Certification FAQs and Web Tutorials
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** Click here to view Certification materials or watch video tutorials of the application process. **

Welcome to the Certification FAQs page!  These question were inspired by our members' input on surveys, as testers and through Contact Us questions.  We appreciate your active participation.  Doing so helps us support you through your application experience.  As you encounter questions that are not answered for you here, please use the Contact Us link at the very top right of this screen to send those to us.  We will continue to add the most universally relevant ones here. 

Last updated:  May 1, 2016



What are my options when applying for certification?

In June 2016, IAYT will begin accepting applications for IAYT certified yoga therapists under three possible eligibility pathways:

a)  by graduating from an IAYT-accredited yoga therapy training program (“Accredited Graduate”),


b)  through two grandparenting pathways:
     -  Grandparenting Pathway 1 (GP1) requires completion of a formal yoga therapy training program that was started prior to January 1, 2014.

     - Grandparenting Pathway 2 (GP2) is for Seasoned Yoga Therapists who began their practice prior to January 1, 2008.

A snapshot of these three pathways is provided in the Eligibility Chart found on our web site under Certification.

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How do I get started?

The first thing to do to prepare for the IAYT certification application is to review the Eligibility Pathways and Grandparenting Rules (on our web site under Certification) to determine which best fits your scenario.  The tables that you will see in the rules are good examples of what you will be asked to supply and the level of detail we want to see.  With those as examples you can begin to gather your client and training information from your files as appropriate for your chosen pathway. Once you have gathered your information, go to the online application to fill out, pay for and submit the application.

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When can I apply?

Applications for all pathways will be available by June, 2016. If you are applying as a graduate of an IAYT Accredited Program, then you may apply for certification whenever you graduate from that program. If you are applying under one of the grandparenting pathways, then you must apply before the grandparenting window closes on June 30, 2017. (Applications for certification from graduates of IAYT Accredited Programs will be received on an ongoing basis.)

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Is there someone who can help walk me through the application process?

As a non-profit organization, the IAYT has designed a process that will require minimal staff in the hope we will be able to keep our expenses low and your fees reasonable. We have created online web tutorials and this FAQ document to proactively answer most of your questions. Of course if you don’t feel your questions are adequately answered through those methods, feel free to use our Contact Us page of our web site to submit your unanswered questions in writing. We will answer those as soon as we are able to. When it comes to technology questions, since computer configurations can vary considerably we are unable to provide such assistance. Please use your existing technical support resources (including friends, family and colleagues!) to resolve your technical questions.

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If I miss the window for applying under grandparenting, how can I become certified?

The only way of becoming IAYT certified after the grandparenting window has closed is by graduating from an IAYT Accredited Program. See our list of IAYT Accredited Programs on our web site under Accreditation.

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Do I need to have completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training to apply?

Yes.  You do need to have a 200-hour yoga teacher training or its equivalent in order to qualify for IAYT certification. If you did not graduate from a formal 200-hour yoga teacher training program, then you will need to show details of your 200-hour equivalent training. It is important to also demonstrate that those 200-hours of training are not double-counted in your formal 300-hour yoga therapy training.

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If I have a 500-hour teacher training certificate, can that be used in place of the 200-hour teacher training requirement?

A 500-hour teacher training certificate may be used to cover the 200-hour teacher training requirement. It is important to differentiate your 200-hours of training from your formal 300-hour yoga therapy training.

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If I am a health care practitioner, can my training count toward the 300 hours of training under the Grandparenting Pathways?

The primary component of the 300 hours of training required by Grandparenting Pathway 1 is the completion of a formal, comprehensive Yoga Therapy training program If your formal Yoga Therapy training program does not fully cover the required hours and competencies, then you may use either additional Yoga Therapy training or some of your health care practitioner training to fill in the gaps. For GP1 you may submit up to 50 hours in this category. For Grandparenting Pathway 2, IF you are submitting training/teaching hours to achieve the required 1000 hours, you may submit up to 100 hours in the health care practitioner category.

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Is there a difference between an IAYT member school and an IAYT-accredited program?

Yes.  IAYT has over 140 schools that are members of our organization.  As of May 2016, 25 of those schools have a program that has been accredited by us for fulfilling the full set of competencies and hours required to receive our Certified Yoga Therapist credential, or C-IAYT.  Many more schools are either in the application process or have expressed their intention to become accredited by us in the near future.  This list of Accredited Programs may be found on our web site under the Accreditation tab. 

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What if I started my yoga therapy training after January 1, 2014, but I haven’t been practicing long enough to qualify as a Seasoned Yoga Therapist?

If you started your yoga therapy training program after January 1, 2014 and you also do not qualify as a Seasoned Yoga Therapist then the path to certification is by graduating from an IAYT Accredited Program. See our list of IAYT Accredited Programs on our web site under Accreditation. It is possible that one of these programs may let you transfer hours into their program to expedite your completion of their program. If you feel that you are well qualified for grandparenting and the only aspect of the rules that prevents you from qualifying is your program start date, then we encourage you to use Contact Us to write us with the specifics of your situation for consideration.

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If the yoga therapy training program I graduated from is accredited by IAYT, can I apply as an Accredited Graduate?

Whether you can apply as an Accredited Graduate depends on when you graduated from the program. If you graduated after the date your program received accreditation, then you can apply as an Accredited Graduate. If you graduated before the program received accreditation then you do not qualify as an Accredited Graduate, but may apply under Grandparenting Pathway 1 if qualified.

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If I started practicing as a yoga therapist before January 1, 2008, do I have to apply via Grandparenting 2 pathway?

If you started practicing before January 1, 2008 you may qualify as a Seasoned Yoga Therapist and have the option of applying through the Grandparenting 2 pathway. You are not required to, however, and can decide which of the grandparenting pathways works best for you. If, for example, you have taken a formal yoga therapy training and you find it will be easier for you to gather the information described in the Grandparenting 1 rules, then you can decide to apply through that pathway instead.

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Do I have to be an IAYT member to apply? Do I have to remain a member?

You must be a member of IAYT in good standing to apply for certification and maintain that membership status throughout the period that your credential is effective.

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Do I have to be a member of Yoga Alliance to apply for IAYT certification?

You do not need to be a member of Yoga Alliance to apply for IAYT certification. If you are submitting a Yoga Alliance membership card as evidence of completing a 200-hour teacher training, that card need not be current.

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May I count my hours leading yoga groups as client contact hours for my yoga therapy experience?

A “yoga therapy group” is defined as a session in which a yoga therapist works with a small group of clients. The group session may focus on yoga therapy with clients that exhibit a similar condition, symptom, or experience. A hallmark that differentiates yoga therapy groups from yoga teaching groups is the presence of an individual intake and assessment for each client in the group. Yoga groups that do not include individual intake and assessment may not be counted in your client contact hours for yoga therapy experience.

Time spent leading a yoga therapy group and time spent on the individual assessments for members of that group may both be counted in your client contact hours for yoga therapy experience. At least 75 hours of the 150 hours required for GP1 must be with individuals.

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How do I differentiate yoga therapy from yoga teaching when counting my client contact hours for yoga therapy experience?

The elements that distinguish yoga therapy from yoga teaching (whether in one to one or group settings) will typically be: 

  • You address a specific condition(s) by providing yoga therapy sessions to address identified and defined conditions, with consideration for the individual circumstances and nature of each client.  It does not include teaching students/clients yoga for life stages such as pregnancy or menopause, where there are no difficulties or conditions.
  • You conduct an intake appropriate to the individual client so that the session(s) can be focused on their specific therapeutic needs and concerns.
  • You develop and deliver an appropriate yoga therapy intervention based on the information gathered in the intake and from your assessment of the client.

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May I count client contact hours that took place during my yoga therapy training program’s practicum as hours of yoga therapy experience?

You may use client contact hours from your yoga therapy program practicum as hours of yoga therapy experience as long as you are not counting those same hours in your yoga therapy training. For example, if your program’s practicum is 150 of 300 total training hours, then you may need all 300 to count toward your training requirement. If your program’s practicum is 150 of 450 total training hours, then you have enough to count the 150 client contact hours toward yoga therapy experience and 300 hours toward the training requirements. It is important that only the hours of that practicum that are spent in contact with clients be counted as client contact hours.

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How do I know what information to gather about my professional yoga therapy practice?

Our grandparenting rules include downloadable tables and charts with examples of the type and level of information we are looking for in your application. The Grandparenting Rules are available on our web site under Certification / Grandparenting. Please do not include client identifiable information. The Application Materials for each Pathway contain the Tables in MS Word so that you can prepare them prior to applying.

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What evidence is required to be submitted along with my application?

If you are applying under either grandparenting pathway, you will need to submit a 200 hour teacher training evidence of completion in the form of a certificate, copy of Yoga Alliance membership card (past or current), or a letter documenting your training (if you did not receive a certificate).

If applying under Grandparenting Pathway 1, you will also need to submit a copy of your diploma or certificate of completion from your formal yoga therapy training program.  If you do not have at least 300 hours of training from your formal yoga therapy training program, then you are allowed to use up to 2 other training programs to meet that 300 hours, so it is possible you could have a maximum of 3 completion certificates for your yoga therapy training when applying under GP1.

If you are applying under Grandparenting Pathway 2 and you are submitting 1000 hours (or more) on the Estimated Hours Table, you do not need to complete the Training/Teaching Table at all.  That table is just for those who have less than 1000 hours of client contact and need to submit education hours to reach the 1000 hours.  In this latter case where you do need to submit the Training/Teaching Table, you will need to accompany the training entries on that table with evidence of completion.

Send ONLY the files (tables, certificates, resume) required or applicable to your application.  Do not send letters of reference or any other non-essential files.  If you have questions about what documents to submit, use the Contact Us link at the top of the IAYT website to ask the Certification Team.

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Do I have to use the formats provided to submit my training and experience information?

The Tables and the Resume format are in Word form so that you can download them and fill them in.  Once you have completed filling them in, save them in .pdf format before submitting them.  If you have the information we ask for already documented, you may submit your own format if it meets 3 conditions:  

  1. It must contain the information asked for in the Tables,
  2. the additional detail you include in the chart does not make it difficult for us to find the requested information, and
  3. it must be submitted in .pdf format.

To save your files in .pdf format, from within Word, click File > Save As and change the File Format to PDF, name your file as follows:

LASTNAME-MEMBER#_[description of contents]

Example:  Smith-123456_GP1_Formal_Training

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May I attach my documents using Google Docs?

Google Docs attachments do not reach us when you send your documents to the address provided in the application.  If possible, download your Google Docs documents to your computer and attach them from there.  Also, when Google Docs saves documents as PDFs they become VERY large and cumbersome and time-consuming to work with.  You may download the document and send it as a Word doc without converting to PDF.  If Google Docs is your only option, please use the Contact Us link to let us know so that we may provide you with alternate instructions for sending your application support materials.

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Do I need to continue to track my client activity after I apply for certification?

We highly recommend that you make it a professional practice to track your ongoing activity with yoga therapy clients. IAYT may request this information as evidence of continued proficiency and currency in yoga therapy skills and practice as part of your certification renewal every three years.

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Is anyone going to be validating the information I provide about my training or professional practice? If so, how?

The IAYT certification application review team reserves the right to verify training and experience information provided on your application. We will not contact a client without your permission unless you have listed a client as a reference on your application.

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Will I need to provide references with my application?

The grandparenting applications ask you to provide the contact information for two professional references. We ask that these references be two people who “can help verify your training and experience” so this could be colleagues, clients, or teachers.  

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How much does the application process cost?

The fee for applying for IAYT certification is $250. $125 is paid when you register to apply. This gives you access to the online application. Once your application is approved you will make the second payment of $125. Certification is good for 3 years.

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When will I hear from IAYT regarding my application?

You will receive a response to your application within 90 days from the date you submit it. Sometimes that response will be a request for further information or clarification of the information that you initially submitted if needed to complete the review. You may resubmit the information within 90 days for a second review. See the IAYT Certification Policies and Procedures for more detail of the Review, Notification, and Approval process.

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How long will the certification credential last? Will I need to renew my certification in the future?

The initial IAYT certification will last three years. Renewal of certification is required every 3 years. To be eligible for renewal C-IAYTs must:

*  Maintain annual IAYT membership
*  Submit at least 24 hours of IAYT approved CEUs
*  Pass the Ethics quiz available online beginning in 2017

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If I am a certified Yoga Therapist by a regulatory organization in a country other than the United States, will my credential be honored by IAYT?

IAYT is working with Yoga Therapy organizations in other countries to determine where standards are comparable to our own such that we may honor reciprocity in credentials. If you completed your formal yoga therapy training internationally or hold other yoga therapy certification from another regulatory organization, please use Contact Us to write to us about the specifics of your situation so that we may advise you on how to submit documentation.

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What happens if my application isn’t approved?

If during review of your application we find that there is incomplete or missing information, we will notify you of the specifics. You will then be able to resubmit within 90 days for a second review.  If your application is not approved and your ability to qualify changes to a point where you believe you can qualify, then you may begin the application process anew as long as the grandparenting window has not expired.  Examples of such changes may be taking additional training to cover required competency hours or adding yoga therapy experience toward client contact hours. 

See the IAYT Certification Policies and Procedures for more detail of the Review, Notification, and Approval process.

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If I do not qualify for certification, do I need to remove my information from the IAYT web site?

IAYT members may retain their profiles on the IAYT website. C-IAYT Yoga Therapists will be identified as such so that the public can locate an IAYT certified yoga therapist.

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