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Yoga Psychology and Psychotherapy – Theory and Practice

Yoga psychology is the theoretical basis for yoga psychotherapy. Yoga psychotherapy plays a vital role in the successful treatment and management of physical, psychological and spiritual conditions. When combined with Western psychotherapeutic approaches it creates a powerful holistic approach to long-term healing.

One of the greatest things about yoga psychology and psychotherapy is that they not only provide a holistic path to self-healing, they also enable spiritual awakening. This is because in these systems illness can be viewed as a sacred path to higher awareness if one has the appropriate knowledge, techniques and support.

Modern medicine is realizing that a physical approach alone, e.g. prescription drugs, or a psychological approach alone, e.g Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), delivers limited and often short-term benefits.

A holistic approach, which is sometimes called a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach is preferred over the purely biomedical model and the purely psychological model. The biomedical model does not fully recognize the effects of the mind on the body. The purely psychological model does not fully grasp the impact of the body on the mind.

Yoga psychology is a modern term that is in evolution. I define it as:

The science of the embodied relationship between consciousness and mind.

Yoga psychology sees body and mind as indivisible and gives maximum emphasis to the role of cultivating self-awareness as the foundation on which improved health and wellbeing is built.

Yoga psychology can also be called the science of the “subtle body,” the part of us that lies between and links the physical body and the spiritual, or causal body, the subtlest part of us.

The 4 Dimensions of Yoga Psychology

In order to gain a larger vision of the theoretical basis of yoga psychology, we need a 4-dimensional approach that draws from various Indian philosophical systems, including Yoga, Samkhya, Tantra, and Vedanta.

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