Thursday, September 15, 2016

My Current Yoga Therapy Skills

Pages 1.13-1.16 outline the most important skill areas with which the yoga therapist
should be familiar. The koshas serve as a guide for evaluating areas of greater and
lesser understanding and awareness. Which are currently your strongest areas as a
potential yoga therapist, and what areas do you need more study in?

Annamayakosha – Physical Body:

 Anatomy and physiology for each system of the physical body and the most common
health conditions associated with each.

This is by far one of my weakest areas.

 The effects of stress on each system and stress-related illnesses within the system.

I am learning more about this in the internship.

 How disconnection and lack of awareness manifest as illness in relation to specific
health conditions in each of the systems of the physical body.

I have a basic understanding of this.


 The mechanics of movement, including healthy movements for each of the joints of
the body, with an understanding of the benefits as well as the contraindications of
yoga practices.

I have some familiarity with the Joint Freeing series and Pawanmuktasana

 Range of motion, including optimal muscle length and strength, for each of the main
muscle groups of the body, including use of the IYT range of motion evaluation.

I am weak here

 Science of stretching and specialized stretching techniques, such as PNF
(proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation).

I know stretching from Yin Yoga but I don't know these techniques.

 Complete a personal history form with a good understanding of any health conditions
with reference to the benefits and contraindications of yoga practice.

I need more practice.

 Direct a body scanning and mapping exercise at the level of the physical body and
integrate the information gained into a yoga therapy session.

I feel comfortable doing this

 Guide a body awareness and orientation to each of the systems that gives the student
an experiential understanding of the anatomy and physiology.

Need more study

 Teach and adapt yoga poses for a wide variety of individuals and special groups.

I am good at this
 Use props, such as blocks, straps, and ropes appropriately to support the modification of
the poses.

I am good at this

 Use somatic techniques to support healthy movement.
I only know a little about this


 Theory and practice of Ayurveda in relation to yoga therapy.
I Only a little bit of knowledge

 Samkhya philosophy, the philosophical foundation of Ayurveda.

I have studied some Samkhya Philosophy

 Five element theory (pancha mahabhuta).
I feel skilled with the elements

 Ayurvedic doshas (vata, pitta, kapha).

I have basic knowledge of the doshas

 How to arrange basic asanas, pranayamas, mudras, and meditation practices in relation
to the Ayurvedic constitution of the student.
I have no knowledge for the doshas.  I can do it for the chakras.

 Administer an Ayurvedic assessment form and integrate the results into a yoga
therapy session.

I don't know this'

 Guide an imagery exercise for balancing each of the five elements.
I can do this

 Guide a yoga nidra to balance each of the doshas.

I don't know this

Pranamayakosha – Energy Body:
 How separation and stress, which manifest as lack of breath awareness and poor breath
patterns, lead to mind/body illness.
I understand this and can teach it

 Science of prana, pranavidya, and its various facets and effects within the body.
I don't know what pranavidya means

 How to assess and balance the five pranavayus using asana, pranayama,
mudra, and imagery.
Some knowledge

 Application of breathing techniques and pranayama for the specific needs of individuals and special focus groups, using the framework of langhana (purification)
and brahmana (tonification) within the context of yoga therapy.
I have a basic knowledge of this

 Specific technologies for developing and sustaining prana, such as kum nye, a form
of Tibetan yoga.
I don't know this

 Understanding of the main nadis, the energy channels in the body, along with
techniques for balancing energy, such as ida/pingala balancing.
I don't know this

 Understanding of the chakras and their various effects within the body.
I have a good knowledge of the chakras

 Ability to locate the chakras experientially.
Yes I can

 Knowledge of the philosophy, psychology, and imagery related to each chakra.

 Ability to lead a chakra awareness exercise and understand where chakra imbalances

 Ability to work with chakra imbalances and to offer appropriate asanas, pranayamas,
bandhas, mudras, imagery, and meditation techniques for bringing them back into
I don't know all the mudras but I know the other things well.

 Ability to combine pranavidya (hands-on energy healing) and chakra healing for the
integration of the energy body as a whole.
Yes I can do this with the Tibetan bowls

 At an advanced level, the yoga therapist is able to employ the esoteric teachings of
yoga, such as tantra, kundalini, yantra, and mudra. These require extensive preparation
on the part of both teacher and student.

I am working on learning the Yantras. I have taken some training in this.

Manomayakosha and Vij├▒anamayakosha – Psycho-emotional and Wisdom Bodies:
 Ability to describe and differentiate the various aspects of the mind from the
perspective of yoga psychology.
I need more work with this

 Ability to integrate understanding of the gunas into a yoga therapy session.

 Knowledge of kriya yoga, which includes tapas, svadhyaya, and ishvara pranidhana,
within yoga psychology and how they form a framework for transformation within yoga

 Understanding of the vital role of emotions in human health, including an in-depth
understanding of the autonomic nervous system and the brain centers associated
with it.
Working on this

 Use of the eight limbs of Patanjali yoga as a guide for emotional balance and transformation.
I have a workable knowledge of this

 Understanding of stress, including the physiological and psychological aspects.
I have a basic understanding

 Understanding of stress-related illness and its relationship to separation and the five
I need to work more on the kleshas

 Use of yoga, including asana, pranayama, mudra, and meditation techniques, for
stress management.
I feel a can do this on a basic level

 Ability to use a wide variety of stress management techniques involving guided
imagery and guided relaxation.
Yes. I am strong at this.

 Understanding the technology of yoga nidra for working with the mind and emotions,
along with the ability to design and communicate this technique for a variety of
individuals and special focus groups.
Yes. I am good at this.

 Restorative yoga for stress reduction.
Yes. I am good at this.

 Ability to follow the student’s emotional experience appropriately in a group setting
or yoga therapy session.
I am good at this.

 Creative expression of the emotional body through art, full body mapping, and
mandala drawing.
I am good at this

 Concentration and meditation techniques to focus and stabilize the mind as well as to
reduce stress.
I am good at this

 Ayurvedic psychology and how to integrate it into a yoga therapy session.
I don't have much knowledge about ayurveda

 The yamas and niyamas as the ethical foundation of stress reduction.
I am ok at this. I could do more work.

Anandamayakosha – Bliss Body:

 Familiarity with Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which forms the foundation of classical yoga
and defines yoga psychology and practice, with a special focus on the eight limbs; how
they form a framework for organizing and teaching yoga therapy.
I have studied the Sutras.  I could study them much more.

 Philosophical and experiential understanding of the “Self,” or indwelling divine essence,
which is the source and meaning of human existence and evolution. The experience of
Self is the realization of the innate unity of all things. On a practical level, this
realization of unity results in freedom from internal and external conflict and, therefore,
from stress and its negative consequences on physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
I need to work on this

 The interrelationship between the various aspects of yoga psychology and how they
form an integrated model, or roadmap, of human development at the personal,
interpersonal, and transpersonal levels.These aspects are the chakras, the koshas,
the pranavayus, and the five elements in relation to the eight steps of ashtanga yoga.
I have a basic understanding.

 A broad understanding of the Vedic tradition from which yoga springs and its foundational
literature, including the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita.

I have studied some.  I need to study more

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