Design and teach therapeutic yoga for groups and individuals with specific needs or health challenges.
The Professional Yoga Therapist Program is a modular training program. Modules 1 and 2 (also part of the 300-hour Advanced Teacher of Therapeutic Yoga Program) provide the essential foundation for integrating all of the essential knowledge and skills required to be a Professional Yoga Therapist.
Modules 3 through 8 provide 500 hours of additional training that establish complete expertise in the field. Module 3 is a mentored practicum to provide clinical experience as well as personal and professional growth. Modules 4–8 are advanced courses designed to further your skills in working in complementary settings, integrating Ayurvedic principles, and adapting classical Yoga practices for specific conditions and populations.
As a complete professional program, students are prepared to design and teach therapeutic Yoga for groups and individuals with specific needs or health challenges. Students develop knowledge and understanding of the philosophy, theory, process, and application of Yoga therapy using the Integrative Yoga Therapy model, based on the Five Koshas.
As an accredited Yoga Therapy training program we support the IAYT Educational Standards.
|Prerequisite YTT Requirements|
|Professional Yoga Therapist Course Hours|
The minimum admission requirement for our training program is a 200-hour teacher training from a Yoga Alliance registered school (RYS 200) or the equivalent. In addition to the 200-hour teacher training requirement, students must be able to document one year of teaching experience and one year of personal practice (which can be accomplished concurrently).
Program Completion Requirements:
All modules must be completed within 5 years to earn the Professional Yoga Therapist certificate. Upon successful completion, students will receive an 800-hour Professional Yoga Therapist Certificate. Once the first 300 hours of the PYT training is complete, students may apply through Yoga Alliance for the 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) designation. Please visit www.YogaAlliance.org for specific application requirements.
The internship program to be completed in your own community. This is a web-based program where each student works with a personal mentor and is completed at your own pace within two years of registration. The internship consists of a total of forty individual sessions, teaching of one ten-week therapeutic Yoga program, and study and completion of ten components of written work focused on particular themes or aspects of Yoga therapy. For more information click here.
This module includes study and completion of:
- Ten chapters of written work, focused on particular themes or aspects of Yoga therapy
- A minimum of 30 individual Yoga therapy sessions administered to clients of your choice on a variety of themes
- and a 10-week therapeutic class program offered to a special focus group of your choice in your own community.
This module introduces yoga therapy applications for medical conditions. Each day focuses on a system of the body, the most common medical conditions affecting that system, and specific therapeutic yoga approaches to support healing.
Important facets of this training include
- Half- and full-day workshops offered by leaders in the field
- Contraindications for yoga therapy treatment of these conditions
- Daily morning asana class concentrating on one of the conditions being covered that day
- Yoga nidra and meditation techniques appropriate for each condition.
For medical professionals with min. 1 year of yoga experience, students of any yoga therapy tradition, and students who have completed Integrative Yoga Therapy Foundations of Yoga Therapy: Module 1.
Required reading Larry Payne, Terra Gold, and Eden Goldman, Yoga Therapy and Integrative Medicine.
Swami Shankardevananda, Effects of Yoga on Hypertension
Swami Yogapratap, Exploring Yoga and Cancer
Swami Muktananda, Nawa Yogini Tantra: Yoga for Women
Swami Shankardevananda, Practices of Yoga for the Digestive System
Swami Satyananada Saraswati and Swami Karmananda Saraswati, Yoga and Cardiovascular Management
Swami Shankardevananda, Yogic Management of Asthma and Diabetes
Swami Nirmalananda, Yogic Management of Cancer
Explore yoga therapy’s applications in the mental-health field. Each day focuses on a different facet of mental health, including depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, addiction recovery, and yoga in social work settings. You learn
- How yoga can be used to support mental well-being
- Specific applications that are most helpful
- Important contraindications
- Yoga nidra and meditation techniques appropriate for each mental-health condition.
