Yoga therapy is a dynamic and rewarding career that can take you to a variety of settings across different industries. Students in yoga therapy training will explore a holistic approach to healing that covers techniques to promote wellbeing on every level – physical, emotional, spiritual, and energetic. As a specialized field, yoga therapy bridges the gap between yoga and many other health professions.
The program at The Vancouver School of Healing Arts pulls from a Western understanding of anatomy and physiology while finding influence in Eastern Yogic practices. Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to create individualized treatments as well as therapeutic classes that cater to the needs of their clients. With the ability to adapt their knowledge in different ways, students of the program will be ready to make a difference in the lives of their communities. Here’s a look at some common places for graduates to work!
1. Apply Your Yoga Therapy Training to Private Practices
Working in private practice gives you the opportunity to form lasting connections with your clients. In small groups or one-on-one sessions, you can apply your yoga therapy training to guide clients through mindful breathing, physical postures, and various meditation practices. The Program Director of Yoga Therapy at VSOHA, Chelsea Lee, highlighted what attracts students to a career in yoga therapy. “The students that come for yoga therapy are yoga instructors that have a passion to help others in a more skilled way,” said Chelsea. “They learn how to apply different techniques and curate a program for individuals based on their needs.”
In private practice, yoga therapists can focus their attention on conducting a supportive experience in line with the goals and pace of their clients. To prepare for this setting, students in yoga therapy training participate in clinics where they work with clients one-on-one and gain the confidence to assist a range of individuals. “They graduate with a lot of practical experience where they are in the seat of the yoga therapist and working with members of the public,” says Chelsea.
2. Explore Fitness Centres
Yoga therapy offers a number of rewarding physical benefits. In fitness studios, gyms, or community centres, yoga therapy can be used to assist clients in improving their mind-body connection and developing their physical capabilities. With a curriculum that covers anatomy and physiology, students at VSOHA will learn to tailor yoga therapy methodology to the physical needs and goals of their clientele. Students get to grips with everything from modifying physical postures to breathing techniques that up-regulate or down-regulate the nervous system.
According to Chelsea, one of the highlights of a yoga therapy career is its broad application. “It can hit on many different spectrums,” says Chelsea. “Some students are more interested in trauma-informed practices, while others look to work with athletes or those with physical injury who want to rehabilitate through yoga.” With a combination of theoretical and practical training, graduates are ready to offer an informed practice to optimize a client’s physical health.
3. Pursue a Yoga Therapy Career in Medical Facilities
As yoga therapy gains more attention, it is becoming widely recognized as an effective healing practice by physiotherapists, psychologists, naturopaths, and physicians. A growing number of medical facilities, including hospitals and clinics, offer yoga therapy as part of their integrated medicine programs. In these settings, yoga therapists can work in small groups or in private to help clients manage more specific health concerns, including mental or emotional trauma. Often, they work on a team of physios and counsellors.
For students at VSOHA, an in-depth study can prepare them to offer more specialized support in these settings. “A case study project is a large component of the program,” says Chelsea. “Students will do research in a specific area with particular people who may be experiencing postpartum depression, physical trauma, or emotional trauma.” In the process, students can identify and prepare for work in a particular niche.
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