“Yoga is self care”: Yoga Therapy and the Medical Environment, Amsterdam

“In the moment between two breaths, we are” James Reeves, IRest

“Yoga is all about self care” Dr. Ganesh Mohan, Svastha Yoga and Ayurveda


Over the last two days I attended this years International Conference on Yoga Therapy and Research in sunny Amsterdam. The main theme – “Yoga Therapy in a Medical Environment: Different Perspectives” had attracted me as it was bringing together people from both the medical and yoga professions, and those that already incorporate the two into integrative health care programs in Europe, the UK and the US.


The organiser’s Network Yoga Therapy brought together around 100 people from both the medical and yoga fields. The conference was very comprehensive and informative on a range of topics from the growing amount of biomedical research evidence on the positive effects of yoga and meditation, to the psychology of yoga and Ayurveda. Speakers also shared their experiences of practicing yoga therapy in medical environments, and progress towards making change in health care systems and policy environments in the UK.




There were two interesting and insightful discussion panels. The first was on finding common ground between yoga and the medical profession, and the second uncovered the ‘shadow side of yoga and meditation’, where panelists discussed how to responsibly work with students, particularly those predisposed to mental health issues.


The current debate in the yoga world about the distinction between “yoga therapy” and yoga teaching was an informal discussion point throughout the two days.


There were also two very touching talks on yoga as a transformative experience for two women – one with a long-term eating disorder, and the other a recovering alcoholic, both now working in yoga and wellbeing. The conference was a truly wonderful opportunity for networking with people from around the world, and listening to the progressive perspectives of people from different professions. I’m already looking forward to next year!



A book just hot off the press for medical professionals and yoga therapists: Principles and Practices of Yoga in Healthcare www.handspringpublishing.com/product/principles-practice-yoga-health-care

‘Should yoga be part of NHS care’, The Guardian, 26 April 2016, www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2016/apr/26/should-yoga-be-part-of-nhs-care

Network Yoga Therapy networkyogatherapy.org and www.facebook.com/groups/yogasangha

Svastha Yoga and Ayurveda www.svastha.net

Restful Being – IRest www.restfulbeing.com

The Minded Institute www.facebook.com/YogaTherapyForTheMindAtTheMindedInstitute


“Yoga is self care”: Yoga Therapy and the Medical Environment, Amsterdam

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