2020 Common Interest Community Sessions
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Common Interest Communities

See what CIC sessions are all about

These sessions kick off SYTAR and offer a special opportunity to connect with your peers to explore key topics. Choose one of the following six CIC programs. (Attendees remain in the same CIC through the afternoon of Thursday, June 11, from 1:30 to 5:00 pm.)


CIC 1: Rehabilitation—Mission Accomplished!

Staffan Elgelid, PT, PhD, C-IAYT, GCFP
Lori Rubenstein Fazzio, DPT, PT, MAppSc, C-IAYT


Wouldn’t we all like to have a banner over our workplace where it says MISSION ACCOMPLISHED? What do we mean by Mission Accomplished? This session will highlight a few practitioners who have accomplished the mission of successfully incorporating Yoga Therapy in the rehab setting . They will give you an idea about what it took to get in the door, how long it took to get traction, how to get other professionals to see the importance of Yoga Therapy in the rehab setting, and how they handled the obstacles so many of us face in accomplishing our missions.

Each presenter will be followed by a discussion giving the audience a chance to interact and share their own successes and challenges in implementing Yoga Therapy into the rehab setting. Come learn, laugh, be inspired, but most of all share your experience with others in the room

CIC 2: Integrating Mental Health and Yoga Therapy

Erin Byron, MA, RP, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500
Michael Lee, MA, DipSocSci, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500

Michael Lee and Erin Byron co-chair this CIC examining the wide range of work bridging yoga therapy and mental health professions. Patanjali in the second sutra, "Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind," clearly places yoga therapy into the realm of mental health. In working with students and clients, the importance of a whole person transformational model is evident.

How do yoga therapists contribute to the mental health field within their scope of practice and how does yoga therapy enhance the quest of many mental health practitioners to "bring the body to therapy"? What can we as yoga therapists learn from the traditional therapy world? What is yoga therapy’s stance going forward with safe and viable approaches in supporting the recovery of trauma and an array of modern lifestyle conditions? Yoga teachers and therapists, mental health professionals, and all who are interested in the mental, psychological and transformational aspects of yoga therapy will enjoy these new ideas and concrete methods.

CIC 3: Yoga Therapy—The Path from Cancer Survivor to Thriver

Kathleen Ross-Allee, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, YTRx 500-C, ACE-Personal Trainer
Robyn Tiger, MD, C-IAYT, RYT-500

When do individuals first become cancer survivors? The moment they hear “you have cancer,” their lives change forever. Questions, fears, and concerns fill their thoughts and every part of their being. Their bodies go through physical alterations from surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation…and consequently their spirits are broken. The stress response takes over. Most can “survive” all of that. But how can they truly thrive?

Research has proven the benefits of yoga therapy at all layers of being—physical, mental & spiritual. We believe that Yoga therapy is truly the bridge between a cancer patient’s ability to survive vs. thrive. The World Health Organization reports almost 44 million people are living with cancer. There are over 18 million new cases per year – 1:5 men and 1:6 women will develop cancer during their lifetimes and 1:8 men and 1:11 women will die from their disease. And these individuals need more resources to support them during this time. Please join us as we welcome you to explore and discuss current and forward thinking ideas with some of the top yoga therapists in the field.

CIC 4: Business Sutras—Creating an Ethical Business that Pays the Bills

Matthew J. Taylor, PT, PhD, C-IAYT
Vasanthi Srinivasan, MEd, C-IAYT, RYT 500, RPYT, RCYT

Most of us leave yoga therapy training programs enthusiastic and eager to serve others.  We continue to invest more time, and money in education yet still we find ourselves in that hard spot of totally loving the work AND needing to have more work that pays adequately for a dignified livelihood.  “But I just want to serve people...And make a living!” That refrain describes probably the biggest community in IAYT.  To grow an ethical and profitable business that pays the bills, we must dedicate and invest time to develop effective business skills. During this dynamic session, you will hear from innovative professionals with experience in honing the skills needed to grow a sustainable career from the 6 essential  threads of the Business Sutras:  Business Ethics, Creating Financial Sustainability, Mindful Marketing, Technology as A Business Tool, Building Community, and Effective Business Communication.

You will engage in small group discussion with colleagues who share your passion and challenges.  As you share resources to build on what was offered, you’ll be actively creating  a plan of action. To conclude, the presenters will take your contributions back to a panel that will have a lively “sewing/sutra-ing” of the ideas between the threads...weaving together a whole practice.   and weaving it back to a collective sharing.  We are all in this arc of creating yoga therapy careers from what hasn’t been yet...Hence, the theme of SYTAR 2020 is “Creating Our Future.” That’s us!

CIC 5: Yoga Therapy for Community Health/Social Activism

Marsha Banks-Harold, BSEE, C-IAYT, YACEP, E-RYT 500, RPYT, RCYT
Heidi M. Crocker, DC, EdD, C-IAYT

Explore yoga therapy as a community healing practice for social transformation.

Yogis, spiritual activists, and change-agents who act as grassroots innovators in their communities will share their empowering stories of yoga-based community healing and social action projects that can be adapted to fit the needs of your community. Learn practical skills and essential knowledge to translate a personal practice of self-care into socio-cultural and ecological activism.

How can we create fellowship that permits us to meet clients where they are physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually? How are we as a profession balancing our call to serve with the responsibility for own self-care?

This session offers focused information about yoga therapy in community health/social activism and an opportunity to connect with those with common interests. There will be multiple opportunities for dynamic participation in small groups and learn practical gems from each presenter. We will explore what makes yoga therapy unique in mind-body practices, inquiring into “the difference that makes the difference.” Come discover the relationship between personal transformation and social justice, and investigate our unique role and responsibility in creating the conditions for equity and inclusion in the community health culture.

CIC 6: Yoga Therapy Assessments

Marlysa Sullivan, PT, C-IAYT
Leanne Davis, C-IAYT, IAYT Certification Committee, Past President Yoga Australia, BachS (Acupuncture)

This CIC focuses on how we as a community are creating yoga therapy assessments that both help define our field and role as an integrative care profession and may help us communicate our work to those in allopathic practice or to help with reimbursement.

Yoga therapists will have the opportunity to share their assessments with the community. Presentations will include descriptions and application of yoga therapy assessments with various client populations. Many perspectives will be shared as to how we as yoga therapists orient ourselves to this topic of assessment in a client-centered, co-facilitated manner that helps to define our field as a distinct and vital member of integrative care. There will be real-world examples and time for questions and discussion from participants. An intention is to help empower yoga therapists to feel confident about the unique work we do based on the subtlety and intelligence of ancient yoga science.

Participants will learn what assessment is, why it is important, how fellow yoga therapists are doing this, the value of referencing the source of the assessment technique and how to consider all this in their own practice. They will have an opportunity to share with like-minded colleagues, to be inspired by what others are offering and to bring home useful ideas for assessment in their own practice. Key takeaways will be discussed.