Yoga Therapy: The Relationship Between Mind and Body

42-15632365A recent article in Time magazine described how psychotherapists help their clients access their deepest emotions by combining yoga into their sessions. The therapists use breathwork, meditation, and asanas (yoga postures) tailored to their client’s needs. This emerging technique, called Yoga Therapy, is basically the use of yoga practices to create and maintain an optimal state of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.

The basis for using Yoga Therapy in psychotherapy sessions is the “mind / body relationship” – the concept of healing the mind through the body and vice versa. I recently had the great pleasure and honor of interviewing a Lansdowne-based expert in MindBody Therapy Dr. Suzanne Nixon, about the mind / body connection and how it is used to help people achieve happiness and balance.

Double Dog Yoga: What is the premise behind MindBody Therapy?
Dr. Suzanne Nixon: Mindbody therapies are grounded in the belief that a dynamic relationship exists between mind and body, and innate physiological processes keep the mind and body in constant communication.  There is no separation between mind and body; we are an integrated system, a unified whole. Therefore the basic premise is, what effects the mind effects the body, and conversely, what effects the body effects the mind.

A grounding premise is that the body knows and speaks the truth. We experience sensations and feelings first, and then the mind makes sense of them. Therefore, in the journey of knowing the Self, or in creating health and healing, the body is the foundation of knowing. The mind, the root of cognition, is the second truth.

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We’ll feature more of our interview with Dr. Suzanne Nixon in future blogs. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about Dr. Suzanne Nixon and her practice, please visit www.mindbodytherapy.org. To learn more about how you can find beginner level yoga classes, or for tutorial of beginner yoga poses, please visit www.doubledogyoga.com.

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2 Responses to “Yoga Therapy: The Relationship Between Mind and Body”

  1. Stacy Renz Says:

    I am a yoga therapist who receives referrals from psychotherapists. I do not always know who these clients are. But I receive reports from these therapists that the clients they referred make tremendous strides in their therapy once they begin their yoga therapy sessions. Memories and beliefs truly appear to be stored all over the body – yoga practice not only modulates the stress response but releases trapped energy, memory, and beliefs in the body. Yoga also fosters an awareness on all levels of being that is not present prior to commencement of practice.

  2. doubledogyoga Says:

    Hi Stacy – thanks for sharing your experience! I’m starting Yoga Therapist training next month 🙂

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