Yoga Therapy Teacher Training Program for MS

Yoga teachers have seen first hand, time and again, the amazing range of benefits that students gain from the practice. Seeing yoga students blossom into better health, increased physical fitness, greater mental clarity, improved emotional well-being and even spiritual awareness brings teachers a deep, unique joy.

Some students have special needs though, and for yoga teachers looking to bring healing where it’s needed most, additional yoga therapy teacher training can be a vital asset.

For yoga teachers who wish to help those with Multiple Sclerosis find freedom within the limitations of their condition, Teaching Adaptive Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis with Karen O’Donnell Clarke offers the educational tools necessary.

The course was founded in 2003 by Karen O’Donnell Clarke and Lynette Coleman of the NMSS (National Multiple Sclerosis Society). Clarke herself took up yoga to relieve MS, and her own experience of yoga’s benefits inspired her to bring out the knowledge in order to help others dealing with the condition.

Even the National Multiple Sclerosis Society recognizes the benefits yoga for MS provides: “Yoga is an excellent form of exercise for people with MS because it involves stretching exercises for the whole body,” the NMSS states. “The controlled breathing exercises promote relaxation of the mind and the body and help people to be more in tune with their bodies.  As with any other form of exercise, it is important that the Yoga exercises be tailored to the particular physical needs and limitations of people with MS.” 

Clarke’s two day yoga therapy courses, inclusive of a workshop for those with MS and their families, educate yoga teachers about the condition and how to work with a wide variety of the its symptoms. Even a single person with MS may experience different symptoms from day to day, and Teaching Adaptive Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis addresses this, giving yoga teachers the tools they need to take the best possible care of their students.

Yoga teachers who have applied the knowledge from the course have seen inspiring transformations in their students. “I have used your adjustments in various setting for a variety of people with differing levels of mobility,” one graduate writes. “Each person seemed to have gained some insight, relaxation, or felt stronger.”

Many teachers who took the yoga therapy teacher training for MS course also found the training helpful when working with other student groups. “I left with a wealth of knowledge that will serve me well in seniors classes even if I don’t have anyone with MS in the room,” one Connecticut participant remarked.

The MS yoga therapy course’s curriculum covers modifications of poses for traditional yoga classes, chair and mat classes, and mat-only classes. Yoga teachers will also receive information for disability awareness and when and how to assist their students. The course gives teachers knowledge on how to design classes especially for students with limitations and includes private lesson how-tos. 

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