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Announcement from Integrative Yoga Therapy

Dear IYT Family, 

We have some exciting and important news to share. 

 2016 is an important year in that it marks 20 years since the Integrative Yoga Therapy Program was first offered at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, MA.  These years have been a full and rich experience for the students, with consistently excellent evaluations.

 Our relationship with Kripalu has supported this outstanding experience. Kripalu is unique in that it remains true to its own tradition, upholds the highest of Yoga ethical standards and, at the same time, creates a space of openness in which various Yoga traditions can flourish.

 It is with gratitude and excitement that I write to tell you that effective this month, the Integrative Yoga Therapy training program (300- and 800-hour) will become a formal part of the curriculum of the Kripalu School of Yoga. Kripalu will assume legal ownership and stewardship of the IYT brand, and will support through a license agreement the related IYT business that Lilian and I will continue to hold. I am sharing with you here Kripalu’s announcement, which was released just today: Announcing a New Addition to Kripalu’s Curriculum.

 This integration of IYT as a Kripalu Yoga Program shows the confidence Kripalu leadership has in our signature training, thanks in large part to their observation of our approach to teaching over this extended period. This new relationship also points out Kripalu’s commitment to the development of Yoga Therapy as a whole and the recognition that Yoga Therapy is an essential facet of Yoga education.

To our current students, the news is very good: the training you have taken will be counted by Kripalu, and the IYT curriculum will not change. Joseph and Lilian Le Page will continue to teach in the program for the next 3 years.

This integration with Kripalu will have tremendous benefits for all students of Integrative Yoga therapy: 

  • Students will now have the possibility of utilizing some Kripalu programs toward their overall Integrative Yoga Therapy Certification.
  • The 800-hour program, which is currently the gold standard for Yoga Therapy, takes on even more relevance with the support of one of America’s leading Yoga Institutions.
  • IYT and Kripalu together have the capacity to fulfill the potential that Yoga Therapy has to develop into a recognized profession.
  • The integration of IYT within the Kripalu family further deepens and broadens our extensive reach with leaders and leading institutions within the Yoga Therapy field. 

IYT’s collaboration with Kripalu will be further strengthened through the upcoming programs at Kripalu: Yoga Therapy Applied in Medical Settings and Yoga Therapy applications within the Mental Health Field in Mental in which many of the leaders in the field will present including Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, one of India’s leading Yoga Therapists. These programs underscore IYT’s commitment to provide the very highest standard of educational excellence in Yoga Therapy, through deepening our connection to leaders in the field from all traditions.


IYT has grown steadily these last decades to become one of the country’s best known Yoga Therapy schools. The Healthy Heart Program has become an integral part of the health system near the Enchanted Mountain Yoga Center in Brazil. Joseph & Lilian’s two-year project to document the work of the major Yoga Therapy institutes in India provides a valuable resource and allows students to connect with the heart and essence of Yoga Therapy. Joseph and Lilian are now in the process of opening a Yoga Therapy and Naturopathy Clinic at Enchanted Mountain.

 Lilian and I look forward to guiding the Integrative Yoga Therapy Training Program into the next step of this on-going journey supporting all beings toward healing.


~Joseph Le Page

Ushas Mudra

“I greet each new day as a mystery

To be lived fully and joyfully.”


Click here for a guided meditation:

Dawn of a New Day

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Chapter I Verse 35

Let Life Touch You 

Interpretative translation by Joseph Le Page

Vishayavati va pravritti utpanna manasah sthiti nibandhani

1.35 Awareness of the process of sensory experiencing, when done in a way that leads towards higher, subtle sense perception, instills tranquility of the mind.

*  vishayavati = of the sensing experience

*  va = or (or the practice of Yoga is also cultivated by)

*  pravritti = higher perception, activity, inclinations

*  utpanna = arising, appearing, manifesting

*  manasah = mind, mental, manas

*  sthiti = stability, steadiness, stable tranquility, undisturbed calmness  

*  nibandhani = firmly establishes, causes, seals, holds


Let life touch you and peel away the layers of limitation and doubt that bind your soul to the tight confines of the known.


