What is yoga therapy?
Yoga is a practice that recognizes connections between mental, physical, and spiritual health. The practice usually includes an exploration of movement, breathing, thinking, and communication to help foster well-being. Yoga therapy is the application of these techniques to help heal. Yoga therapy may be used to support physical, mental, or spiritual health.
What is a yoga therapist?
Yoga therapists are highly trained and experienced yoga teachers who focus on the health benefits of yoga through yoga therapy. The International Association for Yoga Therapists maintains standards and certifies yoga therapists.
Yoga therapists are not independently able to diagnose or treat disease. However, many yoga therapists are also licensed healthcare providers. In that case, they may be qualified to diagnose and treat physical, mental, and emotional health issues based on those licenses.
What’s the difference between a therapist and a coach?
Therapists and coaches have some overlap and some important differences.
Licensed therapists must meet the following criteria: masters degree or higher from an accredited university, supervised clinical experience, and minimum continuing education hours per licensing period. They are regulated by a State Licensing Board and recognized as qualified healthcare providers. Therapists may assess, diagnose, and treat mental and emotional health. They may work within systems or independently.
Coaches may have certification from a professional organization. They work independently, and they are not qualified to diagnose or treat disease.
Both therapists and coaches may offer clients time and space to process experiences. Either one may suggest strategies to help optimize well-being.
Therapy is a better option when the severity or duration of a difficult experience is interfering with your ability to function and/or grow. Coaching may be a good option if you’re looking to enhance an otherwise stable system.
Our Founder, Margi Clifford, is a licensed therapist who also offers wellness coaching. Wellness coaching is best for clients whose mental health needs are stable – or already being addressed – but would like help finding optimum health through a personalized wellness routine.
What if I’m not flexible?
Yoga and yoga therapy are ways to help develop flexibility. Avoiding yoga because you’re not flexible is like avoiding a shower because you’re dirty! We’ll help you modify yoga poses to fit your needs so you’ll never be in a position that’s uncomfortable or painful. With consistent practice, your flexibility will increase along with your balance, strength, and confidence.
Can I practice yoga if I have an injury or a chronic health condition?
While yoga can be therapeutic, not all yoga is therapeutic for all conditions. It’s important to know how to modify yoga poses to not inflict further harm. An experienced teacher or therapist in a one-on-one yoga therapy setting will help you learn these modifications. Group classes should either be avoided or chosen carefully.
What is EMDR, and do you offer it?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the session. After the clinician has determined which memory to target first, she asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision. (Sometimes other forms of bilateral stimulation are used.)
We do not currently offer EMDR.
Are you trauma-informed?
All of our classes, training, and individual sessions are offered with recognition and respect for the complex histories that our students bring with them. Our goal is to empower and support students as they explore the dynamics between body and mind, past and future, injury and healing. Students and clients share their stories with us only if and when they choose. We offer options that include a range of ways to process and integrate experiences, and we highly value the wisdom of the body and the spirit.
Our founder, Margi Clifford, is a longtime student of trauma-informed care, attachment theory, and self-regulation.
Can you bill insurance?
Yes. We can bill insurance for therapy and counseling sessions. Our other wellness services, including coaching and yoga classes are not billable.
You may be able to use Health Savings or Flexible Spending Accounts to pay for all services.
You are responsible to know the details of your coverage and will be asked to leave a credit card on file to cover co-pays, deductibles, and other charges not covered by insurance.
Do I need a referral?
No, you don’t need a referral. You can click on the following links to:
You can also call us at (907) 277-9642 for more information or help scheduling.
Do you have a sliding scale?
We do whatever we can to help motivated clients get the help they need, regardless of their ability to pay. We have several sliding-scale appointments available from 30 to 85% of posted fees with licensed therapists. We also offer even lower rates with pre-licensed therapists.
Please contact us to see what’s currently available.
Do you offer teletherapy?
Yes. The State of Alaska requires that providers be licensed to provide teletherapy services. Our Founder, Margi Clifford, holds this license and offers remote therapy sessions on a HIPAA-compliant platform for counseling clients. Coaching clients can choose the platform of their choice.
Is yoga a religion? What if my religion does not allow me to practice yoga?
No, yoga is not a religion. Practitioners are from all walks of faith. Yoga is a practice that includes awareness and cultivation of spirituality, but it is a personal practice.
If your religion does not allow you to practice yoga, you might still benefit from aspects of yoga therapy that your religion does support. These might include: breathing to calm your nervous system, singing or chanting, prayer or meditation, non-violence, non-stealing, truthfulness, and healthy movement.
Do you offer continuing education?
We do! We often offer continuing education at conferences. Check our schedule to see what’s coming up soon or contact us to schedule a presentation. We also work in partnership with Alaska Pacific University for licensed professionals. Through Yoga Alliance, we provide continuing education credits for Registered Yoga Teachers during select classes and workshops. Check individual event pages to learn more.
Do you offer yoga therapy training?
We do not currently offer a yoga therapy certification program, but we are collecting names of folks who are interested.
How do I register for classes?
We use a third-party scheduling system to allow students to pre-register and pre-pay for classes and punchcards. Not all classes require pre-registration, but many of them do. Please check individual event pages to see if the class that you want to take requires registration.