A yoga teacher is tasked with teaching yoga which is often taught within a certain system. Ashtanga, Bikram, Sivananda, as examples, all have their ways of training yogis to teach. In the western context, yoga teachers are often trained to teach yoga classes that are primarily a physical practice. These sessions have labels like “vinyasa” “hatha” “restorative” “yin”, etc.
A well trained and skilled yoga teacher can lead groups in a class setting, helping students learn whatever style or system they are sharing. Yoga classes have a therapeutic effect for many. In addition, a very experienced and skilled yoga teacher can educate students in all aspects of yoga, helping them progress on a spiritual level. This is mentioned because even an enlightened teacher is technically a yoga teacher as opposed to a yoga therapist.
A yoga therapist is tasked with applying yoga techniques to specific health conditions. A yoga therapist, therefore, must be trained in both the techniques (asana, pranayama, chanting, philosophy or point of view and meditation) and the therapeutic applications of these techniques.
A yoga therapist—like anyone in the health field—must have knowledge of the conditions they are working with. Yoga therapists are trained to look at health conditions through a yoga therapy lense, as well as assess from a western medicine perspective.
Although yoga teachers and yoga therapists are usually lifelong learners, the training entry point for yoga therapists is much higher. The IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists) has set standards that have a minimum training time of 800 hours. This is in addition to the prerequisite of a 200-hour YTT (yoga teacher training). Also, yoga therapy schools are tasked with graduating competent yoga therapists with a proven ability to work with medical conditions in a safe, effective way.
Since yoga therapists are always yoga teachers it is easy to see why the public can get easily confused. Yoga therapists often play both roles — teaching interested students yoga and working individually with clients that have health challenges. Most essential is that those with physical or mental health issues looking to yoga for help consult with a yoga therapist as opposed to a yoga teacher.
Individualized education from a yoga therapist will have much better outcomes and minimize the chance of an untrained yoga teacher inflicting harm due to lack of knowledge and education.
At Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality yoga therapy education with continuing support for yoga therapists. We are confident that our students and in turn, graduates are educated in a way that promotes positive client outcomes and integrity in this rapidly growing field.
Ready to begin your yoga therapy training and become a Yoga Therapist?
Apply today. A new class will be starting soon!
There’s no doubt that yoga is gaining popularity, but you may be asking yourself, what is the most popular type of yoga? Where is each type most popular in the U.S. and around the world? And for those who are interested in trying it themselves, how can you practice these styles of yoga safely? For […]
Breathe in, breathe out. Looking for a therapeutic yoga definition? Learn what yoga therapy is and what it can help treat from Breathing Deeply.
Welcome to episode 2 of the Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy and Meditation Podcast! At Breathing Deeply we offer Yoga Therapy Foundations and IAYT Advanced teacher training programs. Inside these programs, we have weekly Q&A sessions with students and Breathing Deeply founder & lead teacher. Brandt Passalacqua. This episode has been taken from a live Q&A […]