Feel your fear and anger so fully that the wind and fire of your feelings is transformed into the light and spaciousness of your true being.


Surrender so completly into the soft, warm sea of feeling that your mind becomes one with the waves and dissolves into the glistening sunlit stream.


Allow the sensations of sitting in stillness to absorb you so fully that a waterfall of wisdom washes away all limiting beliefs, allowing you to wake to your own essential clarity.


Let the spring breeze touch your face so tenderly that the cocoon of your soul opens its multicolored wings to reveal the butterfly of your soft, loving inner being.


Look into the light of your children’s eyes so deeply that you enter their land of enchantement and mystery where your judging mind is left behind completely.


Allow your memories to flow so freely that you sense them as pure energy, awakening from the dream of the past to the power of this moment’s infinite possibilities.


Breathe so fully that every breath is a wave of wonderment cultivating wholeness so complete that no room is left for anything but your essential being.


Surrender so completely to the storm that thunder crashes within your chest and lighting flashes in your eyes, until the clouds depart and softness fills your mind.


Walk through a meadow of wild flowers so enraptured by their color blowing in the breeze that your mind becomes one more blossom in a sunlit field.


Bathe so fully in your own nectar of sensation and feeling that your body is transformed into an ocean of inner healing.


Become so fully one with the setting sun that as the day fades, your mind is set ablaze and finally sets into silence with the sun’s final rays.


Let life touch you, and as your senses awaken to the fullness of your being, your mind naturally rests in its essential equanimity.


For IAYT certification information, be sure to visit the webpage: 

Eligibility for IAYT Certification as a Yoga Therapist

Contact IYT: 


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Om Shanti Shanti.

A perspective on the Yoga Alliance policy on Yoga Therapy

A perspective on the Yoga Alliance policy on Yoga Therapy by Joseph Le PageYoga Alliance recently adopted a new policy stating that the use of the word “therapy” is not based on approval by their Registry.  The Yoga Alliance asks schools to specify what their therapy is based on so that the public can make an informed decision. In addition, registrants who market themselves externally using both their Registry credential and “yoga therapy”-type terms will need to state the non-Registry basis for their “yoga therapy” qualifications.

My perspective is that this new policy is recognition that the Yoga Alliance is not specialized in the area and can’t say which therapies would be effective. The motivation is to protect themselves from possible liability.

Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT) will maintain its Yoga Alliance Registry following YA guidelines. The new policy can actually be seen as favorable to established schools like IYT that have a strong background in the practice and teaching of Yoga Therapy.  In the area where institutions describe the basis of their Yoga Therapy, IYT presents the following:

  • Accredited as a competency-based yoga therapist training program by the IAYT with a minimum of 800 hours.
  • A pioneer of Yoga Therapy training programs in the United States with over 20 years of experience.
  • Over 20 years of successfully designing and implementing Yoga Therapy programs in mainstream medical settings.
  • In-depth understanding of the Yoga Therapy tradition in India as presented in the Yoga Therapy in India Video Project (

This language will be available for IYT students to use on their YA Registry.

The new Yoga Alliance policy highlights the importance of the work being done by IAYT. While the IAYT Standards are still in process to some degree, they serve an essential function in terms of defining scope of practice, who can practice Yoga Therapy, and in accrediting schools to offer the 800-hour program. This accreditation is based on over 10 years of experience examining standards for Yoga Therapy training programs.

The best measure for evaluating the success of IAYT is its broad acceptance in the field, with over 25 accredited Yoga Therapy training programs since 2014. Through these programs, hundreds of students have been participating safely and successfully. When an appropriate Scope of Practice and extensive training form the foundation of an organization, the word “therapy” can be used safely and effectively as is done, for example by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), which has been supporting their members since the 1940s.

