What Happens During a Yoga Therapy Session?

Yoga therapy is about treating a person holistically.  In other words, regardless of why the person has come to see me, all aspects of the individual, and all of our levels of being are taken into account.

Restorative poses are prescribed for their ability to relax and heal on a deep therapeutic level.

Restorative poses are prescribed for their ability to relax and heal on a deeply therapeutic level.

Sessions are structured so that we can explore the best treatment methods, using yogic techniques that encourage the Self to heal and flourish and move towards optimum wellbeing.

Yogic techniques might include pranayama (breath-work), asana (posture-work), relaxation, mindfulness or meditation, restorative yoga (placing the body in supported postures to promote rest and healing), nidra (deep relaxation) and sankalpa (purpose).

The experience of yoga therapy creates a partnership between client and therapist which allows the therapist to deepen her/his understanding of the client and devise a home practice for the client to take away and use.  This empowers yoga therapy clients to take responsibility for their own wellbeing, and gives them the necessary insight to develop their own intrinsic ability to self-heal.

If you would like more information about yoga therapy, or to make an appointment, you can email me at: freetothinkmail@aol.com, or text/telephone me on: 07817623330.

Stay well!

I – Into 2014

A belated “Happy New Year” to you all! 

Whether you visited my site through an interest in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or Yoga Relaxation and Mindfulness, you are very welcome and I hope this site serves to encourage and inspire.

So how do you view January?  As a chilly month in the depths of winter, or as the opportunity to renew, replenish and refresh?

If you are thinking about CBT, then the chances are you are not feeling your happiest and so this month may well be the former. Winter has the effect of keeping us closed in, both in terms of where we are physically, and our emotional and psychological Selves as well. It is all too easy to become enmeshed in any negative feelings. This time of year encourages us to hibernate and take stock. When we are feeling positive and mentally strong, this is good for us.  However, if we are feeling down or dejected, having too much opportunity to contemplate our woes is rarely beneficial.

If you are interested in yoga, then your interpretation of January may be entirely different.  This is because, for a yogi, every day is a new beginning, bringing with it the opportunity to grow and develop all aspects of our Self. From respecting our physical body when we eat and drink healthily, exercise regularly and relax properly, to improving mental strength and focus through mindfulness, meditation and resilience, we yogis seek to improve and develop through every day of our lives.

So how do we move from viewing January as a depressing month, to seeing it as an opportunity to move forward and develop?

It is all a matter of perspective. Firstly consider what it is that is holding you back and causing you to feel whatever negative feelings you have. Then decide if you feel strong enough to tackle these issues on your own. Can you call on support from people around you?  Do you want to tackle your issues at all?  Or is fear of the unknown holding you back?  It takes a brave person to look their life squarely in the face and admit there is a problem!

For more help and advice around these areas, you can click on the links above, read previous blogs, or just email me or give me a call.

 

SO WHY NOT WORK ON ENABLING THIS NEW YEAR

TO BE THE ONE THAT YOU WANT IT TO BE!

I – I’m OK, You’re OK

The expression ‘I’m ok, you’re ok’ was first used in a book of the same title, which was written by Thomas Anthony Harris MD, an american psychiatrist and author (born April 18, 1910, died May 4, 1995 in Sacramento, California). The book was a bestseller and its name became a cliché during the 1970s. ‘I’m ok you’re ok’ relates to the area of psychiatry/psychology/psychotherapy called ‘Transactional Analysis’ which integrates the theory of all three approaches in the examination of how we, as individuals, relate to each other. It is described as integrative because it has elements of psychoanalytic, humanist and cognitive approaches. Transactional analysis was first developed by Canadian born US psychiatrist Eric Berne (born May 10, 1910, died July 15, 1970), who wrote a famous book on the subject entitled ‘Games People Play’.

Transactional analysis sets out how people are psychologically structured by using a model known as the ego-state. The ego-state model mainains that we are always in one of three basic modes: Parent (a position of authority, not necessarily a parental relationship), Adult (a position of assertiveness, not necessarily a condition of age) and Child (a position of powerlessness – not necessarily a condition of age).  When we communicate with others, we will be in one of these modes (to a larger or lesser extent).  For example:

Parent to child: “You still haven’t cleaned your room!”

Parent to parent: “Children should keep their rooms tidy.”

Parent to adult: “My child keeps her room tidy.”

Child to parent: “Why do you always hassle me?”

Child to adult: “Alright, I’ll get it done now.”

Child to child: “God my parents get on my nerves!”

Adult to child: “Let’s get your room cleaned and then we can go out.”

Adult to parent: “I’ll get it done now.”

Adult to adult: “Let’s get this done so we can go out.”

By examining these differing states of interaction, we can see that the way in which we speak to others is very powerful in determining the sort of response we will get back.

To return to the statement ‘I’m ok, you’re ok’, there are four life positions that a person can hold, and our life will depend enormously on our own position.  These positions are:

  1. I’m OK and you are OK. This is the healthiest position about life and it means that I feel good about myself and that I feel good about others as, on the whole, I believe human nature, life in general and particularly my own situation, to be good.
  2. I’m OK and you are not OK. This is not usually a healthy position to take since I feel good about myself but I see others as damaged, impaired or inferior to me.
  3. I’m not OK and you are OK. In this position I see myself as inferior to others and will be the weak partner in relationships. If I hold this position I will unconsciously accept abuse as being OK.
  4. I’m not OK and you are not OK. This is the worst position to be in as it means that I believe that I am in a terrible state and the rest of the world is as bad. Consequently I will feel that there can be no hope at all.

The position that we hold in our life may sometimes have been carried with us into adulthood from childhood.  If, for example, we always felt powerless as a child, and were never encouraged to be assertive, then we may well remain in our child position of feeling powerless.  There are many complex ways in which we can be stuck in one or other of these positions, however the majority of healthy individuals will move from one position to another many times every day, depending upon who we are talking to. When we examine our most usual position(s) we can find out a lot about how we fit into our world and relate to it.

From a Transactional Analysis (and therefore CBT) perspective:

  • All people are OK, in that every person has validity, importance and deserves respect.
  • Positive reinforcement increases feelings of being ‘OK’
  • All people have a basic lovable core and a desire for positive growth (however well that may be hidden).
  • Everyone (with only few exceptions, such as the severely brain-damaged) has the capacity to think.
  • All of the many facets of an individual have a positive value for them in some way.
  • People decide their story and destiny, therefore these decisions can be changed.
  • All emotional difficulties are curable.

The aim of change, under Transactional Analysis, is to move towards: freedom from issues held on to from childhood, spontaneity, intimacy and problem solving, as opposed to avoiding or passively remaining in an unwanted situation. This is all done with a view to progressing and moving into a new, healthier position of ‘I’m ok, you’re ok.’

Further reading:  Eric Berne: Games People Play.

                              Thomas Harris: I’m OK, You’re OK’.

C – Change (Part Two)

 

As humans, we naturally organise our lives into routines, habits and comfort zones because by doing that, we automatically reduce the likelihood of stress in our everyday lives.  We all have our own comfort zones, from that pair of comfy old slippers, to our hobbies, habits and routines and these are what makes our life our own.  We choose our friends and our pastimes, we choose what and when we eat and we choose what to belief and think (yes we do).  Choosing to change means taking ourselves outside our comfort zone, seeing things from a different perspective and learning new ways to think, feel and behave.

Even change that is considered to be positive, such as a new job or marriage, will still normally hold some degree of stress. How stressful we find it will be determined by our ability to cope with change and our levels of resilience.

People undergoing CBT therapy are actively wishing to change things within their lives, and yet, even though they are seeking change for positive reasons, it doesn’t necessarily follow that this change will be easy because change means learning new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.  Not easy for us habitual, controlling, comfort zone loving human beings!

Whether change is imposed or invited, remember:

  • Accept it – Fighting or denying something that is still going to happen won’t help. 
  • Face your fears – Be Honest with yourself about how you feel.
  • Talk to the other people who are affected by the change – make sure you are all on the same page as you explore your options.
  • Do a stock-take of your resources – depending upon the situation, this may be finances, time, skills or the support of others.
  • Anticipate stress – change is rarely easy, by anticipating stress you will be forewarned and forearmed.  If you struggle to deal effectively with stress you can seek help and information through CBT therapy or by attending a Stress Management Course.

Change helps us to develop and grow as human beings which makes change a positive force.  There is always a silver lining to every cloud, even if you cannot immediately see it!

 

 

C – Change (Part One)

 

Whilst some of us thrive on change and transformation, others will seek to avoid it. Our reaction to change will be the result of our life’s experiences to date. If you have experienced a lot of change in your life and dealt with it successfully, then you will find it easier to confront change the next time. If, however you have always sought to avoid change and found it frightening, confusing and difficult to adjust to, then you will continue to react in that way unless you decide to do something about it. Change is such a difficult concept for so many of us that companies often run change management programmes to help their employees cope when they are undergoing change within their organisation.

The reality is that change is a part of life, whether it be imposed change or wanted change.   

Major changes can be difficult to cope with and require the ability to adjust and accept to a new way of being.  It is no surprise that major life changes are the biggest stress factors in our life whether positive (marriage, new baby, Christmas) or negative (divorce, bereavement, illness).  Imposed change is normally seen as negative because it is something that has been forced upon us.  It is not desirable, often unpredictable, and it takes us outside of our comfort zones as it forces us to look at things differently and to adopt new ways of being.  It isn’t what we chose or wanted and it is outside of our control and so it is no surprise that we find imposed change to be stressful, upsetting and disorientating. 

 

 

 

If you would like some tips to help you manage change, whether imposed or wanted, then please come back Saturday when the second part of this blog will be posted. 

Your comments are always appreciated!