An empowering process

What is Yoga Therapy?

Here’s a brief definition of yoga therapy and how I apply it:

The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) defines Yoga Therapy as, “[…] The process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the teachings and practices of Yoga.”

The Yoga Therapy Institute recognizes that “Yoga Therapy is both trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive, thanks to the current research work of Bessel van der Kolk, MD and The Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) programme from the Center for Trauma and Embodiment at Justice Resource Institute.”

Yoga therapy has helped many of my clients out of pain primarily through

  • increased self-awareness
  • deeper understanding of mind and body
  • movement
  • stillness
  • meditation and
  • breath.

Modern yoga therapy, as I practice it, also applies

  • anatomy and biomechanics – to better understand how our different parts move together and relate to each other, which are key factors that inform me when choosing a stimulus for intervention;
  • neuromuscular training – to improve stability (control and coordination over a range of motion) within the body and better connection between brain and body, allowing for better function which is a big factor in reducing or getting rid of pain;
  • Polyvagal theory – to promote safety within the healing relationship and recognize how the nervous system, physiological responses, and emotional responses come into play; and
  • the holistic healing arts – to bring in presence, awareness and clarity to your own capability when it comes to healing and recovery, and to tie everything together.

Does Yoga Therapy work?

Yoga therapy has its strengths and limitations. It cannot change certain structural conditions like reverse the degeneration of joints, for example. And, using deceptively simple tools, it can change someone’s state quite A LOT, particularly when it comes to experiencing pain, improving resilience and quality of life.

Other than chronic back pain, yoga therapy has been used for people with all kinds of ailments such as high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, autoimmune diseases, long covid, vaccine injury, anxiety, depression, stress and post-traumatic stress, among others.

Numerous studies have been published about the effects of yoga therapy on people with various conditions, and I include a few of them for you here:

Neil Pearson. “Yoga and Chronic Low Back Pain.” 2010(20).

Ina Stephens. Medical Yoga Therapy. 2017 Feb; 4(2): 12.

J. Thirthalli, et al. Cortisol and antidepressant effects of yoga. 2013 Jul; 55(Suppl 3): S405–S408.

Neil Pearson, et al. “Pain and Yoga Therapy: Part 3. When Pain Persists.” Spring 2020.

Zena Kelly. “Is Yoga an Effective Treatment for Low Back Pain: A Research Review.” 2009(19).

I also offer throughout this website many individual stories (including mine) where healing has happened, though remember, the most important story to be told is your own.

I look forward to reading yours.

words From a client

Hear Charlene’s Story of recovery…

“I had pelvic and back pain when I was in my third trimester, and for months until about a year postpartum, I was in enormous pain. It was pretty much constant pain that got worse with activity… until I was referred to Regan.

I was hesitant at first to see another person but I really could not stand the kind of life I had any longer—I just wasn’t myself anymore and I was exhausted just from being in pain all the time.

After a few sessions with her, I significantly reduced my symptoms by just growing my awareness and taking a few minutes each day on basic movements. Not only did I experience huge shifts in my body, I also have such a deeper care for myself and it shows through for my kids and my partner.

I cannot express enough how this process changed my world and how I am now connecting deeper with myself and my family. I also feel so empowered by the process and no longer feel at the mercy of someone else’s assessment or medical intervention. Thank you. ” -Charlene L., mom of 2, Toronto (Canada)

How can I help you with your recovery?

If you have any questions, please reach out using the form below. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.