"The Yoga Therapy Renaissance" Sheds Light on an Increasingly Important Field

Yoga Therapy, an accessible, integrative practice that complements many disciplines, is a powerful tool to improve health, well-being, healing and more. Bija Bennett’s free, newly released eBook covers its origins, evolution, growth, training programs, cross-industry applications and vast potential in modern healthcare.

CHICAGO, March 26, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Yoga Therapy, an evidence-based practice used to treat chronic diseases, structural conditions and mental health issues, as well as foster wellbeing and personal growth, is taking root as a powerful tool to improve health and wellness, healing and more. However, it remains little understood by not only the public at large but also by healthcare professionals and many practitioners and teachers of more widespread forms of yoga. A new free eBook by Bija Bennett and industry experts, “The Yoga Therapy Renaissance: A New Wellness Modality for the 21st Century,” covers the origins, evolution, growth, training programs, applications across industries and vast potential this distinct wellness modality has for modern healthcare.

Yoga Therapy is having a renaissance due to its low-tech, accessible, easily mastered tactics and substantial potential to have a positive impact on a wide range of health and wellness challenges in multiple milieus. It is finding acceptance in healthcare settings, the workplace, education and becoming a treatment option among individuals looking for strategies to solve unresolved physical, mental and emotional well-being issues.

Bennett’s new release addresses the renaissance of Yoga Therapy and is the first book of its kind to illuminate the revolutionary holistic system of this practice modality and its capacity to deal with both the health and lifestyle related conditions of our modern age. This includes Yoga Therapy’s impact on stress and emotional disorders; addiction, psycho-social and behavioral issues; navigating end-of-life considerations; and improving physiological conditions such as sleep, fatigue, immunity, chronic pain and even sexual health.

“Like yoga, a 5,000-year-old set of practices that has enjoyed exponential growth in the last decade, Yoga Therapy is an ancient modality that is flourishing once again,” Bennett noted. “While we can attribute much of its rebirth to an ever-growing body of peer-reviewed studies that are substantiating its efficacy and benefits, people are also turning to it as they embrace a more holistic form of yoga and understand that it is much more than just a way to exercise.

Yoga Therapy is a subset of yoga based on the therapeutic and clinical application of specific practices, but these therapeutic methods are now being incorporated into top healthcare systems’ integrative medicine programs. As a result, yoga therapists are increasingly earning the necessary certifications for this form of therapy and becoming engaged in clinical roles,” Bennett, a certified yoga therapist, explained.”

Yoga Therapy’s Extensive Health and Wellness Applications

Today a majority of the more than 5,000 members of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) are working in hospital settings and outpatient clinics, in areas that range from physical therapy and rehabilitation to cardiology and oncology. In these contexts, they collaborate with healthcare providers to develop plans that complement and support patients’ care journeys. Given the mounting body of research in this field and many promising findings, the number of rigorous new degree programs, standards, accreditation and credentialing processes for yoga therapists are growing.

And for good reason: “Yoga Therapy, the curative application of yoga practices, is based on a highly personalized approach to health and wellbeing and designed to evolve over a lifetime as conditions and circumstances change,” Bennett explained. “Like yoga, it was and has continued to be developed on the recognition that our physical and emotional states, attitudes, behavioral patterns, lifestyles, dietary preferences, personal associations and living environments are intimately linked to each other and to the state of our health.”

“It’s an enormous and complex field because it encompasses the entirety of yoga, which draws on many types of techniques, including mental, physical and spiritual practices; different philosophical mindsets; a wide range of meditation, breathing and chanting exercises; varied foundational lifestyle skills; and a body of psycho-emotional teachings. But it adapts all or parts of these yoga practices to address the needs of people with specific or persistent health problems more fully and directly,” Larry Payne, Ph.D., who co-founded IAYT in 1989 to further yoga as an effective healing art and science, pointed out.

Why Yoga Therapy is So Relevant and Indispensable Today

Since the late 20th century, worldwide crises have mounted in every arena, affecting everyone regardless of age or economic status. But the enormity of the recent pandemic spurred a sea change resulting in a collective global quest to focus on holistic approaches to health and wellbeing. This caused us to reconsider what it means to be well, setting the stage for a reset in wellness––individually, institutionally, nationally and globally.

“Overnight, people realized the importance of accessible wellness strategies for themselves and their families and turned to proven, beneficial practices that cost little or nothing,” Melisse Gelula, co-founder of Well+Good said. “To relieve stress and loneliness, they learned to meditate or got out in nature and started walking. Easily manageable practices such as yoga suddenly became coping strategies for individuals and organizations worldwide.”

“With its potential to transform aspects of human healing and wellness management in fundamental ways, the demand for Yoga Therapy has begun to mirror the growth of yoga,” pointed out American Viniyoga Institute Director and Founder Gary Kraftsow, a renowned speaker and teacher of the Viniyoga methodology and contributor to “The Yoga Therapy Renaissance.”

“However, Yoga Therapy stands apart from mainstream yoga in the depth and breadth of its training, its scope of practice and its growing integration with the work of the holistic medical community and academic researchers. This accounts for the current drive to develop rigorous standards and accreditation and credentialing processes for Yoga Therapy schools and practitioners,” Kraftsow added.

Given Yoga Therapy’s increasing importance, the Global Wellness Institute, launched a Yoga Therapy Initiative to define this ancient, evolving and multidimensional science as a wellness modality for the 21st century. Bennett, founder and head of GWI’s Yoga Therapy Initiative, has been researching and documenting its impact on individual health, medical and health care solutions and the corporate and hospitality industries since that time. The Initiative’s mission to spread awareness and educate the global community about the field’s wealth of evidence-based research, recent innovations, publications, programs and industry leaders, is reflected in “The Yoga Therapy Renaissance.”

What to Expect from “The Yoga Therapy Renaissance”

“Given its power, potential and the tremendous benefits it offers so many, Yoga Therapy is emerging as a key wellness option for now and the future. Practitioners and professionals from all corners of the wellness industry must understand how this growing therapeutic practice can be applied in industry settings, communities and organizations,” Purpose Brand CEO Diane Primo said.

As a former corporate CEO who now heads a digital marcom agency that specializes in healthcare and wellness clients and serves as co-CEO of the Primo Center, a Chicago shelter for homeless families, Primo added, “Yoga Therapy is a wellness paradigm that has tremendous applications for all of us. This book is just as relevant to individuals as it is to businesses, healthcare professionals and communities. I can see so many ways to apply these strategies in my philanthropic and professional endeavors.”

Bennett, a long-time advocate, teacher and therapist, showcases this ancient practice as a valuable resource that can improve human health, healing and wellness in profound ways. Her eBook, “The Yoga Therapy Renaissance,” serves to:

  • Validate Yoga Therapy’s efficacy as a modern wellness modality and discipline built on a profound body of knowledge, experience and substantiated benefits;
  • Differentiate Yoga Therapy as a distinct subspecialty within the wider discipline of yoga practice;
  • Encourage wellness and healthcare professionals to critically examine Yoga
  • Therapy’s practices, techniques and therapeutic benefits;
  • Increase mainstream awareness of the holistic value and impact of Yoga Therapy; and
  • Drive the adoption of Yoga Therapy in diverse industries and settings in both public and private sectors.

Download a free copy of “The Yoga Therapy Renaissance” here.

For press inquiries and interview opportunities contact Allie Kuopus at [email protected].

About Bija Bennett:

Bija Bennett is an internationally known wellness and lifestyle pioneer—and an outstanding communicator who conveys the tenets of mind-body health in remarkably accessible and engaging ways. An author, speaker and life-long champion of mental health awareness, Bija is an advocate for an emerging wellness paradigm that addresses the whole person in interconnected ways, teaching care strategies and multidisciplinary solutions to help individuals realize optimal wellbeing. As a certified yoga therapist, she has treated thousands of patients and has developed pioneering programs for Fortune 500 companies, major medical institutions, spa and hospitality groups and personal clients. Bija has written four internationally respected books and publishes regularly in Rolling Stone and AGEIST magazines. She counts Deepak Chopra among her colleagues, and has taught numerous celebrities, including Joni Mitchell, Calvin Klein, Barbra Streisand, George Harrison and Laura Dern. Bija is an Ambassador for the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), the leading organization empowering wellness worldwide, and currently serves as the GWI Yoga Therapy Initiative Chair. In partnership with the Global Wellness Summit (GWS), she established the Bennett Family Award for Collaboration in the Science of Wellness to recognize scientists collaborating for the advancement of human health and wellbeing. For more information visit www.bijab.com.

About The Global Wellness Institute:

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to empower wellness worldwide by educating the public and private sectors about preventative health and wellness. GWI’s research, programs and initiatives have been instrumental in the growth of the USD $4.5 trillion wellness economy and in uniting the health and wellness industries. Through its five pillars—Research, Initiatives, Roundtable Discussions, wellnessevidence.com and The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease—the GWI informs and connects key stakeholders capable of impacting the overall well-being of our planet and its citizens. The GWI makes all of its valuable information and resources available at no cost, which allows anyone, anywhere, access. For more information visit www.globalwellnessinstitute.org.

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