That’s the message Jill Glavan wants people to know about yoga therapy.
“It’s extremely gentle,” Glavan, a certified yoga therapist and owner of Inner Light Yoga & Yoga Therapy in Minooka, said.
Far too many people think yoga means getting into “crazy poses,” Glavan said.. For advanced practitioners, that may be true, Glavan added.
“But that’s not our focus,” Glavan said.
Yoga therapist are not medical doctors, Glavan stressed, and yoga therapist don’t diagnose medical conditions. But yoga therapy can work in conjunction with traditional therapies, she said.
“While there are many places to practice yoga, my colleague, Jennifer Halaska and I are the only certified yoga therapists in in the surrounding area,” Glavan said in an email.
To become a yoga therapist, Glavan had four years and 900 hour of training and is certified through the International Association of Yoga Therapists, which was founded in 1989 and represents more than 5,600 yoga and health care professionals working in more than 50 countries, according to its website at iayt.org.
“An emotional problem, such as feeling overwhelmed and burdened by life may manifest as a physical problem in the low back. We are able to correct a breathing pattern that affects your mood - and therefore may decrease anxiety and depression,” Glavan wrote in an email.
“While a physical therapist can address the low back issue, and an psychotherapist can address the emotional ones, a yoga therapist can blend the breathing and movement with lifestyle changes to profoundly change a person’s well being.”
The movements for yoga therapy are extremely gentle, Glavan said. In many cases, the movements are a simple as synchronized breathing, with, perhaps, the addition of a mantra.
“Yoga therapy can consist of just breath work,” Glavan said. “And anyone can breathe.”