Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy classes are 8 weeks lasting 90 minutes per session and are designed to treat specific forms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and pain using evidence based Yoga practices. Patients learn to apply breathing practices or Pranayama, meditations, mantras or use of sound, active, poses or Asanas, and restorative poses to find an inner sense of peace, balance,and strength. Borrowing from the sister science of Ayurveda, Yoga therapy also teaches lifestyle and dietary changes in order to balance one’s individual constitution or Dasha type to maintain wellness and to prevent relapse. Most patients completing the classes have acquired the skills needed to establish an inner sense of calm or to increase energy if needed to deal with various challenges in life.

Yoga therapy involves a 1 hour individual assessment to evaluate postural alignment, movement patterns, health history, and to determine your specific mind-body type in order to apply the correct active poses, breathing techniques, meditations, mantras, and restorative poses for your condition.

Yoga therapy classes are $180 for the first 8-week session including the 1 hour individual assessment session, subsequent 8 week sessions are $135. A small class size of 4-8 patients is utilized to help establish a therapeutic and supportive environment for change and healing.

Mood Enhancing Yoga Class is designed to treat depression. Specific active poses or Asanas, breathing techniques, meditation, mantras, and restorative poses for each type of depression are taught. Fatigue often left untreated by medications and psychotherapy is readily treated by the breathing practices and active poses acquired during class. Patients learn to increase their energy levels using specific breathing techniques and turn off “mind chatter” with mantras and meditation specific for their mind-body type. Patients learn to balance their mind-body type and develop a home practice so they can remain depression free.

Trauma Sensitive Yoga Class is designed specifically to address various facets of PTSD and the sympathetic nervous system arousal left behind after the trauma. Hypervigilance, danger awareness, and even dissociation are gradually replaced with breath awareness and a feeling of being grounded in the present and in the body. Learning of breathing practices is self-paced, calming and healing. Choices are provided as active Asanas or poses are guided by breath establishing a sense of natural rhythm and synchrony. Meditation and Mantras allow for a quieting of the mind. Signals from an overactive amygdala (emotional memory center) are overridden by use of breathing practices that incorporate sound and anchor awareness in the present. Many persons completing the class are able to establish on their own an inner sense of calm and begin to live their lives with more energy and the ability to experience life moment to moment. As this occurs, persons often report finding more safety and connection in their relationship with others.

Yoga and Meditation for Stress Reduction is a 1 hour wellness practice offered in a 6-session sequence. Each class consists of centering and breath awareness, a brief sequence of gentle asanas or active poses, pranayama or breathing exercises and meditation. These are used to quiet the mind and sample the inner stillness that is already there. Different pranayama and meditations are taught each class. The mindfulness and breathing practices taught in this class are known to reduce anxiety, hypertension, insomnia, pain, and slow the aging process of the brain.
This 6-week class is suitable for all mind body types and is only $90. For those wishing to develop an individual treatment plan with specific asanas, pranayama and meditations for their mind-body types, individual evaluations are available for $60. This evaluation option is particularly recommended for patients seeking pain relief as postural alignment and movement patterns are assessed.
Taught by Dennis Pelan PhD, C-IA YT, a licensed clinical psychologist and certified yoga therapist with 40 years of clinical experience. Dr Pelan is in his 5th year of teaching therapeutic yoga.

Register for this class by calling Lauren at 517-883-3732

Individual Yoga Therapy is provided for those experiencing pain or who wish to build a more individualized home practice. Some may also wish to start slow and first obtain a thorough individual assessment before taking classes. Individual Yoga therapy is provided as a 3-session minimum for $180. The first session lasts 90 minutes and includes a range of motion, a postural assessment, a body scan, body mapping, and Desha assessment or assessment of constitution type in order to guide the treatment effort. This information and input from the patient are used collaboratively to develop a consensus treatment plan. An active pose or Asana, a breathing practice, a meditation, and Mantra as well as a restorative pose are taught in the first session.

Homework assignments are also given to practice in between sessions, and the patient is asked to research their Desha type or mind-body type. The second and third sessions lasts 60 minutes and reviews progress, addresses new concerns, and seeks to acquire new practices which address the patient’s goals for treatment. Additional homework assignments to address the patient’s goals are also given. Additional therapy sessions are negotiable along with the cost for each.


Whether you desire to workout your physical body, to heal your emotional body, to release the chatter in your mind or to let go of stress, Nia can deliver! Nia classes will give you a total body workout from the top of your heat to the tips of your toes. Make new friends and discover how to move your body’s way with Nia workout.

Our Nia Instructor
Barb Starling
Barb Starling is a Nia Brown Belt teacher who has been sharing Nia in the Lansing area since 2005. Barb is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has her therapy practice here at Lansing Institute of Behavioral Medicine.

Space is held in Barb’s Nia class for authenticity, playfulness, fun, healing, and creativity.  It is her desire that you learn to move with ease and pleasure in your body in a non-judgemental atmosphere.  Barb is excited to offer classes geared toward an alternative way to heal your body, mind, and spirit.