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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Yoga Therapy in Vienna

by Denyse Le Fever
If you’ve ever been to a yoga class and noticed how much better you felt after an hour or so of movement and stretching, you might want to consider working privately with a yoga teacher who has trained in yoga therapy to learn how to help yourself feel better on a more consistent basis. Teachers in yoga therapy normally have specialized training and may have a specific certification (introduced in 2016) that requires many more hours of experience, additional study in the therapeutic aspects of yoga and an understanding of specific conditions that might benefit from yoga therapy. Now at East Meets West Studio, in Vienna, yoga therapy teachers are available for private sessions.

Over the past decade, there have been numerous medical studies that have concluded that yoga can be beneficial for those at risk or suffering from various lifestyle and stress related diseases (such as anxiety and depression, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, to name a few). In conjunction with the medical community, yoga teachers with specialized training began to introduce aspects of a “yogic lifestyle” to educate people on how to reduce stress and manage imbalances in their life that could lead to chronic health conditions.

As health costs rise and programs like Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, have demonstrated the low-risk benefits of incorporating yoga, as well as a healthy diet and lifestyle, many health care providers have begun to recommend yoga as a complementary practice to their patients.

The practice of yoga in the U.S. is often considered as fun group exercise program because of the physical postures that are taught in studios and gyms across the country. While this type of exercise is beneficial, it’s typically taught to a group and as a result, classes are taught to the average physical level of the class. Yoga teachers typically have a minimum of 200 hours of training to be able to teach a group yoga class.

Yoga therapy focuses on tailoring a practice to a whole individual student rather than a physical “average” group class. A yoga therapy trained teacher will work with an individual student in a private setting. While physical postures are part of the private session, the poses may be taught from a different perspective than in a group class and may be modified consistent with the student’s level. In yoga, the individual is seen as a whole being that includes body, breath, emotions, intellect and spirit. Imbalances can occur in any aspect of the whole individual. With awareness and practice, equilibrium may be restored.

Yoga therapy puts responsibility on the student for identifying any one or combination of mind/body/spiritual goals that they may wish to work on. A typical session may include a combination of: discussion between the teacher and student to get to know one another and set goals and expectations; breathing practices; movements and yoga postures; meditation; and discussions on student’s behaviors where an education in yogic philosophy might be of benefit to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Since the student sets the goal, they also set the pace and type of practices that might be explored in a private session. Change is gradual so a series of sessions is normally recommended.

To learn more about yoga therapy and how you can benefit in leading a more balanced and healthy lifestyle at East Meets West Studio, contact Dawn Curtis at 703-356-9642 or visit

 Denyse LeFever, approaching her senior years, decided to take her casual interest in yoga to a more professional in-depth study and focus. Specifically, she focused on some of her personal areas of concern – stress reduction, healthy aging and coping with lifestyle diseases and began teaching yoga in 2011. Denyse has received several certifications and has completed more than 1000 hours of yoga teacher training.

May 2020



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