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What is yoga therapy?

Yoga therapy uses evidence based practices drawn from yoga, mindfulness, psychotherapy and breath work to empower you as an individual to progress towards improved health, well being and integration in your mind, body and life. It can help people develop skills that improve nervous system resiliency, build a greater sense of agency and safety within, increase emotional regulation skills and create a more positive relationship with themselves. There is growing clinical evidence to support the benefits of yoga therapy for mental health conditions including anxiety and depression and yoga is now included as part of the NHS social prescribing protocol. 

Each session may include:
Joint freeing movements 
Breath led movements / yoga postures
Breathing practices
Guided relaxation practices 

Lifestyle suggestions / suggestions around self care.

Yoga therapy can be beneficial for a wide range of issues, including the following:

Mental health conditions

 Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Eating disorders, Post - natal depression, ADHD, PTSD

Physical conditions 

Joint pain, Back pain, Neck pain, Muscularskeletal issues, Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Scoliosis, 

Sciatica, Asthma, Diabetes, Parkinsons, COPD, IBS, Insomnia, MS, ME, High blood pressure, HIV, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer's, Cardiovascular issues, Stroke, Cancer, Digestive issues, Respiratory issues, Menopause, Crohn’s disease, Chronic fatigue, Auto-immune diseases

 I work within The Minded Institute model of yoga therapy which draws on a combination of yoga postures, breathing practices, mindfulness techniques, the latest neuroscience and psychology to alleviate symptoms or improve mental and physical health and wellbeing. Anybody can benefit from yoga therapy and you do not need any prior experience in yoga or mindfulness to benefit.

The goal of one to one yoga therapy is to work together to empower you, to teach you the skills that promote well being in your own daily life.  Yoga therapy can also be specifically tailored to alleviate the suffering associated with many mental and physical ailments.

Although I am trained by the Minded Institute to help people with a number of physical and mental health conditions, my areas of specialisation for individual yoga therapy are adults with anxiety, depression, stress, lower back pain, chronic pain, migraine/headaches, COPD, post-Covid recovery, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, Parkinsons & supporting prostate health. 

For further details or to book a session please contact me Simon Hoten at 07984613826

or email me at:



What can I expect the sessions to be like?

 - In the first session we’ll discuss your unique needs, what brought you to yoga therapy, do a few breath and movement practices, and set therapeutic goals. We will also come up with a preliminary plan of a daily home practise, based on your goals, as well as your available time and energy. In subsequent sessions we’ll review your response to the week’s practice, do movement, breath & mindfulness practices, then set a new practice related to your goals.

Yoga therapy sessions are always tailored to your individual needs.

What will I need?

- You’ll need comfortable clothes that you can move in. In most cases you’ll do the session in bare feet, but socks with grips are OK. I have any recommended equipment i.e. mats and props, so you won’t need to bring them.

How long are sessions?

 - One-to-one sessions usually last 60 minutes, though the first session is 75-90 minutes.

How often would I have a session?

 - Most people find that once a week works well. After each session you’ll have a new technique to practice at home, so it’s best to have at least a week between sessions.

How many sessions would I have?

 - The minimum number of sessions I recommend is 3. Sometimes people with stress see me for 3 sessions in a row and then ask for a session every now and then when they are feeling overwhelmed, have a flare up, or lose motivation to practice. Three sessions also works well for people who are experiencing temporary grief or loss. Most people find 6 sessions to be about right. Those with mild anxiety and depression, as well those who are managing heart disease, can find some relief in that time and learn the tools they need to manage their condition. If you are recovering from trauma, an eating disorder, or PTSD, or if you are managing a condition like cancer, HIV, lasting effects of Covid, cardiac event recovery, or autoimmune disease, then it’s likely that you will book sessions for longer.

Do I have to practise yoga to benefit?

- No, not at all. All the practices are tailored to your body and your needs and many clients have not practised before. 

Is yoga therapy only for those who are suffering or unwell?

- No, not at all. Some people don’t have a mental or physical health condition but just want to feel more embodied, experience more joy, or connect with themselves on a deeper level. Doing 3 to 5 sessions can be a great way to recharge, to feel more motivated, find a new direction, or to come home to oneself.

Does yoga therapy replace medical treatment?

- No, not at all. In fact, many of the people yoga therapists work with have often been referred by a physiotherapist, a psychotherapist, or a physician. Some clients are on medication for their condition and/or following a course of treatment by another provider. Yoga therapy is a holistic therapy that works on physiological and neural pathways that not only won’t interfere with your other treatment but will likely improve your ability to heal from or manage your condition and increase your quality of life. It’s an ideal complementary therapy. That being said, yoga therapy has the potential in many cases to reduce the amount of time and money spent on acute medical care by improving overall health and encouraging preventative practices.

If you’re in doubt, contact your doctor / medical provider about the benefits and risks of yoga therapy for your condition. I’d be happy to provide more information to you and your doctor about the specific breath and movement practices we are likely to do.

Where are private yoga therapy sessions held?

- At my home practise in West Hampstead or online. We can discuss holding sessions at your home or at another venue in certain circumstances. 

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