bend anymore on the same day.
  • Quieten the mind with passive, relaxing, and cooling poses like Halasana or Adho Mukha Virasana, and check your awareness.
  • Do not lift heavy things, not jog, not jump.
  • Be sensitive to your back!

PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the above precautions and modifications regarding all backbends, each asana has specific modifications in case of various ailments. For more information refer to the particular back-bending pose teachings.

Beata Yoga Harmony Asanas Drawings – Therapeutic Yoga Inversions (Benefits and How They Work)

Therapeutic Yoga Inversions (Benefits and How They Work)

Inversions are energizing and rejuvenating for your body & mind.

The upside-down position of the body reverses the aging process caused by gravity pressure accumulated over the years & years of life.

  • Decompression of the joints & organs

as well as

  • Decongestion of the venous flow of the blood

is taking place when your body goes feet up and head down.

You should keep your eyes closed in passive inversions, as keeping them open prevents you from deep relaxation. These positions are for you to completely let go of the physical body and just watch the breaths from within to experience inner stillness and silence.

Therapeutic Relaxing Inversions

  • Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
  • Halasana / Karna Pidasana (Plough Pose / Knee to Ear Pose)
  • Hanging Sirsasana (Head Stand in Hanging)

They have the same cooling and restful effects as other relaxation poses but are more energizing because they position your body upside down.

These relaxing inversions help you to reach a higher state of consciousness. They are a very meditative and spiritual part of yoga practice.

Raising your awareness level is the ultimate therapeutic practice that you can make.

It is very important to stay warm during the passive, relaxing inversions, as the body cools down. Make sure your lower back is covered at all times. Wear socks and long sleeves, even gloves or mittens, and cover yourself with a blanket if you are practicing in a cooler place.

It is also advisable to use an eye pillow or a scarf on the eyes to encourage increased relaxation in the neck & face and therefore the mind in shoulder stand and plough / knee to ear poses.

Therapeutic Active Inversions

  • Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Hand Stand)
  • Pincha Mayurasana (Elbow Stand)

Therapeutic active inversions are warming and stimulating. They:

  • Help to open up the shoulder & chest region faster, increasing the lung capacity
  • Strengthen and invigorate your body
  • Give courage and help overcome fears and doubts about yourself

PLEASE NOTE: Head Stand, as well as Head Stand in Hanging, stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and increases the male energy in your body, whereas Shoulder Stand and Plough / Knee to Ear Poses activate the parasympathetic nervous system and increase the female energy. Therefore, any variation of Head Stand ALWAYS has to be followed by the Shoulder Stand or Plough / Knee to Ear poses to bring balance to your autonomous nervous system.

Beata Yoga Harmony Asanas Drawings – Therapeutic Yoga Inversions (Precautions and Modifications)

Therapeutic Yoga Inversions (Precautions and Modifications)

General Precautions and Modifications of Yoga Inversions

Don’t practice passive inversions right after active inversions.

You shouldn’t practice passive inversions like

  • Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand),
  • Halasana / Karna Pidasana (Plough Pose / Knee to Ear Pose),
  • or Hanging Sirsasana (Head Stand in Hanging)

directly after active inversions like

  • Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Hand Stand)
  • Pincha Mayurasana (Elbow Stand)

or after having done strenuous exercise as the stimulated blood circulation can cause a sudden rush of blood into the brain.

Also, it is much easier to stay longer and more relaxed in the passive inversions when the body & mind is in a calm, static and meditative mode.

After Eye Surgery

After eye surgery, inverted positions are not to be practiced for 6 months to let the eye heal properly.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Seek an experienced Yoga teacher who will prepare you for inversions and guide you on how to do them safely.

Menstruating Women

Menstruating women shouldn’t practice inversion as it disturbs the natural flow of the blood. It can stop menstruation and make another bleeding after a few days. It may also cause blood clot formation.

Contact Lenses

Even if the contact lenses are flexible and thin, they still hold the iris.

When you go upside down or do intensive back bends the pressure in the head increases, and the eyeball expands a little bit but due to the contact lense the iris is not allowed to stretch equally with the rest of the eye.

Remove the contact lenses for practicing inversions so that the eyes can respond completely freely to the changes in the head pressure.

Put on glasses for your practice. And even take off your glasses for longer relaxing poses.

After Inversions

Do not stand up after hanging, shoulder stand, plough / knee to ear poses. On the days you are tired or have lower blood pressure you may be at risk of fainting, especially after longer hanging upside down.

Passive inversions in which you remain for a longer time put more blood into the upper portions of your body and when you return to your feet there is a sudden rush down.

Lie down for a few minutes to let the blood circulation come back to normal. This way you also avoid the risk of varicose veins in the legs.

PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the above precautions and modifications regarding all inversions, each asana has specific modifications in case of various ailments. For more information refer to the particular inverting pose teachings.

Beata Yoga Harmony Asanas Drawings – Therapeutic Yoga Relaxations (Benefits and How They Work)

Therapeutic Yoga Relaxations (Benefits and How They Work)

Why Yogic Relaxations with Conscious Breathing are Essential for Your Healing

Relaxation with releasing breathing techniques is an essential part of your therapeutic practice because it’s crucial that you master this art to release old, deep-seated, chronic issues.

Practicing on a physical level coupled with psychological letting go has been proven to work miracles in self-healing.

In a society driven by doing, thinking, working, and acting, you need to create a counterbalance of non-action, reflection, and meditation.

Relaxation asana practice shouldn’t be skipped just because you are running out of time. It’s highly important to reach the state of complete letting go every day to keep stress at bay and increase the level of your awareness. And raising your awareness level is the key to unlocking your highest self-healing potential.

If you don’t have time to practice in the mornings, do at least 20 minutes of relaxation when you get home from work, for example before dinner, and notice how rejuvenated you feel. And you don’t even need to go to a yoga class to practice yoga relaxation.

Your sleep will also be more restful, you will be able to concentrate easily on your daily tasks and your mind will become calm.

Therapeutic Relaxation Poses

  • Setubanda Sarvangasana (Birdge Pose in “Shoulder Stand”)
  • Supta Baddha Konasana (Supine Pose with Entwined-Angle Legs)
  • Viparita Karni Legs in Dandasana (Reversing Mudra with Legs in Stick Pose)
  • Viparita Karni Legs in Upavisthakonasana (Reversing Mudra with Legs in Wide-Angle Pose)
  • Viparita Karni Legs in Baddhakonasana (Reversing Mudra with Legs in Entwined-Angle Pose)

Meditative Relaxations with Conscious Breathing as a Therapy from Chronic Tension and Pain

The body area where you hold chronic tension starts to give pain and degenerates. Yoga and meditation can help you release chronic issues from the body with the help of your awareness.

Relaxations where you use the breath flow consciously as your releasing tool are a very powerful way of healing yourself. If you feel overwhelmed by life and need something gentle you can start with this easy but effective approach to health.

To make the mind quiet and peaceful in relaxation you can scan the body with your awareness and take the help of your exhalations to release any kind of tension or blockage that you discover.

The inhalation brings more awareness and mind focus, whereas the exhalation helps you to let go. You can follow consciously your breath coming in to feel what needs to be released and then follow your breath going out to surrender any tensions and disturbing thoughts.

Start with the facial muscles (focusing on the area around the mouth and eyes) and end up with your feet. To benefit fully from the yogic relaxations, stay in the poses for an extended time to be able to visit every part of your body in detail. Your awareness is the very healer, wherever it reaches the positive transformation takes place.

After scanning your body with awareness, follow your natural breath to remain meditative. Watch its effortless movement, without influencing it, without getting involved, and without judging it. Observe the breath as it is and take its help to go deeper and deeper into a relaxed state of your consciousness.

Allow yourself to be in silence and stillness to experience the state of healing meditation.

Guided Meditation Techniques in Yogic Relaxation Poses as a very Powerful Self-Healing Tool

Techniques of yoga include Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep) practice. It is a type of yoga where you go deeper and deeper into a relaxed state until you experience a different state of consciousness.

In this state of consciousness, you can trigger the healing process which can prove to be faster than any other method.

In Yoga Nidra most commonly you are verbally guided into a thematic meditation for a given transformational or therapeutic purpose. Once you know how to guide your mind on your own you can also practice it by yourself.

The nature of Yoga Nidra is to slow down your brain waves to the frequency where you are able to reprogram the subconscious and unconscious levels of your mind. And it is all related to your capacity to relax.

Importance of Parasympathetic Nervous System Activation through Yogic Relaxation.

Stress leads to serious diseases and health problems such as anxiety, low immunity, high blood pressure, heart issues, and many others.

The modern world is a place of constant stimulation, activity, and high stress. To find balance and health, you need to realize the importance of activating the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).

When the PNS is activated, it has both physical and psychological benefits. Physically, your will experience a decrease in heart rate, slower breathing, and increased digestion. Mentally, you will experience reduced stress and anxiety, increased relaxation, and an improved mood.

On the other hand, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is responsible for stimulating the body’s “fight or flight” response during times of stress or danger. In our world full of technology and sensory bombardment, the SNS is over-stimulated and the adrenaline and cortisol hormones are ever-present in the bloodstream suppressing all normal functions of the body until the “threat” is gone. But the ‘threat’ is psychological – not real – and is never gone.

People nowadays started to take the stress and alert mode as just a normal way of living not even knowing how detrimental it really is to health and generally experiencing life.

Yogic relaxation practice activates the parasympathetic nervous system because it is slowing down the processes of the mind and body. Introducing deep letting go into your daily routine is a great way to maintain health and happiness. And it is an essential part of the therapeutic practice of yoga.

