Does the program distance itself from yoga being a classical philosophical study that is rooted in ancient tradition and knowledge?
No we do not distance ourselves from yoga’s origins. What we DO is evolve yoga to address the chronic lifestyle-related diseases that are now epidemic worldwide. We follow WHO and IOM guidelines, and are an evidence-based program that pays it homage to yogic philosophy, which we do include in the program; however we are non-dogmatic because yoga is more important than a single lineage, and certainly deserving of more scientific inquiry and study. That is what PYTS exists for – to advance the study and application of yoga as medicine.
I have lots of certifications, but do I qualify for the PYT certificate program?
Background: I am professionally recognized as a Therapeutic Yoga Specialist, a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, and Permanent Certified Special Education Teacher. I have worked over three decades assessing, educating, and counseling children, adolescents, and adults with and without special needs. I received yoga therapy training from several national and international yoga programs. I am listed as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) with Yoga Alliance. I certainly understand the difference between RYT and PYT and have been looking for a program that would provide me with integrative training. I have advanced therapeutic training through Integrated Yoga Therapy, The Hard and Soft Institute, and Yoga for the Special Child. Extensive training has been conducted through Adaptive Yoga For Disabilities, Duke Integrative Medicine in Yoga Awareness for Cancer, and MD Anderson Integrative Medicine Program’s Oncology Training Conferences. My Specialties: Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Hip Replacement Therapy, Parkinson’s Disease, Cancer Survivors, Stroke Survivors, AVM, TBI, Movement Disorders, Special Needs Individuals, Deaf/Hearing Impaired, School Psychologist, Intervention Specialist, Counseling, Evaluations, Stress Management and Mindfulness. Answer: You are qualified for PYT certification due to your school psychologist certification. We currently have several students with backgrounds in mental health. Acceptance into the program is as simple as the above. If you are working with a patient population in a medical setting under the direct supervision of a licensed medical professional, this would also qualify you. To take an example from your experience list, your work with hip replacement patients is likely prescribed by an MD or other licensed medical professional. This is qualifying. As the curriculum is heavily weighted in anatomy and physiology, it is recommended that you brush up on these areas as you enter into the program. The program is an interdisciplinary graduate/post-graduate medical level curriculum. PYTS uses the World Health Organization and Institute of Medicine’s recommended biopsychosocial model in a systems approach. Functional Movement Screening is an integral part of the method utilizing medical therapeutic yoga algorithms applicable for all patient populations.
I am a devout Christian. Does practicing yoga violate my beliefs?
Yoga does not contain religion. Religion can contain yoga, however. Where your concern comes from is likely related to your knowledge of religions that contain yoga. PYT is non-dogmatic and therefore teaches yoga therapy separate from any religious connection. We do not teach toward any form of yogic philosophy which would steer you away from your religious roots/foundations. There is a large amount of misunderstanding in the western world about yoga and its connection to spirituality. The bottom line is studying yoga should ONLY bring you closer to your spiritual roots. And ultimately, you have the choice of whether or not to include spiritual practice in your own yoga teachings and personal practice. There are a plethora of benefits to practicing a yogic lifestyle. PYT allows you freedom to grow and explore all facets of the being, whether or not you choose to pursue a spiritual practice.
I have to leave early before a course ends (or I can’t get to the course on time) so I can’t attend all the hours in a course. Is that OK?
The easy answer is no. You would not leave a haircut in the middle, or a meditation 5 minutes early, or stop grocery shopping before you have all the items you need to make a recipe. Likewise, you generally try your best to attend all classes during college, in order to glean the most from your time in the halls of education. However, we understand that life circumstances sometimes dictate our schedules. We will make concessions on an indivdual basis for extenuating circumstances/extreme cases only. In order to receive credit for the course, all PYTS courses must be attended for the entire time or the student must make up the hours via direct contact hours during another offering of the course. We only allow exceptions to this policy in rare and extreme cases. Flights should NOT be scheduled based on any assumption that the course will be done early.
Can I have a pony?
The good news is, yes! PYTS cannot recommend where to get your pony because we are not equine specialists. At this time, we do not provide appropriate equine facilities during class, so we strongly discourage students from bringing ponies to class unless the pony brings his/her own yoga mat and props. Out of respect for your fellow students, all ponies should leave their shoes at the door. Re-shoeing services are not provided and are the responsibility of the sponsoring student. All ponies must sign a release of liability form prior to the first day of class. Although we make every effort to accommodate special circumstances, ponies that cannot sign their form will not be permitted in class. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
What else can you tell me about your programs?
We are a unique program because we are teach graduate and post-graduate curriculum in medical therapeutic yoga, geared for experirenced licensed health care professionals. Our high prerequisites make for an elevated environment of learning and application as clinicians can intimately intertwine their knowledge of western medicine with the art and science of yoga therapeutics and Ayurveda.
What yoga styles and methods does PYTS teach in their programs?
