Yoga Therapy for Stress Management

The tremendous potential of yoga and Yoga Therapy to reduce and manage the symptoms of stress is now documented and evidence based.


Gary Kraftsow
Founder & Director




1440 Multiversity
Scotts Valley, CA   View map

Stress and its manifestations on anatomical, physiological, emotional and cognitive levels are both causal as well as contributing factors in disease. Understanding how to manage stress at all these levels is therefore a fundamental life skill for achieving and maintaining optimal health and wellbeing. The tremendous potential of yoga and Yoga Therapy to reduce and manage the symptoms of stress is now documented and evidence based. In this three-day event, we will explore principles and practices for stress management at each of these levels. Each session will include a presentation, and practice, and time for dialogue and Q&A.

Thursday evening, 7:30 to 9:00 pm: Opening Session and Introduction
This weekend will include lecture and practice including methods to relieve musculoskeletal tension, manage TMJ symptoms, improve sleep, manage energy, and improve coping strategies for dealing with stressful events and the subsequent negative symptoms of stress. Students will explore the theory, principle and practices of Yoga Therapy to address depression and anxiety.

Friday morning, 9:30 to 12:30: Structural Manifestation (TMJ, Neck, and Shoulder)
Viniyoga methodology will be used as the basis to learn and experience specific therapeutic sequences for the neck and shoulders, and is designed for therapists, teachers, and individuals who suffer from TMJ or any type of back, neck, or shoulder pain. We will experience a sequence of adapted asana-s designed to relieve symptoms and strengthen these areas of the body.

Friday afternoon, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm: Intro to Physiology (Sleeplessness)
Insomnia and sleeplessness are two of the most common and troubling symptoms of chronic physiologically-based conditions. The stress and strain of daily life, changing emotional landscapes, diet, environmental toxicity and hereditary tendencies can all contribute to the development and exacerbation of many different conditions which produce similar symptoms. In addition, as we age, the length and quality of our sleep can also be significantly affected. In this segment, students will explore the theory, principle and practices of Yoga Therapy to address sleeplessness.

Saturday morning, 9:30 to 12:30: Physiology (Fatigue)
Do you ever find yourself fluctuating between fatigue and stress? Would you like to understand how to use your practice to manage your energy? Focusing on the autonomic nervous system, we’ll consider how to create and maintain balanced energy throughout the day. Then we’ll explore how to use breath-centric asana and pranayama as functional tools to help you move through life with vitality and relaxation. Practice includes breath-centric asana and pranayama.

Saturday afternoon, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm: Mental and Emotional Manifestation (Anxiety)
We’ll focus on psychological aspects of the human system, explore models of the integrated personality that emerge from Vedic teachings, and discover the science of meditation that the ancients developed for reducing suffering and cultivating our higher human potential. The ancients understood emotion as the complex interaction between our mood, cognitive processes, behavior, and physiologic responses, and developed practices to reduce troubling emotional states and cultivate positive ones. We’ll experience the interaction of these four aspects of emotion and the practices used to transform states of anxiety.

Sunday Morning, 9:00 am to Noon: Mental and Emotional Manifestation (Depression)
Emotional health is fundamental to the maintenance of health in the physical body. Recognizing the direct influence of thought and emotion on biochemistry, and knowing that positive states have a deeply restorative impact on the entire system, we are able to develop certain practices to transform negative qualities of mind and promote general well-being. Gary will lead an integrated practice that provides an example of how to manage the symptoms of depression, reduce suffering and cultivate our higher human potential.

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