Yoga Alliance’s new policy is part of the evolution of Yoga Therapy becoming a profession in its own right. It is also an opportunity for us to reflect on topics relevant to the development of Yoga Therapy as a whole:

1. Is teaching Yoga Therapy inherently more risky than any other kind of Yoga instruction?

In over 25 years of practice and teaching Yoga Therapy, IYT has never had a serious injury among students in the program or in healthcare settings. From my experience, Yoga Therapy is one of the safest Yoga practices because it usually employs gentle, adaptive Yoga and because the Yoga Therapist has training in how to meet each student’s unique needs. Additionally, the use of the word “therapy” is carefully defined by each Yoga Therapy school to avoid confusing it with medical treatment. It is essential to remember that all of the additional training the Yoga Therapist receives is first and foremost about creating safety.

2. Can we distinguish clearly between the role of the Yoga Teacher and the role of the Yoga Therapist?

The Yoga Therapist uses many of the same tools and techniques as the Yoga Teacher, but with additional training and skills that foster a safe environment for the client, including:

  • The ability to adapt and modify the practices to individual needs and specific health conditions, along with an understanding of the contraindications.
  • An in-depth understanding of anatomy and physiology, including stress and its effects of each of the systems of the body.
  • How to work with medical professionals, understanding the role of each and how the Yoga Therapist supports, but never replaces, a healthcare provider.
  • An in-depth understanding of the vision of Yoga beyond tools and techniques, and how this change in perspective is the key to the process of healing.

3. To what extent can we separate Yoga Therapy from the Hatha Yoga tradition as a whole?

Yoga Therapy is an integral part of the Hatha Yoga tradition. Different from many other spiritual traditions of India, the texts of Hatha Yoga are, in part, treatises on the therapeutic application of Yoga. Yoga Therapy is a key foundation of the vast majority of Indian lineages that brought Yoga to the West. It is part of the authentic Yoga we received from India, which has been traditionally divided into Yoga Teaching for the general public and Yoga Therapy for groups or individuals with special needs. The Yoga tradition has been modified significantly in the West, both in its form and intention because of cultural, economic and legal reasons, but to what extent can we modify it and still continue to call it Yoga?

4. Can Yoga Therapy become a profession within the current healthcare system?

Yoga Therapy is in the very first stages of this process. It is important to remember that physical therapy began as a certificate program and gradually evolved into a profession. What we see in India today is a tendency for Yoga in general, and Yoga Therapy in particular, to move into the university system, and this is a likely direction for the United States. For this to occur successfully, it will require unity of purpose on the part of all Yoga Therapy schools and a further strengthening of the important work already accomplished by IAYT, especially in the area of research.

5. Can Yoga Therapy enter the mainstream and still maintain its character as authentic Yoga?

The current medical model favors allopathic remedies to such an extent that everything coming in contact with it tends to take on this character. From the allopathic perspective, you can give a Yoga protocol for a certain condition and then test the result. If the result is consistently positive, you have one of the factors needed for an effective protocol. The Yoga Therapy perspective is, of course, much wider. In the ultimate sense, disease is separation from our true Self. The whole of life is a journey of healing as a return to union with our authentic being. Physical and psychological health is a reflection of our growing union with our true Self. Yoga is the vehicle for this journey as a philosophy, a technique, and a methodology. Yoga Therapy is the specialized application of Yoga for those who are out of balance and require individualized or small group therapy for their specific needs.

The good news is that attitudes toward healthcare are gradually shifting both within society and within the medical community to embrace a more whole person view of healing. Schools such as IYT that focus on the educational component of Yoga Therapy are essential in maintaining its authentic character. Although scientific study is an important component of Yoga Therapy, the real heart of the profession is the art of educating human beings, especially those who are suffering, on how to reunite with the true Self.

~Joseph Le Page

Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda Belong Together

Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda belong together.


