Responsible Self-Regulation of Yoga Therapy
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February 29, 2016

Responsible Self-Regulation:
Comments on the Recently Published Yoga Alliance Position on Yoga Therap

John Kepner, IAYT Executive Director

We at IAYT were as surprised as everyone else to learn that Yoga Alliance (YA) had taken a formal organizational position on yoga therapy, following the publication of a legal analysis of the practice of yoga therapy in the U.S. that was financed by YA.  Upon reflection, however, It makes sense for the YA to distinguish what they do from what IAYT does, since neither YA’s standards nor their mission are designed to support yoga therapy as an emerging field distinct from yoga teaching. Yoga therapy is here to stay, however, with widespread and growing acceptance as an adjunctive therapy in an integrative approach to health, so it is timely to more carefully identify the distinguishing characteristics and develop distinct credentials.

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The Legal Risk of Unregulated Yoga Therapy

Dan Seitz, JD, EdD

General Comment: Yoga therapy is already being practiced as a complementary or adjunctive profession, and the general public is already making use of yoga therapy for health promotion, prevention and risk reduction for common lifestyle-related disorders. Even an entity as large and mainstream as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is integrating yoga therapy into the services it offers. Given the current health care landscape, IAYT is responding responsibly and proactively by taking steps to protect the public, the profession and individual practitioners by creating a self-regulatory structure with real substance. It’s no longer a matter of whether the profession needs to responsibly and proactively regulate itself, but rather a matter of how soon and via which organization. There is no organization better positioned to undertake this effort than IAYT; this fact is borne out by IAYT’s success so far, including the number of programs that have already applied for and been granted accreditation, and the widespread support by yoga therapy professionals for IAYT’s accreditation and certification initiatives.

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  What is Yoga Therapy, an IAYT Definition