Physical Therapy

Hatha Yoga as Physical Therapy

I offer physical therapy evaluations and treatment for people with orthopedic and neurological pain or dysfunction. My basic tenet is that people first have to stop imposing injurious mechanical stresses on themselves. When the body does not have to play catch-up, it can start to heal itself with the skillful conscious movements of yoga.

Some people practice hatha yoga as a form of exercise. The skill of movement demands an exacting control of the nervous system upon the musculoskeletal system. The use of breath, imagery and sensory feedback are critical in developing motor skill. Yoga can be very slow and deliberate, and then again fast and furious. Optimal fitness, cardiovascular tone and weight reduction are very real possibilities with a dedicated yoga practice.

Some people use yoga as therapy because they are in physical pain. As a physical therapist, I have discovered how the practice of hatha yoga is therapeutic. I look at people in pain as unaware and unskillful in movement. This inefficient or faulty posture and movement cause abnormal mechanical stresses that lead to or perpetuate inflammation, pain, and dysfunction. Yoga students learn what exact posture of movement inefficiency is causing what specific joint compression, soft tissue strain, or excess muscle tension. Then they can slowly develop the skill of movement that is healing, not inflammatory. Over the last 32 years, I have developed a physical therapy treatment using hatha yoga as my main modality.

The question arises to whether one needs individual movement evaluation and personalized instruction. Maybe one’s needs can be met in a group yoga class. Typically if one has acute symptoms, individual instruction is recommended.

I will treat clients willing to work on their motor inefficiencies in an active way rather than to be the recipient of a passive therapy. Yoga therapy only works when the client is willing to take the awarenesses and skills of yoga into their everyday life. This is a process that I will guide you in, if you are committed to the yoga process.

These physical therapy sessions are usually insurance reimbursable by many insurance companies.

For information or scheduling,
contact me at

Basic Tenets of Movement Vulnerability 

  1. All posture and movement create mechanical stress in our bodies.
  2. Some mechanical movement stress is necessary, therapeutic.
  3. Some mechanical movement stress is inflammatory, injurious.
  4. Over time, injurious movement can strain, inflame soft tissue, degenerate disks and joints.
  5. Repeated faulty posture and movement cause a vulnerability or a sensitization to particular mechanical stress.
  6. Repeated faulty posture and movement lowers the threshold to movement stress that soft and bony tissue can tolerate.
  7. The body can lose the “catch-up” game. It can process just so much inflammation.
  8. Faulty posture and movements are unskillful and unconscious.
  9. The body can heal itself, if given the chance.
  10. Skillful movement is healing.
  11. Movement can be relieving or provocative.
  12. Relieving movement reduces residual muscle tone, opens joint space, relieves disk pressure, supports strained ligaments, tendons, puts the body at rest.
  13. Provocative movement, done poorly, will create more soft tissue inflammation and joint degeneration.
  14. Provocative movement, done skillfully, will create stability, mobility, function, and manage movement vulnerabilities.
  15. Hatha Yoga is skillful, conscious movement
  16. Someone with movement vulnerabilities can manage themselves with Hatha Yoga

Stan Andrzejewski PT

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