500hr Professional Yoga Therapist Program (PYT-500)
The 500hr Professional Yoga Therapist Program (PYT-500) is a complete professional training program in Yoga therapy, certifying participants both to work with therapeutic groups and to develop a private Yoga therapy practice, offering one-on-one sessions. Through this course you will learn how to design and teach Yoga programs for groups and individuals with specific needs and specific health challenges. You will also develop an in-depth understanding of the philosophy, theory, process and application of Yoga therapy in the Integrative Yoga Therapy tradition.
This in-depth understanding will allow you to work in complementary settings such as health care, to develop Yoga based wellness programs for specific groups such as cardiac care and cancer, as well as develop a private Yoga therapy practice.
The 500hr Professional Yoga Therapist Program (PYT-500) has 3 components:
A two-week intensive program with a focus on therapeutic group classes
A two-week intensive program with a focus on individual private Yoga therapy sessions
This week can be taken through IYT or another Yoga Alliance approved school or program with a therapeutic focus. You may also complete Chapter 1 of the PYT Internship to satisfy this requirement.
- It is recommended that Module 1 be taken before Module 2, although Yoga teachers with extensive experience may take the modules out of sequence, prior approval required.
- Modules can be taken independently within a 3 year period.
- Students in the Professional Yoga Therapist program must have completed a 200hr teacher training program through a Yoga Alliance registered school or program.
This two-week intensive module forms the foundation of the PYT Program. Its focus is on the theory and vision of Yoga therapy and the application of Yoga therapy for specific focus groups. Through this module you will learn how to design and teach Yoga programs for groups and individuals with specific needs and health challenges.
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Module 1 includes:
- The philosophy and psychology of Yoga therapy with an understanding of health as unity and integration at all levels of our Being, physical, psychological, and spiritual. This approach is based on a survey of the original Sanskrit source materials of Yoga therapy.
- Specific Yoga practices, including asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha, meditation and Yoga Nidra, along with their benefits and contraindications for each system of the body. Emphasis is on theory and applications for the most common health conditions.
- The use of asana in healing musculoskeletal injuries through an in-depth study of kinesiology and understanding the effects of asana in strengthening, stabilizing and creating flexibility in every joint of the body. This study includes modifications and use of props for all asana categories.
- Evaluation skills and techniques for assessing imbalance at the physical, energetic, psychological, and spiritual levels including assessment of the joints, the breath, the chakras and the subtle body.
- Movement techniques for developing strength and flexibility, including Somatics, PNF, hands-on assisted stretching, and the use of the Theraband.
- Introduction to the essential principles of Ayurveda in relation to Yoga therapy including a study of the five element system and a full range of Yoga techniques to balance each element and dosha.
- In-depth exploration of the energy body, including the pranavayus, chakras and nadis, along with pranayama, and mudra, to address common health conditions.
- Practical tools and techniques for supporting clients at the psycho-emotional level, including stress management, relaxation, concentration, meditation, and Yoga Nidra.
- Yoga-based awareness methods such as body mapping, mandala drawing, and guided imagery for unlocking doors to healing.
This two-week module will introduce you to specific Integrative Yoga Therapy programs, including the IYT Healthy Heart Program, the IYT Healthy Back Program, and Repainting the Rainbow of Your Life, a Yoga and wellness program for depression.
This two-week intensive module focuses on the in-depth practice of Yoga therapy for the needs of the individual in the context of developing a private Yoga therapy practice. Deepen your understanding of Yoga therapy and learn the practical application of IYT's principles and techniques.
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Module 2 includes:
- Use of a variety of formats for evaluation and body reading at physical, energetic, and psycho-emotional levels that provide in-depth information from which the Yoga therapist can respond with appropriate Yoga practices for optimal healing.
- In-depth instruction in selecting and adapting Yoga therapy tools and techniques to provide a complete therapeutic practice for each individual that includes asana, pranayama, mudra, affirmation, meditation and Yoga Nidra.
- Understand how to develop and implement a complete Yoga therapy program directed toward the most common health conditions such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes, arthritis and back pain.
