What is Yoga Therapy?

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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 on an individualized basis. 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 eliminating, reducing, and/or managing symptoms that cause suffering; improving function; helping to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of underlying causes of illness; and moving toward improved health and well-being using the tools and knowledge from Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy. 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. An IAYT-Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) has undertaken specialized training beyond that of a yoga teacher, in accordance with the IAYT's Educational Standards for the Training of Yoga Therapists or has met IAYT’s requirements for grandparenting professionals. IAYT-Certified Yoga Therapists adhere to the professional ethics, guidelines, and codes relating to the practice of yoga therapy as defined by the IAYT and commit to not making false or inaccurate claims about yoga's therapeutic and healing capacities.

For the complete Scope of Practice for Yoga Therapy under the IAYT guidelines that we adhere to, please click here.

The IIYS Code of Ethics and Practice Statement of Purpose

The students, mentor, guest faculty and faculty of the IIYS & KC Yoga Therapy Program recognise the nature of the client-therapist relationship. We accept that it is the responsibility of the Yoga Therapist to ensure a safe and nurturing environment in which a client can grow toward physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. We accept and apply the following principles:

1. General Principles • To adhere to this Code of Practice • To protect and support the client in the therapeutic relationship • To be committed to her/his own personal Sadhana and the principles of the Yamas and Niyamas (Yogic attitudes and behaviours towards others and self) • In all professional matters, to maintain therapeutic procedures and practices which advance the profession. • To deal respectfully and ethically with information about clients that has been obtained in the course of the therapeutic consultation process • To work within the legislative requirements relating to Occupational Health and Safety, Duty of Care, Equal Opportunity, Freedom of Information, Confidentiality and Privacy • To provide Yoga Therapy treatment/guidance within the scope of her/his skills, knowledge and competence • To practice with humanity and humility.

2. Professional Practices • To deal ethically in relation to the charging of fees and receiving of payments for services, in accord with the Yamas and legislative requirements. • To maintain and store business and client records in accord with legislative requirements. • To be committed to ongoing professional development. • To treat employees and trainees in a fair and respectful manner, in accord with the Yamas and legislative and industrial requirements. • To operate with financial and business integrity • To maintain client information in accord with accepted confidentiality and privacy guidelines.

3. Client Relationships • To treat all communications from clients with professional confidence. • To treat clients in a fair and respectful manner in accord with the Yamas • To establish and maintain appropriate professional relationship boundaries, including the recognition of avoiding dual relationships that could compromise the integrity of the therapeutic relationship. • To maintain the support of clients through continued provision of professional services or referral to other practitioners, when requested to do so by clients. • To honestly and fairly represent the benefits of Yoga Therapy to clients. • To comply with Equal Opportunity requirements, in particular to show sensitive regard for the moral, social, and religious standards of clients • To respect the trust placed in her/him by clients. • To obtain consent from clients before audio and/or video tape recording or permitting third party observation of their sessions.

4. Peer Relationships • To treat and refer to colleagues or other professionals in a respectful manner. • To cooperate with colleagues and other professionals with respect to the needs of clients. • To act collegially with peers with respect to the fair representation of Yoga Therapy and other health-care modalities

5. Promotions • To promote her/his practice in a way that is professional and accords with the Yamas and legislative requirements • To ensure that all promotions are fair and honest and avoid misleading or exaggerated statements. • To honestly represent qualifications, affiliations and scope of practice in all business and promotional communications.