You would agree without question - The physical elements of Yoga are necessary and effective for strengthening the body. However, just scratching the surface won't take you to the treasure chest. Breath, mindfulness, meditation, and philosophy constitute the whole care package. Yoga Therapy is like a care package that you can gift someone. Yoga Therapists can build custom Yoga session for just about anybody. It differs from being a Yoga instructor in a lot of ways. Yoga Teachers mostly deal with larger groups consisting of a variety of individuals. It is a daunting task to give 100% attention to their physical, emotional, and spiritual requirements discreetly. This is where a Yoga Therapist has an upper hand.

The skill set of a Yoga Therapist is specifically honed to identify personal health problems and provide holistic lessons seriatim. Also, the tailor-made personal sessions will enable a wholly beneficial experience. Yoga Therapy has been steadily gaining speed due to its application in thoroughly treating physical and emotional ailments. Medical professionals and Yoga Masters alike stand by its authenticity based on several studies. Apart from alleviation of physical ailments like scoliosis, sciatica, arthritis, atrophy etc., Yoga Therapy has been found to successfully treat psychosomatic disorders like stress, depression, PTSD, anxiety, etc.

For millennia, Indian Masters have adapted the ancient teachings of Yoga synthesized with Ayurveda for healthcare. Only in the recent past has it been labelled variously as Yoga Therapy, Medicinal Yoga, Holistic Yoga, and so forth. Several complicated Sanskrit scriptures from Hindu texts have now been simplified and are available for the World to learn. In an RYT200 course, you will only get the chance to waddle in shallow waters of the Yoga Ocean. This is certainly a great start if you are determined to dedicate yourself to explore said ocean. You, as a prospective exponent of Yoga Therapy, will have a long and wholesome voyage towards personal and professional well being. And the treasure you find will give you the opportunity to share its greatness with humanity. Today, we'll look at the different ways you can start this voyage towards being a certified Yoga Therapist.

The First Step

It is necessary to ascertain if you're ready to invest your Mind, Body, and Spirit towards this journey of self-healing. Only then can you attempt to heal others. If you only want to learn Therapeutic Yoga for personal ailments, you can find specific short term courses. If you want to start treating patients, acute know-how of Anatomy, Physiology, and Psychology is a must. For that, you need to have a background in the field of Yoga. An RYT500 course, for example, would propel you further. It is imperative to have a steady Yoga practice, for a good foundation goes a long way. Once you have set your goal, it starts with research, research, and research. Research by talking to several Yoga Therapists and learn their approach. Research online for a course that suits your requirements. Research books on Therapeutic Yoga. Preparedness is achieved only through preparation.

Yoga Therapy Certifications

There is a myriad of certified courses to become a Yoga Therapist. The rich confluence of traditional Yogic tutelage and research-based findings is a sure-fire system to ready yourself. Here are some examples:

Entry-level Courses

Several Yoga Schools around the world offer Yoga Therapy training sessions along with their regular YTT programs. Such courses act as a buffer before you go into a hardcore Therapy based course. They will introduce you to the very basics of Yoga Therapy. You will learn the correlation between Mind, Body, and Spirit, and how to utilize that for medical application.

The 200H and 500H programs that offer Yoga Therapy in its syllabus can help you in a lot of ways. Apart from the Yoga Therapy session itself, you will chiefly benefit from the Anatomy, Ayurveda, and Philosophy classes. If you are just starting your tryst with Yoga, you will learn the discipline and dedication it calls for. Those of you who have years of regular practice can consider Iyengar Yoga. The emphasis it gives on posture and alignment will add to a Yoga Therapist's repertoire. However, just acquiring an RYT certificate won't do. A new policy by the Yoga Alliance has quashed its recognition of Yoga Therapy for registration. So, you must only treat your Teacher Training as the REAL first step.

Accredited Courses

Have you already been professionally teaching Yoga for a few years now? If your answer is yes, you pretty much have the basics covered. However, you might be craving to dive deeper. You might feel that you could expand your wisdom to achieve a more unique approach to help those in need. Every Yoga instructor would have had some students with very specific requirements. What would you do if you had to work with students grouped under substance abusers, PTSD victims, Chemotherapy survivors, accident victims, differently abled, and so on? Finding a suitable Yoga Therapy course will give you all the necessary answers.

International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) is a platform to search for an accredited course pertaining to your professional goal and location. They have been operating for about 30 years, promoting the relevance of Yoga in Medicine and healthcare. You can join their website to strengthen your research by reading their publications and attending symposia.

You have to be aware that once you commit to being a Yoga Therapist, you will get clients with actual symptoms seeking relief, and not students looking for a quick practice. The course will guide you regarding such health conditions. It will teach you techniques that you can apply to care for precise ailments individually. You will be trained in the areas of observation, assessment, counseling, and intervention. Applying Asanas, Mudras, Meditations, and Pranayamas for physical, mental, and spiritual health conditions will become your forte.

Unaccredited Courses

If you are someone who is a little more adventurous, you can completely disregard the previous section. There are many old-school Yoga Institutes out there that are indifferent about forums like the Yoga Alliance or the IAYT. Nonetheless, they do guarantee a worth of your while if at all you decide to study there. Especially in India, the home of Yoga, there are Diplomas, Undergraduate and Post-graduate degrees in Yoga that follow traditional modules pertaining to the ancient scripts. Emphasis on Ayurveda, ageless Philosophies, unblemished technique is their key. The extensive courses in such Colleges will not only give you a back-to-school experience, but shape you into wholesome Yoga Therapists with an individuality.

The Right Pick

Before you select a course, thoroughly peruse the particulars about the course being offered. Remember, only you can decide what is best for you. An accredited Yoga Therapy course is just like finishing University. Embrace the fact that some of them require approximately 2 years or more to complete. That's right. Serious stuff indeed. You might have to be prepared to nerd out. There are a plethora of course styles which vary in duration too. You can either opt for a PG Diploma or a Masters Degree variant depending on how much time you are willing to invest. Now, no two institutes will have the same approach. Some of them use the ancestral approach by limiting it to specific styles of Yoga. Raja Yoga, Viniyoga, Iyengar yoga, for example, are the lineages followed by some schools. There are also schools which take the spiritual, philosophical, or psychological approach.

Just as you are about to zero in on your final choice:

You can get in touch with some of the registered Therapists on the IAYT forum and take their advice.

Consult a Yoga Therapist near you for a session to get the vibe of the world you're venturing into.

Do one last round of research. You might just find something more to your taste.

Revisit your old Yoga books just in case you might be feeling a little rusty.

The Future?

The tremendous growth in mental illnesses is on the rise since the last decade. After the Great Depression in the '20s pulled the rug from under America, the ongoing Great Depression is dealing a blow on a global scale. A study has shown that depression is on the rise among people aged less than 35. The medical fraternity is baffled by this development and is trying at length to keep it from spiraling. However, in its own serene way, Yoga has been helping to lull the furore depression is causing. Harvard University recently published an article in praise of Yoga and its therapeutic and rehabilitative abilities.

Holistic Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Yoga Therapy, call it what you may. It is here to stay. Several Yoga Therapists have been extensively working with special needs groups towards healing them. The benefits of Yoga Therapy are most definitely making themselves known to more and more people steadily. Like that old saying goes; History repreats. The traditional healing methods of yore are regaining their relevance. If you are confused about embarking on this voyage, don't be. Yoga Therapy is slowly growing to become a tender embrace that will heal the world. If you are a Yoga Teacher, it is time to level up to Healer.