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What is Yoga Therapy?

Brian Cooper

Written by Brian Cooper

What is Yoga Therapy?

Last year we had a great meeting with some of our Senior yoga teachers who are also involved in Yoga Therapy. We were trying to come to some conclusions about what a qualification to call yourself a Yoga Therapist would look like. What is Yoga Therapy? What does a Yoga Therapist do? How long should you train to become a Yoga Therapist?

Here are a few of the comments from the discussion:

‘Yoga isn’t a therapy in the medical defined term such as a physiotherapist. A Physiotherapist has years of formal training, on-going assessments, and a tight code of practice. This is what gives people confidence in their profession’. (Sarah Ramsden)

‘Yoga Therapy is the use of Yoga where there is a specific health need …Yoga Therapy uses the tools that you would find in many yoga classes…which, to me, sounds pretty much like..well..yoga! And this is the at heart of why – despite my considerable experience in the therapeutic application of yoga – I do not officially describe myself as a Yoga Therapist’ (Jude Murray)

‘Thirty years since I began my journey in yoga therapy, I understand that whether yoga therapist or teacher, the role is complex and based on teachings and traditions that straddle both health and psychology’ (Yasmin Zaman)

‘At the end of the day, it is not myself that creates the results and any healing, it is the dedication, intent and focus of the client. When the client trusts in the Yoga Therapist, follows the instructions that have been worked out between both the client and therapist, and commits to the plan, then the best possible results occur’. (Sarah Swindlehurst)

One recommendation with a broad consensus was the following :

Since many ‘therapies’ are recognised and accredited, and usually require at least 3 years training, a similar approach could apply to yoga therapy. However, due to the broad nature of yoga and the large number of potential areas for yoga therapy, it was recommended that a trainee would then continue to specialise in a particular area. This further training could take several years. A most important point was made: ongoing supervision would be a mandatory part of such a course. This would bring it in line with other professionally recognised trainings.

What do you think?

 


 

Special thanks to those that came to Edinburgh to have this discussion;

Sarah Ramsden

Charlotta Martinus

Yasmin Zaman

Cathy Underwood

Sarah Swindlehurst

 


 

If Yoga Therapy is something you'd like to know more about, issue 4 of Amrita discusses the topic in-depth and will allow you to come to your own conclusions. 

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Topics: Senior Yoga Teacher Standards Yoga Therapy Quality