Yoga is not only poses we do on a yoga mat. The term "yoga" embodies a group of practices including those related to breathing and meditation.
While we all breath automatically, we're not always using our breath to the best benefit for our bodies. We can alter our breath with controlled inhalations and longer exhalations, use alternate nostril breathing, or cooling breath techniques to adjust our nervous system. These can be coping and relaxation skills that decrease anxiety or struggles with sleep.
Meditation is sometimes a word that people associate with sitting with legs crossed on a cushion and with the ability and desire to sit still with your eyes closed for long periods of time, maybe with incense burning and a recording of chanting in the background. This is one way to meditate. However, meditation and mindfulness are also techinques that help us train our minds to focus and improve thinking processes so that we can meet our problems more directly, and think rationally while attending to our emotions. We increase our ability to respond to feelings and situations rather than react to them. Mindfulness and meditation practices can be a part of therapy.
Yoga poses (asana) help us move from being trapped in our thoughts to being present and mindful in our bodies. When we pay attention to our body and its reaction to emotions and thoughts, we learn a lot about how thoughts and feelings impact us physically. We can use movement and attention to our bodies to help us also reverse the physical sensations stress and overwhelm can bring. We not only release tension in our muscles but also increase clarity of thought and our emotions settle.
While Kate will often offer various aspects of yoga and meditation within therapy, feel free to request to integrate these modalities more prominently if you wish to explore them further!