Nancy Candea is a loving caring teacher. She sees the potential in us, students, and is really eager to help us grow. One of the things I love about her, as a teacher, is that she has walked the talk. She has worked with people in prison, people in wheelchair, people with all kinds of problems. She knows what’s she’s talking about by experience and not theory and yet she’s open and not absolute! She didn’t even blink in sharing some lessons she learned in life from her private life as a woman and a mother. That is a quality of a teacher I admire.
What I do love about her approach on the Yoga Therapy training is her whole-istic approach to body, mind, lifestyle and even one’s path of life! And again she’s playful as a child! An amazing combination!...
— Evangelos Apostolopoulos, Greece

 

International Yoga Therapy Institute (IYTI) Mission, Vision and Objectives

As yoga therapists we must live what we teach.  As the director of the IYTI yoga therapy training program, what I teach comes not only from the wisdom of my teachers, but from my own self-care:  I teach skills that I have tested in my life.  This, along with a heartfelt connection with my client, and concern for their well-being, is the foundation of my dharma as a yoga therapist.  I ask the other faculty of the training program to also teach from their knowledge, experience and their heart.

Our goal at the IYTI is to train yoga therapists to teach yoga modalities that our clients can incorporate into their daily lives.  In so doing, they will find a natural and self-empowered path to preventative health care, the healing of disease and injury, and increased inner peace.

The faculty and I believe that yoga therapy must be made accessible to everyone who could benefit from, and is attracted to, the teachings. IYTI training instills a base value that all of the teachings must be accessible to a variety of populations, keeping in mind that all our clients might not have a privileged and comfortable life.  We might have to work and be creative to help those who don’t have access to nutritious food or safe living environments.  How can we make yoga therapy accessible to those who can’t pay us for private sessions?  Can we be creative in bringing the benefits of yoga therapy to the greater community?

The training is structured so that all the information given is applied to the trainees’ personal practice, after which the trainees are taught to share it with private clients and in therapeutic classes.  IYTI yoga therapists are taught to look at the individual as a whole person, and teach them skills to address their healthcare or healing using appropriate exercise, nutrition and digestion, relaxation, positive mental processing and addressing their life’s path – essentially the Koshas in accessible vocabulary.  All the information in the IYTI manual is supported by either scientific research or the texts of yoga philosophy, and exhaustively endnoted.  IYTI yoga therapists are taught communication skills along with therapeutic yoga modalities, to empower their clients to take charge of their own healthcare and healing, utilizing other complementary and allopathic healthcare systems as needed. 

Overview

The International Yoga Therapy Institute (IYTI) 1000 Hour Yoga Therapy Education Program trains yoga therapists who will provide yoga therapy for injury, illness, and mental health issues to a variety of demographics. The IYTI therapeutic model is based on time-tested and evidence-based yoga modalities that can help clients suffering from stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, and addiction, as well as those living with autoimmune issues, chronic pain or illness, cancer, frailty, asthma, allergies, and learning difficulties. Yoga teachings will be applied in a therapeutic framework to empower clients to manage the symptoms that are causing suffering, and to inspire them to practice their new skills to reduce occurrence of imbalance.

 

The heart of the IYTI Yoga Therapy Education Program is the knowledge that director Nancy Candea has distilled from her work with Yoga Impact, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering vulnerable populations with therapeutic yoga skills, and from thirty years of education and practice.  Nancy has studied with a variety of master yoga teachers.  She has been teaching yoga and working with private clients for 19 years, and training yoga teachers for 8 years.  She owned a yoga studio for 5 years.  She is the author of Practical Yoga Therapy - IYTI’s training manual. All IYTI faculty are dedicated yoga practitioners and experts in their specialty fields.

