What is Yoga Therapy and how is it different from attending a Yoga class?
A general public yoga class can certainly ease everyday aches, pains, and mood complaints. However, a yoga therapy session goes much deeper as it is completely curated to the client. Yoga Therapy offers individuals a 1:1 view at an optimum way to overcome physical, mental, and emotional concerns to cultivate change. The Integrated systems model (ISM) - trauma informed, yoga therapy is a unique, wholistic approach to an empowered, self-healing, strength-based process. A curated practice is designed around client-centered goals by blending Western psychology and anatomy, with ancient yogic techniques to create balance within the physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and spiritual human aspects. This integrated yoga therapy model is unique because it addresses every aspect of life rather than considering each body part or system separately. It equips clients with a comprehensive toolkit to help support regulation and resilience in the mind-body system. You don’t need to be sick or in pain for yoga therapy to have value.
“There is no specific timeline for recovery – healing is based on your readiness to make meaningful change and stay committed to the practice.”
– Chelsea Lee -chelsealeeyoga.ca/yoga-therapy
What specialized training do you have that supports your practice?
C-IAYT-certified yoga therapists require in-depth training to help assess and keep clients safe, and to interact with other healthcare practitioners effectively, complimenting a client’s comprehensive healthcare program. The ISM-trauma informed, Yoga Therapists’ education starts with a 200 hour yoga teacher training, followed by another 800 hours of unparalleled education in subjects to bridge the gap between Western Medicine and Eastern concepts such as, trauma care, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology in various diseases, healthy aging, grief and bereavement, yoga philosophy and yoga’s sister health system- Ayurveda, business and ethics, and more, totalling 1000 hours of education and a minimum of 100 clinical hours working with clients prior to certification from an accredited school. Once graduated with the required grades and hours, certification comes after an ethics exam with the governing body, International Association of Yoga Therapists.
Can yoga therapy help my chronic pain?
Yes, Yoga Therapy works with top-down cognitive tools through mediation and ethical inquiry to affect the state of the body, and bottom-up regulation tools involving the body itself, with movement and breathing techniques to change the state of the nervous system and affect thoughts and emotions. Through this deepened awareness and increased knowledge of the interconnectedness of a mind-body practice through movement, breath work and meditation and many more mindfulness concepts, clients become empowered to utilize these body-based tools to transform skills needed for self-regulation, integrating the natural capacity to affect the nervous system by improving our ability to self-regulate and optimize well-being.
Is Yoga therapy safe during pregnancy or after joint surgery?
Yes, I offer yoga therapy for kids, it’s safe for all stages of life. Yoga therapy can be helpful after surgery respecting your surgeon's movement orders and under the advisement of your treating physiotherapist/surgeon/health care provider. Anything acute is delicate and asanas/movements should respect the stage of healing of your joint and body. Focus of yoga therapeutic practice can be on techniques like meditation, pranayama/breathwork and build toward healthy, helpful movements as they become safe for you.
What should I bring to a yoga therapy session?
Wearing loose comfortable clothing is best to allow the full range of motion to be available. Although yoga mats, blocks and all props are provided by the yoga therapist, you may choose to bring your own mat, blocks and straps can be if desired. Clients are also encouraged to bring an open mind, a desire to create change through commitment of the practice and a water bottle is highly recommended.
Can yoga therapy help me recover from my ICBC car accident injuries?
Yes, Yoga therapy can help recovery from MVA related ICBC injuries as part of your treatment plan. Yoga therapy offers a unique practice that addresses your physical pain, stiffness and tissue injury as well as trauma, anxiety, and depression that can all stem from car accidents.
Trauma Informed ISM Yoga Therapy empowers clients to tap into heir own innate healing capabilities, and offers a safe environment where clients are heard, included as an active participant in their session and co-create a therapeutic relationship where clients learn more than yoga techniques, movement, breathwork and meditation. Techniques consisting of, becoming aware of your body, befriending your body and using your body as a resource, while balancing the mental, emotional, physical, and energetics of your humanness. Such as a breathing practice, which can profoundly affect a completely different area of the body and/or mind, because of yoga’s ability to regulate the nervous system and affect the way the brain processes information.
Is yoga therapy covered by Private Insurance or ICBC?
Yes, yoga therapy can be incorporated into your ICBC treatment plan under the advisement and guidance of your treating physiotherapist. Please speak with you physiotherapist for more information.
Meet Our Yoga Terapist
Physiotherapist Support Worker
Nikki is a certified Yoga Therapist who graduated in 2020 from Vancouver School of Healing Arts. She is trained in trauma informed Integrated Systems Model (ISM), La Lupavia’s Held in Grief, Rainbow kids’ yoga, SoulWork trauma sensitive kids’ yoga and is certified for Health and Nutrition Coaching from The Health Coach Institute.
Nikki’s yoga therapy offerings are a blend of Western knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and mind-body psychology with ancient Eastern Yogic practices, such as breath work, postures (asana) and meditation. Nikki was drawn to yoga therapy as the offerings are curated with a wholistic, human-centered approach that focus on determining the root cause while recognizing the interconnectedness of your emotions, thoughts, and body. No previous experience is needed to enjoy the offerings of Yoga Therapy.
Nikki also teaches public yoga classes for adults at Oxygen Yaletown, and for kids through The Yoga Buggy Association, offering kids across the lower mainland an opportunity to experience yoga.
Outside of work, you can find Nikki playing in the forest with her beloved dog, attending local workshops on creative art projects, and exploring all the wonderful sea to sky offerings of Vancouver.
Visit Nikki's Yoga Therapy Website here to learn more: https://www.missnikkinyx.com/