Our founder attaches the PYT method to no one particular style of yoga. Medical therapeutic yoga is a nondogmatic, multi-disciplinary style of yoga that can be used and embraced by students of any system. In her own clinical practice, she teaches her patients and students according to what they need in their season of life. Our program serves to graduate the kind of student who can think critically and apply yoga to any population. The creation of PYT rests on not teaching just one style or forcing students to adopt one rigid discipline of yoga but in allowing students to blend their own clinical expertise with PYT. PYT embraces yoga and other cultural healing modalities, while allowing room for their own spirituality. Diversity in programming and inclusion of all types of Yoga and other cultural methods are the hallmarks of PYT, and one of the main reasons that Ginger founded PYT. In the words of the founder, “no 1 culture owns the market on healing (or Truth) – not east or west.”
How do you evaluate clinical competency before graduation?
Students must complete oral practicals, written testing, complete all course modules, and complete a graduate thesis/research project before graduation.
What do graduates receive as their credential upon program completion?
Professional Yoga Therapist, or PYT, is the current designation given to graduates of the certification program. PYTS works with employers closely to assure that the PYT becomes the accepted standard for facilities, hospitals, private practices, and other venues for places of employment.
Are students observed by a faculty member as they work with client(s)?
They are observed onsite (during course modules) and tested through oral practicals during course modules which require them to complete case studies. On-site modules also make provision for live patient models evaluation and assessment. They are also mentored during their CCC/graduate thesis project (Module 13).
Do you require any other clinical work during or outside of program sessions?
Non-contact hours are expected to be spent in direct patient contact, personal yoga practice and study, or in teaching of special populations yoga therapy classes. 75 hours are required, but an additional 100 are required for each year that the student is actively enrolled in the program.
Do you require completion of a defined number of hours of work with clients?
Yes, via the graduate thesis (Community Case Competency). We expect our students, being licensed health care professionals to be proactive in their educational experience and encourage them to begin practically applying our medical therapeutic yoga concepts from course modules in their clinical practice immediately.
Are Professional Yoga Therapy students required to work with a certain number of clients?
Because our students are already working in a clinical setting and have experience with direct patient care, HIPPA compliance, and patient privacy measures, there are no specific number of clients students are required to treat. Students are able to gain direct contact experience immediately through working directly with their patient populations.
As part of the program, do students observe a therapist working with client(s)?
Our students observe our faculty members in troubleshooting patient and student derived actual and case study situations. Our faculty members are chosen for their diverse clinical expertise in medical yoga therapy. They are able to offer students a unique window into the life of a working Professional Yoga Therapist who blends their western medical degree/s with their yoga training.
Do you have areas of Clinical Specialty at PYTS?
Yes, we do have areas of clinical specialty. They are listed under CLINICIANS, CONTINUING EDUCATION, and are listed by system. These are also stand alone courses that can be taken separately. Hosting is also available, if you would like to bring a course to you.
What are your requirements for program completion?
All required course modules completed for PYT (Modules 1-15, Module 9 is not required), in addition to completion of written tests completed, oral practicals passed, case studies completed, a final graduate thesis completed, and final approval from your faculty mentor. Other requirements: All non-contact hours completed and all annual CE requirements completed.
What if I am an RYT? Do I still need the PYT Certification?
Yes. The RYT is a voluntary registry and has no relationship to a medical therapeutic yoga post-graduate certification, nor does it equate to the same level of training. RYT registartion does not guarantee a set curriculum or educational standards, nor does Yoga Alliance offer direct oversight, supervision, or accreditation of any program. The YA is a voluntary registry of teachers (not therapists), and is not a licensing board that has set educational standards for either teachers or therapists. A yoga teacher is also not a yoga therapist, and IAYT is currently defining standards for therapists. Having a RYT registration represents a minimum voluntary report of learning yoga philosophy as it relates to teaching, not therapy. RYT’s are not medically licensed, nor do they have a legal scope of practice, nor have they been trained in any aspect of therapeutic application or medical practice. PYT programs are peer-reviewed, recognized and accredited medical yoga therapy training. Although we do admit RYT’s and RYT’s without medical licenses, having an RYT does not generally contribute to a student’s transition into the practice of medical therapeutic yoga. Students who go through our program are able to apply and prescribe therapeutic yoga because of their medical degrees and licenses. RYT’s who matriculate in our program are not able to evaluate and treat, but they can still benefit from the CE’s and experience acquired in our program. As a result, they are also able to use yoga in clinically complex cases, in other words, in health and involved persons with complex medical histories. PYT training is for health care professionals and disccuses medical management of the demographic of our American society today, which usually includes complex medical histories. We expect and require all of our students to be proficient in patient care, evaluation, management, anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics – none of which an RYT training can include. Because of our prerequisites, we are afforded the luxury of “jumping right in” to therapeutic application based on evidence based practice, research, and knowledge base/expertise in patient care, rehabilitation, and medicine. In short, if you have registered as an RYT, its value will be determined by the quality of the RYT program, and not in having the registration.
