Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist Program Outline for Competency

Definition:

Applications of Āyurvedic principles to the practice and principles of yoga based on the Āyurvedic understanding of the nature of client, the nature of imbalance, and the nature of therapies needed to promote healing and achieve a harmonious state of body and mind with respect to individual consciousness.

Scope of Practice: 

The Āyurvedic Yoga Therapist (AYT) shall have competency to design, implement, demonstrate, instruct, and teach a yoga therapy program that aims to help an individual with his or her healing process based on the Āyurvedic Prakŗti/Vikŗti paradigm and Āyurvedic definition of health.

(Susrūta, Sūtra Sthāna,15/38) “Samadoṣaḥ sama̅gniśca samadha̅tu malakriyah Prasanna̅tmendriyamana̅ḥ svastha ityabhidhı̅yate”

Competency of Āyurvedic Yoga Therapist:

The Āyurvedic Yoga Therapist would be competent in assessing prakŗti, vikŗti, status of agniāmadhātumalasrotas, and saṁprāpti of a disease.

They would be competent to design, implement, and provide instruction to their clients regarding various yoga practices including yamas,níyamasāsanasprānāyāmapratyahārasamyamamūdrasbandhas, and ṣatkriya, as any of these practices can be effectively utilized for therapeutic purpose.

They would be competent to discuss implications of yamas and níyamas for achieving balance and to advise appropriate diet and lifestyle for achieving balance.

They would be familiar with different paths of yoga like Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga, etc.

Any disease classified and named with Western medical nomenclature can be viewed through the Āyurvedic understanding of doṣa and saṁprāpti of the disease process and thus can be addressed with Āyurvedic yoga therapy techniques.

Hence AYTs should be familiar with western nomenclature of the diseases and able to interact with Western healthcare providers. They would be competent enough to refer the clients to an Āyurvedic Practitioner (AP) or Āyurvedic Doctor (AD) for additional therapeutic interventions like the use of herbs and pañca karma.

Yoga Education:

  • Prior foundational yoga theory and practice training of a minimum verifiable 200 hours. 

  • In-depth knowledge of yoga practices as described in classic yoga texts.

  • Yoga philosophy as described in Yoga Sutras of PatanjaliHaṭha Yoga Pradīpika, and Bhagavad Gīta among others. 

  • Different paths of yoga, viz., Rajayoga, Haṭhayoga, Kriya yoga, Jñānayoga, Karmayoga, and Bhaktiyoga.

  • Familiarity of different yoga practices, viz., yamasníyamasāsanasprānāyāmapratyahāradhyānadhāranaamādhimūdrasbandhas, mantras, japasatkriya, and their potential therapeutic effect as well as the indications and contraindications for these practices.

Āyurvedic Education: 

Āyurvedic education in an integrated format that is equivalent to that of Ayurvedic Health Counselor. 

  • Detailed understanding of saṁprāpti of different diseases.

  • Ability to understand from an Āyurvedic perspective modern anatomy, physiology, and diagnosis of different diseases.

  • Appropriate legal status: If the school is offering a full AHC certification prior to submitting an application, it must legally qualify as a degree-granting institution or post-secondary trade school within the state where it operates. As part of your program application, you will be required to submit proof of such authorization, by submitting a copy of the school’s state license or other state authorization document or information. If no license or other legal authorization is required to operate a degree-granting institution or post-secondary trade school in your state, or the school is otherwise exempt from such licensure or authorization, you must provide a letter from your state indicating such is the case and that pursuant to state law, your school is legally permitted to operate without a state license or other comparable state authorization. This requirement does not apply to schools that will not be providing AHC certificates, but only have AHC curriculum folded into their AYT program. 

Āyurvedic Yoga Therapy Education:

  • In-depth knowledge of effects of different yoga practices on prakŗtivikŗtiagniāmadoṣadhātumalasrotaskośa, and cakra.

  • Indications and contraindications for using different yoga practices for therapeutic purposes.

  • Basic knowledge of implications of different paths of yoga so as to be able to appropriately guide their clients to achieve desired goal, whether that goal is physiological, psycho­emotional, or spiritual in nature. Extensive internship and direct hands-on experience in dealing with clients will be required.

Sanskrit Education: 

  •  An understanding of Sanskrit terminology as it is used in yoga and Āyurveda.


Education Outline for Competencies

Section One: Foundations of Yoga and Āyurveda (65 hours minimum)

The AYT will be knowledgeable about and able to integrate relevant history, philosophy, fundamental principles, and shared concepts across the related fields of yoga and Āyurveda.

1.1  History and Lineage of Āyurveda (15 hours suggested) 

1.2  History and Lineage of Yoga (20 hours suggested)

1.3 Philosophical Pillars of Yoga (15 hours suggested)

1.4 Philosophical Pillars of Āyurveda (15 hours suggested)

Section Two: Concepts of Āyurveda (90 hours suggested)

The AYT will have in-depth knowledge of important concepts within Āyurveda, including the guṇas, the doṣas,agnimalaāmaprānatéjas, and ojas. The AYT will demonstrate an ability to integrate Āyurvedic concepts into the therapeutic use of yoga.

2.1 Twenty Qualities: 10 Opposing Pairs (5 hours suggested)

2.2. Doṣa Prakŗti Vikŗti Related Primarily to Physiology (18 hours suggested)

2.3. Manas Prakŗti Vikŗti Related Primarily to Āyurvedic Psychologies (20 hours suggested)

2.4 Agni, Āma, and Mala: Metabolism, Toxicity, Waste Elimination (12 hours suggested)

2.5 Prāna, Téjas, and Ojas: Cellular Respiration, Immunity, and Metabolism (10 hours suggested)

2.6 Integration of Ayurvedic Concepts into the Practice of Yoga Therapy (25 hours suggested)

Section Three: Yoga Therapy Physiological Foundations (115 Hours suggested)

AYT has in-depth knowledge of biomedical, physiological, biomechanical, and energetic states in relationship to Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy.

3.1 Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga Therapy (30 hours suggested)

3.2 Sub-doṣa, Dhātu, and Srotas(50 hours suggested)

3.3 Energetic Anatomy (nādicakrakośa) (15 hours suggested)

3.4 Western Pathophysiology for Reference and Referral Purposes (10 hours suggested)

3.5 Biomechanics and Energetics for Cross-Reference and Referral Purposes (10 hours suggested)

Section Four: Āyurvedic & Yogic Assessment Skills and Interpretation of Clinical Findings (160 hours suggested)

AYT will have in-depth knowledge and demonstrate the ability to apply this knowledge in assessing the client and interpreting clinical findings.

4.1 Personal and Family Health History – Vidya Parikṣa: Questioning and Observation (15 hours suggested)

4.2 Interpretation of Vital Signs (may include blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory, or bowel sounds) (10 hours suggested)

4.3 Chief Complaints and Symptoms: Rūpaand Pūrva Rūpa (25 hours suggested)

4.4 Analyze Client Strengths and Weaknesses and Willingness to Follow Instructions (15 hours suggested)

4.5 Etiological Factors, Including Pañca MayaModel (40 hours suggested) 

4.6 Pathogenesis: Saṁprāpti(25 hours suggested)

4.7 Knowledge of the Appropriate Āyurvedic and Yogic Medical Literature and Evidence Base (20 hours suggested)

4.8 Contextual Understanding of Biomedical Terminologies, Concepts, and Relevant Healthcare Information (10 hours suggested)

Section Five: Therapeutic Recommendations and Treatment through Ayurvedic Theory (260 hours suggested)

AYT is able to recommend the appropriate therapeutic plan in accordance with the client’s doṣaagniāma, age,season bala, and samprāpti 

