NeuroSupportive Yoga Therapy Training
Specialized Yoga Therapy Training
— For —
C-IAYT Yoga Therapists & Student-Therapists
Yoga Therapy Training for Neurological Conditions
NeuroSupportive & NeuroPalliative Yoga Therapy™ Training is a specialized yoga therapy training and IAYT approved APD course which encourages C-IAYT yoga therapists and student-therapists to think 'outside the box' when working with clients with neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and movement disorders such as Parkinson's (PD)— relying upon their knowledge of yoga as more than a physical intervention, and their understanding of the person as a unique individual, not merely a symptom or condition. Rather than limiting clients to prescribed adaptive yoga techniques or chair yoga, student-therapists will take away yoga-based therapy skills which are specifically beneficial and helpful for those with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and other neurological conditions. Student-therapists are encouraged to develop a holistic, whole-person perspective to working with their clients while gaining insight into, and understanding of, the unique manifestations of several neurological conditions.
EquiLibrium Yoga Therapy is an IAYT Member School. We offer specialized yoga therapy training and C-IAYT continuing education in yoga therapy, following the guidelines of IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists). Your mentor and instructor is a C-IAYT yoga therapist with both a personal and clinical awareness of multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions, fifteen years of teaching and offering a 'Yoga for MySelf: Yoga for MS' training apprenticeship, and twenty years of experience working one-on-one as a yoga therapist. She has a private practice in Bloomington Indiana and Indianapolis specializing in yoga therapy for neurological conditions and movement disorders, as well as providing customized yoga therapy programs for disability, therapeutic rehabilitation, chronic pain and cancer recovery.
Specialized Yoga Therapy Training
If you are a C-IAYT yoga therapist working with clients with neurological conditions and would like to deepen your understanding of yoga therapy's possible role in long-term supportive and palliative care, or are a yoga therapy student currently enrolled in an IAYT accredited program and have a commitment to supporting those with neurological conditions and immune disorders, we would like to hear from you! NeuroSupportive & NeuroPalliative Yoga Therapy™ Training puts an emphasis on providing long-term, supportive therapy for those with neurological conditions and movement disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS), early or late-onset Parkinson's (PD), ALS, and Huntington's (HD). Other conditions with neurological involvement such as lupus, Ehlers Danlos (EDS) and myasthenia gravis may also be addressed depending on the student's interest and professional focus.
Training is offered as a mentorship, providing one-on-one, personalized training and a mentored practicum, modified to focus on the current educational needs and interests of professional yoga therapists and yoga therapy students. Application and registration details, course fees, schedule, and yoga therapy training location in Bloomington Indiana will be provided to C-IAYTs who have contacted us for an interview and been accepted into the program.
Level 1 Training 24 CEs
Completion of Parts I and II provide 24 CEs / APD credits, fulfilling the 3-year continuing education requirements for certified IAYT yoga therapists. Part I is onsite, in Bloomington, Indiana, while Part II is completed independently.
Part I - Yoga Therapy training based upon common sense, straightforward yoga precepts, yet with a specific understanding of what is beneficial or contraindicated depending on a [neurological] client's particular condition and circumstance. Simplicity is emphasized: reduction of props to a minimum, and use of chairs only if necessary. We will focus on what is beneficial and possible in yoga therapy for neurological conditions, rather than focusing on limitations— and how to avoid the ubiquitous 'chair yoga' solution.
Learning to recognize: physical and mental patterns which may contribute to disability, chronic pain, anxiety and depression; compensatory patterns and gaining a better understanding of structural compensation in neurological conditions. Practical emphasis on using the natural breath and breathing in a relaxed, comfortable manner— something which does not necessarily come easily to those with neurological and neuromuscular challenges, or those confined to a wheelchair or bed.
Yoga Therapy to increase client proprioception, stability, balance when standing, walking, and sitting. Providing simple, safe, and appropriate yoga therapy for clients to implement on their own for self-care. Supporting client confidence, self-efficacy and body-awareness through gentle, accessible yoga therapy, and addressing aspects of their wellbeing which can be positively influenced though yoga's holistic approach to health and healing.