Beata Yoga Harmony Asanas Drawings – Therapeutic Yoga Relaxations (Precautions and Modifications)

Therapeutic Yoga Relaxations (Precautions and Modifications)

There are not many precautions to the practice of relaxations, because these are static and restful poses. However, two things need to be taken into account.

Keep Your Body Warm

When you go into deep relaxation your body cools down like in deep sleep. It is very important to keep your body warm, not letting any part like the back or abdomen be exposed to air.

Tuck your shirt in, wear long trousers & a sweater or use a blanket to cover yourself. And if you are practicing in a cooler environment wear socks & gloves.

For Serious Clinical Mental Disorders

It is recommended to do more active relaxations for serious clinical mental disorders, and not necessarily practice with closed eyes as that can trigger a different state of consciousness.

Back or Joint Pains

Remember to prop your body to the comfort level as you remain in the relaxation poses for a longer time. Take special care of your lower back, hips, groins, and knees.

PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the above precautions and modifications regarding all relaxations, each asana has specific modifications in case of various ailments. For more information refer to the particular relaxation pose teachings.

How Can You Correctly Design Your Yoga Program for Optimal Physical and Mental Health

Understand Your Health Issues

To bring the body into homeostasis you need to be clear what are the main issues for which you want to use yoga.

For physical conditions, you could possibly think in terms of:

  • Hot & cold disorders (and accordingly use cooling or heating poses sequences as your remedy)
  • Which areas of the body are affected (and address them with respective poses)

For psychological conditions, as a great generalization, you could possibly think in terms of:

  • Having too fast a pace and needing to slow down
  • Feeling low and needing to invigorate

However, the different physical and psychological issues are usually mixed together so you will mostly need to practice poses from all the 6 groups mentioned in this article to address all the aspects of your health. If one health problem is major you can increase the proportion of the poses that address it.

A direct diagnosis by a certified yoga therapist must be made to choose correct, safe, and effective techniques and practices to help more serious medical cases such as injury or illness.

If your overall condition is stable and you simply seek a way to improve your health, then you can do so by following the complementary therapeutic yoga program. It is crucial then that you keep track of what poses you do in the session and how you feel during the rest of the day after your practice. In this way, you will be able to adjust the proportions of the different pose groups to create optimal regular yoga practice for your health and well-being.

How to Sequence the Yoga Therapy Poses

You can start your practice with the inversions to recharge yourself with a high level of energy and increase your body awareness.
Then proceed to the standing poses to ground and empower your body and mind.

After standing poses you can practice

  • One day the twists to cleanse your body and the forward bends to calm and draw your mind inward
  • Another day the back bends to stimulate yourself and open up.

PLEASE NOTE: It’s best to do the twists / forward bends (calming & cooling) and the back bends (stimulating and warming up) as separate days of practice.

And then you complete your practice with the meditative relaxations with conscious breathing to improve your concentration, and memory and raise your consciousness level.

For more detailed information refer to the respective poses teachings in the sections above of this article.

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Final Words about Yoga Practice for Health and Wellness

Yoga as a therapeutic practice can be incredibly effective for those recovering from serious health problems or those who simply need to find balance and peace in their lives. From stress reduction and improved health, fitness, and performance to personal development and awareness-raising the power of yoga has been known for centuries.

Nowadays numerous popular new forms of yoga as well as traditional yoga are practiced. For those who heal the body, more gentle yoga or a style of yoga where there is a great emphasis on body alignment is better suited and should be guided by an experienced yoga instructor.

Yoga can help to ease bodily discomfort but as a beginner or a therapy student, you might need a therapeutic yoga kit to prop yourself with adequate heights and thus be able to go into the poses more safely and address your present body condition with more sensitivity.

If you are living with an injury or ailment which is chronic, you can expect to bring the body into balance with disciplined regular yoga practice. Yoga exercises and breathwork coupled with inward going mind are a sure way out.

The therapeutic application of yoga focuses to promote recovery from specific health issues. As they may be generally addressed in a group class, for the more serious medical conditions it is better to join special classes. Some compromise happens when there are more students in a yoga session, as then the yoga teacher can’t give so much individual attention and time for corrections of each person.

Yoga therapeutic classes rather than general sessions are a better choice for those who need to focus on specific issues to have a safe environment for healing.

The benefits of yoga are so numerous that after you have helped yourself you might start to be interested to become a yoga healer and join a therapeutic yoga training program or a teacher training!

Click this link to read about yoga for women therapeutics

Click this link to read about yoga for men therapeutics

Click this link to read about the Yoga Therapy Training Course with Beata

Click this link to learn about the 6-Day Yoga Intensive Course with Beata

Disclaimer: Beata Yoga Harmony teachings are not intended as a substitute for medical services. The author of this article is not responsible for any liability, injury, or loss from the instructions given in this writing.

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