Yoga Therapy RX Certification Program

The Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California is home to the first-college certified Yoga Therapy program in the United States. The course combines the ancient eastern science of yoga with the contemporary western health sciences of anatomy and physiology. It is an intensive yoga therapy training program designed to educate yoga instructors in the use of yoga for therapeutic purposes. It combines yoga and physical therapy to heal such common ailments as chronic back pain, asthma, and digestive disorders.

Developed by Larry Payne, PhD, and Richard Usatine M.D, the Yoga Therapy certification program is comprised of two, 1-year programs broken down in to levels I and II. Classes take place one weekend per month, with each level consisting of 121 hours of study. Level I focuses on yoga therapy and the musculoskeletal system. The course content includes classes in Human Anatomy & Physiology, Yoga Therapy for Upper and Lower Back, Medical Terminology, as well as instruction in reading medical Reports. In addition to covering the yoga basics including asana and pranayamas, this comprehensive yoga therapy course also includes Business and Ethics classes as part of the criteria for course completion. Level II, is optional and delves deeper in to the human anatomy, focusing on the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, nervous, reproductive, and endocrine systems. Payne believes that his yoga therapy course is different from others offered elsewhere, as he has always been careful to keep the western medical perspective in mind. He has developed user friendly yoga therapy that includes yoga postures individually adapted to treat specific health issues such as migraines and menopause.

The Yoga Therapy Rx certification recently added a Level III, in which yoga therapists in training work in a health care setting to get real life experience working with clients with health issues.

Yoga Therapy Rx training is open to registered yoga instructors with a minimum of 200 teaching hours, and at least one year of instructional experience. Each level consists of 121 class room hours, with an additional 150 hours of homework.

Former students who have already completed their yoga therapy certification have high praise for the course and its instructors.

“The Yoga Therapy Rx course has been wonderful. I already have 4 students who came to my group classes but needed specific yoga therapy and now are private clients as well. They are so appreciative to have one on one instruction for specific injuries and then come to a group class without fear! What is reassuring is that I’m able already to put what we have learned in to a professional setting. It can only get better. Blessings”  –  Maureen Davis

The Yoga Therapy program at LMU is a great choice for yoga teachers wishing to broaden their skills through educating themselves in the origins of common ailments and how to use yoga to help manage or alleviate common complaints. Upon completion, certified yoga therapy teachers are able to understand human anatomy, and apply yoga postures for use in a clinical setting to bring about a complete state of health in their clients. Like Viniyoga and Rodney Yee’s Urban Zen, Yoga Therapy Rx, offers yoga therapy training integrated into traditional health care settings.

Recent articles


Upcoming courses

Yoga for
every body

How to Avoid the Top 3 Pitfalls of Forward Bends

With Julie Gudmedstad

Recent articles


Sorry, You have reached your
monthly limit of views

To access, join us for a free 7-day membership trial to support expanding the Pose Library resources to the yoga community.

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial