Foundations, Methods, and Practices for Common Ailments
From the best-selling author of Teaching Yoga, Yoga Sequencing, and Yoga Adjustments comes this essential resource for learning how to adapt yoga practices to best accommodate and heal a wide array of common injuries and ailments. Surveying historical writings on yoga, ayurveda, and scientific medical approaches to health and healing, Mark Stephens distills this received wisdom of ancient and modern practices for more insightful and practical application in today’s world. He applies these insights to healing musculoskeletal injuries; promoting a healthy reproductive system; and addressing mental, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. With each health condition, Stephens applies yoga to the most recent evidence-based practices for healing, offering an integral place for yoga in integrative health practices.
Yoga Therapy is a practical manual with a systematic approach of considering the nature of each health condition and the specific asanas, pranayamas, and meditations most helpful in healing it. Rather than adopting a narrow medical model of healing as the reduction or elimination of symptoms, Stephens invites yoga theapists, teachers and students to relate to health as a continuous, dynamic process of self-care in which the qualities of personal experience and social connectivity matter. He illustrates that how we live our lives—including our emotional states, nutrition, sleep, relationships, and sense of purpose—is reflected in our sense of balance (or imbalance) and well-being (or disease). Comprehensive, accessible, and informed by Mark Stephens’ decades of deep study, practice, and teaching, this will become an indispensable reference.
About the Author
Mark Stephens is a dedicated yoga student whose personal experience of yoga’s promise to make life better inspires him to share the practice through teaching and scholarly writing.
Described by Yoga Journal as “the teacher's teacher,” Stephens, a certified yoga therapist and member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, is the author of the international best sellers Teaching Yoga, Yoga Sequencing, and Yoga Adjustments, which have been published in nine languages.
From deep study of yoga history and philosophy, human anatomy and physiology, social and interpersonal dynamics, and Eastern and Western theories of being and consciousness, Stephens brings a nondogmatic, accessible, and integrated perspective to yoga therapy that makes yoga a more refined resource for healthy living.
Practicing yoga daily for more than twenty-five years and teaching for more than twenty years, Stephens draws from his prior years in academia, as an education consultant, and as a progressive social change activist to create practical resources for yoga teachers and therapists. In 1997 he founded Yoga Inside Foundation—establishing therapeutic yoga programs in more than 300 schools, treatment centers, and prisons across North America—for which he received Yoga Journal's first annual Karma Yoga Award.
Stephens lives in Santa Cruz, California, and teaches globally.
—Janice Gates, past president, International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), author of Yogini: The Power of Women in Yoga and founder/director of Marin Yoga Therapy and Somatic Yoga Therapy Programs
“Yoga therapy is a big field, encompassing the entirety of yoga and its many practices along with aspects of Western medicine, ayurveda, physiology, physical therapy, kinesiology, psychology, philosophy, spiritual development, and more. No single volume can do it full justice, but Mark Stephens has done a yeoman's job to assemble much of the background information aspiring yoga therapists will need to understand. This book is smart, thoughtful, and well researched and doesn't shy away from presenting a strong—and sometimes provocative—point of view. I recommended it highly.”
—Timothy McCall, MD, author of Yoga As Medicine, coeditor of The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care, and medical editor of Yoga Journal
“Mark Stephens’ capacity for conveying both the depth and the breadth of the yogic sciences is all the more powerful because of his commitment to practice. His works to date on teaching, sequencing, and adjustments have already established him as one of the foremost authorities in yoga education. With the emergence of yoga therapy in recent years as a powerful form of integrative healing, Stephens now brings his scholar’s mind and practitioner’s wisdom to the field. A boon for all!”
—Micah Mortali, director of The Kripalu Schools (School of Integrative Yoga Therapy, School of Yoga, School of Ayurveda), Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
“Going back to the time of the Buddha, yoga practitioners have been divided into two groups: Experimentalists who know yoga through their bodies and Speculatives who know yoga through its philosophical teachings. Mark Stephens' Yoga Therapy is proof that he has mastered both paths.”
—David Gordon White, author of Sinister Yogis and The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography
“Yoga Therapy, a thorough and comprehensive landmark book, offers illuminating insight into yoga, yoga therapy, and the interface with Western medicine. Along with Stephens’ generous offering of practical information, he espouses the attributes of kindness and compassion in yoga therapy practice, which although often overlooked are indeed the very heart of yoga itself. An essential read for every yoga therapist!”
—Nischala Joy Devi, yoga teacher and therapist and author of The Healing Path of Yoga and The Secret Power of Yoga
“The next great yoga therapy book from an excellent teacher and author. Highly recommended for yoga teachers, health professionals, and students.”
—Larry Payne, coauthor of Yoga Therapy & Integrative Medicine, Yoga Rx, and Yoga for Dummies and founding director of Yoga Therapy Rx & Prime of Life Yoga Programs, Loyola Marymount University
“Mark Stephens’ Yoga Therapy is a complete guide to anyone who wants thorough information on subtle as well as gross anatomy, ayurvedic principles, and insight into the many intricacies of the human body and spirit as it relates to yoga and healing. The scope of this book is clearly a labor of devotion and knowledge.”
—Jo Ann Staugaard-Jones, author of The Vital Psoas Muscle and Concise Book of Yoga Anatomy
“Prolific author Mark Stephens offers a comprehensive primer on yoga therapy and his synthesis of theories, practices, and remedies for a host of ailments.”
—Ganga White, author of Yoga Beyond Belief and codirector of White Lotus Foundation
“This comprehensive textbook for yoga therapists offers an original synthesis of yoga practices with the insights of Western medicine.”
—Barbara Dossey, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, HWNC-BC, author of Holistic Nursing and codirector of International Nurse Coach Association
“Mark Stephens’ sober but optimistic assessment of the potential for yoga therapy inside the Western medical model is a welcome addition. My hope is that the field will follow his well-informed guidance in the attempt to responsibly integrate these two models of healthcare that have so much to offer each other because, ultimately, it is the patients that will benefit.”
—David Emerson, author of Trauma-Sensitive Yoga in Therapy and director of Yoga Service, The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute