The aim of these Yoga therapy practices for the physical body is actually to develop the ability to observe and be aware of changes that occur in the body during and after practice. These are basic exercises in self-control, and for clients with psychosomatic or lifestyle diseases, self-control is a key factor in reclaiming health. Developing self-mastery is helpful not only in Yoga therapy, but in traditional Raja Yoga, self-control is said to be the way to unite with the true self. Unlike traditional Yoga, the instruction and practice of Yoga therapy is for the general public, and for people with various disorders or illnesses in particular. Japan Yoga Niketan is successfully combining Western psychosomatic medicine with traditional Yoga to address modern stress-related and psychosomatic disorders. Having integrated the two, they have been able to develop our method of Yoga therapy, the Yoga Niketan Method™.
The Yoga Niketan Method™ comprises the following four categories:
Aside from meditation and pranayama practices, Yoga therapy techniques for the physical body can be divided roughly into the categories explained as follows. All of these categories incorporate the principles of the traditional discipline of Yoga, that is, strength building and mental training, which develops awareness of oneself here and now.
Masayo performs strength-training physical exercise with isometric resistance as part of the Yoga Niketan Method™ .
She also uses breathing exercises that involve synchronizing movement of the body with breathing to help people with psychosomatic and psychiatric disorders. In these breathing exercises, she incorporates the use of sound.
This unique combination can help people to improve their physical strength and mental health.
Masayo also practices Himalayan cardio training, another kind of strength training. Isometric exercises are stationary, and she identifies as cardio exercises those which improve cardiopulmonary function.
In the Himalayas, yogis practice aerobic (cardio) exercises so that they can walk long distances even in the thin oxygen at high-altitudes. Yogis in the Himalayas have traditionally moved around on foot to seek teachers for wisdom.
She practices these cardio exercises in accordance with clients' physical fitness levels and their motion ranges. Together with Isometric Yoga, these practices are aimed at further improving physical fitness.
Breathwork being offered by Yoga Niketan has shown effectiveness in improving immunity, according to research studies.
Yoga therapy darshana is essential to conducting yoga therapy assessments, while obtaining informed consent, to formulate therapy plans. It is also essential to rectifying the buddhi (Intellect) and to formulating alternative ways of behavior.
Acquiring the various skills in yoga therapy darshana also enables Masayo to deliver even more effective yoga therapy.
*Yoga Niketan Method™ is a trademark of the Japan Yoga Therapy Society.