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Yoga Therapist

WalterJ2010-07-04 12:16:39 +0000 #1
This is purely out of curiosity but what does it mean when someone says they are a Yoga Therapist?

And what type of training do they have?
Nichole2010-07-04 12:25:13 +0000 #2
The International Association of Yoga Therapists is probably the best place to start to learn about Yoga therapy on a whole: IAYT: www.iayt.org

You can see their definition and many (maybe all publicized?) Yoga therapy programs under their resources page.

Quote:

What does it mean when someone says that they are a Yoga therapist?

It seems it can mean all sort of things, since I've seen gyms offering weekend yoga therapy programs. Because Yoga therapy is not licensed by state boards in the USA--though Purna College is a Washington State-licensed Vocational School for yoga teachers--you really need to ask that individual and then do your research about their training and their personal practice. (IA, this is your school, is this correct?)

I have been studying Yoga therapy and Ayurveda, to be offered one-on-one and not necessarily for the classroom, for a little over 10 years now. In the last 5 years, Mukunda Stiles has been my primary teacher and mentor. He certified me in Structural Yoga Therapy after a specific 2-year program with him in 2005. But for Mukunda, doing the studies (which was substantial) and presenting a multi-month, documented case study is still not enough to practice Yoga therapy. We do not have his blessing, as our teacher and certifier, to practice Yoga therapy without a committed, long-standing, daily and multi-dimensional sadhana of our own. We also need to stay connected to a teacher of our own to develop our sadhana, for me it is Mukunda, though others in my program have other teachers too. He asks us to ethically and respectfully, to stop offering Yoga therapy if we are not sustaining this daily sadhana, though we are still allowed to teach classroom because he does not certify Yoga teachers and because he requires substantial Yoga teacher training and/or experience before you may enter his program. For me, the essential difference between a Yoga teacher and Yoga therapist, after the necessary advanced trainings, is the commitment to a daily personal practice and a relationship to a teacher.

Here is a link to Mukunda's site: Yogatherapycenter.org: yogatherapycenter.org/ . You can also see our graduate papers on his site too if you are interested. His Structural Yoga Therapy program is unique in that he trains us in diagnostic testings as well: range of motion, strength, postural evaluation, et cetera.

Cheers,
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 12:35:12 +0000 #3
It means different things to/from different people.

For me it means a certain level of training with a master teacher such that I know how to safely work with students who bring a variety of "situations" (HBP, Diabetes, vertigo, DeQuervain's, arthritis, et al). And, in that working, actually provide them a broad enough, accurate enough, yoga construct to support their healing process, rather than just move their bodies and make them feel "good".

It is the ability to draw upon the vast body of wisdom known as yoga and customize it appropriately to fit the student with a therapeutic issue.
WalterJ2010-07-04 13:11:19 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nichole



The International Association of Yoga Therapists is probably the best place to start to learn about Yoga therapy on a whole: IAYT: www.iayt.org You can see their definition and many (maybe all publicized?) Yoga therapy programs under their resources page.

It seems it can mean all sort of things, since I've seen gyms offering weekend yoga therapy programs. Because Yoga therapy is not licensed by state boards in the USA--though Purna College is a Washington State-licensed Vocational School for yoga teachers--you really need to ask that individual and then do your research about their training and their personal practice. (IA, this is your school, is this correct?)

I have been studying Yoga therapy and Ayurveda, to be offered one-on-one and not necessarily for the classroom, for a little over 10 years now. In the last 5 years, Mukunda Stiles has been my primary teacher and mentor. He certified me in Structural Yoga Therapy after a specific 2-year program with him in 2005. But for Mukunda, doing the studies (which was substantial) and presenting a multi-month, documented case study is still not enough to practice Yoga therapy. We do not have his blessing, as our teacher and certifier, to practice Yoga therapy without a committed, long-standing, daily and multi-dimensional sadhana of our own. We also need to stay connected to a teacher of our own to develop our sadhana, for me it is Mukunda, though others in my program have other teachers too. He asks us to ethically and respectfully, to stop offering Yoga therapy if we are not sustaining this daily sadhana, though we are still allowed to teach classroom because he does not certify Yoga teachers and because he requires substantial Yoga teacher training and/or experience before you may enter his program. For me, the essential difference between a Yoga teacher and Yoga therapist, after the necessary advanced trainings, is the commitment to a daily personal practice and a relationship to a teacher.

Here is a link to Mukunda's site: Yogatherapycenter.org: yogatherapycenter.org/ . You can also see our graduate papers on his site too if you are interested. His Structural Yoga Therapy program is unique in that he trains us in diagnostic testings as well: range of motion, strength, postural evaluation, et cetera.

Cheers,

Thank You

How does one diagnose a problem or is the problem pre-diagnosed before they get to a Yoga Therapist? The reason I ask is I have some knowledge of Chinese Medicine and for a Traditional Chinese Medical Doctor a western diagnosis is nice but of little use when it comes to treatment.

I think I know what Ayurveda is, is that Indian Medicine or am I wrong?

And where could I learn more about it?
WalterJ2010-07-04 13:23:16 +0000 #5
[quote=InnerAthlete;11398]It means different things to/from different people.

For me it means a certain level of training with a master teacher such that I know how to safely work with students who bring a variety of "situations" (HBP, Diabetes, vertigo, DeQuervain's, arthritis, et al). And, in that working, actually provide them a broad enough, accurate enough, yoga construct to support their healing process, rather than just move their bodies and make them feel "good".

That makes sense to me, thank you.

So, if I understand, it should be many years of training Yoga and an understanding of human anatomy and physiology as well. Similar to say a physical therapist that is using Yoga instead of western modalities
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 13:46:12 +0000 #6
I believe that to be fully therapeutically trained in yoga takes a decade or more of study with a senior teacher. So there are obviously varying degrees of "therapeutically trained" yoga teachers. I do not, however, compare it to physical therapists for a variety of reasons.

Diagnosis also varies. It's nice to have an MRI or an Xray, or some blood work. And they are far from useless. However I believe progressive yoga will and does work with progressive allopathic and homeopathic medicine. When western medicine grows out of its infancy it may be very good.

So for me I take the diagnosis and incorporate it. Sometimes that means going with it. Other times that means fixing it. When you tell a person they'll never walk again that is a very powerful message. Some have the mind to fight it. Many do not. Diagnosis-good. Prognosis - questionable. Bedside manner - mindless.

Ayurveda is the art of living. Yoga is the art of dying.
victw2010-07-04 13:06:42 +0000 #7
It is far too simplstic to compare a yoga therapist with a physical therapist. If you work one one one with a skilled yoga therapist. It is very likely that the practice you are given will be multi faceted and may or may not include asana. There are many tools - my personal favorites are pranayama and sound. But a yoga therapist will work with you as an individual using the tools best suited to you and your situation.

It is likely too that a yoga therapist will want to get to the cause of the problem rather than just addressing symptoms.

Gary Kraftsow has a blurb here:

American Viniyoga Institute: www.viniyoga.com/index.php?cn=faq

I have a teacher that says that the term "yoga therapist" is redundant. This is particularly true if the teacher is a very good one.

Best wishes.

Vic
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 13:03:53 +0000 #8
Quote:

Victw :

I have a teacher that says that the term "yoga therapist" is redundant. This is particularly true if the teacher is a very good one.

In theory it is redundant. In application it clearly is not
WalterJ2010-07-04 14:25:54 +0000 #9
Thank you, and I meant no offense in comparing Yoga Therapy to Physical Therapy, I was just trying to figure it out.

It sounds much like Traditional Chinese Medicine in the fact that it is looking to treat the cause of the problem not the problem itself which is only the result of the cause. However in TCM the treatments can be Qigong, Acupuncture, acupressure, diet or herbal.

Are the treatments in Yoga Therapy then based on proper applications of Yoga postures or is there more to it than that?

Thank You.

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