5.1 Food and Diet (30 hours suggested)

5.2 Lifestyle (20 hours suggested) 

5.3 Senses (15 hours suggested)

5.4 Psychology, the Mind, and Counseling (25 hours suggested)

5.5 Doshic Management: Pacification, Cleansing, and Rejuvenation through Yoga Therapy Techniques (30 hours suggested)

5.6 Reduction and Tonification (10 hours suggested)

5.7 General Adult Āyurvedic Medicine: Kāya Cikitsa (15 hours suggested)

5.8 Children’s Health (15 hours suggested) (Note:anyone working with children will need additional training.)

5.9 Reproductive Health (15 hours suggested)

5.10 Gerontology (15 hours suggested) (Note:Anyone working with seniors will need additional training.)

5.11 Head and Neck Health (10 hours suggested)

5.12 Contextual Knowledge of Jyotiśaand Vāstu ShastraRelevant to Yoga Therapy (10 hours suggested)

5.13 Top 20 Culinary Herbs and Spices in Āyurvedic Yoga Therapy for Prevention and Health Promotion (per NAMA Educational Competencies for AHC) (20 hours suggested)

5.14 Contextual Knowledge of Biomedical Diagnostic Categories and Medicines for Referral Purposes (10 hours suggested)

5.15 Referral Practices for Advanced Āyurvedic Practitioners and Other Health Professionals (5 hours suggested)

5.16 Understanding of the Ṣat Kíarmaand the Pañca KarmaModels, Their relationship, and Their Differences (5 hours suggested)

5.17 Understanding of Acara Rasāyana and How It Relates to the Yama-Níyama Model (10 hours suggested)

Section Six: Teaching and Therapeutic Skills (360 hours suggested)

AYT exhibits in-depth knowledge of and the ability to teach, demonstrate, and adapt yoga and Ayurveda practices to meet the individual needs of clients.

6.1 Demonstrates mastery of yoga practices, including but not limited to, āsanaprāṇayāma(amantraand samantra), bandhaspratyahāramūdras, mantras, samyama(100 hours suggested)

6.2 Demonstrates the necessary skills to convey information, to listen, to understand, to support the client, to earn trust, to communicate effectively, to make recommendations (50 hours suggested)

6.3 Demonstrates ability to conduct intake interviews and assess the client/student (50 hours suggested)

6.4 Demonstrates ability to elicit the goals, expectations, and aspirations of the client/student (25 hours suggested)

6.5 Demonstrates ability to integrate information from the intake interview, evaluation, and observation to develop a working assessment of the client’s condition, limitations, and potential (90 hours suggested)

6.6 Demonstrates ability to apply knowledge of how to determine which aspects of a client’s/student's condition, goals, and aspirations might be addressed through Ayurvedic yoga therapy (30 hours suggested)

6.7 Demonstrates ability to identify priorities and set both long- and short-term goals with the client/student (20 hours suggested)

Section Seven: Practicum and Clinical Internship (250 hours suggested)

A minimum of 150 of the 250 total hours must consist of supervised real-time interactions with clients in treatment sessions, whether they take place during initial consultations or during follow-up sessions.

The 150 hours must be directly supervised in real-time interactions with clients in treatment sessions. Of these 150 hours, 75% must be in person, face to face; 25% may be provided via live video with school staff or approved mentors who are certified AYTs. The remaining 100 hours of the 250 total hours are for mentorship by supervisors, chart preparation and review, and research necessary for delivering appropriate care.

This real-time contact can be a mix of initial contact and follow-up sessions. Real-time hours can include shadowing by up to three students with one lead student. Each student must serve as the lead at least 50 percent of the time. All activities must be active participation to include documentation by each student individually.

Supervised activity includes guided review of client cases through video sessions or review of files and treatment plans via phone, email, Skype or similar video platforms, or in-person contact. Supervised activity must be conducted by a CAHC, or higher, or AYT-NAMA level teacher/mentor for the student to achieve and demonstrate the following competencies:   

7.1 Ability to apply knowledge of strategies that address common disorders and pathologies of the major human systems and common mental health conditions, as well as other goals and aspirations relevant to the work of an Āyurveda Yoga Therapist (50 hours suggested)

7.2 Ability to apply knowledge of how to combine intake interviews, evaluation, observations, and working assessments to develop an appropriate practice or session strategy for individual clients/students, as well as group classes, taking into consideration the holistic nature of the individual (50 hours suggested)

7.3 Ability to choose effective Āyurvedic yoga tools and techniques and prioritize their use, including knowledge of how to select, sequence, adapt, and modify yoga practices to meet the needs of clients (40 hours suggested)

7.4 Ability to teach the appropriate practices for individuals as well as groups, taking into consideration the assessment of their condition, limitations, and potential and the overall practice strategy (40 hours suggested)

7.5 Ability to facilitate the client’s/student’s experience of the practice (7.5 hours suggested)

7.6 Ability to assess and determine the client’s strengths and willingness to follow recommendations (25 hours suggested)

7.7 Ability to develop and maintain therapeutic relationships (7.5 hours suggested)

7.8 Ability to provide follow-up and re-planning (30 hours suggested)

Conclusion:

The Āyurvedic and yoga therapy training for an AYT, as stated above, through an integrated curriculum, can be achieved in 1,100–1,500 hours. (The top and bottom ends of the range are based on the Educational Outline for Competency. The suggested hours listed above add up to a median of 1,300 hours.)


Entry Points for Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy Programs Curriculum Hours & Fees (Click Chart to Enlarge)


NAMA-recognized AYT Schools can offer/create curriculums that (See chart above):

  1. Start from the ground up: the full AYT curriculum (1,100 –1,500 hours) leading to AYT professional membership. (See Educational Outline for Competencies, above.)

  2. Offer AHC, AP, and/or AD programs and also offer an add-on AYT program that meets AYT school Educational Outline for Competencies and creates a special curriculum with full clinical hours for the AYT designation.

  3. Allow a NAMA Professional Member to add on required education to achieve AYT designation.

  4. Allow C-IAYT graduates or yoga therapists with >/= 800 hours training to add on required AYT education for the AYT designation.

  5. Schools have the discretion in accepting a student’s previous education based on the above entry point document, given the adherence to the minimum hourly requirements per entry point category: 1,100 full curriculum; 800 hours of prior AHC/YT training; 300 hours of integration. 

* Schools applying to teach AYT that do not offer AHC, AP, and/or AD programs are referred to as “stand-alone” schools.

* New schools not currently a NAMA member will be required to pay the $400 Organizational Member dues if their program becomes NAMA recognized. More information on NAMA school dues and fees can be found here.

Scenario #1 – New school member + new AYT program

First Year: $1,400 

  • $400 – Organizational Member dues

  • $250 – New program application fee

  • $750 – Program initial listing fee once NAMA grants the program official recognition

Subsequent years: $650 – renewal 

  • $400 – Yearly Organizational Member dues renewal

  • $250 – Yearly program listing fee renewal

Scenario #2 – One existing NAMA-recognized program (AHC/AP/AD) + new AYT program 

First Year: $1,650 

  • $400 – Organizational Member dues 

  • $250 – Existing program listing fee 

  • $250 – AYT program application fee

  • $750 – AYT program initial listing fee once NAMA grants the program official recognition 

Subsequent Years: $900 – renewal 

  • $400 – Yearly Organizational Member dues renewal 

  • $500 – Two yearly program listing fee renewals

Scenario #3 – Two existing NAMA-recognized programs + new program submission (AHC/AP/AD) + new AYT program

First Year: $2,900 

  • $400 – Organizational Member dues 

  • $500 – Two existing program listing fees

  • $500 – Two new program application fees

  • $1,500 – Two new program listing fees

Subsequent Years: $1,400 – renewal 

  •  $400 – Yearly Organizational Member dues renewal

  • $750 – Renewal fee for three program listings

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