When we think of Yoga as therapy we must have a method of assessment, there must be some medical model that prescribes Yoga as the healing modality. Some of our Western doctors are beginning to do that but largely they look at Yoga as being a physical exercise that can be adapted for various illnesses, they are often not seeing Yoga as the spiritual practice that it is. An Ayurvedic medical perspective, on the other hand, can view the person in their wholeness, and long before they have become chronically ill, recommend many lifestyle and dietary changes, as well as spiritual practices and yogic techniques.

Yoga is not a medical system; it aims at relieving spiritual suffering through understanding the Kleshas which are the afflictions or obstacles that lead us away from our pure nature. Yoga understands that it is through false identification with ourselves as limited bodies and minds that we suffer. When our ignorance is removed, we identify with our true self and true nature of pure consciousness. Most medical doctors are not going to prescribe this integral view of Yoga for wellness. However Ayurveda does.

“Modern Yoga Therapy largely consists of the application of Yoga asanas as an adjunct physical therapy for the treatment of diseases as primarily diagnosed and treated by modern medicine. Modern Yoga Therapists aim at working with doctors, nurses and other biomedically trained professionals in hospitals, and rehabilitation settings. Such a Yoga Therapist, we should note, is not himself or herself necessarily a doctor or primary health care provider but functions more like a technician, applying the techniques of asanas as guided by a doctor or nurse. While there is nothing wrong with this approach and much benefit can be derived from it, Yoga Therapy as asana therapy does not unfold the full healing potential of classical Yoga and its many methods. It keeps Yoga subordinate in a secondary role, reduced primarily to a physical application.”

Dr. David Frawley is an author on Yoga and Ayurveda, and is the founder and director of the ‘American Institute for Vedic Studies’ in Santa Fe, New Mexico

“Ayurveda is one of the four Upavedas or secondary Vedic teachings, along with Gandharva Veda (music), Sthapatya Veda (directional science), and Dhanur Veda (martial arts). These Upavedas apply Vedic knowledge along specific lines to supplement the Vedic quest for wholeness and liberation. Ayurveda is probably the most important of these because it addresses all aspects of healing and well-being for body and mind.

In this classical Vedic scheme, Ayurveda is the Vedic system developed specifically for healing purposes. There is no other Vedic system of healing apart from Ayurveda. Yoga is the Vedic system of spiritual practice or sadhana. All Vedic sadhana or spiritual practice involves some form of Yoga practice.”

The aim here is not to turn Yoga into a medical system; this is not its purpose. The true purpose of Yoga is to relieve spiritual suffering. We turn to Ayurveda for guidelines in assessing and maintaining health and we apply Yoga accordingly as part of its healing tools.

Ayurveda provides us methods such as diet, herbs, and clinical procedures (such as Pancha Karma) as well as lifestyle modifications to promote health, rejuvenation and longevity. Traditionally, Ayurveda also incorporates Yogic practices such as asanas and pranayama as well as mantra and meditation as part of its healing treatment.

I agree with Dr. Frawley that, with the broader perspective of Classical Yoga along with the medical model that Ayurveda provides, we now have the optimal application of Yoga and Ayurveda for health and healing. This is what I am calling Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy and this is what this training will involve.

“Any therapy must rest upon a system of medicine for diagnosis and overall treatment strategies. A therapeutic method – whether herbs, drugs, asana or pranayama – cannot be applied independently of a medical orientation and an examination of the patient as a whole. So if one is practicing Yoga Therapy, the question arises as to according to what system of medicine that therapy is being applied?

“For a full application of the methods of Yoga for healing purposes, we need a complete medical system that follows the philosophy, principles and practices of Yoga and that can employ not only asana as a therapy but also pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi, and which follows a yogic life style (yamas and niyama). While modern medicine can be helpful as a background for applying the physical aspects of Yoga, it lacks the yogic understanding of life and the human being for a full application of all the branches of Yoga for body, mind and spirit. Such a greater yogic system of medicine need not be invented. It already exists in the form of Ayurveda. Ayurveda develops its view of the body and mind, nature and healing from the background of Yoga philosophy as outlined through the twenty-five tattvas of the Samkhya system. Ayurveda provides us a complete mind-body system of medicine in terms of all aspects of diagnosis and treatment that reflects a Vedic and Yogic approach, values and wisdom.”

