Yoga Therapy Final Essay

Author: Kyle McDonald

Kyle McDonald C-IAYT 2017
Yoga Therapist/ Healing Arts Instructor
Children’s Integrative Therapies, Pain Management & Supportive Care Department / Hasbro Children’s Hospital
Rhode Island Hospital Cancer Institute

Reflecting on my own journey of healing, I know that Raja Yoga, the 8-limbed path, is a lifestyle system, which affects mind, body and spirit and has the potential to radically change lives in the most profound way. In addition to bringing ease, comfort and healing to my physical body, yogic practices re-wired my brain and healed negative thought patterns, behaviors and addictions. As Yogananda taught, bad habits and negative thoughts create grooves in the brain, which will follow us from one incarnation to another. The power to completely erase those patterns resides within us: through yogic techniques, meditative practices, lifestyle choices, good company, and environment we can affect lasting change. That is the power of Yoga Therapy.

I view Yoga Therapy as a container, which allows each individual to transform themselves from the inside out at the pace and intensity, which is most life affirming and nurturing to them. Yoga meets us exactly where we are and gently coaxes us to higher ground. 27 years into my own healing journey, I feel that I can help others to facilitate transformation in their lives through the experience of what I have learned through my own defeats, struggles, and triumphs. That is what I would like to offer the people I work with. The support and guidance to affect physical ease and comfort but more importantly to help support and facilitate the psychological, emotional and spiritual transformation which comes from practicing therapeutic yogic techniques.

In the work I am currently involved in, at Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital, I have seen first hand how powerful the mind, body, spirit connection is in healing. Healing isn’t always physical but can often be mental, emotional and or spiritual. The beauty of the Ananda Therapy approach, is that in addition to offering physical relief and comfort to the body, the mind and spirit are considered and treated as well with the powerful use of meditation, affirmation, visualization and healing energy modalities. Many of the adult clients, adolescents and parents of young patients that I work with, express their concern over the seemingly endless loop of negative, fear based thoughts, which accompany chronic illness or a cancer diagnosis.

It is a wonderful and rewarding experience as a therapist to be able to confidently offer an approach that has been scientifically proven to affect ease, comfort, healing and even optimism in the face of dire circumstances. Similarly, it is a true honor and blessing to be able to connect those facing death, with practical tools and techniques which align to Spirit and awareness of the ageless, deathless Self contained within a physical body which can longer be healed. To help another soul navigate gracefully and with hope, through life’s most profound transition is an honor and privilege that is difficult to express in words.

It is in the spirit of service to God, guru and my fellow travelers, that I step foot onto this beautiful and powerful path of Ananda Yoga Therapy. By harnessing the experience and wisdom I have gained through my own journey of reversing downward flowing energy, to inward and upward currents of hope, optimism and transformation, I hope to bring physical comfort, ease and healing of mind, body and spirit to those I work with.

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