Yoga and Physical Therapy: Get Your Strength Back

Stretching and Strengthening

When recovering from an injury, specialized physical therapy with yoga can be an ideal approach to getting back your strength, flexibility and range of motion.

Of course, yoga physical therapy is not only for those recovering from an injury. This special blend of yoga practice and physical therapy can also benefit those with chronic pain or simply an overload of stress. Even for those recovering from something such a breast cancer, this specialized combination of physical therapy and yoga can do wonders.

Specialized Physical Therapy with Yoga

Combining the medical knowledge of a physical therapist with the physical and spiritual knowledge of a yoga instructor is a winning combination! Physical therapists are trained to diagnose problems or spot tension, issues affecting range of motion, or reasons behind chronic pain. This knowledge has a medical base and is honed through years of study and practical experience.

A yoga instructor addresses physical problems from a different angle, since yoga offers centuries of wisdom about physical health and movement. When you bring modern medicine and ancient wisdom together, you get the winning combination that is specialized physical therapy with yoga.

Physical Therapy

If you have sustained an injury, you will, in many cases, be referred to a physical therapist to help you recover the strength and flexibility that you had in the bodily area that was injured.

Athletes and patients with chronic pain are often referred to physical therapists in order to keep the body fluid and flexible and to release unnecessary toxins and stress inside the body. For some patients, this is done primarily by the physical therapist prescribing exercises and the patient has to make sure that they actually do the exercises in the way the therapist has described.

In other settings, such as when a patient is still in the hospital, a physical therapist is often called on to manually help the patient do whatever limited exercises he or she can still do from their hospital bed. For the first group, yoga physical therapy is a viable option; for the second group, physical therapy itself is advisable.

Restorative Yoga

There are many types of yoga, but the most common type used therapy is restorative yoga. Whether recovering from an injury or suffering from chronic stress, restorative yoga classes emphasize relaxation and getting your body back to a healthy state. While most yoga classes are designed to improve your physical condition beyond your normal state, restorative yoga is designed to bring you back to your normal state.

Some typical restorative yoga postures and exercises are hip opening asanas and yoga poses for tight hamstrings. All yoga is based on mindful breathing and increased strength and flexibility; however, the hip-opening asanas and the poses for tight hamstrings are also designed with a specific restorative effect in mind.

Yoga Physical Therapy

Bringing together the best of restorative yoga and physical therapy is what makes yoga physical therapy the perfect option for many people. Whether you visit a physical therapy clinic with certified yoga instructors on staff, or you go to a yoga studio that also has a physical therapist as a consultant, you can be sure to get the absolute best benefits from both domains.

In many cases, physical therapy can be covered by your insurance if you have a proper referral for it. To date, yoga is not something that will be covered by insurance; however, investing in a restorative yoga class is not as costly as physical therapy services, so both options are about equally expensive, assuming you have a referral for physical therapy.

Alternatively, if you don't have a health condition or a recent injury, the restorative effects of yoga are not limited to classes specifically titled "restorative yoga"; getting some yoga videos or yoga DVDs and doing them regularly can work wonders. Not only are you likely to become more flexible, stronger, more coordinated and move more gracefully, you're also be less stressed and enjoy better sleep!

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Yoga and Physical Therapy: Get Your Strength Back