Yoga Therapy is a rapidly growing discipline with hospitals, clinics and other healthcare environments across the world employing qualified Yoga Therapists. Yoga Therapy training provides the skills and confidence to work safely and effectively with people living with a broad range of physical, emotional and psychological issues.
But what does that training involve? And what are the pathways to accreditation as a Yoga Therapist? Here’s an easy step-by-step guide.
Step 1: 200hr Yoga Teacher Training
200hrs is the base-line for teaching yoga. A good 200hr course will give you a basic understanding of the key principles of yoga and the skills to teach some of the many postures, breathing techniques and meditation. However, many courses focus on ‘vinyasa’, a yoga style that links poses together in a choreographed sequence. That’s great for fit and healthy young people, but it can be a big barrier for many people living with pain, injury or bigger/older bodies. Some of the habits that yoga teachers learn in their Level 1 vinyasa teacher training have to be unlearned in order to become a yoga therapist, so look for a Level 1 course that puts more emphasis on the foundations of each technique (poses, pranayama, meditation, chanting, mudra, personalizing practices) than on choreographing sequences.
Step 2: 350hr Yoga Teacher Training
350hrs teacher training is the minimum requirement for entry to an accredited Yoga Therapy Teacher Training in Australia. You can either enroll for a 350hr program from scratch, or upgrade your 200hr training with a recognized 150hr Post-grad course. Again, choose a 150hr post-grad that will help you move towards the therapeutic application of yoga. That means a course that is broad-based (yoga therapists are the ultimate generalists) rather than sticking to a particular style or brand of yoga.
Step 3: 650hr Yoga Therapist Training
This is the most comprehensive and advanced yoga teacher training available in Australia. Accredited Yoga Therapy Teacher Trainings take a minimum of 2 years to complete and require a minimum of 300hrs face to face training plus 350hrs practicum. Make sure you choose a course that is accredited with the Australasian Association of Yoga Therapists.
Training to be a Yoga Therapist a big commitment, but the rewards are extraordinary. There is no other training that will teach you to skillfully support students with health issues as diverse as cancer, Parkinson’s, musculoskeletal and soft tissue injury, anxiety, depression, diabetes, asthma, eating disorders, chronic pain and so much more. It’s the pathway that takes you beyond teaching general classes and gives you the chance to make a real and lasting difference to people’s lives.
Discover flexible pathways to Yoga Therapist Accreditation - Dowload the 2018 Prospectus for the Adore Graduate Certificate of Yoga Therapy.
Nikola Ellis is the founder of Adore Yoga, yoga therapist, counsellor and teacher trainer. She conducts regular trainings that help people of all ages, shapes and abilities enjoy the benefits of yoga and meditation, including Meditation Facilitator Certificate Trainings; Level 1 200hr Teacher Training and Post Graduate Yoga Teacher Training in Mental Health, Adaptive Asana and the Foundations of Yoga Therapy and a highly regarded professional 650hr Graduate Certificate of Yoga Therapy.