yoga vs yoga therapy

Figure Courtesy Yoga Joes

While there is some overlap between what a Yoga Teacher learns and what a Yoga Therapist learns, there is also a great deal of difference.  

training time

To begin with, a Yoga Therapist must be trained as a Yoga Teacher (200 hour level training).  This is done with a Registered Yoga School in order for the Yoga Teacher to register with Yoga Alliance which serves only as a directory, not an accrediting body for yoga teachers.  

To continue, a Yoga Therapist completes an additional 800 hours of training, including a practicum/mentorship component, with a school that has been accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists – an organization that has worked with traditional western medical practitioners as well as complementary and alternative medicine practitioners and yoga professionals to create an accreditation process for standardization of training in Yoga Therapy.  

Yoga Therapists are trained extensively in anatomy/physiology/kinesiology, working with healthcare professionals, psychology and mental health, yoga philosophy and teachings asana, pranayam, etc., ethics, etc.  

For over twenty years, the Integrative Yoga Therapy faculty has been actively involved in training Yoga teachers as well as Yoga therapists. Our experience has been that many of the Yoga tools and techniques overlap, but that the skills, learning processes and objectives are essentially distinct. The following table outlines and compares differences in a number of core skill areas.

The following are links to additional information for clarification.

Training Yoga Teachers As Compared to Training Yoga Therapists        

Certification Pathways for Yoga Therapy – IAYT 

Scope of Practice for Yoga Therapists – Overview and Download Option

What Does It Mean to be a RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher)                    

Code of Conduct – Yoga Alliance