Comprehensive Yoga Therapy is becoming increasingly recognised as a scientifically validated approach to physical and mental health.
It is a form of therapeutic work that seeks to work towards restoring body and life imbalances irrespective of a person’s age, weight or abilities.
Comprehensive Yoga Therapy offers a structure for preventative health care known as the three Ps which are Proactive, Participatory and Personalized.
A Rising Epidemic
In the opening of Yoga Therapy for Stress and Anxiety its authors Robert Butera PhD, Erin Byron MA and Staffan Elgelid, PhD., P.T reveal the startling fact that there are more than forty million clinically anxious people in the United States alone.
As they point out this statistic is astounding given that most people have their basic survival needs taken care of and generally have successful careers, happy families and good friends.
Yoga Therapy is essentially a book that seeks to address this problem and to offer practical advice and insights into ways their readers can avoid becoming part of these statistics.
The approach that they offer includes tuition in standard yoga techniques and tailored mind/visualisation skills.
Whilst Comprehensive Yoga Therapy calls upon traditional physical practices such as breathing and body postures it also engages with more contemporary disciplines such as those found in practices such as psychotherapy and even leading edge spiritual practices such as connecting to your Higher Self.
The authors also freely accept the part that the subconscious plays in affecting our core levels of anxiety, fear and stress. They consider the need for the individual to examine their own inner or core beliefs and to strive to change them through deep inner-work.
In Part Two of Yoga Therapy for Stress and Anxiety the authors return to core principles found at the root of yoga. This is formed around the Five Yogic Paths known as psychology (raja), intellect (jnana), health (tantra), work (karma), and relationships (bhakti).
Part Three encapsulates the information offered in the first two sections with the authors focussing on strategies that encourage permanent improvements and gains towards the desired goal of a life free from anxiety and stress.
Our Review of ‘Yoga Therapy for Stress and Anxiety’ by Robert Butera and Erin Byron
In this book the New Age meets the Old Age combine in a mix of popular self-help practices with proven Eastern philosophy.
In many ways it covers a number of approaches which other teachers tend to isolate from one another. Here they are integrated into a more holistic approach to whole-body care and nurture.
The results are sometimes patchy in their approach to the mind-body connection and one is left feeling by the end that certain parts of the puzzle are missing from the resultant formula.
In particular I feel more focus should have been made in the book on the effect of diet – of those things contained within the typical Western food types that initiate stress and anxiety in many people.
However, despite its short-comings this is a book that offers a great deal in the way of practical guidance regarding how to deal with stress without needing to resort to prescription medication or recreational drugs to alleviate the symptoms of stress.
Where the book does shine is in its very grounded, simplified and clear approach to Yoga Therapy. The yoga exercises are easy to follow and not too taxing, the psychological jargon is not overly complex for the average reader and the additional commentary is interesting.
Given all of that I am sure that the guidance on offer in this book will aid many sufferers of stress and anxiety immeasurably.