Svastha Yoga Therapy Program

This professional program on yoga therapy brings you the most effective aspects of traditional yoga and ayurveda combined with modern medicine.

We take a skill-based approach, empowering you to work on yoga as prevention and as therapy. This program will provide you a solid foundation to grow from in your work as a yoga teacher and therapist, and is also useful to serious students who wish to deepen their understanding and practice.

Specific guidelines for different conditions and general treatment principles will also be detailed, empowering you to safely and effectively address disabilities and ill-health through yoga.

The goal is to enable participants to integrate newly acquired knowledge immediately in their teaching, particularly in private sessions.

Program Structure

The program is delivered in 7 intensive modules (5 days for each module).

The modules build on each other and are easier to understand if attended in sequential order. Module 1 should be attended prior to Module 2, Module 3 prior to Module 4 and Module 5 prior to Module 6.

Certificates are issued for each module attended and on completion of all 7 modules, you will be issued with a Certificate of Completion for the program.

Modules are spaced approximately 6 months apart to allow time for integration of the material through personal practice and work with yoga therapy clients.

Every module aims to help you begin applying what you have learned.

Please click on the accordions below to see the content of each module. Dates, location and cost are shown at the bottom of the page.

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Modules 1 & 2:  Body | Locomotor System

Module 1: Low Back, Pelvis, Hips, Knees & Feet: Dates - TBA
  1. Functional therapeutic anatomy of the lumbar spine, hips, knees, feet. What anatomy matters? Observation, palpation and assessment of structure & function. Making structure & function practical.
  2. Function-oriented approach to the loco-motor system as applied to the above ares, The heart of practical teaching.
    • Stress reduction
    • Awareness and mind-body connection
    • Functional alignment
    • Strength, endurance, stability
    • Release, support
    • Mobilisation
    • Stretching
    • Daily life practices
  3. Systematic presentation of disorders of the lumbar spine, pelvis, and lower limb, especially as relevant to yoga teachers: causes, development, typical presentation, functional approach, and guidelines. For example:
    • Inter-vertebral disc problems
    • Instability, facet joint problems
    • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
    • Soft tissue related disorders (muscles, ligaments, tendons)
    • Hip and knee arthritis
    • Meniscal and ligament tears of the knee
    • Dropped arches and hallux valgus
  4. What a yoga teacher needs to know about modern medical treatments available and the role of surgery.
  5. Neurobiological and systems perspective of dysfunction and pain as a complex output of the nervous system and other organ systems rather than a mechanical phenomenon, and how a holistic yoga approach helps to deal with it.
  6. Connecting the principles of classical yoga with modern rehabilitation: taking a holistic view, trajectory of disorders, patterns of life imbalances, role of gunas and doshas etc
  7. Outline of ayurvedic perspective and commonly used ayurvedic herbs.

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Module 2: Cervical & Thoracic Spine, Upper Limb: Dates TBA
  1. Functional therapeutic anatomy of the thoracic spine, neck, shoulders, elbow, wrist, hand. What anatomy matters? Observation, palpation and assessment of structure & function. Making structure & function practical.
  2. Function-oriented approach to the loco-motor system as applied to the above areas, The heart of practical teaching.
    • Stress reduction
    • Awareness and mind-body connection
    • Functional alignment
    • Strength, endurance, stability
    • Release, support
    • Mobilisation
    • Stretching
    • Daily life practices
  3. Systematic presentation of disorders of the thoracic & cervical spine, and upper limb, especially as relevant to yoga teachers: causes, development, typical presentation, functional approach, and guidelines. For example:
    • Kyphosis and posture deterioration
    • Osteoporosis
    • Scoliosis
    • Cervical disc problems, degeneration, nerve compression
    • Impingement and rotator cuff tears of the shoulder
    • Frozen shoulder, shoulder dislocation
    • Epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome
  4. What a yoga teacher needs to know about modern medical treatments available and the role of surgery.
  5. Neurobiological and systems perspective of dysfunction and pain as a complex output of the nervous system and other organ systems rather than a mechanical phenomenon, and how a holistic yoga approach helps to deal with it.
  6. Connecting the principles of classical yoga with modern rehabilitation: taking a holistic view, trajectory of disorders, patterns of life imbalances, role of gunas and doshas etc
  7. Outline of ayurvedic perspective and commonly used ayurvedic herbs.

 

Modules 3 & 4: Breath | Internal Medicine & Breath

Module 3: Breath Functioning & Sequencing, Cardiovascular, Respiratory Systems: Dates TBA
  1. Experience and understand the functional anatomy and pathology of different breathing patterns. For example
    • Natural breathing
    • Abdominal breathing
    • Lower rib breathing
    • Upper chest breathing
    • Paradoxical breathing
  2. Skills for modifying & teaching breathing patterns, assessing barriers to functional breathing patterns and using gravity, body position, self touch, visualisation etc. For example:
    • Barriers to natural breathing
    • Working with paradoxical breathing
    • Unwinding stress patterns of breathing
  3. Progressively sequencing the breath for students in steps, from breath awareness all the way to the bandhas.
  4. Developing inhale based and exhale based practices.
  5. Determining a good working length of breath, and developing a longer breath and personalised breathing ratios intelligently.
  6. Using sound and chanting to work on the breath therapeutically.
  7. Functional anatomy and use of bandhas as therapeutic tools.
  8. Disorder based considerations for specific conditions. For example, in respiratory and cardiovascular systems:
    • Asthma
    • COPD and other breathing difficulties
    • Holistic approach to prevention and therapy of heart disease
    • High and low blood pressure
    • Heart failure
  9. Safety considerations in yoga sessions for clients with respiratory and cardiovascular issues, breathing difficulty and respiratory diseases
  10. Orientation on relevant disease-related ayurvedic guidelines concerning lifestyle, diet, and useful herbs
  11. Application of relevant traditional yoga concepts.
Module 4: Neurological/Digestive/Immune systems, Pranayama, Yoga and Ayurveda. Dates TBA
  1. Functional organisation of the nervous system and presentation of failure.
  2. Movement disorders and balance problems. with a focus on ageing and Parkinsonism, and discussion of stroke.
  3. Working with the inner body awareness and the breath as a pathway to access physiological balance.
    • Creating a deeper connection to the feeling of the breath
    • Moving awareness of the breath in the body to areas of dysfunction
    • Moving somatic sensations with the breath to areas of dysfunction in the body
    • Linking emotional content to breath especially in areas of dysfunction.
  4. Overview of immune system and immune dysfunction
  5. Disorder based considerations where relevant. For example:
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Chronic pain, fatigue syndromes
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome, digestive problems
    • Menstrual disorders
  6. Pranayama as a therapeutic modality:
    • Yogasutra on pranayama: key concepts and their application.
    • Types of pranayama from hatha yoga texts and their application.
    • Selecting pranayama based on the individual.
    • Guidelines for easy therapeutic pranayama in practice.
  7. An overview of traditional yoga concepts related to pranayama: nadis, prana, koshas etc.
  8. Ayurveda
    • Constitution and its assessment
    • Using the ayurvedic lens to see trajectories and patterns of ill-health.
    • Connecting ayurveda to the practices of yoga
  9. Diet and lifestyle changes for auto-immune, hormonal and other metabolic disorders.
  10. Commonly used ayurvedic herbs for neurological, auto-immune, and hormonal problems.

Modules 5 & 6:  Mind | Yoga Psychology and Psychiatry

Module 5: Yogic Mindfulness, Reflection, Depression & Addictions (tamas) : Dates TBA
  1. Structure and importance of vrtti-samskara (conscious-behaviour-consequence-unconscious) cycle.
  2. Foundation of the three gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas) as determinants of mood and behavioural states.
  3. Flow states (samadhi) of awareness and their role in psychological well-being.
    • Importance of sattvic flow state
    • Keys to cultivating flow states in asana, meditation, daily life.
  4. Concepts of yogic mindfulness (smrti-sadhana)
    • Guidelines and skills for practicing yogic mindfulness effectively and sustainably
    • Mindfulnessof the body
    • Mindfulness with the breath
    • Mindfulness with the senses
    • Mindfulness of thoughts and feelings
    • Mindfulness in daily life
  5. Guided self-reflection (svadhyaya) and perspective reframing from the yogasutras.
  6. Cognitive distortions and thoughts vs reality
    • Practice of pratipaksha bhavana
    • Framework of jnana vrttis
    • Strategies for working with cognitive distortions from the yoga perspective.
  7. Depression and addictions
    • Overview of modern clinical perspective
    • Principles of management and evidence base
  8. Yogic practices for working with tamasic (depressive & addictive) tendencies
    • Body practices for elevating energy and mood
    • Breathing practices
    • Emotional practices
    • Cognitive practices
  9. Managing teacher-student, therapist-client relationship. Scope of the practice for yoga teacher/therapist. Networking and support requirements for safety and effectiveness.
  10. Perspective of ayurveda and use ayurveda herbs as relevant.

 

Module 6: Relaxation, Mantra, Positive Psychology, Embodiment, Stress & Trauma (ragas): Dates TBA
  1. Embodiment / Body-Mind connection and its importance for well-being.
    • Neuroscience of embodiment and its impact on well-being.
    • Yogic insights to the body-mind connection
  2. The three gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas) as determinants of mood and behavioural states.
  3. Physiology and neurobiology of the stress response
    • Autonomic nervous system function and response
    • Eustress vs when stress becomes damaging, and effects of chronic stress.
  4. Fight, flight, freeze – somatic, cognitive, emotional, behavioural responses
    • How to recognise and unwind these states in yoga practices.
  5. Yoga skills to deal with the rajasic states (stress and anxiety)
    • Body skills: mindful & safe embodiment, slow movement etc
    • Breathing skills: slow breathing, exhale focus etc.
    • Cognitive frameworks.
  6. Mantra meditation
    • Yogasutra perspective
    • Practical and modern barriers to mantra meditation
    • Keys to effctive mantra meditation: skills and questions
  7. Trauma and PTSD
    • Overview of modern clinic perspective
    • Principles of management and evidence base
    • Language and class setup for trauma safety
  8. Positive emotion practices
    • Acceptance
    • Compassion
    • Gratitude
  9. Role of meaning / connection and isvara pranidhana in psychological transformation.Introduction to devotion related practices.
  10. Managing teacher-student, therapist-client relationship. Scope of the practice for yoga teacher/therapist. Networking and support requirements for safety and effectiveness.
  11. Perspective of ayurveda and use ayurveda herbs as relevant.

Module 7: Integration and Completion

Module 7: Complex Disorders, Holistic Approach, Integration: Dates: TBA

Module 7 is the completion module for the 300-hour training. It is open only to those who have attended at least two other modules.
In this module, we will cover disorders that involve skills spanning the body-mind and lifestyle spectrum, such as cancer, end of life, diabetes etc.
We will also look at case studies as appropriate and discuss the integration and holistic approach to using all the skills of yoga.
This is an opportunity for participants to gain broader perspective on some of the skills from other modules as well as have their questions taken up (as relevant to the group)

Program Highlights

Authoritative background in classical yoga and Ayurveda

This program offers a direct link to profound sources

Mainstream medical content

You can feel confident in interacting with healthcare professionals using the knowledge you gain from this program

Clear, practical approach

The highlight of Svastha yoga’s approach is clarity and usability

Holistic perspective

Combing traditional yoga with a wide spectrum of modern medicine (general medicine, rehabilitation, psychiatry), complementary medicine (movement therapies, myofascial work, herbs), and ayurveda wherever relevant.

Open framework

The modular approach, combined with an emphasis on mainstream acceptability, means you can integrate these skills easily with other studies, as well as build upon them.

This program is registered at the 300-hour level with Yoga Alliance

Faculty

Barbara Coley

Dr. Ganesh Mohan is a physician trained in both conventional medicine and Ayurveda. He is the son of A. G. Mohan, who was a personal student of Krishnamacharya for 18 years from 1971 to 1989, and Indra Mohan.

Ganesh started practicing yoga in the tradition of Krishnamacharya under his parents’ guidance as a child. He is well-versed in related traditional studies such as yoga philosophy and Vedic chanting. His work in therapeutic yoga centers around employing the most relevant methods from ancient and modern healthcare. [Website]

He is the co-author of the Mohans’ book Yoga Therapy (Shambala Publications 2004) and Krishnamacharya: His Life and Teachings (Shambala Publications, 2010).

Ganesh is an advisor to the International Association of Yoga Therapists in the USA and the Australian Association of Yoga Therapists. 

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