What’s Real

Straight from IAYT site, sharing that I am not just doing some la-la-hippie stuff (disclaimer – while nothing wrong with “hippie” stuff – Beatles fit the descriptive and so would Steven Jobs – as long as you are engaged in mind-body-spirit conscious living:). Answering the question I got the other day, “What’s yoga therapy training?”. There are a lot of “therapy” certifications out there but … what is “yoga” therapy? In this day and age, there are mail-order certification for everything – even for something that’s about direct touch/experience and transmission like aromatherapy and even, healing touch aka Reiki !!? all online – how is that supposed to be “real”? There’s all this talk of real vs. fake news, I see some of that in the training world too. But really? Isn’t that like getting some degree online from a For-Profit so called fly-by-night “schools” – is the program with integrity, authenticity and “real”? Is it reputable? Niroga is a NON-PROFIT with a sincere and noble mission statement (to give everyone access to yoga benefits) and thus, profit is not what motivates this organization … which is a relief these days when we are constantly put to test defending our value system.

There’s nothing that surpasses real and direct, in person transmission of teachings of yoga. The kind where you have to “show up” to. The kind that you have to put yourself out there for. As far as Yoga for therapeutic intentions, here are the “real” programs as far as “Accredited” Yoga Therapy Training Programs are concerned. Yes, I did my due-diligence as with any investment of education and/or training with significant monetary and labor output we need to expend:) Most precious of our limited resource, that of, “time” – so expended.

Listed below are the accredited yoga therapy training programs at IAYT Member Schools.These programs have been awarded accreditation for a three-year period.


Accredited Yoga Therapy Training Programs

Member School: Ajna Yoga Centre (CAN)
Program: Ajna Yoga Therapy (Accredited 6/18/14)

Member School: American Viniyoga Institute (USA)
Program: Viniyoga Therapist Training Program (Accredited 6/25/2014)

Member School: Ananda School of Yoga and Meditation (USA)
Program: Ananda YogaTM Therapy Program (Accredited 6/20/2014)

Member School:AUM hOMe Shala (USA)
Program:Clinical Yoga Therapy (Accredited 9/25/14)

Member School: Essential Yoga Therapy (USA)
Program:Essential Yoga Therapy’s Therapist Training Program (Accredited 7/1/14)

Member School: Functional Synergy Yoga Therapy (CAN)
Program:Functional Synergy Yoga Therapy (Accredited 3/20/15)

Member School: Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine and Humanology (USA)
Program:International Kundalini Yoga Therapeutic Practitioner Training (Accredited 7/9/15)

Member School: Hot Yoga Wellness/Yoga Qigong Academy (CAN)
Program:Yoga Therapist Training Program (Accredited 6/23/14)

Member School: Inner Peace Yoga Therapy (USA)
Program:Inner Peace Yoga Therapy Certification Program (Accredited 6/17/14)

Member School: Integrative Yoga Therapy (BRA and USA)
Program: Integrative Yoga Therapy (Accredited 11/23/14)

Member School: Kula Kamala Foundation
Program: Kula Kamala Yoga Professional Yoga Therapist Certification Program (Accredited 4/14/15)

Member School: Maryland University of Integrative Health (USA)
Program: Master of Science in Yoga Therapy (Accredited 11/19/14)

Member School: Niroga Institute (USA)
Program: Niroga Institute Yoga Therapy Training Program (Accredited 5/21/15)

Member School: Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (USA)
Program:Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Training Program (Accredited 10/1/14)

Member School: PranaYoga School of Yoga and Holistic Health (USA)
Program:Sattva Therapy® Yoga Therapy Diploma Program (Accredited 10/30/15)

Member School: Soul of Yoga Institute (USA)
Program:Soul of Yoga Institute Yoga Therapy Program (Accredited 10/1/15)

Member School: Spanda Yoga Movement Therapy (USA)
Program:Spanda Yoga Movement Therapy Professional Yoga Therapist Training (Accredited 6/25/15)

Member School: Stress Management Center Of Marin (USA)
Program:Stress Management Center Yoga Therapy Program (Accredited 4/14/15)

Member School: Wellpark College of Natural Therapies (NZL)
Program: Diploma of Yoga Therapy (Accredited 6/18/14)

Member School: Yoga & Polarity Center (USA)
Program: Long Island Institute for Yoga Therapy’s Yoga Therapy Training Program (Accredited 5/15/16)

Member School: YATNA (Yoga as Therapy North America) (USA)
Program: YATNA (Yoga as Therapy North America) (Accredited 7/1/14)

Member School: YogaLife Institute (USA)
Program: Comprehensive Yoga Therapy at YogaLife Institute (Accredited 7/1/14)

Member School: Yoga North International Soma Yoga Institute (USA)
Program: Yoga North Yoga Therapy Certification Program (Accredited 6/17/14)

Member School: Yoga Therapy International (CAN)
Program: Certified Yoga Therapist 1000 Hour Diploma Program (Accredited 6/19/14)

Member School: Yoga Therapy RX LMU (USA)
Program: Yoga Therapy RX Levels I, II, III, IV, Intro to Ayurveda, Yoga, & Social Ecology (Accredited 6/30/14)

Member School: Yoga Vahini (IND)
Program: Yoga Vaidya Post Graduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy (Accredited 1/29/16)

Member School: Yoga Yoga (USA)
Program: Yoga Yoga’s Yoga Therapy Training Program (Accredited 11/16/16)

*****************************************(from IAYT Accredited Schools List as of 8/2017 – verify with updates)

I feel very fortunate to learn from a steller group of teachers, led by BK Bose, PhD who has taught, served and led for decades. I did not even know that he had served on the Board of IAYT so modest his demeanor. (Also Baxter Bell, MD, one of frequent guest faculty member:) Here’s one of his publications that got me thinking how grateful I feel that someone like him is tirelessly working towards betterment of people’s lives, especially that of those most vulnerable and at risk but full of boundless potential – our hope, our future lies with all students in all schools.

His latest book would be great in the classrooms as many teachers would find yoga as an invaluable tool in helping the students gain life skills of resilience by fostering self-love and self-regulation and mastery. A great book for any school to have in their classrooms:) When the energy and enthusiasm for learning gets a bit stifled – try Dynamic Mindfulness practice outlined by BK Bose, our karma yogi in action. If you know of any classroom teachers in your life, please consider recommending this book:)

A Friend to thank!

We gazed directly at the sun and did not get blinded because of these glasses she let me borrow (& for keeps:) so that we may see the crescent overlap where we felt the sun and the moon in alignment. This universe is vast and we forget that sometimes with all the little things we worry about. In the scheme of things – all is fleeting and all will work out. Was able to see the partial eclipse thanks to this rental from a lovely friend. In gratitude for small gestures of generosity all around us.

Assisting & Learning

I assisted the 40 hrs. plus 40 hrs. of teacher training Judith Lasater conducts every year in San Francisco for last 2-3 times. But this year, spending summer in Japan, I was sad to have missed assisting the July training … Then she says that I can assist any of the upcoming training … Yeay! No matter how many photos I review (as I was the photographer for the last few local TTs) or books you read, nothing compares to being in the presence of a teacher you respect and admire.

When I was struggling, I was so comforted by a company of ladies a bit older – if fact, they might have been my mother’s jolly friends – being with them made all the difference. There was laughter, there was kindness. It’s always healing, inspiring and rejuvenating to be with older women, someone who can be your auntie, an older sister, a mother, even grandmother … a guide, who have walked the walk, done the do’s, struggled and suffered and paid the dues and … stands before you to “humbly” teach you something about life, without bitterness or haughtiness or snobbery or … too much ego – in fact, no ego would be lovely. I am all about learning and if I can learn from you, I am there – it’s not just the asanas – admittedly that’s a gateway but no amount of anatomy talk or movement lessons can compare to something more energetic and cerebral. While I am not saying I cannot learn from the young – it’s just that I’ve been there and I am more the person to give that advice, give that example, give the energy, I am the one to pass on – I am the one expected to guide – I am the offering. But then, when I am seeking an older sage, I am receiving, I am carrying on, I am enlightened and inspired. I am grateful for the widom they impart from their vantage point. There’s just too much fear out there about aging and withering and declining …or getting fat:) some take up yoga out of that fear…because of chronic stress borne out of anxieties over all things fleeting. Why not live your life fully before worrying about such things.

So went this week in a flow, I “assisted” yoga for cancer class my cohort from my yoga therapy TT now holds through Stanford Medical Foundation. So sweet to see him develop into this unpretentious teacher and so inspiring to see someone like him, much older, doing something to make a difference. He could have just sat back in his white-privileged world of utter comfort joined other mostly white guys his age, relaxing at some version of Mar-a-Lago, but no, he’s teaching yoga for cancer.(okay, I know that’s just a stereotype and there are many who are engaged in social justice and service to make a change). He’s making this world a little kinder, a little more compassionate. Less violent.

I was happy to be with this Karma Yogi and so were the students who showed up seeking some relief from pain that day.
They were helped because of him. And because of yoga. Thank you for the beautiful practice Jido:)