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Yoga Informed Therapy

how Can Yoga Help With My Healing Process?

Yoga Informed Therapy, two woman practicing yoga

We have all heard that yoga is good for us!  Research shows that yoga can help with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, pain management, circulation, lowering blood pressure, stimulating immunity, increasing bone density, creating inner calm, healing trauma, and much, much more.   (Even Harvard released a study on how valuable yoga is for our brains.)

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What is Yoga Informed therapy?

The word yoga means “union” or “to join or yoke,” and in the practice of yoga, we join breath and movement.  To connect our bodies in a fully integrated way helps us enter into our parasympathetic nervous system, which is a state of safety.  Learning to regulate our nervous system in this way helps us slow down and feel calm, connected, refreshed, energized, social, and authentic.  The poses, or asanas, in yoga can help us connect to deep parts of ourselves and release stored tension as well as stored memories, pain, and traumas.  Intentionally using the asanas slowly to become more embodied is what yoga therapy is about.  In yoga informed therapy, we practice intentional, gentle movement to help release and activate parts of our inner knowing.  Through the body, we can gently unlock stuck points and start to reintegrate our minds and bodies. 

Why I Practice Yoga-Informed Therapy?

By Tara Arnold, PhD, LCSW, CEDS-S, RYT-200

For me, yoga is peace, calm, and serenity.  It is connecting with my body in a gentle and healthy way that helps me access my inner world and feelings.  It is a sacred space to be with myself, do something good, and be quiet.  The spiritual aspect is huge for me too.  It helps reaffirm my connection to myself, the Earth, others around me, and the Universe.  The focus on spiritual alignment and light energy feels very real and powerful to me.   When I am doing anything meaningful in my life, if it feels effortless and comes with ease, this is a state of flow.  With yoga, I feel consistently connected to the flow of life, the correct pace to live, to slow down and live more intentionally.  I am a therapist and I have been teaching and practicing mindfulness for a long time.  To me, the connection and mindfulness that yoga has provided for me has truly helped to deepen the experience of my being, feelings, connection to others, and to my life. 

The practice of yoga seems to bring up other aspects in my life as well.  In the short term, I have had a great deal of resistance to certain parts of the practice.  I have been trying to work through the need to control, the difficulty in slowing down, and my own self-will through developing a consistent practice.  In the long-term, I realize that I need a consistent practice for my health.  As a therapist I sit all day, and I know that as I get older, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to inactivity and immobility.   Health, physical activity, and sport are important to me as I have been a runner for most of my adult life, and now, with age, running has become too painful.  I needed a new form of movement that could help me stay healthy and vital as well as spiritually and emotionally connected. So, I made a plan to incorporate my yoga practice into my healing work as a therapist so that I both get the benefit, and am able to to give others the gift of yoga as well. 

Tara Arnold, PhD, LCSW,CEDS-C, RYT-200 - Clinical Co-Director of WholeHeart Psychotherapy
Yoga sessions for recovery

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Workshops are longer sessions designed to help deliver a large amount of content in a short period of time. Oftentimes, workshops can last hours to days and are provided in a group format to deliver an intervention in a detailed and often experiential way.

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★★★★★Bryn Chafin
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Whole Heart Psychotherapy is an incredible practice of knowledgeable, compassionate, and ethical clinicians. As a therapist myself, it is important to establish relationships with other groups for networking, consultation, and collaborative purposes. I truly appreciate that I can trust the clinicians of Whole Heart to provide effective treatment to clients that I refer to their services. I also am grateful for the professional consultation and collaboration that is provided when working with shared cases or when seeking feedback. Whole Heart and its staff are always on my list of providers for outside referrals.
★★★★★Cameron McIntosh
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As a therapist, I feel very fortunate to have WholeHeart Psychotherapy as a resource. I have never once hesitated to refer to the practice, and have heard nothing but positive feedback from those I have referred. I have personally participated in professional consultation and DBT groups at Wholeheart over the the years, and can't speak highly enough of the experience.
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Whole heart provides caring and helpful therapeutic support to their clients. As a therapist, I frequently refer clients to their practice as well as participate in supervision groups offered by their experienced supervisors.
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i've loved my experience with my therapist at WH!
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absolutely in love with whole heart. i've seen two therapists here and both have been the best. they're all so understanding, communicative, and helpful.
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