I’m so excited to announce that in 2019 I will be embarking on my next step in learning how to deepen my yoga teaching by attending Inner Peace Yoga Therapy‘s 300 Hour Foundations in Yoga Therapy!
From January-October of this year I will be going to New Haven, CT, every single month to study a new topic in regards to yoga therapy. Topics range from things like Yoga for Depression, Yoga for Grief, and Yoga for Pain Management. That’s 10 whole months, 3 12 hour days week month, 300 hours of in-depth training from top yoga therapists who are also nurses, physical therapists, and psychologists.
How is yoga therapy different than other forms of yoga, you might wonder? Well, the easy answer is that a lot of yoga that you see nowadays is heavily fitness-oriented. If you have heard of hot yoga or seen all the bizarre contortions on Instagram of people doing “yoga,” you know what I mean. The way yoga was introduced in the West really emphasized a fitness practice over the deeper realties of yoga, and the Western fitness industry has taken yoga to an extreme sport that often neglects or ignores the reality of the rich tradition. Unfortunately, this make yoga seem like some kind of elitist sport that only the fit, flexible, thin, and strong can achieve.
However, yoga therapy’s commitment is to bring yoga back more to its roots as a practice for self healing, peace in the midst of life’s challenges, and a deep inner connection no matter what one’s physical and health status might be. This means that the emphasis is not on how fit, strong, flexible, or cool you are, but that the emphasis is around mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical unity. With this goal, anyone can do yoga therapy, whether you’re grieving a deep loss, need some life direction, are overweight, not flexible, or have an injury that hinders you from fitness.
And at the end of the day, this is the true heart of true yoga: To help someone find a little bit of peace and connection to themselves despite the external factors they may be facing.
The more the West learns about breathing, the mind/body connection, and healing, science is pointing towards how important holistic integration is for a person to find true wellness. Yoga can be a vital part of this integration–of helping someone learn to fully connect to themselves in all ways despite grief, injury, trauma, or health issues.
In other words, yoga is NOT about how great of a handstand you can do. It’s about finding joy, peace, and hope within despite any sort of outward circumstances. Yoga means union, after all. Any kind if therapeutic approach is helping others to do these things. And yoga therapy uses the rich tradition of yoga (which has been around for thousands of years) to do so.
Once I finish this Foundations in Yoga Therapy training, I will be a 500-hour yoga teacher. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means I have completed my initial 200-hour teacher training–which is kind of like an associate’s degree in yoga and is usually the bare minimum requirement for teacher yoga–and then I went on to do 300 more hours of training. This makes 500 hours total of training, which is basically like completing a bachelor’s degree in knowledge around yoga. So I’ll be a RYT 500 (Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500 Hour level) with the Yoga Alliance!
After this 300 hour training, I could go on and do 500 hours MORE training to become a certified yoga therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. We’ll see. But it takes a ton of time and commitment to be a yoga therapist, and it shows you just how serious this can become.
I’m excited! But this means it’s going to be an extremely busy year. On top of teaching 15-20 yoga classes a week at The Lodge at Woodloch, I’ll also basically be in school all year. This means I may not blog as much.
So… we’ll see how it all goes! What a crazy year. I wish you an amazing 2019!