Many of us look to yoga to soothe what ails us. And now there’s a prescription for that. Welcome to Yoga Rx.
Along the lines of an urgent-care center, the yoga walk-in clinic is now in session. Going beyond Tara Stiles’ book “Yoga Cures” which was controversial for choice of language and antidotal claims, Yoga on the Ridge, a yoga studio in Philadelphia is getting ready to launch their own Yoga Therapy Clinic.
It works very much like your local Urgent Care Clinic their website says:
You come in seeking help in alleviating pain or discomfort, or in nurturing a calmer, healthier life. We listen to you–closely–to help find the best Yoga practices for you. We teach you some Yoga postures, breathing, stretching or relaxation techniques, and create a healing plan for the future.
“I started off thinking of a model for an urgent care clinic, where you can go for something that’s not super serious, like a sore throat, and leave with a plan for how to treat it,” Theresa Conroy, yoga therapist and owner of Yoga on the Ridge told Phillymag.com.
According to Conroy it’s meant to make yoga more approachable as well as more individualized, serving people with issues from joint pain to anxiety to cancer treatment recovery.
“Yoga is so fabulous for people who have injury or disease, or people going through cancer recovery. But it’s also intimidating. This way, people can take a yoga prescription and work it into their life, and it won’t be a scary experience,” says Conroy.
Here’s how it works:
For $45, you’ll get 30 minutes of one-on-one time with Conroy to talk about whatever’s ailing you — stress, osteoporosis, a recovering injury — and get a treatment plan from Conroy consisting of whatever fits, from breath work to yoga postures. “Like a yoga prescription?” I asked Conroy when she explained the concept to me. “Right, like a yoga prescription,” she said.
The next step is to do a private session ($90), join the group classes ($40), get your own special at-home yoga program ($50), or all three. It starts to get a bit pricey, but at just a fraction of what you might pay for doctor visits and actual medical prescriptions, perhaps worth it to some. And you don’t even need insurance. (But maybe you can get insurance to cover it?)
It’s an interesting business model and modern healthcare approach, but does it play too much into the hype that yoga is a cure-all? Yoga therapists have been around for a while, and even Western doctors have been suggesting yoga to patients, but the way this is being presented – as a clinic – feels…different. And, maybe it’s just us, but “yoga prescription” just has an icky ring to it. At its best, the yoga clinic becomes a great resource for one-on-one attention. At its worst, it reinforces the idea that yoga is a panacea. We’d like to think a comfortable balance will be found somewhere therein. Expect to hear more about this type of thing in your own neck of the yogi woods.