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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Living Stronger & Aging Better with Yoga Therapy

by Paula Morris


“You’re a young-looking 55! What do you do?” The question doesn’t surprise me anymore, and I am certain of the reason:  I practice Yoga Therapy.

“Yoga Therapy?” That’s usually the next question.

The difference between Yoga and Yoga Therapy can be equated to the difference between an energy bar and a three-course meal. They both feed you nutrients but in different ways, and one provides longer-lasting and more targeted benefits.  

            Imagine a beautiful off-the-rack suit that makes you look and feel as good as yoga does. Sometimes that’s good enough. Then, imagine a suit designed and custom-tailored for your personal body to make you look your best. That suit is Yoga Therapy. Both essentially begin as the same product, but the custom-tailored option will fit better, last longer, and take into consideration your whole lifestyle, your unique body and the results you’re looking for. 

Yoga Therapy will assess and balance both your weak and strong areas, provide extra support and corrections where you personally need them, and design a lasting wardrobe of strategic exercises to radiate your best self across a lifetime. With consistent practice, you might feel like a new person, experiencing changes you never imagined possible.

Aging gracefully and being healthy doesn’t require that we live an alternative lifestyle or eat strictly vegan. Floor mat yoga classes aren’t the only option to tap into yoga’s benefits. Yoga Therapy invites you to explore its lifestyle programs of personal wellness that can achieve enormous differences in how well we live.     

AARP Magazine recently reported “21 Reasons to Do Yoga” to age well. Yoga Therapy amplifies those reasons. For example, the program created by Yoga Therapist Nischala Devi for Dr. Dean Ornish has successfully reduced and reversed heart disease in 17 years of clinical studies.  Hospitals across the nation, including Sarasota Memorial, now offer and cover the cost of this program after a heart attack. With this cardiac issue now the number-one killer of women, with cancer being the second, it makes more sense than ever to invest in a Yoga Therapist to design safe and proactive lifestyle plans that reduces the risk factors for both diseases the more you practice as a lifestyle. It could make all the difference for a healthy future.

The holistic approach of Yoga Therapy also accelerates the effectiveness of other wellness and healthcare interventions by addressing the needs of the whole person and providing self-management skills for enhanced long-term health, recovery and outcomes. Yoga Therapy carefully evaluates each person’s contraindications, needs and abilities, and what level of difficulty, intensity, frequency and duration of practice will be the most appropriate starting point for the least amount of physical stress and the highest level of benefits.

The methodology of Yoga Therapy empowers you to overcome challenges and navigate changes through one-to-one support and multi-dimensional instruction in wellness practices to become a healthier, stronger and more independent you.  Personally, Yoga Therapy has helped me recover from cancer, manage lymphedema, reduce inflammation, eliminate psoriasis, calm my mind, breathe through pain, release anxiety, sleep better, jumpstart my immune system, regain range of motion, and sustain strong postural muscles for a youthful appearance, healthy spine and even optimized breast reconstruction. At age 55, my body maintains a healthy weight, flexibility, strength and bone mass.

Yoga Therapy adapts exercises on a therapy table or bed, on a chair or fitball, supported by a wall or the floor.  Exercises transfer to home or work, indoors or outdoors, and programs can be either restorative or vigorous. The individual’s needs are paramount. Fewer poses emphasize quality and goals over quantity, normalizing breathing and heart rates, stability and alignment, and achieve an appropriate pace and approach for each person to practice safely and independently. Meditations are key postures to acquire rest while awake, relieve pain patterns, relax levels of stress and tension, clear the mind, rest the senses, and maximize immunity and health.

Over time, a customized Yoga Therapy program assimilates into your life like brushing your teeth, becoming a practice in how to take optimal care of yourself, assure your safety and recovery, expand your health and happiness, help you bounce back from setbacks, and promote better living at any age.  When we pull together, we create a powerfully healthier whole.

We all seek the joys of aging slowly and remaining healthy, happy and vibrant, but we all don’t invest in that. So, if you seek to feel stronger, look younger, reduce the risk of disease, improve current health and positively influence your future, then you have found what you need in Yoga Therapy.


To schedule a personal wellness assessment, join the contact list for programs and special events, or to learn more, contact Paula Morris, Certified-IAYT Yoga Therapist at Empowered 2 Wellness, call 941-316-3693 or visit

June 2021 Digital Edition


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