Yoga Psychology

Posted by: Priya Senroy on May 31, 2013 3:57 pm

Dear Readers

Happy Mid Spring!!!!

I have been trying to motivate myself in shaping up for summer and have been thinking of joining Yoga. I practice it when I was young in India but did not like it and obviously did not understand the benefits of it.  So when I recently went to an open house, I heard the word Yoga Psychology and that tweaked my interests. I pondered about how this ancient form of physical activity could have psychology build into it and how can something as diverse as yoga is a part of psychology? While researching I came across an article in the American Psychological Association website which quotes-Studies show the practice( of Yoga)—which combines stretching and other exercises with deep breathing and meditation—can improve overall physical fitness, strength, flexibility and lung capacity, while reducing heart rate, blood pressure and back pain. But what is perhaps unknown to those who consider yoga just another exercise form is that there is a growing body of research documenting yoga’s psychological benefits. Several recent studies suggest that yoga may help strengthen social attachments, reduce stress and relieve anxiety, depression and insomnia. Researchers are also starting to claim some success in using yoga and yoga-based treatments to help active-duty military and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. It shares that there are  counselors, therapists and analysts  who have been using Yoga in their practice and while it must be noted that while  teaching yoga to clients without formal training is not the way to go ,  but psychologists or even counselors  can use psychotherapy sessions to practice yoga’s mind-body awareness and breathing techniques. Simple strategies—such as encouraging clients to get as comfortable as possible during their sessions or to pay attention to how their body feels when they inhale and exhale—teach clients to be in the here and now.”These by themselves would be considered yoga interventions because they direct attention to the breath and help unhook people from thoughts, emotions and impulses that are negative or destructive,” says Kelly McGonigal, PhD. Stanford University health psychologist and yoga instructor.

So with this new found knowledge about yoga I will definitely learn and practice the breathing teching and try to use it with my clients and incorporate that while opening or closing sessions. For more information , http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/11/yoga.aspx  has information and so does these books.

Ajaya, S. (1984). Healing the Whole Person: Applications of Yoga Psychotherapy.

Honesdale, PA: Himalayan Institute Press.

Shannahoff-Khalsa, D. (2006). Kundalini Yoga Meditation: TEchniques Specific for Psychoatric Disorders, Couples Therapy & Personal Growth. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

1 comment on “Yoga Psychology”

  1. yoga says:

    Nice Post. Thanks for sharing the information.

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