Absolutely not! In fact, including yoga or meditation in our practice is entirely optional. This is a great tool for many people, but it's not for everyone. I practice based on what feels natural and supportive for each person.
This will vary significantly based on the needs and desires of each client. For many, yoga and meditation are great tools to use at the beginning of sessions. This allows clients to tune into their present state of mind, to calm anxiety, and to center themselves so that their session can be more focused and effective. For others, particularly for those that experience pain and/or stress in their bodies, using gentle movement and directing focused attention to these body parts allows them to gain greater awareness and understanding of root issues that may be contributing to their pain/tension. Including these types of somatic or experiential techniques can deepen a clinical session and allow clients to move beyond the cognitive roadblocks that they may get stuck on in a traditional therapy session.
As long as you're able to breathe, you're able to do yoga! In the U.S., we often see yoga as a sweaty, active, fast-paced exercise. And although this type of yoga exists and has benefits, yoga at its core is simply using the breath to unite our mind and body so that we may move into deeper awareness and balance. There's great power in recognizing and respecting where you're at without judgement or comparison. This is a valuable tool we will incorporate from yogic philosophy. If we're able to foster this compassion for our physical bodies, we grow in our abilities to be gentle with our emotional body as well. No matter what your physical or health status is, this practice can and will be individualized to benefit you.
Psychotherapy varies. Some people will see a therapist only a few times and feel great relief, while others may benefit from sessions on a long-term basis. Although it's not in my practice to predict a certain number of sessions for clients, I am typically very transparent and believe that discussing any concerns you may have regarding your care is valuable to your clinical experience. Please feel free to discuss this openly with me.