About Second Nature Yoga Therapy
Second Nature Yoga Therapy is based in Bloomington IN - Indiana, specializing in yoga therapy and comprehensive therapy for women with neurological conditions, recovering from cancer or in treatment, living with a disability or seeking long-term rehabilitation. For more than twenty years we have provided supportive, customized therapy and neurosupportive therapies at the client's residence as well as in clinical and integrative health settings. Rather than symptom-centric, formulaic therapy, clients receive personalized therapy and a person-centric outlook on health and healing.
Second Nature Yoga Therapy & NeuroSupport offers an alternative approach to mainstream therapy, rehabilitation, and chronic pain management, yet the therapies we offer may also complement and support conventional therapies. As such, our in-depth therapies may be integrated into a client's current care and support—or be an alternative resource and means of self-care for those who wish to have a mindful, active role in their overall health and wellbeing.
Compassion. Intention. Learning. Knowledge. Experience. These elements are fundamental to practitioners in any healing tradition. We hope to honor and respect our role as practitioner, therapist, mentor and caregiver through these qualities.
Yoga Therapy in Bloomington & Indianapolis
Yoga Therapy is centered on the individual... You. Regardless of your perceived abilities or inabilities, we would like you to experience the subtle and sometimes dramatic effects of yoga, both in body and sense of wellbeing, by providing not only therapy but a means of self-care which will endure for a lifetime.
The concept of yoga as a therapy is not knew; however, its currently expanding role in healthcare on a global scale requires a bridge connecting the vast tradition of yoga with those who can benefit most, but may be unaware of its scope and adaptability. We are grateful to have studied yoga therapy with Dr. Ganesh Mohan, a yoga therapist and MD trained both in allopathic medicine and in Ayurveda. He learned yoga under the tutelage of his parents, A.G. Mohan and Indra Mohan—direct students of Krishnamacharya, and founders of the Svastha System, a global yoga therapy network emphasizing whole-person wellbeing. The sanskrit word Svastha describes a complete state of balance: being oneself or in one's natural state, and healthy in body and mind.
We are a C-IAYT certified yoga therapist under the standards set by IAYT, the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Although helping others takes us into various settings—clinical, palliative, residential—the core of our yoga therapy is traditional Hatha yoga, grounded in simple yet fundamental principles. The most important of these is that yoga is introspective and experienced differently by each person. Its gentle yet profound effect on the body and mind is something to be observed, felt, internalized, creating awareness at all levels.
"Women have been yoga practitioners over the ages. But as we applaud their many achievements, we also owe it to them to ensure that Yoga which is meant to bestow us with health and well-being becomes a support in this journey and not a hindrance. Returning to the core, Yoga is not getting on the mat, but getting into the mind." __Indra Mohan
NeuroSupportive Yoga Therapy™ supports clients of all ages with long-term neurological challenges by providing one-on-one therapy with a yoga therapist who has experience with the complexities and ever-changing nuances of neurological conditions—and can adapt, change or modify each session, or as life circumstances and ability change over time. As a practitioner and therapist, we have both personal experience with, and practical knowledge of, neurological conditions. It has been a natural progression to provide yoga therapy for MS as well as movement disorders such as Parkinson's. An often misunderstood term, palliative means to ease or moderate symptoms or a condition, encompassing far more than hospice care. In fact, palliation is something most of us wish for when in pain or suffering unduly, be it physically, mentally or emotionally. Rather than emphasizing dis-ease, palliative care is concerned with a person's wellbeing, quality of life—and living. NeuroPalliative Yoga Therapy™ approaches long-term neurological conditions as a lifelong continuum, with an effort to improve, or sustain, quality of life.
Comprehensive Therapy Programs are a broad-spectrum approach to healing. The body is a whole, not a sum of parts, therefore it is beneficial to employ various therapeutic approaches which address different aspects of recovery, pain, or ill-health. We strive to be instrumental both through our therapies, as well as through a whole-person outlook on healing.
Mindful Mentoring for Women supports women through the practices (non-physical and physical) of yoga, emphasizing stability, self-reliance, and resilience during life's changes and through the various roles a woman may take up during the course of a lifetime. Supporting, laughing, crying, and dying with clients for twenty years has given us a profound appreciation for peoples' resilience despite the ever-changing state we live in as human beings. We are equally respectful of the potential inner depth, strength, and solidity of the human spirit.
