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My Experience Completing a Yoga Therapy Training

I love reading and writing. I came to writing late in life and discovered a world where I feel like a fish in the water.

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I joined the Yoga Therapy Foundations Program offered by the US-based BDYT on August 1st of 2017. I finished studying the 50 lessons and did the three required online yoga retreats in May of 2018.

The certificate of completion was emailed to me early May 2021. It took me three and a half years to complete a program that should have taken me one year to complete. This foundations training is the equivalent of a 200-hour course.

Requirements

Before sitting for the final exam, I had to complete a few mandatory tests. One of the tests was to assess 10 different people to verify if the range of motion of their muscles was within acceptable standards set in physical therapy. The teacher was a physical therapist as well as a yoga therapist.

Another test was to complete a minimum of two case studies. The main challenge I faced in this training was to find people willing to let me assess their muscles’ range of motions.

I joined one of three weekly questions and answers (Q&A) sessions either online or by phone. In these Q&A, trainees got to ask questions about the lessons or about teaching people, listen to questions asked and answers given, or submit case studies in front of the others. I found the majority of the sessions helpful, but I hung up a couple of times because someone dragged on and on with no end in sight to what he/she was saying.

At times, the instructors misled the students with erroneous remarks to find out if we could identify inaccurate information. I did not hold back when I thought something they said was not correct.

Textbooks

We had two books as required readings: the Structural Yoga Therapy by Mukunda Stiles, and Yoga, Power, and Spirit: Patanjali the Shaman by Alberto Villoldo. I found both books valuable.

Reading Villoldo’s book was fun and interesting with its poetic commentary on The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, the classic text on the spiritual practice of yoga. The cost of a Kobo eBook was US$7.59.

I purchased an eBook of the Structural Yoga Therapy at CAD79.99. It was difficult for me to study an eBook. So, when I rejoined the training in 2020, I purchased a paper copy at a discounted cost of US$75.

M. Stiles wrote the Structural Yoga Therapy book for teachers and people who are seriously interested in practising yoga. He presented a broad summary of the philosophy of yoga and discussed what a new student needs to know when choosing a yoga practice. His thorough knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and kinesiology explained how each pose affects specific muscles and bones.

Kinesiology is a methodical analysis of the movements of the human body.

Online Training.

Online Training.

Case Studies

For the case studies, I needed to teach at least six yoga therapy sessions to two distinct people starting with an intake session. Before submitting the case studies, I had to confirm having started them and inform the teacher assistant of the progress made.

For those who might not know, an intake session is the first time a therapist meets with a person. They go over all there is to know about him or her to find out how best to help.

I could not find students or volunteers for my two case studies even though I posted an online offer to pay for the sessions. This obviously was not my strong point. Finally, a woman who took part in yoga sessions I taught many years ago, offered to help me. She volunteered and encouraged some of her friends and yoga students to contact me and volunteer.

It is because of Nadine, a yoga instructor in Toronto in Canada, that I was able to complete my training. I am thankful to her for the effort she made to help me succeed. I am also thankful to A. and V. who volunteered to be a case study, and to the ten people who agreed to meet with me for the assessments.

Challenges I Faced

I have learned a lot in this training and am glad to have completed it. I did face some challenges though. One of them was a difficulty I had in studying anatomy and memorizing the list of skeletal muscles.

Another one was because of some aspects with BDYT teaching style. For instance, when I started the training, the teacher gave the knowledge verbally. As I had a full-time job, I could not remember all lessons by memory, and taking notes myself was time-consuming. I voiced my need to have written notes to refer to. It took some time for BDYT to post lesson notes on the student portal.

Another challenge I faced was with the total cost of the training. When I registered, I was told the tuition of US$3,000 covered everything, which I paid in four instalments. At no point before completing the initial registration did I learn that I also had to pay for each of the three online retreats as well as for the final exam. As I live in Canada and pay in Canadian dollars, the counter-value in US dollars made the whole thing quite expensive. I probably would not have registered in this training had I known what the real total cost was.

I am still waiting to receive from BDYT an email or letter attesting that the training is the equivalent of 200 hours of studying. The certificate of completion does not specify the number of hours.

Other Online Courses

I took a year off from this training. During that year, I studied other courses. I do not advise people to do what I did.

On July 26th of 2018, I completed a Core Confidence Specialist course with Bellies Inc. I took this online course to learn how to help women improve their health and well-being. Bellies Inc. was founded by three moms working in pre and post natal fitness and physiotherapy to help pregnant women and new moms improve their core health.

I enrolled in the OM-Line Meditation Teacher Training program and completed the training (80 hours) on December 17th of 2018.

I also enrolled in the Yoga Wellness Educator Training (125 hours) with YogaU Online and received my certificate of completion on August 27th of 2020.

Before I enrolled in yet another course, I had to recognize that I was avoiding the yoga therapy training. So, I contacted the admin at BDYT in November 2020 and rejoined the training to complete what I had started.

Feedback

My one condition before the registration was that I wanted the training to be online to avoid traveling. BDYT respected my request, and I did not have to travel.

I appreciate the knowledge that I acquired. Each lesson built on the knowledge presented in earlier lessons, which made for a nice progression. This helped me get a clear picture of what I was supposed to know.

This knowledge influenced my personal practice of yoga. I use it to keep my health in balance, and work with pain if I feel a backache or fatigue.

Now that I have completed this training, I have decided not to study anything for an entire year.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Liliane Najm

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