Enjoy daily morning asana classes that center on one of the conditions being covered that day. Participants also learn yoga nidra and meditation techniques appropriate for each mental-health condition.
Required reading Robert Sapolsky, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.
Frances Vaughan, Shadows of the Sacred: Seeing through Spiritual Illusions
Swami Rama et al, Yoga and Psychotherapy
Amy Weintraub, Yoga for Depression
Bo Forbes, Yoga for Emotional Balance
Richard Miller, Yoga Nidra: A Meditative Practice for Deep Relaxation and Healing PTSD
Module 6 is an in-depth study of asana. It focuses on advanced concepts of human motion within the Five-Kosha Yoga therapeutic model. This course includes a focused study of altered qualities of motion in the presence of common musculoskeletal complaints. Students explore methods for assessing alignment and motion as well as modifications and contraindications for specific conditions. The practice of mudra is used to complement and bring emphasis to the qualities cultivated through the Yoga postures. Restorative Yoga and other gentle practice techniques are presented in the context of their rationale for selection in addressing selected musculoskeletal concerns.
The original texts of Hatha Yoga detail four disciplines, pranayama, mudra, kriya and bandah to support the practice of Asana, concentration and meditation. This Module of the Kripalu Integrative Yoga Therapy 800-hour training offers an in-depth exploration of each of these fields of study.
Pranayama is taught in ten progressive levels beginning with introductory breathing practices and culminating with techniques of alternate nostril breathing. There is a focus on adapting the breathing techniques for individual needs, as well as benefits for specific health conditions.
Mulabandha, Uddiyanabandha, and Jalandhara bandha are presented experientially along with their use in both asana practice and meditation. Students will explore how to adapt the bandhas for individual needs, as well as benefits for specific health conditions.
The texts of Hatha Yoga detail six categories of Kriyas or cleansing techniques. Each of the categories are presented. The most accessible and practical kriayas including - Jali Neti, Nauli, and Kapalabhati are explored in-depth.
Hand mudras are explored extensively based on Joseph and Lilian Le Page’s book, Mudras for Healing and Transformation. Each day of the course focuses on specific families of hand gestures and their relationship to health and healing. Mudras of the face and body are also presented experientially.
Morning Yoga classes integrates all four of the techniques into the practice of asana and meditation. Evening sessions will explore how all of these techniques form the foundation for concentration and meditation practices as described in the original text of hatha yoga.
This course is open to Yoga Therapists of all traditions as well as medical professionals and holistic therapists with a solid Yoga practice.
This is an intensive program that focuses on the relationship between yoga and Ayurveda. In this program, students gain an in-depth understanding of the philosophical basis for yoga and Ayurveda practices within the Samkhya system. Through an exploration of Ayurvedic principles, the five elements, and the methods and techniques of yoga, students learn how to unite these two complementary systems into a methodology for reestablishing balance in their work as yoga therapists.
Students explore the first two pillars of health in Ayurveda: ahara (food) and vihara (lifestyle), and learn to integrate these pillars with the bahiranga (external) limbs of yoga. They also explore the third pillar of health, aushadi, which is the use of herbs in food preparation and common formulations to support yoga therapy practices. Students’ skill in the practical application of Ayurveda is augmented through the learning of pulse assessment, tongue reading, working with the six tastes, including food combining, and the Integrative Yoga Therapy protocol for balancing the mind using Ayurvedic psychology.
Transfer hours for Modules 4 - 8
|Students can submit 65 hours of transfer hours from one pre-approved therapeutic yoga course offered by: Maria Mendola, Genevieve Yellin, Karen Clarke, Amy Weintraub, Nischala Joy Devi, & Richard Miller. For more information about these courses please contact the teachers directly. Transfer hours must be submitted to the IYT office for review. The fee is $75 for the transfer request. In addition we accept transfer hours for Uniting Yoga and Ayurveda at Kripalu. The transfer fee is waived for Uniting Yoga and Ayurveda. Please note that effective January 1, 2018 we will no longer be accepting transfer hours.|
Dates and Costs
The total cost of the training is determined by the tuition plus your choice of accommodations. Please contact a Kripalu Registration Advisor for detailed information about accommodations 866.200.5203. If your preference is private accommodations, we strongly recommend submitting your application as early as possible as they are limited in availability.