       

The therapeutic approach in this training is based on the yoga philosophy and research outlined in the IYTI manual mentioned above, and on books written by distinguished yoga therapists, yoga teachers, researchers, neuroscientists, and healthcare professionals.  A central element of the training is The Five Points of Wellness, which empower and educate people to take charge of their own preventative health care and self-care in healing.  The assignments and practicum, as well as the principles learned, help the yoga therapist to navigate the subtleties of the therapeutic relationship with their client or yoga therapy classes.

The Five Points of Wellness are inspired by yoga’s most basic philosophic principles, such as the Koshas, Ayurvedic teachings and the work of Patañjali, and are supported by scientific research.  The Five Points of Wellness have become a successful model for providing yoga therapy and for introducing yoga lifestyle skills to the general public. The focus of the material is to help a client come to a place of stillness, parasympathetic-dominant response, and homeostasis, so that they can begin their healing process.  The Five Points of Wellness give yoga therapists specific criteria for evaluating the wellness skills of their clients, and a clear therapeutic model to apply.  After Module 5, the yoga therapist will apply additional Ayurvedic principles to their professional practice, and they will have the background to work with other healthcare professionals.

The information taught in each course will follow a format for optimal learning:

·      Learn knowledge (study, observe, assist)

·      Apply it to your own practice

·      Refine it by asking questions, receiving feedback and/or further study

·      If appropriate, apply it/adapt it for your clients

·      Follow up with clients and apply refinements

The skills learned in every course will help yoga therapists empower their clients to take a proactive interest in their own healthcare, and to become an informed and active participant in their own healing.

Successful communication requires a yoga therapist to connect with his/her clients, and to impart knowledge and skills in a way that takes into account the clients’ physical abilities, personal histories, and levels of knowledge.  This training covers the principles of demonstration, observation, assistance and correction, to be used in yoga therapy classes, plus the qualities of a yoga therapist, and the clients’ process of learning. It also emphasizes the importance of adapting one’s therapeutic approach in teaching yoga modalities such as asana, pranayama and meditation according to the client’s body type, level of skill, and physical condition. Trainees will learn to use language that is trauma-sensitive and cultivates a positive body image, and to make hands-on adjustments that are appropriate in the therapeutic relationship.

Continual study of yoga philosophy is the key to continued growth along the path of a yoga therapist. Our collective understanding of this body of wisdom is enhanced by the discussions that we share. Group and self-directed study of The Vedas, The Upaniṣads, The Bhagavad Gītā, and Tantric Philosophy is included. The relationship between Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and modern psychology will be explored. We will also discuss yoga lifestyle, ethics, law and business for yoga therapists throughout the training.  Marketing strategies for classes, seva projects and workshops will be discussed individually with the director. Trainees are required to maintain a daily practice that includes yoga lifestyle choices and kriyas. Trainees must also maintain a daily practice of yoga modalities such as āsana, pranayama, meditation, chanting and yoga studies.

 

Nancy’s yoga training has impacted my life immensely. Before I took Nancy’s training, I saw yoga purely as a physical fitness routine. Afterwards, I saw yoga as a therapy modality to take care of myself and others and many aspects of one’s life in a holistic way, not just in the physical dimension but also in the spiritual, emotional and psychological dimensions. It also gave me the courage to teach yoga to other beginning level students and to see the inherent value and gain the intrinsic rewards in doing so. Although I am not teaching yoga at the moment, I do not think I would be able to follow the path I am following in life, a path of my own choosing without the skills I learned in how to take care of myself in all manner of speaking, physically as well as spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I have never been particularly good at nurturing myself. Taking this training has made the difference of night and day in how I have learned to treat myself and hence, how I treat others. I don’t think you can develop in your practice without listening deeply to your own body, mind and spirit and when you do this, then it is impossible not to listen to others in a more compassionate manner as well. Learning to take care of yourself well has a radiating effect on loved ones around you regardless of whether you decide to pursue teaching yoga or practicing yoga therapy as a career. More than anything, this is the gift I walked away from Nancy’s training with that I carry with me into other endeavors in life.
— Caroline Mannaerts