Q & A with Swami Sitaramananda, director of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers and Ashrams on the west coast and in Asia
Q. Why is the SYVC now offering this program?
A. SYVC has been teaching classical yoga with full health benefits to practitioners but now offer this program to cater to the needs of many Yoga teachers of all paths to go deeper in the health and healing benefits of Yoga. Yoga is more and more known as powerful ways to deal with stress and is more and more recognized as alternative approach for health care and prevention.
Q. How will Teachers graduating from another Yoga lineage benefit from this course?
A. Yoga is universal .Mostly the yoga teachers differ from their approaches to physical postures , sequences, priorities, outlooks , what to include in a Yoga class and what to exclude. Sivananda Yoga integrally includes complete lifestyle change and also in a Yoga course itself includes breath work (pranayama) , relaxation (savasana) , vegetarian why and how and mental , emotional techniques leading to meditation ( positive thinking, dhyana and vedanta) . Teachers from other hatha lineages would specially benefit from the Yoga philosophy and psychology section, the ayurveda section, the anatomy and physiology sections as well as the practical therapeutic applications of the yogic techniques.
Q. I have a full time job but want to slowly transition to another occupation more rewarding and meaningful , how do I do that with SYHET?
A. The three 15 days intensive immersion retreats SYHET courses in the Yoga Farm stand 5 months apart (October 2017 , April 2018 , September 2018) are catering to the needs of people who could only take off for short periods and who could only pay in installments. There are distance learning on line section which will deliver the material conveniently wherever the students are. The flexible practicum hours spread over more than one year in a medical clinic or yoga studio will give opportunities for hands on practice under mentorship of a medical doctor or a certified mentor.
Q. How do I find a job after graduating and becoming a Yoga Health educator?
A. The course is constructed following the curriculum of IAYT and your certificate will be accredited by IAYT. With this and the credibility of Sivananda Yoga organization itself, you will be able to carve yourself a place and a role in the alternative health field , mediating between the health care providers and Yoga services, either referring to existent Yoga classes and courses or providing the classes themselves.
Q. Where will I get "students /clients" and who will I serve and how?
A. Many possible venues : Yoga studios , your own office, an existent department of a health care facility, references by nurses or services after medical interventions who want to help to reboot the immune system , preventative care. Of course the health educator service can not replace the existent services of prevalent health care system. It only supports and complement the health services received. Please note that not only you are equipped to educate the individuals in needs of care, but also you will be trained to reach out to groups for example how to teach a Yoga Health Retreats on stress management or Health Camps on diabetic prevention and Cancer prevention.
Q. How is Yoga helping/complementary to what is already existing within health care?
A. Yoga is impactful specially in cases of restoration of immune system, and building up resilience in situation of stress. Yoga addresses deeper issues that can be related to aspects of human life such as karmic issues, negative emotions, pranic debts due to draining lifestyle, pranic blockages due to imbalances, relationship between thought and emotions and prana-energy-vitality, relationship between consciousness, the sense of meaning and zeal to live and to heal, relationship between belief system and healing.
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 evidence based 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 . This is where the skills of the Health Educator to educate, uplift, inform, and teach, become handy. There will be guidelines in what are the yoga strategies for healing body-mind-spirit.
Q. What about liability as a health educator?
A. The health educator would have to follow the protocol of any health institution he or she will be affiliated with , and in case they will work independently, they need to cover themselves with Yoga teachers insurance. They can be considered as Yoga teachers with an extended and broader knowledge who can counsel people before or after a Yoga class. They also can work under the umbrella of a medical doctor and discuss protocols with the M.D.
Q. who will hire the service of the Health Educator?
A. There are more and more independent health care providers who would like to integrate the yogic physiotherapy approaches and the ayurveda nutrition and lifestyle to their conventional medical offerings. Continuing education programs are always needed to update the needed health care fields. There are specific doctors and nurses retreats organized at the Yoga Farm to help educate them in how Yoga can help . On the other side, the Health Educator needs to be familiar with the conventional medical approaches and terminology and not stand themselves as separate but complementary, contributing to the prevalent health medical system.
To enquire about the SYHET programs offered at the Yoga Farm, Grass Valley or the course offered at the Sivananda ashram in Vietnam , please write to YogaHealthEducatorTraining@sivananda.org