Whole Person Nutrition provides nutritional guidance and counseling for wholesome, healthful eating and lifestyle habits, informed nutrition choices in specific conditions such as Parkinson's, autism, and celiac disease, as well as support for emotional eating and disordered eating. For many, food is a source of comfort, and yet, it can also be an addiction. The relationship between food and mental / emotional state has been established by science, yet it is an age-old part of all traditions of medicine: food is medicine! With the mass movement to urbanization across the globe, we have lost awareness of the intrinsic relationship between the body-mind, nature as a sustainer, and the effects of our environment on health and state of mind.
Second Nature Yoga Therapy™ and Therapy for Horse & Human harness the known healing effects of nature and horses and makes them accessible to our clients. Abundant time spent in the great vault of nature, through all seasons, at altitudes and latitudes, including the back country of Colorado and the deep forests of Thailand, has given us a profound appreciation for the healing capacity of the natural world. Decades working with horses and providing Equine Assisted Therapy, as well as a background in equine and animal sciences, has frequently served as a reminder that our perceptions of ourselves and others—humankind and animal kind—are more often than not a reflection of our state of mind and a need for compassion.
Thai Bodywork is still used to this day by traditional Thai medicine practitioners, and is integrated into medical facilities and hospitals across Thailand as a respected form of healing. We return to Thailand periodically to deepen our practice with two ajahn (master-teachers) who focus on neurological conditions and paralysis, as well as traditional Thai healing. Although we are a licensed bodyworker and have studied in several westernized methods and modalities—proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), osteopathic techniques, specialized bodywork and movement therapy for multiple sclerosis, therapeutic and clinical massage for cancer and chronic pain, clinical bodywork, lymphatic drainage—we have found that the basis of all of these are encompassed within the vast Thai tradition of therapeutic bodywork which addresses the body and person as whole, rather than isolating a symptom or endeavoring to 'fix' a single issue while ignoring the body and person connected to that particular issue.
Neurological conditions, in particular, require a nuanced approach, sometimes dependent on a client's state-of-being on a given day or even the hour—such as dyskinesia brought on after taking PD medications, or pain and fatigue brought on by an MS relapse. The scope of Thai medicine and therapies gives the practitioner both subtle and deep resources for treatment, whether it be visceral manipulation for a neurogenic bowel, herbal applications to stimulate blood flow to atrophied or spastic muscles, passive range of motion and joint mobilization, or easing neuropathy through acupressure.
As a yoga therapist and yoga therapy education provider, we strive to pass along what we have learned to our students and colleagues: NeuroSupportive & NeuroPalliative Yoga Therapy™ Training is offered as a specialized training for C-IAYT yoga therapists and therapists-in-training.
Therapeutic Thai Bodywork Apprenticeships help students think and treat at the subtle, therapeutic level, rather than learning a multiplicity of popular acrobatic techniques. Unlike a workshop or classroom setting, students have the opportunity to study one-on-one with the instructor over time, permitting a fundamental understanding of the tradition of Nuad Borarn within the framework of the Thai healing tradition.
Perspectives & Outreach
Bringing awareness to the public, as well as healthcare providers, of the scope and potential of yoga therapy for self-care, healing, and recovery has been an ongoing effort. We are a contributor to Yoga Therapy Today, a publication of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), as well as providing content for YogaTherapy.Health, the sister-site of IAYT.org. We seek opportunities to speak on the topic of yoga therapy as a respected, globally recognized therapy, emphasizing the need for a change in how current, mainstream healthcare perceives health, treatment, and care: from symptom-centric to person-centric. Educational workshops are offered to clinics, hospitals, and integrative centers with palliative and neuropalliative care programs.
As a member of the International Neuropalliative Care Society (INPCS), we represent part of a growing number of dedicated health care providers in the emerging field of neuropalliative care. We first met the founder and director Benzi Kluger, MD in 2017, at UC Health Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver. The intense yet compassionate approach of the neuropalliative care team, as well as the relief and surprise on the part of patients when they realized that they were seen not just as another patient, but as a human being—was unique, and unlike the streamlined, efficiency-driven approach which is prevalent in most allopathic care. It was person-centered care, focused on overall wellbeing (physical, mental, spiritual) rather than simply treating symptoms.
Compassion in health care is not a concept—it is an inherent facet of being a practitioner, and an integral part of healing. Simply liking and trusting one's physician / surgeon / practitioner has been shown to have exponentially positive effects on recovery and long-term outcomes. This is not surprising: Compassion goes hand-in-hand with attentiveness and empathy, two attributes which have been found to be lacking in current, mainstream care. Through educating, speaking, and writing, we endeavor to raise awareness of the need for compassion in healing and providing care.
Please visit this page to learn more about our outlook and perspectives on care and support, health and healing, as well as particular topics in yoga therapy.
English, Spanish, French are spoken.
We welcome your interest, questions, concerns.