What do you see as the logical work a graduate would do following the training?
I see the work falling into three primary categories:
1. Private yoga therapy practice—like what I’ve been doing for 25+ years—for all sorts of things: from physical issues to life transitions, to unresolved nagging illnesses, to pain management, healthy lifestyle changes like smoking cessation, and more!
2. Integrative work with western medical providers offering support in relation to their model of care. More and more the western healthcare community is interested in integrative and preventative approaches to wellness. This looks like offering classes in hospital-affiliated wellness settings, and taking private clients from there and through referral. Graduates from our accredited programs are eligible for the C-IAYT (certified IAYT) yoga therapist credential. This is the gold standard in yoga therapy, and is the highest yoga credential indicating competency to date in the world. IAYT is working hard to build relationships and establish credibility for C-IAYT practitioners.
3. Specialty classes for populations with special needs such as yoga for backcare, M.S., diabetes, depression, heart conditions, arthritis, fall prevention, and other issues of aging, and the like. This can easily develop into private work with individuals who attend these specialty classes.
I believe there is a growing market for yoga therapists —is that accurate from your perspective?
Yes, definitely. IAYT has created very refined standards for accredited programs that require a high level of competency for the practice of yoga therapy. Determined to keep the standards high for public safety , IAYT promotes the value of yoga therapy as a bona fide therapeutic option. Yoga is much more widely accepted as a safe natural wellness modality. It is a great complement to western treatment and doctors often recommend lifestyle changes that yoga supports, such as stress reduction, regular exercise, and healthy natural foods.
My private yoga therapy practice has grown considerably of late with no outreach on my part. Many people have had some yoga experience and everyone has exposure, just from TV commercials! Yoga isn’t weird anymore. Dr. Oz is doing us proud! Another area that has grown, unfortunately, is yoga therapy for yoga injuries.
Is there work outside of hospitals for yoga therapists? If so, what would that work look like?
Private yoga therapy practice is what most yoga therapists are engaged in. It can be a good income stream. Specialty classes are good feeders and can be advertised through some doctors’ offices locally, or through fitness centers and the like. Even a prenatal class can result in clients continuing on in a one-to-one relationship as they repair their pelvic floor, reorganize their pelvis, and learn to care for themselves while caring for their child.
You may find kindred osteopaths, orthopedists, psychotherapists, integrative doctors, nurse practitioners, or the like in your community who refer and work with you in patient co-care. I think we’re at the onset of more of this happening, especially with the growing credibility of the C-IAYT credential.
Is there a discount to apply early?
Yes! We have an early discount for each module of the Himalayan Institute programs as well as an early discount for those who apply early to the Princeton weekend program. With all of these, the deadline to get the early discount is three months prior to the start date of the segment you are taking.
At the moment, we have two trainings in process, and two upcoming. The upcoming ones are open for registration. The next Princeton program is scheduled to begin September 21, 2019. The next Himalayan Institute hosted program is scheduled to begin November 8, 2019.
I don’t want a program that is a mismash of different yoga styles. My 200-hour training was like that, and it was confusing. What is your program’s orientation to authentic yoga philosophy?
Our program arises out of an authentic yoga lineage that goes back thousands of years. We don’t offer, like the program you mention, a hodgepodge of different, sometimes incongruent, types of yoga all mixed together. Because of our roots in traditional yoga science and philosophy, we provide a systematic approach in which everything is integral and makes sense. One of the Swami’s from this tradition has articles on his website you may find interesting. Here are two on this ancient yoga tradition in which the Spanda® Yoga Movement Yoga Therapy Program has its roots:
I would love to be able to help students who have a wide range of injuries and illnesses. I see some programs specialize on a few. What do you offer?
Our program is synonymous to a master’s degree in terms of level of training. We prepare trainees to be able to handle many issues for which someone may seek help, and to understand their scope of practice as yoga therapists.
Our focus is on comprehensive competency so that every practitioner is equipped to understand the reasons going into each decision in designing their own protocol for every individual person they see. We adapt yoga practice to whole people with conditions, and don’t necessarily share western medicine’s orientation of treating a person as if they were only their condition. So we’re not going to give you a set group of practices for one condition per se (although there are commonalities), but rather provide you with a depth of understanding, from a yogic perspective, of how that condition arises (and an overview from a western point of view as well). Then you acquire a host of yogic methods that work integratively to reverse it.
Does your program focus on the business aspects of yoga therapy as well?
Yes. We spend about 35 hours on professional issues some of which are on best business practices for the yoga therapist. This includes record-keeping, planning and financial management, as well as networking with healthcare professionals, outreach, advertising, and positioning in home markets.
For the training at the Himalayan Institute, how much are the accommodations?
There are different options in terms of accommodations. Here’s the Himalayan Retreat Center’s link for your consideration: