This subject provides an overview of the teachings and philosophy of the yoga tradition, and sister science Āyurveda, that inform yoga therapy. We will explore the tenets of yoga from various yoga philosophy, history, and modern perspectives to understand the depth and variation within practices; at the same time, respecting historical roots. Various yoga texts, such as the Yoga Sūtra, have a long history of study and debate amongst practitioners and academics. These discussions will be explored as a means to energize both discourse and practice. All philosophy will also be explored through embodiment practices providing the student an opportunity to personalize the concepts to one’s own personal and professional practice.
Subject #1: Yoga Foundations - Embodiment & Yoga Philosophy
This subject builds upon the basic learning of anatomy in RYT 200 training and further explores physiology, systems of the body, and subtle anatomy. Using current scientific knowledge and self-inquiry, students will gain the necessary foundation to understand human form and function. Delving deeper into anatomy and physiology, students will learn to understand physical dysfunction through education, practice, and self-inquiry. Using a living anatomy approach, students re-learn anatomy from the inside out – acknowledging the physicality and emotional content of lived experience. On a personal level, they will be given tools to experience their own health more deeply from within their body and consciousness. By having the students experience the anatomy from the inside, when in yoga practice and in daily life - they are better equipped to support clients in cultivating sensitivity to body experience. As Yoga Therapists, they learn to guide clients turn towards their own agency, through body awareness and practice.
Subject #2: Biomedical & Psychological Foundations
These courses focus on developing a therapeutic toolbox as one shifts from personal into professional practice. We explore in sequence, how Yoga Therapy can be a catalyst for acknowledgment, recovery, and management in response to mental health issues, neurological Impairments, traumatic experiences and disease; all human experiences from birth to death. In addition, we explore how Yoga Therapy can be a preventative, complementary, and rehabilitative practice for various injuries and pain.
Students will learn how to support clients therapeutically through the pañcamaya kośa model to support their healing and/or growth during times of difficulty, injury or illness. Students will use the tenets of yoga to develop compassionate relationship, communication and therapeutic skills, including self-care practices to ensure the health of the therapist.
To hone their professional skills as a Yoga Therapist, students will discuss written case studies and receive supervised hands-on experience with client models. Considerations will be made for appropriate referrals to other health care practitioners.
Subject #3: Yoga Therapy Tools & Therapeutic Skills
The practicum component is a mandatory component for all SEYT students, who are in the Yoga Therapy Training Stream, to develop the skills of a clinical practice through mentored experience. Students will be mentored by a professional already working in the field of yoga therapy. Also, they may create a practicum position that may transition into a career and build bridges in healthcare by collaborating with other health care professionals in multidisciplinary settings. Through the practicum students will develop a potentially sustaining and nourishing professional practice.
Subject #4: Practicum
In order for yoga therapy to advance as a credible and reliable health care discipline, it is imperative that yoga therapists have a high standard of professional practices in place, similar to other health care professionals. Professional practices may include standards for ethics, legalities, regulations, continuing education, and relationship building. Proposed standards have been suggested by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), with input from the yoga therapy community; thus individuals entering the field must have knowledge about the present standards and be able to give input as the practice evolves.
Also important is to be knowledgeable about what is current and changing in the field of Yoga Therapy. What does research say about yoga? How is yoga therapy being used to work with various conditions in your own community, outside your community? Worldwide? How does yoga complement other health care practices? As such, one can learn to be an advocate - to continue to propel the field of practice into the respected domain it deserves amongst mainstream healing modalities.
Material learned during the on-site modules will lay foundation for student to begin building their own professional practice. Throughout the independent study portion students will practically apply this education, with the support of a mentor already working in the field.
Subject #5: Professional Practice
For more details, or if you have specific questions, contact SEYT.
The yoga therapy components of SEYT programming are based on the director's certifications as yoga therapists, and our faculty member's various certifications/licensure in yoga therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychotherapy, and other healing modalities, not derived from our status as an RYS® with Yoga Alliance Registry. It should be noted that programming includes understanding and working within the scope of a practice as yoga therapist.
These parameters include:
Yoga therapists provide services, consultation, and conduct research within the boundaries of their competence. This is based on their education, certifications, and supervised experience.
Appropriate referrals are made to other health care professionals when student/client's needs fall outside the scope of this competence.
Yoga therapists never give medical diagnosis to the student/client. This is the responsibility of a licensed medical practitioner.
SEYT supports the International Association of Yoga Therapy's (IAYT) current policy on their code of ethics, and scope of practice, and educates our students in accordance with these documents. IAYT's code of ethics and scope of practice can be found on their website: