Q & A with Swami Sitaramananda, director of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers and Ashrams on the west coast and in Asia
Q. Why are the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres and Ashrams (SYVC) only now implementing the Yoga Health Educator Training?
A. The international Sivananda organization has taught the holistic health benefits of classical Yoga for 50 years. Today, Yoga is widely known as a powerful way to deal with stress and is recognized as an alternative approach in health and preventative care. We are offering Yoga teachers an opportunity to become leaders in the wider health care setting.
Q. How will Yoga teachers from schools other than Sivananda benefit from this course?
A. Yoga is universal. Yoga teachers differ in their approach to physical postures, sequences, priorities, outlooks and class curriculum. Sivananda Yoga integrally includes breathing exercises (pranayama), relaxation (savasana), vegetarian diet and positive thinking, meditation (dhyana) and Yoga philosophy (Vedanta). Teachers from other hatha Yoga lineages would especially gain an opportunity to experience immersion to the Yogic lifestyle. The two 10-day intensive retreats at an ashram provides a practical immersion into the Yogic lifestyle.
Q. How do I find a job as a Sivananda Yoga Health Educator?
A. The program is constructed following the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) curriculum and Yoga Health Educator certificates are IAYT-accredited. SYVC and IAYT are two well-known Yoga organizations. You will stand out in the alternative health field, backed by these two credible organizations. With this training, you can mediate between health care providers and Yoga schools, either referring to existent Yoga courses or provide courses tailored to your specific interest.
Q. How will I get clients and who can I serve?
A. With the Yoga Health Educator certification, you will be a Yoga teacher specialized in holistic health and can counsel students beyond Yoga class. There are many possible venues. Bring practical Yoga knowledge into hospitals, health clinics, acupuncture clinics, PT and chiropractic offices, social work, at-risk youth facilities, corporate wellness programs—or build a sanga focused on your specialty. Serve clients struggling with addiction, stress/anxiety, PTSD (survivors of violence—domestic, sexual, personal or military), depression, nervous system disorders, recovery from injury/surgery, chronic pain, autoimmune disorders, behavioral issues and more. Learn how to create a clientele in the “Yoga Business Practices” module during year two.
Q. How does the Yogic lifestyle complement the health care system?
A. Yoga helps restore the immune system and builds resilience to the effects of stress. It addresses deeper issues related to aspects of human life such as: karmic issues; pranic (energetic) flow; relationship between thoughts, emotions and prana-energy-vitality; relationship between consciousness, the meaning of life and healing; relationship between beliefs and healing. Attention to these underlying causes of disease can have remarkable results in the effectiveness of treatments. Yoga is also beneficial in difficult-to-diagnose and difficult-to-treat ailments. It provides an option for intractable medical conditions not fitting existing models.
Q. What if clients do not believe in the astral body or the connection between mind-body-spirit ?
A. There are countless modern scientific researches on the therapeutic effects of Yoga in specific incidences of disease, bringing light to such relationship between body-mind-spirit. It is not question of belief, but a question of seeing the person as a whole, and practically, how to help the healing process .
Q. What about Yoga Health Educator liability?
A. As a health educator, you are required to follow the protocol of the health institute you are affiliated with. If you consult independently, you can obtain any insurance policy with coverage for Yoga teachers.