What we need are Professional Ayurvedic Yoga Therapists who are well trained in both Yoga and Ayurveda and are in a position to interact with allopathic doctors, not from an alternative perspective, but from a cooperative and complimentary one. Not as ‘technicians’ of asanas but as well trained professionals of Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy.

The 300 hours of training required to complete Level TWO of the Professional AyurvedA Yoga Therapy Apprenticeship program is divided into 10 modules with time built between to allow integration of the learning. The training allows you to register with the Canadian Yoga Alliance at the RYT 500 level and be recognized by Island Yoga Vista as an Experienced Apprentice. The next 500 hours of training is divided into two Levels to meet the requirements of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. (see website for details


Introduction to Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy  

MODULE 1   September 16,17,18 2016

In this weekend retreat, you will receive a general introduction to the perspective and intent of the Professional Ayurveda Yoga Therapy (PAYTA) Level Two program and how you will be able to apply it in your life and in your work as a Yoga Professional. We will cover a basic understanding of some of the components of Classical Yoga such as the Kleshas, Gunas and Koshas as well as the Ayurvedic Doshas. You will have the opportunity to experience the format of the PAYTA group sessions in five different classes. We will also have time for questions and discussion.

The setting of this program is Island Yoga Vista, a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a retreat from your daily life, to immerse in the teachings in a Sattvic environment and to build community with like-minded others. You will have time to enjoy the natural surroundings and the healthful food from the organic kitchen


Ayurveda in General

MODULE 2 September 18, 19, 20 2016

This 3 day retreat will be an introduction to the basics of Ayurveda and how to make practical use of the information in a group session. You will experience 4 group sessions each with a different theme from Ayurveda. Each session has a 45 minute asana practice built on the theme as well as appropriate breathing practices and a yoga nidra session that integrates the knowledge. We will have a lecture from a local Ayurvedic Practitioner on Seasonal Cleanses and how and when to use them. You will add to your skills and knowledge in both practical and experiential ways. Yoga and Ayurveda both recommend taking time away from your daily life on a regular basis and immersing yourself in yoga, nature and self-reflection.

Guest Speaker: Savita Leah Young


Yoga Psychology MODULE 3  NOVEMBER 25,26,27 2016

Following the second module, in the afternoon, we will begin an exploration of Yoga Psychology. Using the same format of group sessions, involving experiential and practical methods we will explore classical principles of yoga, the benefits of a yogic lifestyle, the program itself is built on an ashram like schedule with regular meals and study times. A view of the personality and its evolvement from a yogic perspective as well as the different paths of yoga will be explored. You will build on asanas that are suitable for a variety of people and deepen your yoga nidra experience. The retreat environment is part of the process of knowing ourselves. We need time to contemplate and assimilate information as well as to see ourselves clearly. You will have time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and be nourished by the organic cooking at Island Yoga Vista. Most Modules there will be a guest speaker.

Guest Speaker: Steven Cox


Meditation, Mantras, Yantras & Mudras MODULE 4   Nov 27.28.29 2016

Our minds are fed by sensory perceptions; by changing the subtle input we can affect our emotional, mental and physical states. As we continue with the group session structure we deepen the experience and introduce more subtle practices and how they can be used for various groups and purposes. We will explore various kinds of meditations, and the use of yantras. You will learn a variety of mantras, their meanings and purpose. Reconnecting with this community and retreating to this beautiful environment are part of the experience.  We will have the experience of chanting kirtan in a group.

