An Overview of the Open Hand Institute

Open Hand Institute

The Open Hand Institute was originally founded in 2007 in order to share the Therapeutic Astanga Method.© This method was developed by Dr. Nydia Tijerina Darby and combines over 40 years of physical therapy, fitness, and yoga lifestyle practices and is designed to draw out the therapeutic potential of traditional Hatha yoga asana and other movement forms. The Therapeutic Astanga Method© informs the Therapeutic Yoga Research Interventions that Dr. Darby develops and implements in Therapeutic Yoga and Cancer research with the University of Texas Health in San Antonio.

The Open Hand Institute is a platform that was created to unite Therapeutic Yoga lifestyle practitioners, yoga studios, and medical and scientific communities. OHI is directed towards supporting the continuing education of Therapeutic Yoga lifestyle students and practitioners, certified yoga teachers, and medical and scientific professionals. OHI is directed toward presenting the Therapeutic Astanga Method© that has been developed by Dr. Nydia Tijerina Darby. TAM© is directly influenced by the Eight Limbed Yoga Lifestyle Path and practices.

The Open Hand Institute is influenced by the teachings of various yoga, medical, creative, lifestyle, and scientific experts: Beryl Birch, Brené Brown, Thich Nhat Hanh, Uma Dinsmore Tuli, Donna Farhi, David Keil, Herbert Benson, Stephen Porges, David Williams, Sharon Salzburg, BKS Iyengar, David B. Darby, Pedro & Bobbie Tijerina and my siblings in the Tijerina clan.


The Open Hand Institute is located on the property of Nydia’s Yoga Therapy Studio in San Antonio, Texas. This Serenidad Studio is located on a lovely 2.5-acre residence of Dr. Nydia Tijerina Darby. When students arrive, they experience a lovely walk along the outdoor paths leading to the Serenidad studio with lush bird & butterfly gardens all situated within a rustic setting.

The Serenidad studio, where most of the training occurs, is a lovely and comfortable space that has a unique flooring system (tatami mats) that make transitions and work on the floor comfortable for mature students or those with musculoskeletal limitations.

The Force that moves the
Open Hand Institute.

Nydia Tijerina Darby is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Therapeutic Yoga Research Specialist, a published author of therapeutic yoga research, Owner and Creative Director of the Open Hand Institute and Nydia’s Yoga Therapy Studio in San Antonio, Texas.

She has dedicated her life toward practicing what she preaches to the best of her abilities, encouraging and supporting others on their journey toward wholeness. One of her mantras: “I am in training for my next decade.” She is writing her first book on Therapeutic Yoga that is due for publication in the Spring of 2023.

Nydia is an experienced yoga educator and international presenter on Therapeutic Yoga Lifestyle practices. She has melded 40 years of her experiences in physical therapy, fitness, and yoga to develop the unique method of Therapeutic Yoga that is the Therapeutic Astanga Method.© This specialized therapeutic yoga approach has been featured within the interventions that she creates for therapeutic yoga and cancer research in collaboration with the University of Texas Health San Antonio.  

Nydia presents workshops, community education, and therapeutic yoga instruction and offers continuing education for Rehabilitation Specialists to introduce her method of therapeutic yoga lifestyle practices. She acts as a liaison between the yoga and medical communities in San Antonio and surrounding communities in Texas. 

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Nydia has combined work in the orthopedic, spine, and pelvic health physical therapy with extensive movement, fitness, and yoga experience to create a unique service that melds traditional western physical therapy with traditional eastern Hatha yoga lifestyle practices.

These practices are intended to empower all levels of practitioners, to make yoga movement & lifestyle practices accessible, and to encourage breath-centered movement activity that has the potential to positively influence optimum states of health and well-being for the long term.

She is an ambassador for therapeutic yoga lifestyle practices in the medical community and brings a variety of therapeutic yoga lifestyle practices into the integrative medical approach to wellness and healing.

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