Yoga for Better Health: What is Therapeutic Yoga?




We talk a lot about the different types of yoga on the MyYogaTeacher blog, but what makes yoga therapeutic? Besides relieving stress, addressing pain, and helping prevent or cure various medical conditions, therapeutic yoga does even more!

All forms of yoga promote better health. Yoga as therapy benefits the body, mind, and soul.

But therapeutic yoga is a series of gentle yogic techniques designed to address specific issues a person may have. It’s an adaptation of a yoga practice to the needs of a person based on persistent health issues that aren’t addressed in a group class.

That’s a pretty general definition so we wanted to dive a bit deeper into what therapeutic yoga is and how it can help you obtain better health.

I believe so much in using yoga for therapeutic purposes that I started a class on MyYogaTeacher called Therapeutic Yoga for Wellness! I even have a Bachelors of Science in Yoga Therapy!

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So, what does therapeutic yoga actually mean?


Therapeutic yoga has specific goals

I mentioned above that therapeutic yoga addresses specific, consistent medical problems a person may have. But it does this through a whole body, holistic approach! 

Goals of therapeutic yoga may include:

  • To manage symptoms of illness and disease including pain, digestive issues, insomnia, anxiety, and/or depression

  • To improve a person’s functions at every level - physiologically and psychologically

  • To create a healthy outlook in the face of life’s challenges

The important thing to remember is that these are general goals. Each person is unique and, with the right yoga instructor, will tailor the goals to the individual. You wouldn’t go to a physical therapist with a shoulder injury and receive physical therapy exercises for your knees, hips, and shoulder, would you?


But the general goal of physical therapy is to heal your body and build your confidence so you can start using the once injured part of your body again and live a full life.

This is very similar to how the goals of therapeutic yoga work!


Yoga as therapy includes multiple components

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may change your eating patterns, what you eat, and start (or increase) an exercise routine, right? All of those components work together to help you have better health.

In a therapeutic yoga practice, the specific tools for healing include yoga poses (asanas), breathwork (pranayama), and meditation. Sometimes, yoga as therapy might even include hand gestures (mudra) and vocal tones (mantra). All of these tools are tailored to your specific goals and therapeutic needs.

In a general group yoga class, you won’t get the personalized attention and specific instruction you’d need to heal your body mentally, physically, and spiritually. 

You especially won’t get that in a pre-recorded class you find on the internet! But at MyYogaTeacher you will


What therapeutic yoga is not

With this in depth information about therapeutic yoga, you may be wondering what to look for in a therapeutic yoga class! It’s important to understand what therapeutic yoga is, but it’s also important to know what it’s not.

Here are some tips to help you seek out a therapeutic yoga class that’s right for you and will help you heal your body, mind, and spirit.

  • Therapeutic yoga is not about talk therapy or physiotherapy.

  • A therapeutic yoga class should be relaxing and nourishing, not vigorous.

  • Your therapeutic yoga instructor should not push or force you into anything in class. Everything is optional.

  • A therapeutic yoga instructor should encourage self-awareness and compassion.

  • Therapeutic yoga should include multiple facets of yoga.

  • Therapeutic yoga is not restorative yoga but may have some restorative forms.

In this day and age of stress, anxiety, burnout, and other mental and physical illnesses, therapeutic yoga naturally heals and provides a respite for those who desperately need it. It is inclusive of all people, shapes, sizes, fitness levels, genders, and ages. 

Here at MyYogaTeacher, our yoga instructors are committed to helping their students achieve their goals, no matter what they may be. They are truly compassionate, caring, and believe in holistic whole body health and wellbeing. If you’re looking for a yoga community that’s tight knit, MyYogaTeacher is the place to be!

MyYogaTeacher offers 1:1 classes with authentic yoga instructors from the birthplace of yoga, India! And if you haven’t experienced virtual private yoga classes yet, MyYogaTeacher makes 1:1 classes affordable and accessible! PLUS, with your membership, you get:

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  • 42+ daily group yoga classes, 100% live!

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  • Making new like-minded friends from around the world

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