Guest Speaker: Thommas Michaud


Yoga Nidra Guided Imagery Relaxation Module 5 APRIL 8,9,10 2017

The use of Yoga Nidra for healing and wellness is well documented through the Bihar School of Yoga and it is from this tradition that we have been exposed to this wonderful practice. You will learn its origins, applications and how to build the practice in an intelligent way. Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation while remaining completely aware. This well structured course will give teachers a sound basis to teach the practice responsibly and effectively. We will continue with the curriculum involving yoga methodology, practices and techniques.

Guest Speaker: Arie Vander Reyden


Anatomy, Physiology, Energy Systems Module 6   April 10,11,12, 2017

Essential for any teacher of Yoga is a thorough knowledge of the human systems, how the anatomy is structured both physically and energetically. We will blend this knowledge into our continued expansion on the asanas portions of the group sessions as well as hearing lectures on the topic. . In its practical application you will learn asanas for body systems, asanas for different ayurvedic body types, and asanas for building or calming energy. We call this applied anatomy. At this time in the training you will begin to practice leading groups and teaching postures to each other. Learning to retreat and heal ourselves is the basis for encouraging others to take care of themselves in the same way.

Guest Speaker: TBA




Ayurveda in Practice   Module 7   MAY 26,27,28, 2017

Continued learning of the principles of Ayurveda will be guided by a leading Ayurveda Practitioner in the area.  Your personal individual sessions with Sagarmurti are included in the Apprenticeship as an essential part of the training as understanding yourself will help you to work with others. You will begin to practice conducting these individual sessions with each other Our three day program will continue with further training in group session work, building a yoga class structure, more practice in developing yoga nidra scripts and of course relaxing in this beautiful spiritual environment with community.

Guest Speaker: Steven Cox, Ayurvedic Practitioner


Cycles of Stress and the Kleshas Module 8  May 28,29,30 2017

The effects of stress and stress related diseases are explored form a yogic perspective. An in-depth understanding of the Kleshas will show us how we clear our path to wellness. For all humans, it is a sense of unity and oneness that are at the heart of our striving for wellness and yoga shows us how to reach this ultimate goal. Until we can finally realize this potential there will be struggle. The tension that is caused by looking for a sense of oneness in the wrong places and the subsequent disturbance of the Gunas is the cause of stress. We explore these cycles of stress and imbalance and learn methods to reduce the symptoms such as breathing and asanas and ultimately to remove the root cause, which is separation from nature, other people and our source of energy. Program curriculum continues with student teaching components of the group session, yoga classes and individual sessions.

Guest Speaker: Katie White RMT




Taking PAYTA into your Community Module 9 JUNE 23,24,25 2017

Practice teaching small groups and creating your own class plans. You will have more experience in conducting individual sessions and group sessions. We will explore possibilities of how you can take this into your community and what area of interest is most suited to you. Business practices and ethics will be covered thoroughly.


Home Study, Practicum, Certification Module 10 (to be completed within 2 years of starting the program)

Certification will involve designing an 8 week Yoga Therapy program and implementing it in your community. You will have all the support and mentoring you need to be successful with your program. You will report in with evaluations from the participants.   You will also be required to conduct 10 individual sessions with evaluations and report on completing the process. We will meet either in person or by Skype throughout your practicum and I will encourage you to complete this home study part as soon after the training as possible. I will be available as your mentor throughout the entire training.

“Combining Yoga and Ayurveda in their full applications and in the greater context of Vedic science offers a complete system of well-being for body, mind and consciousness, such as perhaps has no parallel anywhere else in the world. It can become the prime force of planetary healing that is so desperately needed today. It can add a spiritual and preventative dimension to modern medicine as well as adding important new keys for the understanding of disease and for applying natural therapies that can reduce the growing cost of high tech medicine.”       Dr. Frawley


Reference: Yoga and Ayurveda: A Complete System of Well Being by Dr. David Frawley

Banyen Botanicals Website   (excellent resource)

Suggested Reading:   Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswat

 Four Chapters on Freedom ,by Swami Saytananda Saraswati