On a rainy Monday in April, I met Kim Lauch at Dr. Lisa Larkin’s private practice in Mariemont. Kim works with Dr. Larkin to offer yoga therapy as augmentation to traditional treatment (like for back pain, breast cancer recovery, etc.). Dr. Larkin’s practice is interesting in its own right and deserves a separate post so hold tight for that. Kim offers private therapeutic sessions to Dr. Larkin's patients at the Merrimont office on Wednesdays. In addition to that, Kim owns a home studio named OM DOME where she seems additional clients for yoga therapy and other healing modalities. After chatting with Dr. Larkin and Kim in the office, I visited OM DOME. Her home was beautiful, her studio was beautiful, and Kim is also beautiful. She is a certified yoga therapist, with a laundry list of yoga and mindfulness teacher trainings under her belt.
Kim's space is goregous.
At this point you might be wondering what the heck the difference is between yoga therapy and just yoga. There are numerous different definitions for yoga therapy. I read about fifteen here on the International Association of Yoga Therapists’ website. They all essientaly have the same gist. Here’s my breakdown from my research and my conversation with Kim.
Yoga therapy adapts typical yoga techniques and practices and applies them to specific individuals needs. These individuals are typically facing a health challenge of some sort such as high blood pressure, muscular pain, or anxiety. Medical research shows that yoga is among the most effective complementary therapies for ailments such as these, and others, but it is often difficult to find therapeutic effects in a group class. This is simply because group classes are generalized, not catered toward a specific condition. Yoga therapists provide tailored regimens of postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques to suit individual needs for the largest impact. Yoga therapy is most often used to help individuals manage conditions or ailments through reducing symptoms, restoring balance and hopefully increasing vitality. That being said, yoga therapy can also be used preventively and palliatively.
So, you want to give yoga therapy a try. Here’s what to expect.
Yoga therapy works with individual goals. The first consultation with Kim is 1.5-2 hours long. Come dressed in comfortable clothes (sweats are fine) and equipped with your health information. When I first arrived, Kim made me comfortable with tea, a warm foot bath, lavender incense, and soothing music. I then filled out a questionnaire about all kinds of aspects of my health to give Kim a roadmap for my session.
After that, I got down on the yoga mat. Kim tailored the session to how I was feeling that day, and what my ultimate goals were long term. For example, I’m prone to feelings of anxiety so she taught me a breathing technique specific to decreasing anxiety.
Each yoga therapy session is different, depending on the specific disease condition being targeted. Different conditions respond better to different postures or breathing techniques. For example, a therapeutic yoga session for depression would be very different from one that targeted low back pain. So don’t expect your session to look like anyone else's.
Kim adjusted the postures to my body’s needs.
I’m super double jointed. I used to think it was a cool party trick, but now it just reminds me of my future arthritis. In group yoga classes, I have to make sure I adjust various postures, and stop myself from going too deep into certain posture to protect myself from injury. Kim did that for me In my private session, suggesting postures and techniques that protected my loosey goosey joints. With one-on-one attention, Kim is able to use props, modifications, and alignment assistance to help guide clients into postures in a way that is best for their body.
Kim also has extensive knowledge in additional adjunctive techniques such as Ayurveda, and she sprinkled this knowledge in along the way. I’ve been hurt many a time. Shocker, I’m clumsy. I wish I’d known about this therapy then while healing my joints and muscles. I’m definitely going to keep Kim’s card in my back pocket for next time I’m experiencing an ailment. This might be good for you to try if you’re looking for an alternative treatment route, or an augmentation to treatment you’re already receiving.
To see Kim at Dr. Larkin's office you can schedule through Dr. Larkin's assistant by calling: (513) 760-5511. You can scheudle with Kim to be seen at OM DOME here.