While yoga can be therapeutic to some, it is not the same as yoga therapy. 

Mindful Studio Magazine sat down with Dodi Wilson, a yoga therapist at Restoring Light Yoga, to get a better understanding of the benefits that yoga therapy can bring to your studio. 

Mindful Studio: How do you work with clients in your yoga therapy program?

Dodi Wilson: On a daily basis, I have private one-on-one yoga therapeutic clients that contract with me for a variety of ailments. I specialize in senior health and balance, Parkinson’s, MS, cancer, sports injuries and anxiety. 

I also teach special group classes that are focused on certain body parts, chakras and a range of emotional life issues. I write my own programs; one is designed specifically to release negative energy in the second chakra, allowing my clients to release tension to achieve more sexual satisfaction. 

MS: What are the benefits of yoga therapy?

DW: The benefits of yoga therapy are boundless and too vast for me to name. My clients have shared their success stories with me, and most are thrilled to be able to reclaim their lives after being diagnosed with illnesses that western medicine has only prescription drugs for. Hearing them excited to live and take back their health is priceless. 

MS: What are the requirements to become a yoga therapist?

DW: The track and training to become a yoga therapist has changed over the years. I personally started taking yoga trainings geared toward yoga therapy in my first 500-hour yoga courses. Over 10 years ago I felt a personal connection with the work. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to India, California and Canada to train with amazing trainers and teachers that focused on many different aspects of the human body. Adding my study of Ayurveda – yoga’s sister science – to my education, I have learned a deeper level of understanding the root causes of so many conditions and illness. 

MS: What are the benefits of offering yoga therapy at yoga studios?

DW: Yoga therapy allows me to serve my dharma while teaching clients to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. It allows them to reclaim activities and parts of their lives that illnesses may have incapacitated. 

It also allows my studio to be one of a kind in my area and makes it a destination location rather than an average yoga studio. 

MS: What advice do you have for other yoga teachers who are considering becoming a yoga therapist?

DW: I highly recommend continuous education and adding Ayurveda to all yoga therapist training. It’s an amazing way to learn to see clients as individuals rather than conditions. It allows the therapist to work on their own health journey by creating a clear path of self-love and acceptance to share with their clients. There is always more to learn and always room for us to grow.