Rebecca Roth, MA, LMFT
Therapeutic Yoga Specialist in Mental Health
Offering support through the practices of Yoga and Mindfulness to cultivate more calm, compassion, and clarity
…and a greater sense of purpose, belonging, and connection.
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” -Pema Chodron
WELCOME! If what you’re seeking is relief from suffering —
with physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual imbalance — I’m glad you’ve arrived here. Whether you have little familiarity with yoga or perhaps are a long time practitioner, there are numerous ways that you can benefit from therapeutic yoga sessions or classes – possibly as a supplement to medical or psychological treatment that you’re already receiving, or for support with imbalances in need of attention that do not warrant a medical diagnosis.
Some examples of what therapeutic yoga can support you with:
Managing chronic stress and overwhelm
Bringing your values and lifestyle choices into alignment
Alleviating negative thinking that can lead to a sense of failure or worthlessness, self-sabotage, or chronic health challenges
Creating stability as you go through a significant life change or phase that is threatening your identity/sense of self
Finding courage and grace in the face of loss
Connecting with body positive beliefs and practices
…Or it could be that you’re just looking to challenge and grow yourself – maybe in your yoga asana practice, meditation or other spiritual practices, or with regards to other social-emotional or mental life goals
In imagining what a yoga therapy session may look like, it’s important to get the idea of a typical yoga class out of your mind!
Given my background as a mental health practitioner, my particular emphasis of therapeutic yoga is social, emotional, and psycho-spiritual growth and development. As a therapeutic yoga specialist, working towards a Yoga Therapy certification, I use an array of evidence-based tools, grounded in yogic philosophy, practice and literature to address your particular needs — though my main job is to help you get out of your own way, through connecting with the inner wisdom of your unique body, mind, and heart.
Ideally, any type of yoga offering will include some combination of techniques to help you improve strength, mobility, balance, alignment, nervous system regulation, focus, and/or deep relaxation. In a therapeutic yoga session we’re more closely observing your particular needs in the moment, in order to fine-tune what practices will be most supportive. A session could include any one, or more, of the following tools:
- tailored movement
- breathing practices
- restorative and assisted yoga postures
- mindulness and compassion practices
- guided self-inquiry
“You suppose you are the trouble. But you are the cure. You suppose that you are the lock on the door. But you are the key that opens it.” ―
For more definitions of yoga therapy, and to learn more about the research behind it, please click here and/or visit the International Association of Yoga Therapy (IAYT) website at: https://www.iayt.org/page/ContemporaryDefiniti
** California SB 577 Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practitioners Notification
Yoga therapy is a complementary and alternative approach to managing your health, and it is not currently regulated in California or any other state. Practitioners are not licensed health care providers, but receive certification through the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). I am not a physician, I do not accept insurance, and encourage all of my clients to keep their doctors and other health care providers informed about our work if you are currently under their care. You can preview my Information and Consent for Yoga Therapy Treatment form here.
I have been working in the mental health field for over 25 years, counseling individuals, families, and groups in a variety of settings, which has allowed me to work with a highly diverse population of people. Gaining knowledge and experience in working with diversity, and being able to offer services equitably, are core values of mine – which of course involves ongoing examination and acknowledgement of my limitations.
I also began my journey as a yoga practitioner over 25 years ago. Since then, my understanding of yoga and its roots, and the impact of yoga practice on my life, has continued to broaden and deepen, far beyond the asana (stretching and postures) practice.
The deepening has coincided with a Buddhist-based meditation practice. I first took an interest in Buddhist philosophy/spirituality as a teenager, began meditating a few years later, and in the last decade have established a consistent practice that has involved a number of week-long silent meditation retreats – mostly in the Vipassana tradition. The Vipassana lineage has been a significant contributor to the popularization of mindfulness practice in recent times.
I quite often weave concepts and practices of mindfulness into the work that I do – as a psychotherapist and, in more recent years, specifically teaching mindfulness meditation. For me, the practices of Yoga and Buddhism and their accompanying teachings are inseparable and equally invaluable – one very much supporting the other.
Aside from doing what I can to help out my fellow humans, I spend plenty of time filling my own cup, which, as I’ve struggled to learn, means I have that much more to offer. Amazing how that goes…
I also feel a great reverence for other sentient and non sentient beings. One of my greatest refuges and sources of wisdom comes from taking a break from the modern world of humanity, and connecting with the mountains, trees, sky, ocean, and wildlife.
A few links to learn more about the roots and therapeutic applications of mindfulness:
“Let us make a pledge that, if not all day or all night long, at least for a few moments every day, we will make an effort to experience love, love that is free from selfishness, free from desire, free from expectation, love that is complete freedom.” -Gurumayi Chidvilasananda
The concept of the Eight Limbs (in sanskrit, “ashtanga”) of yoga was developed approximately 2000 years ago by Indian sage Patanjali, who examined and compiled texts going back as far as 4000 – 5000 years ago, to write a foundational text of yoga called The Yoga Sutras.
In this book of sutras/aphormisms, Patanjali outlines a path that incorporates 8 key components to overcome suffering, which involve – very broadly – identifying and living in alignment with values, practicing conscious breath and body awareness, and practicing various stages of concentration and transcendence of the mind. As a therapeutic yoga practitioner, I include any combination of these components in the work that I do.
No doubt, the context of time and place of the ancient texts are radically different from 21st century America, so you may wonder how it could possibly translate into our modern day culture. However, it is clear that many threads of the human experience have persisted, and that this ancient wisdom is quite applicable, if not necessary, to meet the complex suffering of todays’ times.
Links to learn more about Patanjali’s 8 limbs:
Below is a link to learn more about the Yogic conception of the Self:
“Here is, in truth, the whole secret of Yoga, the science of the soul. The active turnings, the strident vibrations, of selfishness, lust and hate are to be stilled by meditation, by letting heart and mind dwell in spiritual life, by lifting up the heart to the strong, silent life above, which rests in the stillness of eternal love, and needs no harsh vibration to convince it of true being.” -Patanjali
Rebecca Roth, MA Psychology
Therapeutic Yoga Specialist in Mental Health
My offerings may include, but go far beyond, what people experience in a typical American yoga class. Throughout this site, you will find information and links to help you understand more about the wisdom on which Yoga Therapy is based.
CONTACT ME for a free initial consult!