An integrated approach to Yoga provides prevention and rehabilitation to a wide range of health concerns. Western medical and therapeutic settings are increasingly finding success incorporating the practices of Yoga into their treatments for acute and chronic disease. The intact practices of Yoga can be used to address specific issues such as pain management, chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression, arthritis, asthma, heart disease, backache, hypertension and other types of mobility-related health challenges promoting optimal health and wellness. There are many excellent specialized Yoga training programs in the USA and abroad.
Here, we highlight some of the programs that we know to be of the highest quality and that Integral Yoga hosts in various centers, including Yogaville. Yogaville hosts numerous training programs that address health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, chronic pain, arthritis, anxiety, and depression. Below is a brief summary of these different training programs, with links, so you can find out more information if you would like.
Note: The video player for this section on Specialized Yoga Education also contain further information on these programs below.
Accessible Yoga is an international grassroots organization dedicated to sharing Yoga with everyone. AY offers training programs that enable graduates to make Yoga available to everyone, regardless of their level of physical ability. This non-profit organization is made up of volunteer teammates on seven teams. These teams plan and orchestrate the Accessible Yoga Conferences, and advocate world-wide as Accessible Yoga Ambassadors. Rev. Jivana Heyman is the founder of Accessible Yoga, co-owner of the Santa Barbara Yoga Center, and an Integral Yoga Teacher Trainer and Minister. With over twenty years of training and teaching in the Integral Yoga lineage, Jivana has specialized in teaching the subtle practices of Yoga: pranayama, meditation, as well as sharing Yoga philosophy. His passion is making Yoga accessible to everyone.
The Cardiac Yoga Teacher Training Program is an internationally renowned certification program designed to educate and train medical personnel and Yoga instructors to work with cardiac patients and their spouses in the area of mind-body medicine and Yoga. Participants in this comprehensive training program learn how to adapt the basic concepts of Yoga therapy, mind-body medicine, and stress management to the special needs of the cardiac patient and their spouses. Founded by Rev. M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D., an Integral Yoga Teacher Trainer and Minister, she is a leading speaker, author, and educator in the field of mind-body medicine and health psychology. She is the President of Positive Health Solutions and also an assistant professor at the University of Virginia School of Nursing.
Integral Yoga Specialized Programs:
Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training
This Integral Yoga training prepares Yoga teachers to teach classes in Prenatal Yoga. The specialized prenatal practices help the students become aware of the changes of pregnancy and promote relaxation and suppleness. The Prenatal Yoga pranayama, chanting, and visualizations are powerful tools for the mother to attune herself to her baby and its needs. An in-depth review of the anatomy and physiology of pregnancy, labor, and birth lays the foundation for teachers’ understanding of the myriad benefits of Hatha Yoga for pregnancy. They will gain extensive experience with asanas well suited to pregnant women and a thorough acquaintance with contraindications during pregnancy. The training will sensitize teachers to the profound physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual transitions of pregnancy and birth and demonstrate how such techniques as chanting, pranayama, deep relaxation, and meditation can be effective ways of coping with these changes.
Restorative Yoga Teacher Training
The Integral Yoga Restorative Yoga training offers an alternative to regular asanas, for those low in energy, during times of mental or physical stress, as well as during a time of physical illness, healing, or crisis. The supported poses enable one to receive the benefit of the asana without exerting muscular effort. At the end of the course, graduates receive a diploma certifying them to teach Restorative Yoga Theory & Practice: Part I: Foundations. Integral Yoga is a registered school of Yoga Alliance®. Satya Greenstone is the main teacher trainer and has been a student of Swami Satchidananda for over 40 years. Since 1999, she has been a primary teacher for the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Program. While serving as Teacher Training Coordinator, she helped to develop and teach the first Gentle Yoga Teacher Training Program. In 2005 she received certification in Therapeutic Yoga. She also developed and teaches the Integral Yoga Teaching Trainings for Adaptive Yoga and Restorative Yoga.
Stress Management Teacher Training
This Integral Yoga-based training is designed to give participants the essential skills and confidence to teach Yoga as Stress Management in a wide variety of environments, including the workplace, healthcare facilities, schools, and many other venues. The program includes asanas (primarily chair poses) adapted for workplace, healthcare, and other settings; Breath work, meditation, and mindfulness as stress reduction tools; yogic methods for centering, developing a positive attitude, and balanced living; scientific evidence of the benefits of Yoga-based stress reduction; strategies for designing and marketing of classes, workshops, and courses; Yoga Nidra and other relaxation techniques; Methods for leading group discussions for peer support. The main trainers include Swami Ramananda and Swami Vidyananda, both senior Integral Yoga monastics and teacher trainers. This training is offered at the Integral Yoga Academy and around the world at various Integral Yoga centers. Find information here.
Therapeutic Yoga – Coming Soon
Integral Yoga is a pioneer in the application of Yoga as a healing modality. For decades, it been introduced into medical and therapeutic settings through programs like Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease. We will soon offer an 800-hour Yoga Therapy Training Program, upon accreditation by the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
iRest is a simple form of meditation designed for modern day living. Some people use iRest to relax when life gets busy. iRest offers programs Yoga studios, community centers, clinics, schools, hospices, correctional facilities, and U.S. military hospitals. In June of 2010, iRest was endorsed by the US Army Surgeon General and Defense Centers of Excellence as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The Level I Training is designed to provide the basic principles, history, theory, practice, and delivery of iRest. The protocol has been designed for use in various settings that include a personal practice, Yoga environments, physical therapy, massage therapy, social work, clinical and medical settings, alternative or integrative medical practices as well as in-job training and job resiliency programs. iRest was founded by Richard Miller, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, author, researcher, yogic scholar, and spiritual teacher, who also co-founded the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training for Depression and Anxiety
An empowering, evidence-based Yoga protocol to help students and clients focus, relax, and have greater access to their feelings. These strategies can safely release chronic physical tension and repressed emotion and are appropriate for a clinical setting. This training interweaves ancient yogic wisdom with current findings in neurobiology. The LifeForce Yoga Practitioner (LFYP) Training is open to all and offers certification for health care and Yoga professionals. LFYP Training teaches comprehensive evidence-based practice to ease both depression and anxiety, as well as ancient strategies for self-care. The LifeForce Yoga protocol is being used in residential treatment centers, hospitals and by health care providers around the world. Amy Weintraub, MFA, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, YACEP, founder of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, is the author of Yoga for Depression and Yoga Skills for Therapists: Effective Practices for Mood Management, and has been a pioneer in the field of Yoga and mental health for over twenty years.
Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is a body-mind approach to Yoga therapy utilizing the concept of embodied mindfulness — which they have refined over 30 years in training over 1700 Yoga therapists. The courses Phoenix Rising Essentials (Level 1) and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Training Level 2 and Level 3 are the core curricula of this program and will introduce participants to the basic concepts, fundamental postures, and empathetic dialogue techniques required to practice the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy modality. Michael Lee founded Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy in 1986, based on his learning and integration of Yoga and elements of contemporary psychology which is now supported by neuroscience. He is the author of two books Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy—Bridge from Body to Soul and Turn Stress Into Bliss. He is also a contributing author to the American Psychological Association published book Beyond Talk therapy.
The Prenatal Yoga Center (PYC) offers an in depth, comprehensive 85-hour, Yoga Alliance Certified training for those who want to confidently and responsibly dive into the world of conscious birthing and prenatal Yoga and work with this very special population. Jyothi Larson is the founder of PYC. She has been practicing Yoga for over 30 years and has been teaching Yoga since 1992. She is a certified Integral Yoga teacher, specializing in pre-natal and postpartum, restorative and therapeutic Yoga. Jyothi leads pre-natal and postpartum teacher training programs and teaches private and group classes throughout New York. She has taught hundreds of moms and babies in her well-known Mom & Baby classes and is the author of Yoga Mom, Buddha Baby.
The Therapeutic Yoga Training Program—an Integral Yoga-inspired program—gives Yoga teachers the skills to work intelligently with students who are living with chronic illness or injury, as well as pregnant and aging populations. Therapeutic Yoga is a comprehensive system of restorative Yoga, gentle Yoga, breath awareness, and guided meditation specifically designed to enhance the body’s own capacity to heal. In addition to Yoga teachers, graduates include nurses, physical therapists, acupuncturists, and other healthcare professionals. They are able to integrate the techniques taught in the training into patient care. Many graduates have successfully taken Therapeutic Yoga into hospitals, hospices, home-care situations, and many other areas of healthcare. Co-founder Cheri Clampett, C-IAYT, ERYT-500 is a Yoga therapist with over 20 years of teaching experience and is passionate about bringing the benefits of Yoga to those recovering from or living with injury or illness. Arturo Peal MA, (TCM), LMP, co-founder, is an anatomy and physiology (A&P) instructor and a Certified Yoga Therapist.
Developed at the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) is an empirically validated, clinical intervention for complex trauma or chronic, treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The TCTSY program is included in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) database published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In addition to yoga, TCTSY has foundations in Trauma Theory, Attachment Theory, and Neuroscience. A 300-hour program that results in certification, TCTSY is open to both Yoga teachers and licensed mental health care practitioners. Graduates of the certification program, working within their scope of practice, are able to use TCTSY as an adjunctive treatment for complex trauma. David Emerson is the founder and director of Yoga Services for the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Brookline Massachusetts, where he coined the term “trauma-sensitive Yoga.” He was responsible for curriculum development, supervisionm and oversight of the Yoga intervention component of the NIH funded study conducted by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. In 2017, TCTSY became the first dedicated Yoga program listed as an evidence-based program/practice for the treatment of psychological trauma.
Yoga for Arthritis was developed at a leading research university by an interdisciplinary team of medical and healing professionals, including rheumatologists, psychologists, public health researchers, and Yoga therapists. Combining ancient Yoga practices with modern medical knowledge, this program offers modifications to address the unique abilities and limitations of persons with rheumatoid and/or osteoarthritis. In a 7-year randomized clinical trial, program participation was associated with improved arthritis symptoms, disease biomarkers, physical fitness, psychological functioning and quality of life. The teacher training program qualifies Yoga teachers to safely and effectively impart rigorously researched Yoga practices, with individually-tailored modifications, to those with arthritis and its related conditions. Steffany Moonaz, Ph.D., CMA, MFA, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, founder of this Integral Yoga inspired program, is a Yoga therapist and researcher specializing in rheumatic diseases. She serves as Director of Clinical and Academic Research at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, which offers the nation’s only Master’s Degree in Yoga Therapy. Her work has received funding by the American College of Rheumatology and NIH Nursing.
Yoga for Teens
This comprehensive Yoga for Teens certification course focuses on how Yoga can serve as a transformative life practice for teens by fostering their physical, mental, social, and emotional development. The program is suitable for Yoga teachers, school teachers, social workers, therapists, parents, and anyone who wants to make a difference in the lives of youth. While the training includes guidance on teaching teens in various settings, it emphasizes teaching and managing Yoga classes in the school environment. Erin Lila Singh, E-RYT 500, founder and director, is an Integral Yoga teacher and educator specializing in Yoga for teens. She’s the Founder and Executive Director of RISE Yoga for Youth, a San Francisco Bay Area non-profit that brings Yoga and wellness programming to over 2,000 teens each year in public schools. Lila has worked with youth for over 12 years, teaching Yoga and meditation in schools, studios, and incarceration facilities.
Yoga for the Special Child® Teacher Training
YSC is a comprehensive program of Yoga techniques designed to enhance the natural development of children with special needs. A gentle and therapeutic system—it is safe for babies and children with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, Autism, and other developmental disabilities. These methods also provide an effective treatment for children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities. YSC offers training programs and continuing education courses. The basic Part 1 comprehensive training program provides the essential tools for working with children with special needs. Using hands-on instruction, the YSC founder and Integral Yoga teacher, Sonia (Sivakami) Sumar, guides participants through each stage of the special child’s development. Topics include how to evaluate infants and children, how to create the optimum home environment and how to work with specific syndromes and disorders.
Yoga of Recovery: Ayurvedic Healing for Addictive Tendencies
Yoga of Recovery® is the first comprehensive course to combine Ayurveda and Yoga with traditional recovery tools to offer a more holistic mind, body, and spirit approach to addiction and self-destructive behaviors. The Yoga of Recovery Certification is of interest to therapists, social workers, addiction counselors, coaches, sponsors, Yoga teachers, Ayurvedic practitioners, Yoga Therapists, etc. Bringing the west (12 Steps) and the east (Yoga and Ayurveda) together offers us a truly empowering approach to counseling those who embark on a program of recovery. It is the evolution of the solution. Upon completion of the certification requirements you will have the skills to introduce the healing potential of the holistic sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga into your own life and those around you. Founder, Durga Leela, holds the RYT-500 qualification, and is also extensively trained in Meditation and Vedanta. She is a clinical Ayurvedic and Pancha Karma specialist. She is a professional member and speaker for the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) and International Association of Yoga Therapists.
This Integral Yoga affiliated program is a comprehensive certification course offered for Yoga teachers and health professionals teaching the general population who would like to share Yoga with people living with heart disease, cancer, and other debilitating diseases. It is also useful for people with family histories and/or risk factors. The focus of the training program is theory and practice of asana, pranayama, deep relaxation, imagery, and meditation as applied for people with cardiac, cancer, and other life-threatening diseases and general health and prevention. We will also learn the virtues of a low fat vegetarian diet, the psychological and social aspects of disease. Upon completion of the course participants will have the skills to teach patients in a hospital or clinic setting as well as on a private or individual basis. Founder Nischala Devi, spent 25 years as a monastic disciple of Swami Satchidananda, receiving his direct guidance and teachings. Originally trained in Western medicine, she began to blend western medicine with Yoga, offered her expertise in developing the Yoga portion of The Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease, and co-founded the award-winning Commonweal Cancer Help Program. Her book The Healing Path of Yoga expresses these teachings.
Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness (YCat)
YCat Yoga Therapy, founded in 1990, by the late Jnani Chapman, is a three-level, professional certification training for health professionals and experienced Yoga teachers. This Integral Yoga affiliated training is designed to enable graduates to work safely with people facing cancer or chronic illness. This program provides a research-based, conceptual framework for adapting Yoga practices to the varied and specific needs of people at any level with cancer and stable chronic illness. Sandra Susheela Gilbert, C-ISYT, E-RYT 500, B.A., is the most senior YCat Yoga Therapy faculty member and is the senior trainer and qualifier for the full 300-hour YCat all levels training. Sandra is a highly recognized Integral Yoga teacher holding advanced training certificates in Stress Management, Integrative, and Mind-Body Therapies and Patient Navigation. Sandra has mentored and taught alongside YCat founder Jnani Chapman for the past 12 years and is committed to taking her YCat Yoga Therapy program forward since her passing in 2017.