Natya yoga therapy: Using movement and music to create meditative relief in schizophrenia

Blog post written by Aparna Ramaswamyyoga

A person diagnosed with schizophrenia asked me: “How do you know that my visions and voices are not real? How do you know I am not the next prophet?” As outrageous as the suggestion seems, the truth is that I do not know. At least, not in a way that it was anything more than my opinion/bias. How do we know that they are not the ‘normal’ folks with access to images and voices that we don’t have? Haven’t we read of brilliant music composers who ‘hear’ music in their mind? Don’t we read stories of mystics, medicine men and yogi-s who have visions?nyoga

So, I wanted to learn from my patients. This study invited the experts on schizophrenia (the patients) to collaborate and create a meditation model that works using music, movement and camaraderie. The collaboration offered at least 3 distinct contributions:

  1. Reclaiming the essence of yoga as more than a physical practice
  2. Restoring humanity to a “schizophrenic” (there’s that pesky word again!)
  3. Situating therapist/patient as learners, researchers and collaborators

aparAparna Ramaswamy, PhD, LCPC

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You can also communicate with Aparna via her website: www.HealingTradition.org.

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