Module 1: Foundations of Yoga Therapy
July 25–August 7, 2016
Joseph Le Page, Maria Mendola, Beth Gibbs, Debra Jenson, Jennifer Reis, Kaelash Neels, and Dianne Miller
July 24 –August 6, 2017
Joseph Le Page (Additional faculty to be determined)
Module 2: Yoga Therapy in Practice
August 8–21, 2016
Joseph Le Page, Lilian Le Page, Maria Mendola, Ellen Schaeffer, Jennifer Reis, and Kaelash Neels
August 7–20, 2017
Joseph Le Page, Lillian Le Page (Additional faculty to be determined)
Module 3 : Internship (in your home community)
Enroll anytime after completion of Modules 1 and 2.
Module 4: Yoga Therapy Applied in Medical Settings
This program will next be offered in 2018
Module 5: Yoga Therapy Applications Within the Mental Health Field
This program will next be offered in 2018
Module 6: In-Depth Anatomy of Asana
April 30–May 7, 2017
Joseph Le Page (Additional faculty to be determined)
Module 7: Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha, and Kriya in Yoga Therapy
August 20–27, 2017
Joseph Le Page, Lillian Le Page (Additional faculty to be determined)
Module 8: Embodying the Principles of Ayurveda in Yoga Therapy
Students may take Uniting Yoga and Ayurveda: Balancing the Doshas as transfer credits toward their certification
April 21–30, 2017
Joseph Le Page, Larissa Hall Carlson, John Douillard
The yoga therapy components of our 800 hour IYT training are based on our accreditation provided by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), not derived from our RYS status with Yoga Alliance Registry.
IAYT Grandparenting Information
What Students Are Saying
"The PYT internship program was truly an experiential journey. With guidance from my mentor, I worked with different phases of yoga therapy through actual experience. The chapters are comprehensive and many assignments are given to experience the subject matter. Through group and individual sessions with a particular focus I gained the knowledge, experience and confidence to move forward. All of the session reports were easily submitted though the IYT website. My mentor would receive them and we would have phone conversations periodically to discuss them. The manual is a fabulous resource for use in the future. The program really gave me the confidence to start my own yoga business. Certification gave me the knowledge, but the internship gave me the needed experience. I’m now teaching yoga to general groups as well as providing yoga therapy to clients in our local counseling center. I primarily work with groups that have anxiety, addictions, and depression. In the future I may be teaching yoga to an after school program to elementary school children provided by the counseling center. Teaching students and clients to get connected with their bodies, minds and spirituality is quite a rewarding experience. Most students experience that “aha” moment and realize how the yoga therapy is really benefiting them. The tools that I teach them through asana, pranayama, mudras, the chakra system and koshas are ingrained forever. We truly have the tools to heal ourselves and my internship gave me the confidence to teach others. I still remember Joseph saying, “teach them some of what they want and some of what they need.” With that formula the clients stay happy and stick with the program."
"Having a mentored internship was absolutely invaluable to keep me on track with my studies. So often, I had questions that could be discussed every month with my mentor so I fully understood mudras, how asanas affect the body’s systems, use of various pranayamas, etc. Just reading the materials would have been attempting to learn in somewhat of a vacuum. In particular, I was able to consult with my mentor as I worked with private clients and she gave me the confidence to teach from the heart supported by growing knowledge. Having a mentor hold me to task meant that I did not shortcut my learning process in any way. Her non-judgmental feedback on my papers, class notes etc. invited me to take a broader perspective than I would have had I been moving through the teachings alone. The mentor experience was so important to the deepening of my own practice as she guided me through learning to feel emotions and sensations in my own body and how to encourage that awareness in my clients and students. I cannot imagine completing such substantive learning solely on my own without the experience and guidance of a practiced teacher and yoga therapist."
