Yoga Psychotherapy: Which Yoga Postures Can Be Used to Balance Which Emotions, in the Context of Psychotherapeutic Treatment

Batalha, Catia
Woodard, Wiremu
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Master of Psychotherapy
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Auckland University of Technology

Exploration of which Yoga postures can be used to balance specific human emotions, in the context of psychotherapeutic treatment. This dissertation aims to bridge holistic traditions/spiritualities with modern sciences/psychologies, given that despite empirically demonstrated psychological benefits of Yoga, literature on how to apply Yoga to the existing mental health field is scarce. Emerging literature on Yoga Psychotherapy has been successful in establishing guidelines for the integration of the two disciplines (Yoga and psychotherapy), and in broadly describing how to integrate core aspects of Yoga into therapeutic treatment. Nevertheless, it has failed to provide sufficient detail on how to incorporate the asana (posture) element into psychotherapeutic treatment, particularly considering its role in psychological healing. Drawing on ancient holistic Hindu philosophies, this dissertation explores the concept that particular Yoga postures have a balancing effect on specific chakras (namely, centres of energy that connect the physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions of our being), which in turn will help balance certain emotions. This work consists of a literature review, based on thematic analysis, regarding what specific authors (known for their background in Yoga traditions) claim to be the emotions and postures that relate to each of the main chakras. The primary outcome of this research is a set of proposed postures meant to help balance particular types of emotions, when integrated with the psychological and philosophical elements of Yoga.

Yoga , Psychotherapy , Chakras , Psychology , Emotions , Postures , Healing , Treatment , Balance , Mind , Body , Soul , Science , Spirituality , Esoteric , Asana , Holistic , Hindu , Philosophy , Feelings , Mental , Health , Practice
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