Health & You: Yoga vs Yoga Therapy, know the difference

Rajshree VoraUpdated: Saturday, March 12, 2022, 07:32 AM IST
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Yoga is an ancient science. In ancient times people used to do yoga to attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death. People who used to do yoga were called yogis and for them yoga was sadhana. Hence, yoga is often called Yoga Sadhana.

Yoga is an amalgamation of various streams and practices. Hath yoga and Ashtanga are the two main streams. Whereas, asanas, pranayamas, shuddhi kriyas, mudras, bandhas and meditation are the various practices of yoga.

From physical, mental and spiritual upliftment, yoga can bless you with many health benefits. Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root, 'Yuj'. The word yuj means to join or to yoke. Yoga is nothing but a formation or a union of Atma (soul) and Paramatma (supreme soul).

Back in ancient times, there were varied purposes of indulging in yoga, spirituality used to be the primary one apart from remaining healthy. But in today's fast-paced modern life, yoga has become nothing but a fitness regime. Some people practise yoga to attain physical flexibility.

There's always a purpose behind practising yoga. It can't be done without having any purpose. Both in ancient, as well as in modern times, one of the important purposes of yoga was and still is to keep oneself fit and healthy.

If done precisely, one can yield therapeutic benefits by practising yoga. But if you want to make the most of yoga and yield its therapeutic benefits, you will have to alter your diet and choose food items that will help boost your overall well-being. Most yoga practitioners follow a strict sattvic diet.

Difference between yoga and yoga therapy.

What is Yoga?

·Yoga is an ancient method for good health and spiritual upliftment.

·Yoga is useful for disease prevention.

·Yoga helps keep one fitness and young.

·Yoga promotes health.

·Yoga boosts flexibility.

·Yoga improves health of joint and muscles.

·Yoga sharpens our 5 senses even with growing age.

·It maintains health of brain & its various functions.

·It sharpens memory.

What is Yoga Therapy?

·Yoga therapy is supportive treatment.

·Yoga therapy gives curative effect.

·It can be used for rehabilitation.

·It gives good result in psychosomatic health problems.

·It supports body for fast recovery.

·Yoga therapy programs are customised as per health history of the person.

·Yoga therapy is very effective in losing weight and controlling obesity.

·It is helpful in chronic problems.

There's a difference between a yoga teacher and a yoga therapist. You should always set a purpose and then move ahead and choose your trainer accordingly.


Things to keep in mind:

·Do not over exercise. Understand your limitations.

·All yogasanas are not for all.

·They may look fascinating but may not be suitable to you.

·Yoga practices can be contraindicated also.

·Do not practice yogasanas which are not comfortable or very difficult to perform.

·Do not overeat.

·Do not starve, take food as per your requirement.

·Moderation is a golden rule of life, whether it’s a weight loss or any other purpose.

(The author is an obesity consultant, dietitian & nutritionist, Sujok therapist, counsellor & yoga therapist)

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