"Everything was very important but especially the spiritual growth, anatomy and therapy was excellent! Whenever a doubt, questions were answered in a very satisfactory way. I absolutely loved it!"
" I chose to complete the 1000 hour internship program with IYT because of the depth, diversity, organizational structure, and the support/mentoring that was available throughout the program. Each chapter is effectively organized to provide a deeper cognitive knowledge of therapeutic yoga principles and then provides questions and exercises that allow the therapeutic practitioner to easily apply that knowledge working with clients. Each chapter builds skills that are used in the following chapters, so at the program completion the IYT has a wealth of experience and practical application of the knowledge. The program not only provided further development and expertise in working with the physical body, but more importantly provided an in depth understanding of the relationship and interactions of the physical, energetic, mental/emotional and wisdom bodies. The program provides specific tools to allow the therapeutic practitioner to work safely and effectively in the energetic and mental/emotional/wisdom bodies, which is where most clients need the integrated guidance. Perhaps even more important than the skills learned to work with others, was a deepening of my own practice. With my own growth I find I have developed more wisdom and intuition which allows me to better assess and help my clients."
"As I contemplated stepping out into the world as a Yoga Therapist I was awe-struck by a deep sense of responsibility to my clients and to myself. How was I, realistically, going to manage the continuation of a 5000 year-old lineage with integrity, honesty and joy? I felt a profound sense of relief when I realized that my mentor was there to guide me through just this sort of inquiry. In addition to her assistance with the nuts and bolts of planning sessions and classes, finding a venue for classes, engaging friends and family to be with me on the journey as clients and helpful feedback on the written work, my mentor provided deep emotional and spiritual support. Her own experience enabled her to help me when I got stuck and to guide me to resources for further learning when that was appropriate. Most of all, though, she provided inspiration by example in her heartfelt commitment to yoga and to its therapeutic power. I hear her voice many times as I work with clients, guiding me still into the depths of the practice. I will always remember her with gratitude."
"I found the content of the IYT internship to be the most comprehensive of any yoga therapy training out there. I loved that IYT teaches its students to honour their clients as sophisticated, holistic beings, existing not just on the physical level but on the energetic, spiritual, emotional and intellectual levels (the 5 koshas) as well. The process of working with a mentor meant I received on-going support and feedback on my written work as well as my practicum sessions with clients. My mentor’s wisdom, encouragement and assistance during the IYT process gave me the confidence to work with people who were coping with significant life and health challenges. She always brought me back to the inherent gifts that I, as an individual and a yoga therapist, brought to my clients on their healing journey. Using the IYT program as a foundation, I went on to complete a Master of Arts Degree in Yoga Therapy Studies. My experience in the IYT internship allowed me to transition into the work force with confidence and ease. Today, as a practising yoga therapist in a residential recovery setting for individuals living with mental illnesses, I use the lessons and materials from my IYT internship on a daily basis. It is the program I would recommend to anyone wanting to use yoga as a therapeutic tool for working with others."
"IYT has been an amazing, life-changing experience for me. Going through the training's and reading the materials was wonderful, but having a mentor to talk through and help guide me through the process helped me to understand it in real-life applications. My mentor offered me advice and guidance that I couldn't get from a book and her real-life examples helped me understand it further. Without a mentor I think I would have had wonderful knowledge, but would have been lacking in experience and my comfort level would have been low. Each time we talked and went over a chapter, it helped me grow more confident that I was on the right path and was proceeding correctly. The internship was a long process that took me deeper into my practice, deeper into my knowledge of yoga, and deeper into my self. I applaud IYT and their efforts at creating an amazing program. Their process has enabled me to grow as an individual and to truly do great work as a yoga therapist. I am strong, confident and more aware than I would have ever thought possible. Thank you."
- Kristine M.