What is Yoga Therapy?

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Yoga Chikitsa (yoga therapy), according to IAYT, "...is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the teachings and practices of Yoga." It differs greatly from other yoga modalities, including adaptive yoga, in the following factors:

Yoga Therapy

  • is an 800 hour program (compared to 25 - 200 hours); this program is equivalent to a Masters Degree in many ways - some colleges offer Yoga Therapy as an MS program

  • has a Scope of Practice (others do not)

  • has a Professional Code of Ethics (others do not)

  • has an accrediting agency, IAYT (others do not)

  • has its own journal of research: International Journal of Yoga Therapy (others do not)

  • in depth study of contraindications and the 8 limbs of yoga (others do not)

  • Kosha Model (unique to the yoga therapy process)

  • 10 Step Process for Therapeutic Groups and Private Sessions (others do not)

All yoga is important and valuable. Yoga Therapy is different and beginning to be recognized as an effective complementary therapy by insurances because of the above highlights and growing body of research. I am hopeful we will see more collaboration between funding agencies, therapeutic and medical services, and yoga therapists sooner than we may think.

“The need of the hour is for a symbiotic relationship between Yoga and modern science. To satisfy this need living human bridges combining the best of both worlds need to be cultivated. It is important that more dedicated scientists take up Yoga and that more Yogis study science so that we can build a bridge between these two great evolutionary aspects of our civilization. … Yoga is all about becoming "one" with an integrated state of being and that the modern tendency of Yogopathy in contrast is more about "doing" than "being"."

- Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani