Bridging Healthcare and Yoga

What is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the teachings and practices of Yoga. IAYT

Yoga therapy adapts the practice of Yoga to the needs of people with specific or persistent health problems not usually addressed in a group class. Larry Payne, Ph.D

The use of the techniques of Yoga to create, stimulate, and maintain an optimum state of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D.

What is YogaFaith Yoga Therapy

YogaFaith Yoga Therapy is the integration of yoga therapy techniques and spiritual practices. The goal of YogaFaith Therapy includes reducing, managing or eliminating symptoms that cause suffering and moving toward healing: mind, body and spirit, all while achieving oneness and union with Christ.

Making a Difference: Why Yoga Therapy?

Yoga therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and wellbeing through the application of the teachings and practices of yoga. The yoga tradition views each human being as a multidimensional system that includes numerous aspects-including body, breath, and mind (intellect and emotions) and their mutual interaction.

Yoga therapy is founded on the basic principle that intelligent practice can positively influence the direction of change within these human dimensions, which are distinct from an individual’s unchanging nature or spirit. The goals of yoga therapy include improving function; helping to prevent the occurrence or re-occurrence of underlying causes of illness; and moving toward improved health and well-being.

Yoga therapists draw from the principles of yoga and the full range of yogic practices and assessment skills, as well as familiarity with biomedical and psychological foundational knowledge. Yoga therapists work with the client to develop and implement a self-empowering therapeutic plan appropriate to the client’s needs and oriented around prevention and health promotion. The practices of yoga traditionally include, but are not limited to, asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, chanting, and a disciplined lifestyle.

Yoga therapy is the appropriate application of these teachings and practices in a therapeutic context in order to support a consistent yoga practice that will increase self-awareness and engage the client/student’s Educational Standards for the Training of Yoga Therapists, energy in the direction of desired goals.

Yoga therapy also helps clients/students change their relationship to and identification with their condition. The practice of yoga therapy requires specialized training and skill development to support the relationship between the client/student and therapist and to effect positive change for the individual. Yoga therapy is informed by its sister science, Ayurveda.As part of a living tradition, yoga therapy continues to evolve and adapt to the cultural context in which it is practiced, and today, it is also informed by contemporary health sciences. Its efficacy is supported by an increasing body of research evidence, which contributes to the growing understanding and acceptance of its value as a therapeutic discipline.

A Certified YogaFaith Yoga Therapist (C-YFTH) undergoes specialized training beyond that of a yoga teacher, in accordance with YogaFaith’s Educational Standards for the Training of YF Yoga Therapists. Certified Yoga Therapists adhere to the professional ethics, guidelines, and codes relating to the practice of yoga therapy as defined by YogaFaith, committing to not making false or inaccurate claims about yoga’s therapeutic and healing capacities.

Yoga therapy may occur in the following settings:

• Individualized one-on-one yoga therapy sessions.(If the client is a child/minor, the state or other local jurisdiction laws governing the safety of children/minors are to be adhered to.)

• Group Yoga Therapy: Group Yoga Therapy is a session(s) in which a yoga therapist works with a small group of clients who have a similar condition or symptom(s), or with clients who have a variety of health or health-related conditions. A hallmark that differentiates group yoga therapy from group yoga teaching is the presence of an individual intake and assessment for each client in the group prior to commencing the class, personalization of the practice(s) based on the individual assessment, and reassessment at regular intervals throughout a series of classes.

The YogaFaith Yoga Therapy Program, YF-YTP
Length: 800 hours
Certification upon completion: C-YFTH

Our Christian Yoga Therapy program has been in the making for over 7 years. Becoming a Registered Yoga Therapist includes a highly specialized training beyond that of a yoga teacher, in accordance with YogaFaith’s Educational Standards for the Training of Yoga Therapists.

YogaFaith is dedicated to the professionally minded yoga student committed to the study of the clinical applications of yoga therapy. Graduates are prepared to design and teach Yoga Therapy and YogaFaith Therapy for groups and individuals with specific needs or health challenges.

YF-YTP combines 300-hour didactic and 500-hour clinical externship programs.

