By Gurudevi Nirmalananda
I teach therapeutics because so many people need healing, perhaps even you. I teach teachers how to offer therapeutics because together we can heal more people than I could alone. I also benefit from practicing these techniques myself, which are both simple and amazing.
In a sense, all yoga is therapeutic, meaning it heals what ails you. It’s obvious that body and mind need help, certainly for anyone with a few decades on their odometer. You can pump iron, even move your body through extreme sports and extreme life experiences, but it is going to hurt at some point along the way. Now what do you do?
Pain killers don’t kill the pain. They numb your ability to feel it. That means you have the pain but now you’re numb. You’re numbed out, not only physically, but you also cannot feel joy or love. Worse, you haven’t identified the cause of your pain, which means it will get worse. Yoga says you must find and treat the cause of the pain, which is a multi-dimensional process.
This is consistent with the “bio-psycho-social” approach formally adopted by the World Health Organization in 2002. In addition to your biology, psychology and social health, yoga adds another dimension: your spirituality. Pain specialists have proven that those with deep spiritual or religious perspectives actually experience less pain. The sage Patanjali explained this several thousand years ago:
dra.s.t.r-d.r”syayo.h sa.myogo heya-hetu.h — Yoga Sutras 2.17
Pain is caused by your sense of self depending on things outside of you.
You know this from your own experience, perhaps, of a pet’s death. Your loss affects your quality of life and even your sleep and digestion. The difficulties cease when you get a new pet, or when you move on from your thoughts about your old pet. Bigger losses can trigger anxiety and depression, leading to a diminished immune response as well as other physical problems. Now the dominoes begin to fall.
Yoga intervenes at the point of the teetering domino. In a therapeutics class or private session, we meet you where you are at, focusing on reducing your pain or stress. Svaroopa® Yoga works! Your immediate improvement makes it look like we’re relieving your symptoms, but we are always targeting the cause.
When you are healing from an injury, illness or life event, we’re still focused on your deeper healing, for there are always multiple dimensions at play. The techniques we use activate your own healing power, which works on you from the inside out.
Our ways of working with your breath and body, more importantly, open up profound spiritual dimensions within you. These experiences are life-affirming as well as life-changing, which is yoga’s true purpose — that you shine the light of your own essence into the world more fully.
I love to teach therapeutics. While you get healing, you are simultaneously deepened into your own Self. It’s an outside-in and an inside-out process, both at the same time. Our therapeutics programs in 2022 include: