The Iyengar Yoga Therapy Ambassador program is a new educational program to teach healthcare professionals about the benefits of yoga therapy. This program was co-designed by health professionals and Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers (CIYTs) to be flexible and amenable to the healthcare professional’s busy schedule. The program utilizes experiential learning and requires participation in 12 Iyengar yoga classes taught by a CIYT and three Iyengar yoga therapy classes or workshops that can be completed at the participant’s own pace. Interested applicants then sign up to become an Ambassador member through the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (IYNAUS) and complete the Ambassador Registry Application (application coming soon). Ambassadors receive exclusive access to yoga pamphlets and sequences for specific ailments that can be distributed to colleagues and patients. Ambassadors will be kept up to date on the latest research and yoga therapy applications.
Iyengar yoga therapy has been scientifically shown to improve patients’ overall wellbeing and quality of life. Iyengar yoga is effective at improving musculoskeletal pain (including back, neck, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles), mobility, strength, depressive symptoms, mood, physical function, body image, balance, anxiety, dysmenorrhea, and gastrointestinal disorders. The program is a perfect introduction for professionals interested in educating their patients or coworkers about the benefits of Iyengar yoga therapy.
PRECISION – precise adjustments and instructions are personalized for each student to accommodate for any injuries or limitations
SEQUENCING - poses are sequenced with purposeful intent to directly target the student’s symptoms
PROPS - props used in Iyengar Yoga allow any student with any background to receive the full health benefits of the poses
TIMING - students are instructed to hold poses at intervals best suited for the student’s capacity; timings are outlined in a goal-oriented manner and vary between active and restorative poses
SPIRITUAL – aims to unite the body, mind and spirit for individualized health and well-being; the Iyengar tradition tolerates all forms of religious beliefs
SETTING - a person seeking Iyengar Yoga may find a general class, a minor ailments group class, a therapy class taught by a senior teacher for more advanced ailments, or private individual sessions
Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers (CIYT) undergo years of intensive training in the school of Iyengar Yoga. CIYTs are certified by a national certification committee of the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (IYNAUS). IYNAUS sets national standards that are assessed through an objective third party committee through written exams, a demonstrated practice, and a teaching skills assessment. Iyengar Yoga is recognized for excelling at modifying yoga practices for those with special needs. These modifications can occur in general classes, private instruction, minor ailment group classes, specialized classes for seniors, gentle classes, and therapy classes. While all of the above yoga classes can be thought of as therapy classes, the advanced therapy classes, based off of the Iyengar medical classes taught in Pune, are taught only by senior CIYTs. These advanced therapy or medical classes are for individuals with more complicated conditions and usually multiple comorbidities that require more attention. Iyengar Yoga provides students with the tools needed to develop a safe and beneficial home practice to improve and maintain personal health.