Yoga Therapy Certification
Yoga Therapy Certification (YTC) – An Overview
Agama Yoga’s Yoga Therapy Certification (YTC) is the long-sought response to years of requests to dive deeply into the therapeutic effects of Yoga. Almost every Agama student has experienced such effects to various degrees during his or her own practice, and most Agama teachers also observed and assisted profound health changes in their students and asked for more detailed knowledge and training to facilitate this level of wellness and healing. Modern science and Western medicine have shown a vivid interest in researching and integrating meditation and Yoga Therapy, resulting in very positive new directions for this extensive field.
Contemporary health sciences back up the rich experiential basis of Yoga Therapy with a substantial body of research evidence that promotes an even deeper understanding and acceptance of Yoga as medicine. Moreover, Yoga applied therapeutically is quickly growing worldwide as an essential part of medical rehabilitation, complementary medicine, and alternative medicine, as well as programs for well-being and self-development. The YTC represents a comprehensive presentation of Yoga as therapy – a vehicle to promote health and a discipline providing genuine well-being.
As longtime yogis who have seen the vast and demonstrated results of Yoga Therapy and are convinced of its remarkable healing potential and benefit to the world, the creation of this course was a natural next step in our development of holistic training programs. While very faithful to the Yogic tradition, the YTC simultaneously meets the robust demands of modern science. The program was synthesized from our more than 20 years of experience in traditional medicine, physical therapy and rehabilitation, alternative applied healing arts, and the intensive and extensive study of Yoga and its therapeutic effects. It is dedicated to the true empowerment of all graduates as knowledgeable, confident professionals, respected in their work as both advanced teachers of Therapeutic Yoga and, subsequently, qualified therapists. Both individual mentorship and group interactions are specifically designed to develop advanced therapeutic skills and professional maturity based on solid personal growth.
The YTC is taught primarily by Dr. Mihaiela Pentiuc. a doctor specialized in physical therapy, medical rehabilitation, and alternative medical specialties such as Yoga Therapy, meditation, classical homeopathy, advanced Thai medical massage therapy, and Ayurveda. The training benefits from the participation and support of Swami Vivekananda Saraswati. the founder and director of Agama Yoga, as well as a team of experienced Yoga teachers, physical therapists, nutritionists, and health professionals.
The YTC adheres to the strict educational and accreditation standards of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). The goals of the program are to offer current Yoga teachers several flexible paths to deepen their therapeutic knowledge and practice in Yoga as it may apply to Yoga teaching, alternative or traditional medical professions, rehabilitative therapies, or the healing arts, and to provide thorough and ground-breaking training in Yoga Therapy.
How the Program Works
Two independent stages of training offer access to increasing levels of proficiency in the practical application of Yoga Therapy:
Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Training Course ( TYTTC) (500 Hours)
This intensive, eight-week specialized teacher training takes place at the Agama headquarters and at the Amrita Healing Center. Agama’s healing branch, on Koh Phangan island, Thailand. The certificate received upon course completion confers the title of Therapeutic Yoga Teacher. The TYTTC represents the core training of the YTC Program, and all its requirements must be completed for the 800-hour certification as a Professional Yoga Therapist
Advanced Yoga Therapy Apprenticeship (AYTA)
This 300-hour program completes the 800 hours of the entire YTC in a very flexible, individualized manner. Students who aspire to become a Professional Yoga Therapist can choose to continue their education and complete this certification in one of the following ways:
A fully online-based distance learning program, customized to each student and completed at his or her own pace within two years of registration, structured to include:
Prerecorded webinars, lectures, Yoga classes, and other teachings that can be downloaded and studied at home
Digital course materials
Online discussion forum
A program combining online participation and a four-week intensive apprenticeship at Agama’s Koh Phangan headquarters. Full details of this intensive apprenticeship program will be announced after the completion of the TYTTC.
An internship at
Amrita Healing Center under the direct supervision of an advanced Therapeutic Yoga Teacher and medical professionals. This training can be combined with both the intensive apprenticeship and the online-based program according to a pace determined with the student’s direct mentor.
The online-based learning program consists of webinars – recorded sessions focused on the application of Yoga Therapy for specialized topics such as insomnia, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, etc. The recorded sessions, each of which contains a theoretical presentation and a practical element – can be downloaded individually, including prior to the completion of the TYTTC. Students enrolled in the YTC will be included in a discussion forum where they may post their questions and receive guidance from a mentor. Personal mentorship and pdf-format course papers will accompany the online audio-visual materials.
Some of the webinars will be accessible for general public download from the Agama website with payment on an individual or series basis. Those enrolled in the YTC receive full access to all webinars in addition to other internal AYTA materials. General public attendance of online webinars may later count toward fulfillment of the YTC apprenticeship, if one chooses to complete the full program.
The AYTA will focus on detailed, specialized, and in-depth knowledge of particular health problems that can be addressed through Yoga Therapy, as well as an apprenticeship resembling a residency which offers the practical opportunity for enlarged experience. The apprenticeship completes and elaborates on the skills and practice acquired during the TYTTC, honing them to a professional level of expertise.
Please note: Completion of the TYTTC is required for the YTC Professional Yoga Therapist Certification.
Advanced Yoga Therapy Apprenticeship (AYTA) – (300 Hours)
The 800-hour Professional Yoga Therapist Certification builds on the 500-hour core training with the specialized training of a very practical and intensive 300+-hour apprenticeship. This fully customized program allows each student the flexibility to adopt his or her own personal pace and sequence of teachings. Certain program hours may be fulfilled by transfer credit from related certifications or holistic training, to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Thus,health professionals and advanced Yoga teachers with pre-existing qualifications and experience in the domains of healthcare and wellness are eligible for recognition of their prior skills in a special assessment which determines placement level (credited hours will vary depending on credentials).
AYTA registration includes all online materials; interested members of the public may download webinars on a per-session or per-series basis, with fees applied accordingly.
Up to 150 hours from another school program or course may be transferred in the form of specialized training. Recognition of the transfer hours requires individual assessment by the YTC Board of Directors prior to any course placement; hours credited may vary.
Some examples of specialized training eligible for transfer credit within the YTC:
Thai Yoga massage therapy course: a recognized certificate
Thai advanced medical massage therapy course: a Wat Po or governmental certificate
Hypnotherapy or mind-training course: credentials as a registered teacher
First aid and/or emergency first responder certificate
Other training certifications may be eligible, to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Demonstration of course hours is required.
What Is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga applied as therapy is a centuries-old concept that nowadays has received fresh, new attention due to the investigation of modern science. We believe this is the time when Yogic wisdom is greatly needed in the service of human health and for all yogis, this is a superb opportunity to take practice off the mat and bring some real hope to humanity, so highly challenged in these times….
The Yogic “shanti shanti” is famous enough to become almost part of common parlance in some Western countries. When someone encounters high levels of stress, the friendly advice is often to explore massage, take a day off, or attend a Yoga class. Until recently this was more known than measured. However, modern studies went much deeper, proving Yoga to be especially beneficial for:
Stress reduction and stress-induced diseases
Maintaining good general health, with emphasis on the prevention of disease and degeneration and the promotion remedies for harmonious aging
Emotional health, depression, panic attacks, anxiety
Rehabilitation and addiction problems