SAFE Yoga Principles

“SAFE” Yoga principles are intended to be a blueprint for building therapy sessions that are therapeutically powerful with yoga as the modality.

I was invited to present my very first yoga workshop to fellow therapy practitioners a few years back and to say I was over the moon is an understatement.  I was both excited and nervous because, while I had been teaching yoga classes for years, this was my first opportunity to start to teach about why I believed so strongly that yoga had strong therapeutic potential in the therapy space among pediatric occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech and language practitioners.  

I began preparing my presentation and quickly figured out that I needed tools to summarize core concepts that made very large topics tangible and digestible for people who were interested in using yoga therapeutically and are just getting started.

I chose to turn to what many consider to be the original “instructional book” on yoga, the yoga sutras by Patanjali and I created the “SAFE” principles based on sutras from the text.

The SAFE principles are intended to be a blueprint and a guide for creating yoga interventions for clients in a purposeful and intentional way to support goal-directed yoga activities in therapy settings.

S = Safe for the body (comfortable) – Sutra 2.46

A = Appropriate for the activity (e.g. preparation, focus, strengthening) – Sutra 2.29

F = Functional (relates to the goal) – Sutra 1.2

E = Engaging (for the client) – Sutra 3.9

Please let me know how you applied the SAFE yoga principles and how it went, I love feedback!

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