The Curious Yoga Therapist
By Megan DeRosa
Curiosity is defined as “a strong desire to know or learn something” (Oxford Dictionary). When we cultivate curiosity in our lives and work, we create an environment of openness and exploration. This environment, this space, provides the opportunity for clients to rediscover and access their innate healing resources.
A sense of curiosity may well be what moved many of us to become yoga therapists. And, that same curiosity that drew us to the field can continue to inspire us in our work. Here are four ways to integrate curiosity.
Well-rounded intakes are a fundamental ingredient of our work. These thought-provoking questionnaires begin to uncover information about a client’s layers of being. We often integrate the kosha model as a big-picture framework. The responses provide a sketch of an individual’s health history, habits, and goals. The inquisitive nature of intakes lays a groundwork of curiosity from which to build.
A client’s intake creates the foundation for a preliminary treatment approach. However, much emerges in a one-on-one session that can’t be captured on paper or even in words. In-person communication may complement an individual’s intake responses, or be vastly different. Curiosity and presence invite us to notice what shows up in a client’s body, breath, emotions, energy, and story. This allows us to truly meet clients where they are.
The nature of life is impermanent, and so is a yoga therapy practice. Clients’ needs and goals will adapt and evolve—from session to session, and perhaps even within a session. It’s essential to remain open and curious during an individual’s healing journey. Then, we’re more apt to notice when someone is ready for a shift or new approach.
We can encourage clients to be curious by simply being curious, ourselves. We might ask insightful questions instead of providing “right” answers. Foster wonder over certainty. Promote inquiry rather than old stories. There are infinite ways to spark curiosity and awaken a client’s participation in the healing journey.
All individuals are already whole, just as they are. As guides with access to a plethora of empowering tools, we’re in a unique position to help clients remember that wholeness. Holding space for the process—this is the touchstone of our work.
When we practice curiosity, we discover more awareness around what it means to be a guide. To lead clients on a voyage of their inner landscapes. To usher each individual to the teacher within.
Megan DeRosa, MA, C-IAYT, RYT 500 is a Colorado-based yoga therapist with a focus on releasing stress and restoring ease. Her approach is supported by a master’s degree in holistic health and healing, training in Reiki and life coaching, a solid grounding in science, and many years of yoga teaching and practice. As a mom and a human, her life has less stress and more sweetness with yoga. She enjoys sharing yoga and complementary modalities—through writing, private sessions, and occasional group gatherings—so we can all have a better human experience. Stay in touch through her website @ www.meganderosa.com.