It all started when…
I learned that yoga was the cause of my lower back issues. I used to be the star in my regular yoga class for my acrobatic-looking back bends. Little did anyone know (including my yoga teacher) that I was on my way to messing up my lumbar spine.
I loved yoga and knew that there was more to it than the injury-inducing practice so I set forth to study it, initially for the sole purpose of creating a safe practice for myself. Once I started my yoga teacher training, I was hooked and ready to share its magic with whoever crossed my path. The 200-hr training and a handful of specialized trainings seemed less than enough, hence my pursuing a certification in Yoga Therapy, the epitome of certifications in the industry.
I am educated in the lineage of Krishnamacharya, a renowned scholar, Ayurvedic healer and yoga teacher, dubbed “the father of modern yoga.” He is given credit for the revival of Hatha yoga, being a link between the ancient practice and philosophy of yoga and the yoga of our time. Krishnamacharya emphasized that the key to healing in yoga is the relationship between student and teacher. Only in a safe, supported and trusting space can healing happen. Hence, the one-on-one setting recommended for yoga therapy, which allows for the budding of a trusting and fruitful relationship between the yoga therapist and the client.
Yoga Therapy is an individualized yoga practice that meets the specific physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, abilities, and goals of the client. No two sessions are alike due to the changing needs of the client, and there will therefore be variations in the techniques used. The yoga therapist will design a practice that incorporates suitable breathing exercises (pranayama), physical movement (asana), and/or meditation addressing the immediate needs/limitations of the client.
The private yoga therapy approach gives the yoga therapist the opportunity to hold the needed space for healing that may not be available to a client in a group class setting.
• Decreased stress, anxiety and depression
• Improved lung capacity and blood pressure
• Increased strength, flexibility, and balance
• Improved health, well-being, and executive functioning
Yoga Therapy is a great complementary tool to the Western healthcare programs and treatments with evidence-based benefits. Far from being mainstream, yoga therapy is slowly gaining interest from the medical community and is adopted practice in some of the larger healthcare centers in the country.
• Stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD
• Migraines and chronic Pain (neurological, musculoskeletal)
• Osteoporosis, arthritis
• Hypertension/heart disease
• Respiratory dysfunction
• Digestive disorders
• Metabolic syndrome
• Autoimmune disorders
It took me months to find the words to describe my approach to yoga, serve as an invitation and inspiration to join the practice, and sound… catchy. I myself went through periods of overdrive (which lead to injuries), and absolute breaks from yoga (because an advanced practice was not accessible due to those injuries). I see yoga being disregarded because people are intimidated by the mainstream image of yoga and what yoga practitioners are expected to look like. I am aware of people’s lack of understanding of what yoga actually is (hint: it is more than head stands and mermaid poses).
I want to invite people to give yoga (therapy) a chance by choosing the ‘middle way.’ Instead of dismissing it completely before even trying it out, come to the mat with an open mind. The tripod pose is not the end goal (should not be) of a yoga practice. Showing up on the mat and allowing your body, mind and spirit the chance to reconnect is the goal. The middle way to get there is to simply… show up.
Ana Horga’s Credentials
200-hr Yoga Teacher Training, Mukti School of Yoga, Manhattan Beach, CA (2014)
500-hr Yoga Teacher Training Certification, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA (2017)
1000-hr Yoga Therapy Certification, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA (due to complete summer 2020)
Level I - Anatomy (2017)
Level II - Physiology and Endocrinology (2017)
Level III - Mental Health and Clinical Case Studies (live case studies) (2018)
Level IV - Clinical Internship, Venice Family Clinic, Venice, CA (currently enrolled, due to complete summer 2019)
Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage Therapy Certification, Manhattan Beach, CA (2019)