Yoga is a philosophy of life which includes an exercise system designed to promote balance between body and spirit. It combines deep breathing techniques, physical poses and relaxation.

A new discipline in the field of complementary approaches, therapeutic yoga is a solution to be explored. This personalized approach is adapted to each individual’s condition. Every session includes explanations on ways in which yoga can restore balance. For instance, in cases of depression or burnout, the therapist suggests movements for certain body parts which tend to store stress, such as the shoulders and hips, helping them relax more.

Therapeutic yoga aims at restoring and maintaining the necessary conditions for good health. It can support an individual through physical or psychological imbalance and help to improve medical treatment efficiency.

The main indications for therapeutic yoga are:

  • Anxiety, insomnia (stress reduction and management)
  • Depression, burnout
  • Digestive difficulties (irritable bowel, constipation, etc.)
  • Tendinitis, bursitis
  • Muscle tension (neck, back, etc.)
  • Lower back pain, sciatica
  • Chronic pain (arthritis, migraine, etc.)
  • Posture (sports or workplace ergonomics)
  • Support for cancer patients.


Here are a few studies that document the beneficial effects of yoga:

- Article entitled Yoga on our minds: a systematic review of yoga for neuropsy- chiatric disorders, published in 2013. The conclusion shows that there is emerging evidence from studies to support the belief that yoga can be beneficial for depression, sleep disorders, and as an augmentation therapy1.

- The website2 of the National Institutes of Health (U.S.) reports that recent studies in people with chronic low back pain suggest that a carefully adapted set of yoga poses may help reduce pain and improve the ability to walk and move. Studies also suggest that practicing yoga may have other health benefits such as reducing heart rate and blood pressure, and may also help relieve anxiety and depression.

Martin Moisan, M.D.
Kanesatake Health Center
12, Joseph Swan
Kanesatake (Québec)

1. Augmentation therapy means using yoga and medications together to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression.

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