The essence of my father’s teaching is this: it is not that the person needs to accommodate him or herself to yoga, but rather the yoga practise must be tailored to fit each person – TKV Desikachar
Why yoga therapy
Yoga classes are a great way to learn general yoga techniques, but for a yoga practice to be most effective, particularly when there are challenging health issues, ideally it needs to be designed according to your own individual physical structure, movement patterns, breath capacity, energy levels and unique life circumstances by a qualified yoga therapist. Then we are in the realm of yoga therapy.
ADDRESSING PARTICULAR HEALTH CONDITIONS
Yoga can be used therapeutically at any stage, alongside conventional medical treatment, to help manage a broad range of chronic or challenging health conditions. Some of the many conditions which may be relieved, improved or managed with yoga therapy are persistent back pain, cardiovascular problems, respiratory difficulties like asthma, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and even mild to moderate depression.
AIMS AND BENEFITS
The long term aims of yoga therapy are to improve symptoms where possible, and to manage symptoms which are ongoing, to increase mental and emotional stability and to reduce the negative effects of stress. Some benefits of a regular yoga practice can be a more relaxed body, breathing can become more spacious with less dullness and agitation in the mind and even a gradual rediscovery of joy.
TRADITION AND TOOLS
Ann-Marie teaches and practises yoga in the tradition of Desikachar (1938-2016), the son and student of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989). In this tradition, the tools of yoga, sequences of mindful movement integrated with breath techniques, seated breathing, visualisation, meditation and ayurvedic principles are adapted to the particular needs and unique circumstances of each individual. The sequences take into account the starting point of each person and proceed in stages towards a realistic goal.
PRACTISING AT HOME
The commitment to exploring yoga through the lens of personal practice is central to the process. The yoga therapist aims to support and encourage this commitment and exploration.
To explore whether yoga therapy will benefit you, a consultation is your first step. This usually takes about half an hour and is complimentary. During the session we can tease out your needs and aims.
The following appointment will be the first practice session, usually about a week later. It’s based on your individual needs and takes about an hour to teach. You will be shown how to do the practice both by watching the therapist demonstrate one breath-focused yoga pose at a time and then trying each yourself, with feedback.
When you are comfortable with the poses, they will then be written out clearly in your individual programme, so you can confidently do the sequence at home.
Based on your feedback and experience of the first home practice (usually 10 days later), subsequent practices are monitored and developed to accommodate the possible changing nature of symptoms and circumstances, gradually and in stages.
Ideally, the practice is performed at least five times a week. The average length of the practice is usually 25 minutes, but it can take anything from fifteen minutes to an hour, depending on the time you have available.
Initially, it is best to commit to a minimum of four consultations over six weeks, to build confidence and to feel the benefits. The frequency of subsequent therapy sessions depends on the individual.
Each consultation after the initial free session costs €55.
The therapist will wear appropriate PPE at each session if required by COVID guidelines or if requested by the client
Besides yoga therapy, an individual yoga approach may suit you if you would like to return to practising yoga after an illness, would like to develop and deepen an existing routine that has become mechanical, would like to use breath in asana to prepare for seated pranayama and meditation or simply would prefer to learn about yoga with individual guidance.