Yoga therapy is an amazing practice that empowers others to progress towards a few-found health and mental well-being through the teaching and practices of yoga.
The role is highly rewarding and so it is not hard to see why so many individuals are enthusiastic about becoming a yoga therapist.
Through practices such as physical postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and relaxation, yoga therapists are able to really make a difference in their patients’ lives.
Generally, as a yoga therapist, you will prescribe certain aspects of yoga to your clients that you believe are in their best interest.
However, it’s also a whole lot more than just that. And becoming a yoga therapist is no easy feat. You will need to be skilled and knowledgeable in a variety of different areas.
You’ll also need to know about the anatomy and biomechanics of the human body along with all those therapeutic movements too.
But how do you get qualified as a professional yoga therapist? Let’s find out in this article.
What’s The Difference Between A Yoga Teacher And A Yoga Therapist?
Okay, so it’s important to know that yoga teachers and yoga therapists aren’t the same job role. Sure, there’s a lot of crossover between the two, but with that being said they are still very different things.
The main difference between the two is that a yoga teacher will help you learn the necessary techniques and poses while a yoga therapist on the other hand will focus more on applying these techniques to their client’s specific symptoms.
One teaches, and the other advises.
Yoga therapists already know the necessary skills of a yoga teacher, but they also know a little bit more about how these skills can help to improve their clients’ physical and mental health.
How To Become A Yoga Therapist
Step One: Practice Yoga
The very first thing you’ll need to do if you aren’t already, is start to learn the practice of yoga as a student.
This helps you become more familiar with the practice, the pose, and all of the techniques.
It’ll also help you decide whether you are truly passionate about this practice and whether it is the right line of work for you.
Step Two: Become A Certified Yoga Teacher
Before you can even think about becoming a yoga therapist, you’ll first need to become a yoga teacher.
This is because to be able to recommend the correct options for your clients, you’ll need in-depth knowledge of how the practice of yoga works.
To become a yoga teacher you’ll need to complete around 200 hours of training at a minimum.
Many individuals often opt for 500 hours as this is more appealing to future employers, but many will still accept those with 200 hours of training under their belt.
You can usually earn your 200 hours by earning a certificate via the Yoga Alliance.
Once you’ve completed your training you’ll also need to become licensed and registered as a fully qualified yoga teacher.
And from there you may also want to look into becoming CPR certified. This is because many fitness and wellness centers require this in order for you to be insured to work on the premises.
Plus CPR is always a valuable life skill to have!
Step Three: Find The Right Yoga Therapy Program For You
Once you are qualified as a yoga teacher, you can start your journey toward becoming a fully qualified yoga therapist.
To achieve this you can expect to spend a further 800 hours learning the art of yoga therapy.
The International Association of Yoga Therapists offers amazing programs that can help you learn everything that you’ll need to know.
However, it is really important to do your research into the program that is right for you and the field that you want to go into. There are several options out there.
Some are more focused on psychology and spirituality while others are tailored to more specific aspects of yoga therapy. Which one you choose will come down to personal preference. Hence why that research period is so important.
Once you complete this program you can apply to become a certified yoga therapist as an accredited program graduate.
Step Four: Decide Where To Work
Once you’ve got your qualification, you’re ready to start changing the world one person at a time.
Pretty exciting, right? But you’ll need to decide where is the best place for you to do so.
And there are plenty of options to choose from. Some graduates prefer to work for established companies that are hiring yoga therapists such as hospitals, private clinics, and non-profit organizations.
While others prefer to start their own business and work for themselves.
Again, there’s really no right or wrong option here. It’s all about what’s the best fit for you and what means you have.
Obviously setting up your own practice can be expensive and time-consuming, but then you also have more independence.
While being hired to a preexisting establishment is often cheaper for the individual but then of course there is less room for freedom and flexibility.
It’s all about which you would prefer.
There’s no denying that yoga therapy is an amazing career to get into. Especially if you already have a passion for yoga.
You’ll be able to do something that you love while also helping to improve the lives of others around you. It is certainly a fulfilling and rewarding career.
But don’t be fooled, it doesn’t come easily. If it’s something you want you will need to work hard to achieve it.
At a minimum, you’ll be looking at around 10,000 hours worth of learning, and often it’s even more.
Becoming a yoga therapist takes hard work, dedication, and passion. But as long as you stick with it and really give it your all, anything is achievable.
So, start your learning journey today and who knows, you could bag that dream job in no time at all.