IAYT supports research and education in Yoga and
serves as a professional organization for Yoga teachers and Yoga therapists
worldwide. Our mission is to establish Yoga as a
recognized and respected therapy.
IAYT membership is open to Yoga practitioners, Yoga teachers, Yoga therapists,
Yoga researchers and healthcare practitioners who utilize Yoga in their practice.
Current membership (c. 2009) is approximately, 2,600. Membership has
tripled since the IAYT renewal in 2004.
IAYT also serves members, the media, and the
general public as a comprehensive source of information about contemporary Yoga
education, research, and statistics.
IAYT was founded in 1989 by Larry Payne, PhD, and
Richard Miller, PhD, and had well-known Yoga teacher Lilias Folan as its
honorary president for many years. Since its establishment, IAYT has
consistently championed the cause of Yoga as a healing art through conferences,
an annual journal, a newsletter and, more recently, a growing website and a
professional referral service.
In 1999, IAYT was dissolved as an independent
nonprofit corporation and operated as a special division of Yoga Research and
Education Center (YREC) under the overall leadership of Georg Feuerstein, PhD,
an internationally respected Yoga scholar and author as well as the founder and
former president of YREC. Larry Payne continued as director, with
administrative and managing editor responsibilities assumed by Trisha Lamb.
In 2004, with the support of YREC and all of the
original founders and leadership of IAYT, the association again became an
independent nonprofit organization. The membership office moved
from a remote retreat center in Northern California to Prescott, Arizona.
Prescott is a small, friendly city approximately 90 miles north of Phoenix with
a diverse and growing health, healing, and spiritual community.
John Kepner, MA, MBA has been the Executive Director of IAYT since 2003. He is a practicing Yoga teacher and
therapist in Little Rock, Arkansas, with a professional background in
economics, finance and nonprofit management, and a long interest in complementary
and alternative medicine policy.
Kelly McGonigal, PhD, has been the Editor in Chief of IAYT's publications since 2005.
She is a psychologist and yoga teacher at Stanford University, where she earned her
PhD in psychology with a concentration in humanistic medicine.
Jesse Gonzales, a Yoga practitioner since 14, with additional training as a Yoga teacher
and a massage therapist, is IAYT's membership
and office manager in Prescott, assisted by Madeline Groves.
IAYT's new Board of Directors was elected
December, 2004. The Advisory Council was renewed and provides
representation for most of the major Yoga traditions in the West, as well as
active Yoga researchers and health care professionals. An editorial board and
peer review panel for the annual International Journal of Yoga Therapy was
established in 2005. IAYT's new tri-annual publication, Yoga Therapy Today (
originally titled Yoga Therapy in Practice) was launched in
September 2005. IAYT's first annual Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research
(SYTAR) commensed January, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.
A new School Membership category was established in 2008. An Educational
Standards Committee, composed of volunteers from IAYT Member Schools was established in 2009.