Yoga, from the Sanskrit yuj, meaning “to join” or “to unite”, is a practice for optimizing the health of the body and the mind. It includes a variety of activities, including postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), meditation (dhyana), and lifestyle practices that are intended to lead the practitioner to a profound integration of body, mind, and spirit.
Yoga Therapy is the application of these activities in a therapeutic context. The goal, of which, is to manage suffering or facilitate healing among those practitioners with physical or mental challenges. Yoga Therapy is intended to compliment Western medicine, not serve as an alternative.
The philosophy of this program is aligned with the Hatha Yoga tradition of Sri T. Krishnamacharya, whose own teachings are grounded in the fundamental principles of Classical Yoga as authored by Pantajali. Krishnamacharya firmly believed that yoga could be both a spiritual practice and a mode of physical healing. Approaching each student as a unique individual, Krishnamacharya “taught according to his or her individual capacity at any given time” (Desikachar). For yoga teachers today, this means that each student or client should be instructed in a manner conducive to their own physical, mental and emotional limitations.
Students in this program will explore the principles of yoga and their therapeutic application, develop skills for assisting clients with health challenges, learn to work with licensed medical professionals and in clinical settings, and come to value the professional and ethical standards of Yoga Therapy as outlined by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).
There are a number of different learning opportunities offered that address various professional and personal outcomes: