Yoga Therapy Training: 10 Steps to Choosing a Program

If you are a yoga teacher or health professional thinking of expanding your skills to include yoga therapy training, it can be confusing to decide which type of yoga therapy certification to get training in. Here are a few guidelines to help you begin the process of looking through yoga therapy training programs to see which one might be the best fit for your interests, temperament, and background.

There are many different approaches to yoga therapy, so it pays off getting to know each before you sign up for a training program. Some types of yoga therapy, like Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, put more emphasis on the mental, emotional, and even spiritual aspects of healing, and emphasize the mental-emotional nature of health issues. Others, like Viniyoga Therapy, Yoga Therapy Rx, or Rodney Yee’s Urban Zen Yoga Therapy training focus on preparing yoga therapists to work with patients in a hospital setting. Still other programs emphasize structural issues and some, like Integrative Yoga Therapy, try to give yoga therapists a foundation in Ayurveda and other aspects of Vedic philosophy as part of the training.

If you live in a large city where there are different types of yoga therapists available, consider getting a session with several practicing yoga therapists, so you can get a feel for how each particular approach to yoga therapy suits your temperament and natural skill set.

In addition, when researching yoga therapy courses, reflect on your personal yoga experience and educational background. You want to pick a yoga therapy training program that will be aligned with your interests and strengths, and also one which supports your further professional training and yoga teaching practice. If there is a particular population you’d like to work with, look to see if there is a yoga therapy program that specializes in this population, like e.g. Amy Weintraub’s LifeForce yoga for depression training programs.

Here are some questions to ask the school(s) you are considering:

  1. Which population does the yoga therapy certification target—is the training generalized or specialized?

  2. In which settings will you be able to work after the completion of the training?

  3. What kind of course schedule is involved, and does the time and cost commitment fit your budget and lifestyle?

  4. Is the program registered with the International Association of Yoga Therapy?

  5. How long has the school been offering yoga therapy courses and how many yoga therapists has the school graduated? Where are these working? (Consider getting a couple of references to call in order to hear their experiences with employment after their yoga therapy certification.)

  6. What materials are covered during the yoga therapy training program and how is it presented?

  7. Is there an internship or other opportunity for practical experience included as part of the yoga therapy certification?

  8. Who will be the primary yoga therapy teachers? How much time will be spent with them? What is their yoga background? Do they have any training as health professionals? How much have they worked as yoga therapists themselves?

  9. Which competencies will you have upon completion of the yoga therapy training program?

  10. How much does the program cost and what is the payment policy?

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