Personalizing the experience : the emergence of yoga therapy
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Yoga has recently been a subject of some media attention, both positive and negative. Some people advocate it for its mental and physical benefits, but others are also concerned that it might cause or lead to injury, particularly in the Western world where it's commonly seen primarily as a form of exercise. Yoga therapy emerged in part because of such concerns. Though people have used yoga to aid in health and wellness for as long as the practice has existed, the idea of yoga therapy being its own specialized field is relatively new. Yoga therapists hope to personalize the experience of yoga by working with people with various mental and physical conditions and giving them customized programs. Using quotes from professionals and people with personal yoga experience, this article explores the roots of yoga therapy, yoga itself: its praises, criticisms, science and a small sample of its plentiful history. It also addresses the definition of yoga therapy, specialties in the field, its professional organization and possibilities for the future. The question of whether yoga therapy can gain credibility and become a reliable healthcare resource has not yet been answered, though there are those who say their own personal experiences are enough to convince them one way or the other. In any case, yoga and all its various forms of practice likely won't disappear anytime soon.