Skills to refine understanding of the scope of physiological, mental, emotional effects of neurological and neuromuscular conditions. Understanding some common medication side-effects and how they can impact quality of life as well as the ability to hold a yoga therapy session e.g. LID in Parkinson's, or weakness due to infusions for MS. Each neurological condition has myriad manifestations —some subtle, others more evident— with long-term, complex changes over time. Not being aware of these yet persisting in providing yoga therapy (or yoga instruction) is not only irresponsible, it can be detrimental to the client: "Practice without right knowledge of theory is blind. This is also because without right knowledge, one can mindfully do a wrong practice", according to Krishnamacharya. For some background on this topic, and why we emphasize individual sessions with a knowledgeable and experienced yoga therapist, please read this article published in Yoga Therapy Today, a publication of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
Perspectives on yoga and healing. Perceiving the client as a person, not as a disability or disease. The body is a whole, the sum of its parts... and more. As yoga therapists and practitioners, we work with a human being, not merely a body. Our approach is mindful of the very important relationship between practitioner and client, cultivating patience, compassion and understanding.
Part II - Must be completed within six months of completing Part I
Mentored, experiential practicum with logged client session hours. This will be an opportunity for student-therapists to share their practical, real-world insights and experiences directly with the instructor / mentor, receiving individualized feedback and support. A minimum of eight weeks of one-on-one yoga therapy with one or more individuals with a neurological condition is required, with in-person client interaction (no online / live streaming sessions).
Required reading for Level I
Medicine & Compassion by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, David Schlim, MD
NeuroPalliative Care: A Guide to Improving the Lives of Patients & Families Affected by Neurologic Disease. Creutzfeldt, Kluger, Holloway Eds.
Level II Training 24 CEs
Level II expands on the foundational skills of Level I, taking a deeper look at yoga therapy for palliative clients with neurological conditions and movement disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's (PD), ALS, and autoimmune diseases such as Lupus and Ehlers-Danlos (EDS). Drawing upon supportive yoga therapy skills learned in Level I, student-therapists will focus on the transition to palliative care considerations —pain management, weakness, lack of mobility, end-of-life consderations— in clients with late-stage neurological conditions.
Training Requirements & Credits
APD program training applicants must be an established C-IAYT yoga therapist with experience working in a therapeutic setting (client residence, clinic, integrative center, hospice) and primarily seeing clients on a one-to-one basis, OR be currently enrolled in an IAYT accredited yoga therapist training program. We look forward to hearing from committed yoga therapists and yoga therapy students who have a deep interest in supporting those with neurological conditions.
Applicants must complete a phone interview with the instructor. Mentorships are limited: acceptance is based upon a commitment to helping those with neurological conditions, with a demonstrated effort to work individually with those with neurological or neuromuscular conditions, or in specialized yoga therapy groups.
A certificate of completion will be given for FULL participation in the training. Please plan to arrive on time for the beginning of each class and after breaks. Early departures, including the final day of training, will result in an incomplete and certification will be withheld. Life emergencies and severe illness are recognized as unavoidable: although certification will not be possible for the current training, options will be presented for retaking the course.
This is a specialized yoga therapy training program and IAYT approved APD course (approved professional development course) which may be taken individually for IAYT continuing education. The APD program will provide C-IAYT yoga therapists with focused, in-depth knowledge for working with individuals with neurological conditions or movement disorders; however, it will not qualify or certify trainees as yoga therapists. Training to be a C-IAYT certified yoga therapist requires a minimum of 1000 hours of yoga-therapy focused training through an IAYT accredited program / school. For information on IAYT educational standards and applying for certification as a C-IAYT, please review IAYT certification guidelines.
Some CE contact hours may be applicable for C-IAYTs who are also OTs or PTs. Students are responsible for contacting their respective organization in order to determine eligible credits prior to training. If you are a C-IAYT with YA membership, please review Yoga Alliance's policy statement and restrictions on yoga therapy and yoga therapist training, as well as guidelines for YACEP schools and terminology.