Intro to Yoga Therapy
Yoga therapy is the application of yoga techniques, personalised to meet the needs of an individual.
According to the Yoga Therapy Association, yoga therapy is an integrated mind-body approach for restoring balance and adaptive functioning to the physical (musculoskeletal), physiological (digestion, respiration, cardiovascular, endocrine and immune), and mental / emotional systems.
Yoga therapy may be used to:
- reduce symptoms of illness or injury
- establish more functional breath and movement patterns
- reduce physical and mental suffering
- improve quality of life.
Yoga Focus was established in 1998, to provide therapeutic yoga for NHS physical and mental health departments and for community health services. The principle, Nikki Jackson, worked in the NHS as both an Occupational Therapist and Yoga Therapist since 1992 and has many years of experience working directly with people suffering from a variety of physical and mental chronic health conditions.
In 2014 Yoga Focus created The BWY Foundation Module in Yoga Therapy for Chronic Health Conditions. This module continues to run each year and now forms the first stage of the full 550hr Yoga Therapy Professional Training, accredited by The British Council of Yoga Therapy.
The courses are as follows:
- Stage One: 50 hour Foundations in Yoga Therapy, level 3 National Qualifications Framework (NQF), leading to
- Stage Two: 500 hour Professional training in Yoga Therapy (18 months) level 3 and 4 NQF
The training course relates closely to nature’s healing capacity and the natural life process. All trainings are held in venues with natural surroundings and beautiful countryside, with plenty of opportunities to walk and reflect for personal healing, an essential part of an effective Yoga Therapist.
The venues include:
- The Mandala Ashram, South Wales
- The Cotswolds
How the training works
The training will emphasise teachings from The Dharma and the Buddhist Mindful Compassionate Based Approach as a fundamental healing resource. Traditional healing yoga practises from India and Tibet will be merged with scientific medical evidence, neuroscience and up to date psychological therapeutic interventions. An extensive variety of physical and mental health conditions will be explored both in seminars and through case studies.
The course emphasises ‘no one cure fits all’ with a ‘person centred’ approach. Student Yoga Therapists will gain further knowledge, skill and confidence in assessing clients thoroughly, implementing therapy and evaluating outcomes. Yoga therapists are not there to fix, cure and treat clients but instead to emphasise the mind and body’s natural capacity to heal themselves. The body is wise and if respected and nurtured, will use its memory to find its way back to its core roots of health.
Yoga Therapists support and guide clients in their journey to unravel the underlying causes behind their pain, their suffering and their ill health. They help clients to let go of their angers and fears, delusions and attachments. This enables their clients to see clearly to make the changes in their life that will enable them to return to their natural inner Self. This leads to a happier, healthier and more natural life.
About the trainer
Nikki Jackson is the principle and lead trainer. She began working in health services in 1992 both as an NHS occupational therapist and yoga therapist in physical health, then later in 2004 in mental health and forensic psychiatry. Her work as a yoga therapist includes NHS Occupational Health Department for staff health and wellbeing. She is a Mindfulness for Health Trainer and leads courses on Mindfulness for Stress and also for Pain. She is joined by a small team of experienced yoga therapists and The Mandala Ashram teachers who will be providing authentic teachings from ancient texts and practises which compliment the healing nature of the training course.
Once qualified, graduates will be well placed to work within rehabilitation services for NHS departments, Social Services, Occupational Health departments (NHS and private sector), Health Charities, Private Practise and many more.
Yoga United Education was founded by Judy Hirsh Sampath, developed through her own journey into embodied wisdom with safe and sound teachers, and inner and outer guides. She says:
the truth is that you already hold the wisdom and the insight; in fact, you may have already chosen this path because you have found yourself here on this page. As you tune into the language of your body, you start to tend to your relationship with Self and remember who you are. In turn, you can support others doing the same. From that deep well of understanding and acceptance through yoga therapy, we can spread yoga and yoga therapy out into our communities like a virus and infect the world with a renewed shift towards healing.
Judy’s passion and mission is to pass forward what she has learned, to model a way of being that inspires yoga professionals and practitioners to access the deep well of yoga, their own learning, awareness and life journey.
Through student-centred learning, our courses are designed to include science, art, soul and direct experience to explore the ongoing transformative power of yoga, to become powerful agents for change in the world and to connect with a like-minded and supportive community.
Our courses are practical as well as soulful. Enquiry, play and exploration are key to re-discover the unique needs of the individual and dive deep into the shadows and the light that welcome wholeness. Celebration of the body overrides a need to fix and correct our students, clients and ourselves.
If you wish to grow into your power as a facilitator, the Yoga United Yoga Therapy Diploma training is 600 hours over 18-24 months. Our Diploma is fully accredited by the British Council for Yoga Therapy (BCYT).
Our sensitive and intuitive approach encourages our trainees to develop their own unique style of yoga therapy with confidence and authenticity. So you will learn and practice to become sensitive to the individual health seekers, truth seekers and wisdom holders who are looking for guidance through yoga therapy. You will learn to witness and support them as they reclaim their power to heal, and become pro-active in their own process. You will be trained in offering both individual yoga therapy 1-2-1 and yoga therapy in small groups, writing course plans ready for action.
The 10 modules include scientific understanding of the body’s systems and related common conditions, experiential anatomy, yoga philosophy in action and therapeutic application, psychology of behaviour, cognition and consciousness.
- Judy Hirsh Sampath, Course Director – Embodied Mindfulness, YU Yoga Therapy practicum, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, marketing, group yoga therapy course plan
- Mary Mackie – Anatomy & Physiology, Scaravelli inspired yoga therapy
- Judy Mace – Supervision, Mental Health
- Uma Dinsmore-Tuli – Yoga Therapy for Women’s health
- Beverley Nolan – Somatic Movement Therapy, gender spectrum, neurodiversity
- Sylviane Gianina – Philosophy & The Yoga Sutras
- Tarik Dervish – Ayurveda & Hathayogapradipika
- Antonia Boyle/tbc – Therapeutic Neuro Linguistic Programming
- Debra Wheeler – Chronic Pain
With marketing skills to guide trainees to success, we have constructed a full and enriching educational experience – with ongoing practice sessions, assessment, mentoring, supervision and case studies.
Comprises 10 modules – Module 1 is a foundational 50 hours course, quality-assured as a BWY module. Dip your toe in, meet and greet your Self in readiness to inspire others on their healing journey.
We will explore multiple perspectives through which we can understand health, dis-ease and wholeness – ayurvedic perspectives on anxiety, anger & depression, back pain to explore physical/mind/emotional connections, vulnerability and protection, releasing lower back tension, embodied anatomy and communication skills.
Modules 2 – 10 comprising the remaining diploma hours, in person, on zoom and through non-contact assignments.
We aim to create a safe and inclusive space in which to share knowledge, experiences, insights, and practices that support the learning process. By keeping our student groups small, we ensure that everyone is included in deep learning with their tutors and peers. As you commit to the training, we are fully committed to you.
Guidance comes from inside you as well as from experts in their fields, and that’s education! So, let’s celebrate the power of yoga therapy together.