- Learn therapeutic sequences that apply the principles of Ayurveda in Yoga therapy.
- Learn therapeutic sequences to balance the subtle body including pranavayus and chakras.
- Develop listening and dialogue skills to assist in opening clients to their own resources of inner healing.
- Observe one-on-one Yoga therapy sessions by master therapists.
The skills you learn in this module will allow you to work in professional settings and begin a private Yoga therapy practice.
These requirements can be satisfied in the following ways:
1. A one-week Yoga training program (minimum of 50 contact hours) with a therapeutic focus taken through IYT or another Yoga Alliance approved school. Training programs other than IYT specialization programs must be approved by the IYT main office. A qualified training program taken within the past two years of your PYT enrollment date will also apply.
2. Chapter 1 of the PYT Internship Program which includes an 8-week therapeutic class series and 4 one-on-one sessions along with coursework in your own community with the support of an IYT mentor.
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"The training is challenging, informative, and enriching. I learned so much from all the instructors. Thank you!"
"This training deepened my love of the spiritual connection, deepened my knowledge of the yogic view of health in relation to the allopathic view, and in many ways to help specific conditions for my clients and students."
"The depth of yoga tools and physiology taught in this course is difficult to describe. I am taking home an understanding of Yoga concepts that brings one far beyond the physical aspects of the conditions of humanity."
"I went from knowing very little about the field and now feel that I can teach with confidence. I especially loved learning how to specifically apply Yoga nidra, meditation, and deep internal awareness in the postures in a therapeutic way. Every teacher and assistant was supportive, generous, extremely knowledgeable and wonderful."
"The program had a great way of building on my previous knowledge without excluding my yogic lineage. I love the way all of the parts come together for a very organized way of creating a therapy program for any condition. I feel such gratitude for all of this knowledge."
"The program provided a deep respect for the complexity of working in the yoga therapy field. The work itself provides the strength and tools to step up to the progression and teach."
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e-RYT 500, Structural Yoga Therapist, Integrative Yoga Therapist
Maria has been an avid practitioner of yoga for 30 years, teaching for 20 years. Maria’s background as a Registered Nurse in rehabilitation and women’s health created within her a strong desire to pursue yoga as a viable therapeutic milieu. She has completed several certifications, including: Integrative Yoga Therapy’s Professional Therapist program; Structural Yoga Therapy; Trauma Release Training, and Ayurvedic Practitioner training. Maria maintains a private yoga therapy & ayurvedic consultation practice, as well as holding faculty positions with various yoga teacher training programs and Integrative Yoga Therapy’s Professional Therapist program. Maria was instrumental in guiding Canyon Ranch to the opening of their Yoga Rx clinical offering. "The real yoga begins when we step off the mat." For more information, visit functionalyogatherapy.com
PYT Internship Program
Beth Gibbs, MA, E-RYT 500, is a certified yoga therapist through Integrative Yoga Therapy. She is a member of the IYT teaching faculty and directs the school’s Professional Yoga Therapist Internship Program. Beth has a masters degree in Yoga Therapy and Mind/Body Health from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She is also executive director of Camp Courant, a summer day camp program for inner-city children that has implemented a successful yoga program to improve concentration and conflict management in children. She is the author of "Ogi Bogi, The Elephant Yogi," a therapeutic yoga book for children with a companion manual for adults who work with children. For more information, please visit: www.wholechildyoga.us
Home Study Program
Cathy Prescott is Director of the IYT Home Study Program and a senior teacher and mentor for the Professional Yoga Therapist Program. She has been teaching since 1999 and brings more than 30 years of yoga practice to her classes along with additional training in Ayurveda, meditation, remedial massage, clinical aromatherapy, and Reiki. Her yoga therapy practice focuses on young families, from prenatal and childbirth preparation to classes for mom and baby through the toddler years. For more information, please visit: yogawithcathy.com
