The Psychological Benefits of Combining Yoga and Physical Therapy
by Thalia Wynne, PT, DPT, AT, RYT
As a human being, your goals in life can really be boiled down into two things:
Increase your happiness
I’d like to present you with two unexpected avenues that you may not have thought of to help you on your quest to survive and thrive. Yoga and physical therapy.
How do seemingly unrelated practices like Yoga and Physical Therapy work together to bring more joy into your life?
The obvious reason people go to physical therapy is to address pain and improve physical function. While in that PT journey, pain starts to diminish and functional ability in daily life improves. But some other great psychological benefits unfold, too. These include increased confidence, improved mood, more energy, and better sleep – all of which contribute to an improved quality of life.
The reasons people come to their yoga mat are numerous. Personally, I was drawn to yoga because it was unlike any other form of “exercise” I had ever tried. (If you are familiar with yoga, you know it is more than just a form of exercise.) I noticed that not only did my body feel great, but my mind had relaxed and I felt clear, peaceful, and happier. I craved the culmination of feelings that were the result of my yoga practice so much that it kept me coming back to my mat over and over again.
Eventually, it inspired me to take a yoga teacher training so that I could share the gifts that I was feeling in my own body with others. On my quest, I knew I didn’t want just any yoga teacher training. I wanted something that was biomechanically sound, and that I could use to enhance my work as a physical therapist. That’s why I chose the LYT Method – the only yoga created by a physical therapist! – for my teacher training.
What brings you to your mat every day?
If your reasons are similar to mine, then you already experience the psychological benefits of yoga in your own life. Here is a list of more psychological benefits of yoga you might not have thought of.
Combining these two mood-enhancing practices will give you all of the above benefits and more. Who wouldn’t want that? In fact, there is a mound of literature researching what positive effects PT and yoga together can have on someone’s overall quality of life. Like this study5 that looked at yoga and PT for back health and found participants experienced an increase in quality of life. And this depression disorder study3 that found exercise and yoga improved symptoms of anxiety and depression disorders.
Lucky for you, because you are reading this, you have already discovered the LYT Method – a tool that combines yoga and physical therapy principles to not only improve the way you feel in your body but also the way you feel in your mind. By being a LYT member, you get to experience more happiness and joy in your life.
But don’t stop there. I challenge you to share LYT with one person today that you think could use some of the psychological benefits of yoga and physical therapy combined. Share the tools that have improved your happiness so that we can elevate the well-being of all of mankind – one LYT lover at a time!
And if you loved this article, please send me a DM on Instagram! I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time.
Your Wellness Guide – empowering you to take up space,
Dr. Thalia Wynne Dorsten
- Ward L, Stebbings S, Cherkin D, Baxter GD. Yoga for functional ability, pain and psychosocial outcomes in musculoskeletal conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Musculoskeletal Care. 2013;11(4):203-217. doi:10.1002/msc.1042
- Tang YY, Hölzel BK, Posner MI. The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2015;16(4):213-225. doi:10.1038/nrn3916
- Saeed SA, Cunningham K, Bloch RM. Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Benefits of Exercise, Yoga, and Meditation. Am Fam Physician. 2019;99(10):620-627.
- Syed-Abdul MM. Benefits of Resistance Training in Older Adults. Curr Aging Sci. 2021;14(1):5-9. doi:10.2174/1874609813999201110192221
- Saper RB, Lemaster C, Delitto A, et al. Yoga, Physical Therapy, or Education for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Noninferiority Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2017;167(2):85-94. doi:10.7326/M16-2579