If I’m not a professional yoga therapist until I complete the program, why am I paying an annual fee for PYT renewal?
As an integral part of the PYT Yoga Therapist Certification Program, all students must submit annual CE hours while they complete the program. These hours must also be completed and submitted after certification to maintain your certification. There is a renewal fee that covers administration of the Annual Renewal program.
What do I wear to the course modules?
Wear clothing appropriate for yoga – fitted layers that do not fly over your head. Baggy clothes like tee-shirts do not work that well. Fitted clothing works to your advantage by allowing you to see your body alignment and by also not getting in the way while you practice. Wear layers, as room temperatures can vary. All modules are 100% lab so please come dressed each day, all day, for activity.
What are the accommodations for the on-site trainings?
All of our on-site trainings are held in resort locations on Emerald Isle, NC and include all meals, lodging, and linens.
How many days are each course module?
Modules 1-7 are 1 CE (1 hour) each. Module 10 is 12 CE’s (12 hours). Modules 11 and 12 are 3 and 2 hours (3 CE and 2 CE) each, respectively. Modules 8, 14, and 15 are 7 day courses with at 36, 38, and 38 CEs/hours each, respectively. Module 13 is a home program. Hours vary for this Module.
How much experience do I need to be accepted into PYT program?
We strongly recommend you have a current personal yoga practice and a minimum of 6 months yoga experience to apply. Having an RYT registration with the Yoga Alliance, we have found, is not necessarily helpful in completing the program, and is not a requirement. In some cases, having an RYT can be a hindrance, dependent on the quality of the RYT training. Anyone can take our courses and in any order. Those who wish to complete the PYT Certification must be a licensed medical professional or assistant. There are great benefits to be gained for the personal practice of non-medical professionals, however, a strong background in anatomy and physiology is highly recommended. Contact our office for more details on non-medical course attendance or special case PYT Program admissions.
Can I take the Modules in any order?
Yes, you can take the Modules in any order; however, we have placed them in an order which is logical for completion of the PYT Certification. On-site modules should be taken only after their associated distance module prerequisites are completed. Prerequisites for on-site Module 8 are distance Modules 1-7, on-site Module 14 prerequisite is distance Module 10, on-site Module 15 prerequisites are distance Modules 11 and 12.
How long does it take to complete the entire PYT Certification?
The Professional Yoga Therapy Certification is a post-graduate medical yoga certificate for licensed health care providers that can be completed in as little as 6-12 months in a 540 hour format.
What is the average number of participants in a training session?
Our on-site classes are small (anywhere from 12-25, depending on course location) and our students receive extensive 1 on 1 attention and training from our faculty.
How many training sessions are included in your program?
We have moved to a modular format which includes on-demand, webinar, textbook, and on-site learning. There are a currently a total of 15 modules in the PYT program. We also have a new Clinical Specialty program, which allows you to attain a higher level of expertise in specific demographics and management of pathophysiologies.
What is your training format (ex. weekend workshops, training intensives, etc.)?
Modules 1-7 are distance learning modules, available via webinar or on-demand. Modules 8, 14, and 15 are on-site intensive modules held in a resort setting in coastal Emerald Isle, NC on the southern outer banks of North Carolina. Modules (Module 9 is currently not required) 10, 11, 12, and 13 are distance learning courses that can be completed independently.
Where is your training held?
Our programs are held in various locations throughout North America. Higher level trainings (Module 8, 14, 15) are held at a private resort location on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
What kind of yoga mat/gear should I bring to the PYT courses?
We recommend a 1/4 inch mat, not the 1/8 inch or less that is usually found (and for less money). You will be more comfortable on an 1/4 inch mat thickness, and of course an eco-friendly mat is always a plus. We also recommend that you bring the following:
- 2 Mexican blankets (The blankets need to be tightly woven, not loose, or they will lose their shape and not support you during postures).
- 2 blocks (4 inch thickness)
- 1 buckle release strap
With all of the pain science information explosion, is this incorporated into the course and is there a significant time spent on Meditation and Restorative practice?
Pain science deserves its own training but aspects of its neuroscience are inherently addressed through the natural evolution of what yoga does to our physiology (in a systems-based way). Restorative and meditation will be addressed but not dominate the M8 schedule. Meditation takes place in the AM practice, but as the very meaning of yoga in its traditional form is meditation – all of our practice targets achieving meditation without making it a dichotomous practice. In other words, not separating mind-body but unifying it.
What’s the deal with wine?
If it is your choice, there are two full-sized refrigerators and a two temperature zone wine cooler at the Emerald Isle beachfront location for storing after-study refreshments.
Can I bring my dog?
The terms of the beach house rental agreement includes a no pet policy. You can, however, bring a family member as long as you have reserved a private room and your family member does not react in strange ways to the spoken word, “Fetch,” does not have cravings for bacon and cheese, and does not experience excess shedding.