  1. Minimum admission requirements: 200 hours of teacher training or equivalent (includes yoga techniques, anatomy and physiology, yoga philosophy, teaching methodology and practicum)
  2. A minimum of one year of teaching experience, specifics determined by YogaFaith
  3. A minimum of one year personal practice experience, specifics determined by YogaFaith
  4. Certificate of Completion: World Religions and Spiritual Disciplines course
  • Minimum time to complete YF-YTP: 2 years
  • Maximum: Program must be completed within 3 years of start date
  • Level I: July 2021 | Level 2: Spring 2022 | Level 3: Fall 2022
  • YF-YTP Program: Level I – 300 hours, Level II – 300 hours – Level III – 200 hours
  • Some Hours include YF Masters Program, can be taken as a dual certification
  • Where to start:
    • Level I is YF Masters and the first 300 hours
      • 200 hours distantly and 100 contact hours at Master Immersion
    • Level II
      • 200 hours distantly and 100 contact hours
    • Level III
      • 100 hours distatnly and 100 contact hours
  • YF-YTP Curriculum draws upon Bhakti Lineage, the yoga of devotion. Students develop knowledge and understanding of the philosophy, theory, process, and application of Yoga therapy using the pathway of Bhakti yoga: surrender, devotion, service, worship and union with God to eliminate or reduce suffering and ailments.
  • YF-YTP is designed to enable students to develop and deliver individualized yoga therapy sessions for one on one as well as group yoga therapy sessions.
    Includes didactic and experiential learning, practicum-based skill learning, personal and professional development through one on one and group mentorship (sangha).
  • Hours include synchronous distant learning, online learning and residential hours (real time learning interactions with faculty), 300 contact hours, 500 non contact hours

Schedule of Hours:

  • 2020-2022 Immersions located at YogaFaith: Tacoma, WA
    • Start anytime. Group begins Jan. 4- July 1, 2021, Level One Online Program
    • 1, 2021 – Feb. 28, 2022 Level Two Online Program
      • Level Two in Person Immersion Mar. 11 – 18, 2022
    • 1-Sept. 30, 2022 Level 3 Online Program
      • Level Three in Person Immersion Oct. 21-28, 2022
    • Online
      • Distant/online learning
      • Synchronous Distant Learning

The above list does not include any chosen Elective’s Textbooks as those will vary based on individual selection of Elective(s). See Elective in the Mentor and Educator Tab.

  • Estimated Textbook Cost
    1. Kindle: 139.00
    2. New: 286.00
    3. Used: 143.00
  • YF-YTP Directors, Educators and selected Mentors are a combination of Registered YF Master Trainers at the 500 hour level, R-YFMT 500, Certified Yoga Therapists, YogaFaith Lead Trainer, YF-LT, Psychotherapists, Spiritual Directors, and/or PhDs – Others may be accepted based on experience determined by YogaFaith
  • Practicum Mentors have skills related to the program area they support
  • Practicum Mentors supervise, support development and evaluate skills and abilities in respective competency categories

Faculty and Mentors

Other Course Faculty:

  • A Meeting of Ancient Paths (Prerequisite for YF-YTP):
    • Phil Vestel, Rosy McCann, Amy Kuscsik, Liz Glover-Wilson
    • MaryAnn Sander, Michelle Thielen
  • Brain and Addictions, Food and Body Disorders:
    • Catherine Bounds
    • Michelle Thielen
  • Yoga Therapy in Pre/Post Natal and Post Partum {Elective} :
    • Sally McAteer
    • Michelle Thielen
  • Dance and Embodiment {Elective}:
    • Tiffanie Wingo, Cheryl Hollinshead, Kim Privett, Charla Anderson, Fran Pritchard, Amy Kuscsik
    • Jody Thomae, MaryAnn Sander,
  • Yoga Therapy in Trauma, Grief, Depression and Anxiety:
    • Michelle Brinkley, Victoria Nolen, Fran Pritchard
  • Nutrition and Ayurveda:
    • Rosy McAnn
  • Yoga Therapy in Healthcare, Seniors, Spine, Scoliosis, Diseases such as Parkinson’s
    • Gary May, Judi Murfin
  • Yoga Therapy and Thai Massage and Thai Yoga
    • Gabriela Anderson
  • Children and Youth in Mental Health (Trust-Based Relational Inteventions, TBRI)
    • Amy Kuscsik
  • Chakra Therapy, Stone Therapy, Sound Therapy and Equine Therapy {Electives}:
    • Shannon Henshaw, Michelle Thielen
  • Completion of all reading assignments and soul work
  • Attendance of all sessions (online/distant, live synchronous distant and residential)
  • Participation in class discussions and activities (including case studies, review sessions, practicums)
  • Demonstration of learned information throughout each level (faculty assessed)
  • Certificate of completion from World Religions and Spiritual Practices course
  • Passing score on quizzes, home practice assignments including soul work and integration of mentor feedback in practicum and demonstrations
  • Additional guidance and assignments until demonstration meets expected competency
  • If student fails to meet expected competency they may choose to withdraw from the program or start over

Completion of the YF-YTP concludes in a sacred graduation ceremony, certification and the receiving of a Certified YogaFaith Yoga Therapist, C-YFTH Certification Status.