IAYT Member Schools offer self-described yoga therapy training programs, including general, specialty, and IAYT accredited programs. All are important parts of the ‘ecosystem’ of the emerging field of yoga therapy and all are making a substantive contribution to the development of the field through their trainings and supporting the development and implementation of credible professional standards through their membership dues.ow to Become a Member School
- General introductory or foundational yoga therapy programs usually cover a wide range of principles, techniques, and applications of yoga therapy and are typically at least 300 hours, with a basic 200-hour teacher training program as an admission requirement. They should have a reasonable assessment process of student comprehension for completion of the program.
- "Specialty programs" are usually limited in scope and duration and focus on a particular technique or population. Some may have multiple stages of training. IAYT is currently exploring options for recognizing these focused studies within the Approved Professional Development (APD) program.
- IAYT accredited programs are programs that meet the IAYT Educational Standards for the Training of Yoga Therapists and have been accredited by the IAYT Accreditation Committee. This is a rigorous process that was established in 2013. The first accreditation programs were announced in 2014.
- Other organizations that support IAYT’s mission, such as healthcare institutions and retreat centers, may also join as a "Member School”. Eventually, however, we expect to have a separate membership category for these institutions.
The Member School Program
- Supports professional yoga therapy training programs.
- Helps students find the right yoga therapy training program for them.
- Supports our field by developing and implementing credible professional standards.
- Listing in IAYT’s searchable "Find a Member School” Directory.
- NEW (2019). Member schools are exempt from the registation fee for an Approved Professional Development (ADP) provider.
- Eligibility to attend all Meetings of Schools held in conjunction with IAYT’s annual conference, where standards, accreditation, certification and other important issues for schools are reviewed and discussed within our community. Increasingly, these meetings have presentations by school program directors and faculty on many topics of common interest, such as distance learning, assessment and much more.
- Eligibility to apply for IAYT Accreditation of your yoga therapy training program.
- Digital and hard copy publications are included with school membership.
A Service Opportunity
An explicit goal of the Member School Program is to support our field as a whole by providing the financing to develop and implement a complete standard process for the training of yoga therapists, the accreditation of programs that meet these standards, certification of individuals who meet IAYT professional standards and, in general, to support well informed communication among the schools, our membership and the public on these key issues for our emerging field.
IAYT efforts in this area include the initial surveys of yoga therapist training programs in 2007 and 2008 and the annual Meetings with Schools held just prior to IAYT’s annual conference, the Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR). All developments on standards have provided careful consideration for process, transparency, communication, education and feedback. IAYT gratefully acknowledges the support and encouragement of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) in this process.
The development of educational standards for the training of yoga therapists was led by IAYT’s Educational Standards Committee, a diverse and representative group of 10 experienced trainers of yoga therapists, with the help of an experienced consultant in the field of emerging complementary and alternative healthcare fields. The Committee began work in 2009 and the final standards were approve by the IAYT board of directors and posted on the IAYT website in 2012.
The IAYT Accreditation Committee was formed in 2012 to develop and implement an accreditation process for programs that meet the IAYT Educational Standards for the Training of Yoga Therapists. Members of the Committee are posted on IAYT’s website. The first meeting to review this process was held at the Meeting with Schools at SYTAR 2013. Application materials are posted on the IAYT website. Applications are open to all IAYT member schools. The first set of accredited programs were announced at SYTAR 2014.
The IAYT Certification Committee was formed in 2014 to implement a certification process for individuals who graduate from IAYT accredited programs and to develop a grandparenting process for current yoga therapists. Applications for IAYT certification as a yoga therapist (C-IAYT) were opened in mid 2016. The grandparenting window extended until June 30, 2017.
In 2018, the CC launched a process to support quality continuing education in yoga therapy called Approved Professional Development (ADP) courses. In 2019, the CC started the process to develop a professional certification exam. This may take 2 years. We have also launched an effort to develop a Portfolio Review Process to provide a route for well-trained and well experienced yoga therapists around the world to become IAYT certified - essentially for individuals whose training and experience already equals or exceeded the IAYT Educational Standards offered by IAYT accredited programs. We hope this will be available in the fall of 2019.
How to Follow This Work
Updates on the progress of the committee are regularly published in Yoga Therapy Today and on IAYT’s website.
Emails are sent regularly to IAYT members with updates on activities. Check to make sure you are receiving these. If not, use the Contact Us link to let us know.
IAYT has published many articles and perspectives on this subject in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy and Yoga Therapy Today, including two invited articles.