Yoga therapy is a relatively modern discipline, created by combining traditional yoga with western medical science. By tailoring yoga practices to individual needs, whilst taking medical conditions into account, yoga therapy is more effective and safer than general yoga practice as a means of complementing medical treatment and providing relief from the symptoms.
A yoga therapist is an experienced yoga teacher who has undergone post-graduate training in western medical conditions, interview and assessment skills, as well as the advanced application of yoga philosophy and techniques as therapy.
The evaluation framework for yoga therapy is the panchamayakosha, five levels of being; body, energy, mind, intuitive wisdom and bliss.
Within this framework, the models used to determine the imbalances are:
• the principal prana vayus - the breathing mechanism and circulation of prana
• the gunas - efficiency of energy use
• the Ayurvedic doshas - body / personality type and imbalances
• the main chakras - mental / emotional patterns
These enable the therapist to make sense of a collection of symptoms and see the underlying pattern of imbalance, which needs to be addressed. The models can also give the client a new perspective on their issues and how they can help themselves.
I first consulted Anna over ten years ago when I had a neck problem, which she successfully treated.
I now see her on a regular basis for 'body maintenance' and look forward to our sessions, which include restorative relaxation and physical alignment exercises. They bring about such a sense of general well-being that often when I leave I feel about two feet taller!
Anna's teaching has been a crucial part of my rehabilitation from a Lower Back Disc injury. She is a fantastic teacher who's kindness and commitment to my recovery, combined with an extremely deep knowledge of the physical body and Remedial Yoga, and has taught me that I can heal my own body through personal awareness and Yoga
Actress & Massage therapist
I have had back problems for a number of years and first came to see Anna 3-4 years ago because I was interested in learning yoga. I had heard enough horror stories about people doing in their back in the middle of a yoga class and was delighted to find a yoga teacher who was also a qualified osteopath. My sessions with Anna have given me far more than what I originally expected. We have done fairly intense yoga sessions, which were some of the more strenuous exercise sessions I have had in years – a real yoga workout goes far beyond anything I had done in pilates. We have also done very calming, passive sessions to rebalance the body and mind in stressful times.
There is no question that the combination of a qualified yoga teacher, osteopath and shiatsu therapist makes Anna unique as a body health coach, whatever one’s state of fitness or life phase. I don’t think I could have managed to maintain my hectic business career without this kind of support, and I can’t imagine giving it up!
Chief Financial Officer
I started seeing Anna Blackmore over 15 years ago for an arthritic condition in my neck and shoulder. I was immediately reassured by her quiet professional manner and her knowledge of bodies and how they work!
During the past 15 years she has been invaluable in treating the various aches and pains of advancing years and several back problems due to accidents etc.
The arthritis is well controlled, I am convinced, because I see her on a regular basis. After a session with Anna I always feel invigorated, relaxed and happy.
When I started remedial yoga, I was uncertain of what it entailed and what goals would be achievable. I had previously spent several years not really improving much with traditional medical/physiotherapy treatments. I found remedial yoga helped both my mind and my body. This was the right treatment for me, even after having waited so long after sustaining my injury. I have gained greater flexibility with much reduced pain. It has made a difference to my every day life.
Anna, you are the BEST yoga teacher I ever had in 10 years practising different types of yoga. As I was telling you today, I am always impressed by your thorough knowledge of the human body and the anatomy. This talent, combined with a long-standing experience of teaching and practising yoga and a warm and sensitive personality, explains why you can actually act both as a yoga teacher and as a therapist, even in group classes.
I have known Anna since the 80's and have certainly benefited greatly from both her osteopathy and shiatsu treatments. Now I know her chiefly as my yoga teacher. Being able to draw from three different disciplines makes Anna a knowledgeable and accomplished teacher.
Classes are beautifully constructed from what presents itself that day i.e. sorting out various physical problems of the students by including specific exercises relating to their problems. The lessons are taught in step by step detail, which allows you to give yourself, under her instruction, a first class treatment. She teaches with humour and kindness and I leave feeling energized and motivated. Thank you, Anna
Anna's care and consideration to me as a client has been a real revelation. She works with complete commitment, and is calm, responsive and kind. She also combines real wisdom with great common sense and humour, and with her lightness of touch, and a profound understanding of the need to look at life with hope and love, she has opened up the endless possibilities of a life lived with these values, as well as the need to combine the healing inherent in working with my mind, body, and spirit. I feel very fortunate to be able to work with her.
In the course of my snowboarding career I have broken both shoulders, the first in the year 2000 the second in 2004. The second broken shoulder benefited from Anna’s remedial yoga and there is no doubt in my mind that the second shoulder has recovered faster and better with Anna’s help.
I first went to Anna Blackmore's class as a complete beginner of `a certain age' and was impressed right from the start by the attentive and disciplined way she led the practice. It is very liberating to find that you don't have to be `good' at yoga, you only have to concentrate and use this precious time for yourself. There's no rush but no time wasting either - an Anna class stretches me a lot but leaves my mind feeling cleared.
At the beginning of each class you're asked to report any specific problem. This might be a stiff shoulder or perhaps insomnia or even a cold! Then Anna incorporates some helpful exercise or posture into that day's class and I've lost count of the times that people have said, for instance: `my cold seems to have gone...' at the end.
The U.S.P (unique selling point) of Anna's classes is, I think, the way she calmly requires you to do things you would have thought utterly impossible. You find yourself doing them because if she says you can do it well, darn it, you believe you can. And do.
Things to consider before the consultation
- Do not eat a full meal for at least 2 hours before a session.
- Try to avoid caffeine, alcohol or non-prescription pain medication.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
- Bring a list of any medications you are taking.
- Reflect on what you would like from the session and what would be your ideal outcome.
After your session it helps to drink plenty of water and to have some quiet, contemplative time. You are advised to avoid alcohol, caffeine and recreational drugs and, if possible, strenuous or stressful activities immediately afterwards.
Make sure you are on time for your appointment, so that you will be able to relax and get the full benefits. When you make an appointment, please understand that this time has been reserved for you. There will be a charge for appointments that are missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.
Information on consultation times and fees.
What is yoga therapy good for?
Yoga therapy has been found helpful for a wide range of conditions such as:
- back and neck problems
- joint injuries, pain or stiffness
- digestion and elimination
- blood pressure, heart, circulation
- breathing issues, COPD, asthma, chronic coughs and colds
- auto-immune disorders
- menstruation, fertility, discomfort and minor ailments in pregnancy
- low energy levels, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia
- insomnia and disturbed sleep
- stress, depression and anxiety
- low self esteem and lack of confidence
How many sessions would I need?
The therapy plan is developed over a series of 5 sessions, during which we work together to build up a simple routine of techniques, which will be drawn up for you to take home and follow on your own. You can then continue with the sessions, or return as and when you feel the need, to develop expand or modify the routine.
You can also attend for a single session, initially to see if this feels appropriate for you and then later on if you just want a brief top-up.