Sattvic States vs. Symptom Reduction–What is our Goal as Yoga Therapists?

Clients who come for yoga therapy are interested in one thing–relief from the condition they are suffering from.

As westerners, we are conditioned to respond to these calls for help by tackling the symptoms. But we need to keep reminding ourselves that as yogis our goal is to help our clients achieve a more sattvic state–to bring them into better balance as a mode of healing and achieving long-term results.

This is especially true when working with people suffering from chronic conditions.
How do we do this?

While working to alleviate symptoms, we also look for deeper causes of the problem, and we work with clients to help them achieve greater awareness and find ways to heal the whole self.

In this video, Brandt explains why helping people become more sattvic is an important foundation of yoga therapy, and key to our effectiveness as yoga therapists.

500-hour RYT vs Yoga Therapy Training

One popular question our applicants ask is whether to take a 500-hour RYT (advanced teacher training) or seek IAYT yoga therapy certification.

Yoga teaching and yoga therapy are very different endeavours. Although therapeutically-oriented 500-hour programs exist, they do not prepare students for certification at the highest level of yoga therapy. The 500-hour Yoga Alliance certification does not certify graduates as yoga therapists. In fact, our understanding is that the Yoga Alliance does not allow its members to use the words “yoga therapy” on their websites. This is actually a good thing, since YA does not screen their programs to ensure that students receive proper training in yoga therapy.

Yoga therapy training programs are specifically designed to teach students to work one-on-one with clients suffering from a wide variety of conditions. And as yoga becomes increasingly recognized as an important treatment option, doctors, hospitals, and treatment centers will be seeking Yoga Therapists with C-IAYT certification.

Breathing Deeply offers a foundations training program that certifies students in our approach. The foundations program also serves as the core training for our 871-hour advanced program, which enables students to obtain the C-IAYT designation. The advanced training provides in-depth study and training on a range of conditions, along with a practicum and mentorship.

In short, if your goal is to work with individuals one-on-one to help relieve a wide variety of conditions, choose a yoga therapy program. Find one that fits not only your lifestyle needs and demands, but offers a comprehensive training program… and don’t look back.


Anna Passalacqua
Director, Breathing Deeply

Point of View Matters—A Yoga Therapy Perspective

It seems like almost every day we see a new article pointing to scientific evidence for the effectiveness of yoga in treating various conditions.

This is definitely good news for us as Yoga Therapists. And we are seeing more and more people without a yoga background coming in for treatment–some even with referrals from their physicians.

In working with western clients, we want to make yoga practices more accessible and avoid using yoga terminology that certain people might find off-putting, or even threatening. But it’s essential not to forget or ignore the cultural framework within which yoga has been practiced for thousands of years.

—Listen in as Brandt explores some challenges and tips in sharing classical yoga teachings with clients unfamiliar with these concepts.

Finding Contentment With Yoga Therapy

In yoga circles we often hear people talking about acquiring “bliss states”. Bliss is found more easily when we can hold both pleasant and unpleasant feelings simultaneously. The science of yoga provides us with many tools to do this. Yoga Therapists are well equipped to help clients achieve a more peaceful experience by teaching them how to increase their capacity for opposing thoughts and feelings through practice. 

Listen in on this candid moment during a Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program session, 
as Brandt shares his thoughts about helping clients find contentment using yoga techniques.

A Yoga Therapist’s Role in Processing Trauma

Traumatic experiences live in many aspects of our system. Yoga Therapists often find themselves working with people who have experienced trauma and are influenced by it’s effects. Yoga techniques have the ability to transform our relationship to the past but they also have the ability to stir up reactions to mind and body held traumatic patterns.

Listen in as Brandt shares wisdom on the role of the Yoga Therapist in processing trauma.