As I arrive at my first session I expect my yoga therapist, Amy Wheeler, to check which yoga flows I’ve been doing lately. Turns out she feels we have other priorities to address in this first session - just in time for the first Global Yoga Therapy Day on August 14.
While yoga teachers undergo 200 hours of training, yoga therapists have 1,000 hours of training to help them unpack the many layers of your health and address any roadblocks. After a 30 minute chat, Amy is completely across my physical niggles (shoulder and stomach pain) plus the bigger picture of my emotional health, energy and sleep. For the next hour she offers tailored strategies and daily rituals to de-stress and calm me.
First she prescribes pranayama – a slow breathing practice often used at the end of yoga sessions. As she leads me through the practice she makes an audio recording which she texts to me to support me to do this twice daily at home.
She then gives her diet tips - warm soups and plenty of warm cups of water to calm my digestion.
Next up? What she calls her bio-hacks for emotional health. She suggests I buy and carry with me a new necklace to wear when I’m stressed and offers personalized affirmations to tell myself as I put the necklace on.
Finally she talks me through a 10 minute personalised meditation, which ends with my body bathed in gentle rays of golden light. As I leave the session armed with a heap of new holistic health habits, I’m definitely on a natural high.
To connect with a qualified yoga therapist, download this free app: Yoga for Better Health.