Genevieve brings over 20+ years of yoga experience to her teaching. She is a registered e-RYT 500, as well as a Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCYT) and a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher (RPYT) with the Yoga Alliance. Genevieve has training in many modalities that round out her Yoga Therapy education; they include, but are not limited to, Integrative Yoga Therapy’s Professional Yoga Therapist program, Functional Yoga Therapy, Restorative Yoga, Anatomy Trains Myofascial studies (KMI), Svastha Yoga with Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandarim in Chennai, India, Adaptive Yoga, Vipassana Meditation, Mindfulness training, Reiki, and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. Genevieve’s professional background is in biochemistry; she worked in toxicology and environmental research in the University system, before transitioning to a full-time Yoga Therapy practice. Genevieve is the Director of Sundara’s Integrative Yoga Therapy 200hr Teacher Training in Austin, Texas; and Founder/Director of Sundara’s Overcoming Anxiety Clinic. For more information, please visit sundarayogatherapy.com
PTA, e-RYT 500,CHC
Integrative Yoga Therapist
Certified Health Counselor
Since 2003, Debra has taught yoga classes for cancer survivors at Southampton Hospital, as well as chair yoga, Level I & II classes and developed "Yoga Fit & Firm" classes for hospital employees. Debra has 15 years experience as a Physical Therapist Assistant in both outpatient and acute care settings and is the Program Coordinator for the Functional Fitness Program for seniors and disabled adults. Debra also holds a faculty position at Yoga Darshana Center's 200 hour teacher training program on Long Island, NY. She brings a love & enthusiasm for yoga to her hospital work and teaching positions.
Cheryl Van Demark
e-RYT 500, PYT-500 Yoga therapist, Physical therapist with a Master's degree in physical education and exercise science.
Cheryl has enjoyed over 25 years of helping individuals optimize alignment, restore movement, build strength and cultivate a balance in body mind and spirit to pursue joyful living. Health in Motion LLC is Cheryl’s private physical therapy practice in Prescott, Arizona. She created Body Language Studio in Chino Valley, Arizona as the home for her movement arts programs. Cheryl’s professional life and Yoga practice are balanced through the loving support of her husband and their two children.
As a physical therapist, Cheryl works with patients using a combination of skillful manual therapy and therapeutic exercise as reflected through the dynamic lense of scientific literature and evidence-based best practice. As a Professional Yoga Therapist, Cheryl draws upon the life science of Yoga to guide clients toward empowered self-care to complement their health care and enhance well-being. Her perspective as a physical therapist and experience as a health educator enable her to adapt the physical and energetic practices according to client capabilities and explain Yoga philosophy to bring the many health benefits of Yoga into the mainstream.
E-RYT 500, Professional Integrative Yoga Therapist, Master Yoga Nidra teacher, LMT
Jennifer is a senior Kripalu yoga teacher. Since 1996 Jennifer has been leading yoga retreats and professional trainings including Yoga Nidra Teacher Training. Jennifer has a gift for creating sacred space to journey into realms of deep peace and renewal. Her voice carries students inward to a place of stillness and connection. She is the creator of Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra and Five Element Yoga-- an inspired style in the Kripalu tradition. Her Yoga Nidra CD Deep Relaxation is the best-selling CD at Kripalu where she has served on faculty for over ten years. For more information, please visit jenniferreisyoga.com
e-RYT 500; PYT 1000hr
Sally has been practicing Yoga and meditation for over 30 years. She moved to Tucson after evacuating from Hurricane Katrina with her family, leaving behind a Yoga studio in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Sally is an IYT mentor for the PYT Internship Program (PYT - 1000hr); she also serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Yoga Association. Sally has completed a variety of additional trainings including Yoga Nidra, Mindfulness Teacher Training, meditation, and various styles of Yoga from renowned teachers. She has a private Yoga therapy practice and teaches regular Yoga classes in Tucson (meditation, gentle, chair, Yoga Nidra). Sally has created specialty classes such as Yoga for Fibromyalgia, Yoga for the Brain, Yoga for a Good Night's Sleep, and Yoga for a Healthy Back for workshops and series classses. For more information please visit: www.sunmoonyoga-tucson.com.