This Is What to Expect From a Yoga Therapist Training

Yoga therapy is an area of practice that attracts many people – from yoga teachers to mental health professionals. If you’re interested in becoming qualified in this field, you may be wondering exactly what to expect from your yoga therapist training.

In my work providing yoga therapy training in the UK, I’ve come to understand that the field of yoga therapy is one that requires a continual engagement with learning.

Those who wish to work as yoga therapists must have the passion, commitment, and curiosity not only to complete the extensive initial training, but to keep up to date with emerging evidence and evolving trends.

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This is just one of the ways in which yoga therapy is such an exciting and satisfying career path, and perfect for those who love discovering new knowledge and are dedicated to refining the expertise that can be life-changing for their clients.


Here Are 4 Things to Expect From a Yoga Therapist Training:

These are some of the things you can expect from the process of training as a yoga therapist.

1. A Lengthy Training Program

In Europe, you must complete at least 500 hours of learning and earn a Diploma in Yoga Therapy in order to become a registered yoga therapist, and in the USA, this training is extended to 800 hours.

This can take up to two years, and isn’t a trivial undertaking. Yoga therapists work in a professional capacity to support people with specific health conditions, so they need a wide breadth of knowledge in order to apply yogic practices both safely and effectively.

2. Extensive and Immersive Studies

Although yoga was not originally crafted as a health intervention, its various elements known as the “Eight Limbs of Yoga” make yoga a seamless fit for the task.

This ancient mind-body practice is multi-layered, targeting cognitive and behavioral factors while also providing a framework for breath, meditation, and exercise in order to achieve systemic transformation for the individual.

This especially happens when combined with further understanding such as:

  • Familiarity with a large range of physical and mental health conditions
  • Comprehensive awareness of the scientific evidence base behind yoga’s efficacy in relieving non-communicable diseases
  • Ability to read and understand medical diagnoses
  • Knowledge to confidently prescribe yoga practices relevant to that diagnosis
  • Interpersonal skills which support people in overcoming health issues and empowering them to take an engaged role in managing their own health


It’s easy to understand why yoga therapists must undertake a far more comprehensive and broad training than that of a yoga teacher.

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3. An Exploration of a Variety of Disciplines

In creating new generations of fully-rounded yoga therapists, effective yoga therapist training has to encompass a variety of fields.

First and foremost (of course) is yoga, and most training providers will require any potential attendees to be qualified yoga teachers or have the experience of extensive personal practice.

However, the wisdom of yogic traditions must also be blended with detailed medical knowledge, neuroscience, and psychology.

By balancing the theoretical and the practical, and building knowledge and skills in a structured way, yoga therapy training ensures that students graduate with the depth of knowledge required to help people with physical and emotional issues or specific health problems.

4. Exciting Career Options Going Forward

Once qualified, yoga therapists can join an exciting and burgeoning profession, with myriad opportunities to sculpt a career that supports and capacitates others, while also providing profound personal satisfaction.

As part of a wider healthcare community, a yoga therapist can understand and integrate information from other healthcare professionals, and use their understanding to recommend suitable practices to each individual – referring to others where they do not have the requisite expertise.

In this capacity, yoga therapists can work in settings such as hospitals, inpatient facilities, or retirement communities.

They can also offer therapeutic workshops to specific health communities (for example, people who want to practice yoga but live with osteoporosis or back pain) or offer one-to-one private sessions.

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As their experience and expertise grows, they may choose to train other yoga and health professionals in yoga therapy, and specialize in the areas which most interest them – whether that’s perinatal care or working with the elderly.

There’s a Lot to Look Forward to in a Yoga Therapist Training

One of the most exciting things for anyone choosing to enter the field of yoga therapy is becoming a part of a continually evolving and pioneering profession.

As a yoga therapist, you can help to sculpt the future of this practice, and be at the vanguard as yoga therapy becomes an increasing fixture in wider healthcare.

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Heather Mason

Heather Mason is a yoga therapist and researcher who campaigns for the inclusion of yoga into the NHS, both for employees and patients. She is particularly interested in the application of yoga therapy for chronic mental and physical health issues, such as yoga for anxiety and depression.


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