Yoga Assisted Group Therapy is a once per week, 2 ½ hour therapy group combining yoga, relaxation, meditation and group processing. The group is designed around the concepts of wholeness and balance. Stress and tension are (unfortunately) part of our modern lifestyles. All too often we let stress knock us off balance, leaving us feeling bothered and unfocused.
Ongoing or unmanaged stress can often lead to imbalance in our minds and bodies, with potentially devastating effects on one’s health and feeling of well-being. Relaxation and meditation techniques have been clinically shown to play a significant role in promoting health and relieving stress.
Doing yoga postures (called “asanas”) prepares the body for relaxation in two ways: Concentrating on the postures clears the mind, while focusing on the breath helps the body shift out of “fight-or-flight” mode. Then, once the body is more receptive to relaxation, we are able to reap the benefits of deep relaxation, meditation and guided imagery.
Each session begins with 30 – 45 minutes of performing yoga postures, followed by 15 – 30 minutes of guided imagery, deep relaxation and meditation time. This phase of group isn’t “silent, sit with legs crossed, eyes closed, what are we supposed to be doing” time, but rather, a time devoted to participating in structured and guided relaxation exercises and visualizations.
The guided imagery exercises focus on topics such as learning to be truly present in the moment, awakening to connection, opening into vulnerability, allowing receptivity, facing the unknown, turning inward, changing perspective, and moving toward balance.
During the remainder of group time (about 90 minutes), participants process the feelings and thoughts that came up for them during the asanas and meditations. Processing thoughts and feelings in a group setting is a powerful, impactful and amazingly connecting experience.