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Yoga Therapy Today

Hatha Yoga, Integral Yoga Teachings, Integral Yoga Therapy, Key Teachings, Wellness   |   June 28, 2022  |   by Swami Ramananda  ~Yogaville

“When I came to Integral Yoga it felt like I was finally home.”

Several students echoed these words in the cohort meeting that launched the Integral Yoga Therapy Certification Program (IYTh).

IYTh is based on the teachings of His Holiness Sri Swami Satchidananda Maharaj who taught that health and happiness are our birthright; our work is to undo the attachments and stressors that cause suffering.

Swami Satchidananda simplified Integral Yoga (IY) in this way: “The goal of Integral Yoga is to have an easeful body, a peaceful mind, and a useful life. It is not that you are going to newly acquire ease and peace. It is there already. If you only could take good care of it and see that you do not disturb it, it remains. So in our lives, we should be always vigilant and see that we do not do anything that would disturb the ease and peace of the mind and body.”

Integral Yoga embodies a holistic, client-centered approach considering spiritual, intellectual, emotional, energetic, and physical aspects of the Self—supporting healing on every level of one’s being. Using tools from six IY branches, IYTh guides each person to find ease, peace, and usefulness—even when parts of the mind-body may be failing. As practitioners unravel stress and tension, a peaceful and ever-present center is revealed.

The IY approach elegantly maps to the koshas and ashtanga yoga. Our Yoga Therapists become adept at choosing the appropriate application for transformation and healing. IYTh guides students to skillful technique selection, adapted individually based on the condition and goals of the client to co-create well-being. Sessions may include physical poses, sound vibration, breathing practices, meditation, guided relaxation, Yoga Nidra, Yoga philosophy, service options, and additional stress-reduction techniques.

IYTh connects a historical tradition with contemporary culture, bridging Yoga and modern medicine. Swami Satchidananda defined disease as a state of “dis-ease” remedied (and prevented) by a plant-based diet, stress reduction through Yoga practice and philosophy, and a useful life of selfless service. His approach to mind-body health was decades ahead of its time and sparked a revolution in evidence-based Yoga Therapy treatment programs for cancer, heart disease, immune diseases, physical disabilities, PTSD, addictions, and more. The IY system is the foundation for Dean Ornish’s groundbreaking research on reversing heart disease and Michael Lerner’s Cancer Help Program at Commonweal. IYTh builds from the success of acclaimed work in meeting individuals where they are and guiding them toward wholeness through our inherently therapeutic system.

IYTh embodies “unity in diversity” and provides an opportunity for individuals who are interested in connecting with a traditional lineage steeped in interfaith harmony while seeking to serve those in need. IYTh offers clear methodologies and practical tools for applying IY teachings in daily life. A modular approach allows flexibility, while providing time to assimilate material and deepen IY practices. After key modules, students integrate their experience through practical competency assessments with an assigned mentor.

Peer cohort groups meet monthly throughout the program, offering an intimate and supportive community. The cohort becomes a field for rich study and reflection during the practicum portion of the training. IYTh students bring their experiences implementing Yoga Therapy techniques to their peers and mentor(s) for evaluation. IYTh students benefit from vast expertise of senior IY Therapists and Sannyasins, receiving guidance from experienced mentors throughout their journey. With three internationally-recognized training centers across the country (Central Virginia, New York, San Francisco) and a personal mentor guiding the process, students are assured options and support during the program. Equality and accessibility are core values of IY, and illness and disability are seen as opportunities for spiritual growth. All clients are equally deserving of the comprehensive teachings, regardless of ability or background.

An exclusive aspect of IYTh is the opportunity to specialize with an elective module. Many have chosen to focus in particular areas such as therapeutic approaches to cancer, heart disease, arthritis, chronic pain, autoimmune disorders, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Upon graduation, the individual becomes an Integral Yoga Therapist in addition to a certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT). Graduates join an elite group of IY therapists and enter the community as recognized professionals in integrative health care.

The aim of IYTh is to transmit the ancient teachings of Yoga in a meaningful and personalized way, empowering those we serve with lasting, positive change. Deepening the connection with the True Self, IYTh supports the healing and growth of individuals and communities. We strive to create a safe and supportive environment for affirmative transformation with resources accessible to everyone seeking progress toward improved function and vitality in mind-body. IYTh endeavors to support and honor Swami Satchidananda’s vision of reaching everyone in every situation, discovering whatever allows them to experience their true peace. Integral Yoga welcomes you home.

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