A typical yoga therapy session:
Female, 49 yrs. 5’5″, 180, thining dyed hair, round. Although I do not have a birth-chart to refer to, the fact that she is 49 is enough to remind me which cycles usually dominate our life experiences during the years around 50.
(Do a search for Chiron over there on the right side of this blog for more posts on Chiron.)
She arrived before me for our session and was eager and willing to fill out intake forms.
We spoke about the program and this session in particular. We agreed to follow the yamas & niyamas for our work together.
She describes herself as exhausted, and can feel some obstruction in the heart & throat area. She recently suffered from pneumonia and continues to be concerned about her health. She felt it was a wake-up call of some sort and wanted to pay closer attention.
She is frustrated with her current career. Although she loves being a teacher, she feels stuck in her current position. It feels like a long, hard struggle and she’s out of energy.
We discussed different yoga practices that can be of benefit to her if she chooses to commit to a ‘practice’ at all.
For the experiential part of our 1st session we spent time doing a seated body scan thru the kosha’s. Periodically, I would ask her to write/draw/record her awarenesses on some paper.
By the time we finished with the kosha’s she had experienced quite an ‘energetic’ shift inside and was quite amazed at what she had discovered. Most notable was that the entire left side of her body was numb when compared to the right. The imbalance was enlightening in and of itself to her in that moment.
We completed our session with savasana, pranayama and meditation.
During meditation, we explored Anjali Mudra in some detail paying attention to the sensations in each fingertip, it’s proximity to the heart chakra, its guiding the energy upward, etc.
I guided her back to the previously blocked throat area and encouraged her to chant om for a short while, and I noticed that each om sounded stronger than the one before it.
She felt like there was more work to be done, and seemed quite at peace and possibly enthusiastic about what might come next.
She left feeling well-balanced, energetic, and relaxed.
I could have taken an entirely different tactic with this women, and spent our time together working more on asana’s and that would have been okay, too. However, in my mind, asana’s and Chiron just don’t go together very well unless you have a committed client who will be returning often. At this point in time she was unable to commit to more than one session at a time. (I usually encourage everyone to commit to 6 sessions, however that can be a financial/economic burden in 2009.)
Chiron and Neptune are closely aligned these days (2009- 2011), so for those clients around 49 yrs of age, their particular crisis in this moment requires spiritual (neptune), healing (chiron). As yoga therapists we must utilize our skills to activate and integrate the vijnanamayakosha & anandamayakoshas, as well as practices for the physical body. We can only teach/share what we have learned for ourselves so please do not neglect these more subtle areas in your own training. Learning a symbolic language such as astrology can help you develop buddhi, and increase your ability to trust the intuitive mind as much as the logical mind. Yes? Understanding health is only as good as your understanding of how ‘all is one’. Chiron and Neptune traveling together will bring up various types of health crisis for everyone until we get it, that our belief system is as important as vitamins, exercise, or anything else we do for health purposes.
Much of what happens during yoga therapy sessions happens on the subtle & causal layers of the body. For many, yoga therapy is a safe, non-invasive, and gentle way to address deep-seated obstacles that prevent us from being fully human.