Yoga Therapy

5 Differences Between Yoga and Yoga Therapy

Yoga and Yoga therapy are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. While both practices focus on physical, mental, and emotional health, there are some fundamental differences between them. In this article, we’ll explore five key differences between Yoga and Yoga therapy.


The purpose of Yoga is to bring balance and stress-free to mind, body, and spirit. It is a holistic practice that involves physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Yoga helps improve flexibility, strength, and endurance while promoting relaxation and stress reduction.

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On the other hand, Yoga therapy is a more specialized form of Yoga used to address specific health conditions. Yoga therapy aims to help individuals manage and even overcome health issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and more. Yoga therapists work with clients to develop a tailored Yoga practice that is designed to meet their specific needs.


Yoga is typically practized in a group setting, with a teacher leading the class. The teacher will guide students through postures and breathing techniques, providing adjustments and modifications as needed. Yoga therapy, on the other hand, is typically done on a one-on-one basis. The Yoga therapist works with the client to develop a personalized practice tailored to their specific needs and goals. The therapist will work closely with the client to ensure that the practice is safe and effective, making adjustments as needed.

Training and Certification

Yoga teachers typically complete a 200-hour or 500-hour Yoga teacher training program. These programs focus on the fundamentals of Yoga, including physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Yoga teachers may also pursue additional training in specialized areas such as prenatal, Yin, or Yoga for athletes.

On the other hand, yoga therapists typically have a background in healthcare or a related field. They may be physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, or other healthcare professionals. Yoga therapists complete a rigorous training program that includes advanced anatomy and physiology coursework and specific Yoga techniques for addressing various health conditions. They may also need to pass a certification exam to register as a Yoga therapist.

Insurance Coverage

Health insurance typically does not cover yoga classes, as they are considered a form of fitness rather than medical treatment. However, some health insurance plans may cover Yoga therapy as complementary or alternative medicine.

Because Yoga therapy is a specialized form, it may be covered by health insurance under certain circumstances. However, coverage can vary depending on the specific health condition being treated and the client’s insurance plan. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to see if Yoga therapy is covered under your plan.

Scope of Practice

The scope of practice for Yoga teachers is limited to teaching Yoga classes and providing general guidance on Yoga practices. They cannot diagnose or treat health conditions or provide medical advice.

Yoga therapists, on the other hand, have a broader scope of practice. They are trained to assess clients’ health conditions and develop personalized Yoga practices to help them manage their symptoms.


Yoga and Yoga therapy share many similarities, but they are not interchangeable practices. While Yoga is a holistic practice that promotes overall health and wellness, Yoga Therapy for Back Pain is a specialized therapy designed to address specific health conditions. Whether you’re looking to improve your overall health or manage a specific health issue, yoga and Yoga therapy can be valuable tools in achieving your goals.

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