Yoga Therapy

WABC—June 11, 2007

Many practice yoga for stress relief, but more people are turning to one-on-one yoga sessions to heal the body when there's been an injury, especially when conventional physical therapy doesn't seem to be working.

Yoga therapy is a growing discipline that aims to help people with chronic pain or injury. Unlike standard yoga classes, this therapeutic approach is customized for each practitioner.

Yoga therapy refers to one-on-one sessions where poses are modified to strengthen and stretch injured bodies.

The ancient practice looks at the body as a whole to promote healing.

But not all yoga teachers are therapists, and their credentials should be checked.

Dr. Christopher Lutz from Hospital for Special Surgery says people in pain should first see a doctor.

"I think it's important to get a good diagnosis first," he said. "Educate yourself, and have the physician and physical therapist educate you about what type of injury you have."

"What's really important is that the yoga therapist has all of the information and ideally works with a doctor as well as a physical therapist," said Robyn Ross, a certified teacher with years of training as a yoga therapist.

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