The mission of yoga therapy is to adapt the practices of yoga to an individual’s health needs. Yoga therapy is designed to help empower the individual to progress toward greater health and well-being.
Description and Benefits
In yoga therapy, an individual meets with a yoga therapist with experience in designing a customized yoga practice for individuals with one or more health challenges that includes such things as yoga postures, meditation and breathing techniques to suit an individual’s desired needs. Each session is designed based on the individual’s abilities, goals and needs to help progress toward improved health and well-being. We are client focused, the client determines their intention and identifies what they learned from their body in a session.
No previous yoga experience is required. The individual learns to explore the connections between the mind and body, and may realize benefits in breathing, flexibility, balance, strength, and the ability to manage life circumstances.
Yoga therapy is done on a one to one basis or in a small group of individuals with like conditions and needs, e.g., a physical condition such as lung, heart or kidney disease, diabetes, chronic pain, depression, or anxiety. Yoga techniques are used to support the individual’s improved awareness to promote less reactivity and obtain tools to support relief of symptoms and/or to improve one’s function in the activities of daily living.
In yoga therapy, the individual client’s needs are the focus rather than teaching yoga methodology. The yoga therapist, through the use of their trained skills, develops a plan with the client and the yoga session or sessions unfold from there. Each yoga therapist understands why the client has come for the yoga therapy session and together with the client, a plan is developed to support the client’s needs.
All yoga therapist are professionally prepared in health and healthy lifestyles at the graduate level and have a minimum yoga certification of 200 hrs. and registered with the Yoga Alliance. Additionally, each yoga therapist is trained in the art & science of therapeutic yoga. They have an understanding of anatomy & physiology related to yoga as well as an understanding of illness and disease and the associated symptoms. Each therapist has been trained to assess needs through listening, questioning, observing and the use of appropriate touch. Yoga therapists do not diagnose medical conditions. We recommend that yoga therapy participants ensure they are cleared by their physician to participate in an exercise program, if applicable. The yoga therapist is happy to speak with your physician or family member about the sessions.
Janet Thompson, MS, RN, ERYT, PRYT
Janet has been a yoga instructor since 2009 and has been with UNC Wellness Centers since 2011. She is a yoga therapist with Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, certified in July, 2017. Janet has taught Hatha yoga for 8 years and she’s honed her skills as a teacher, focusing on alignment and modifying yoga postures to help a broader range of individuals to practice yoga.
Her goal has been to learn how the practice of yoga can be modified to help individuals improve their function and relieve or lessen symptoms of health conditions. Individuals are then empowered to be as independent as possible in their daily activities and self-care.
Prior to teaching yoga, Janet practiced nursing for 34 years in a variety of health care settings. She saw how injuries and illness can influence one’s ability to move and perform self-care duties. She wanted to touch lives by helping people gain strength, balance, flexibility and endurance through yoga; a great way to link professional nursing and yoga.
(Sandra) SAM Sather, RN, MS, BSN, e-RYT, C-IYSI
SAM has provided yoga therapy services for almost 10 years. SAM’s sessions are mind and body alignment focused and centering. Her approach is cultivated through the energy shared from her students and her life experience as a nurse, teacher and parent.
SAM is an experienced registered yoga instructor (eRYT) with certifications in Integrative Yoga for Seniors, C-IYSI, Vinyasa Flow Yoga and Yin Yoga. She is the certification manager of the C-IYSI certification program. SAM is active in the International Association of Yoga Therapy (IAYT).
She is a nurse and clinical researcher. SAM’s goal is to combine yoga therapy and her nursing to help people.
SAM’s long-term goal is to integrate Eastern and Western modalities to help others. Her interests include organizing formal studies of natural therapies to prevent or mitigate disease.
To schedule an appointment with one of our therapist you may email them directly at:
Janet Thompson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Sather: email@example.com