What is a Yoga Therapist? Everything You Need to Know About This Growing Field

Everything You Need To Know About Becoming A Yoga Therapist Online

If you are curious about what a yoga therapist is and if you can become a certified yoga therapist online, this is for you! If you have been wanting to connect with your students on a deeper and more personalized level and evolve into a yoga teacher that can offer therapeutic applications of yoga, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about this growing field of yoga therapy. We will get into what yoga therapists do, who can become a yoga therapist, the educational requirements of a yoga therapist certification, and more. If you're thinking about becoming a yoga therapist or are just curious about what it's all about, keep reading.

The job outlook for yoga therapists is good, and the demand for yoga therapists is expected to grow in the coming years.

Yoga therapy training is a long and comprehensive process. So if you have decided to pursue this path, it’s a good idea to get started on your online yoga therapist training as soon as you’re ready to get on the path to becoming certified.

Article content:

(Click any link below to jump directly to section)
What is a yoga therapist and what do they do?
What is the difference between a yoga teacher and a yoga therapist?
Is becoming a yoga therapist worth it?
How do I become a yoga therapist?
What is the international association of yoga therapists?
Are there online yoga therapy programs?

What is a yoga therapist and what do they do?

A yoga therapist is a health professional who uses yoga as a tool to help their patients healing process.  Yoga therapists work with patients of all ages and backgrounds, but they often specialize in working with certain populations. For example, some yoga therapists work with people who have chronic pain, anxiety, depression, or insomnia, while others work with pregnant women or cancer patients, or even prison inmates.

You can look at a Yoga Therapist as a person who is qualified to work in clinical settings using therapeutic applications of yoga.

Yoga therapists use a variety of yoga techniques to help their patients. These can include postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), meditation, and relaxation. Yoga therapists also often teach their patients about yoga philosophy and how to incorporate yoga into their daily lives.

A yoga therapist’s intention is to treat the person who is suffering holistically using many different components of yoga versus treating their diagnosis.

Visit My Vinyasa Practice below to discover:

  • Affordable online IAYT training w/
  • Highly experienced master educator.
  • Includes 300-hr RYT training in IAYT level 1 clinical yoga therapy course.

What is the difference between a yoga teacher and a yoga therapist?

A yoga therapist who is a C-IYAT (certified- international association of yoga therapists) is different than a yoga teacher who is a RYT (registered yoga teacher). The two organizations that issue these certifications, the International Association of Yoga Therapists and Yoga Alliance are not affiliated with one another. To work as a C-IYAT you will need to attend training that goes far beyond your 200-hr YTT (yoga teacher training). 

Yoga teachers and yoga therapists do both use yoga to improve their students' health and lives, but there are some key differences between the two professions. Yoga teachers typically lead group classes, while yoga therapists often work with patients one-on-one or in small groups. A yoga therapist may also even open their own private practice.

Is becoming a yoga therapist worth it?

Yes, becoming a yoga therapist is definitely worth it. If you feel you’ve tapped out in your potential in changing your students live as a yoga teacher, perhaps it’s an ideal time to consider that next step in your evolution.

As a Yoga Therapist, you will be able to look at a person’s entire life and apply the principles of yoga to help bring your client into a better state of balance and well-being.

How do I become a yoga therapist?

If you're interested in becoming a yoga therapist, first, you will need to have completed 200 hour yoga teacher training. Many yoga schools offer 200-hour yoga teacher training programs that will give you a great foundation that you will need to become a yoga therapist.

Once you've completed your 200-hr yoga teacher training, you'll then need to complete a yoga therapy training program separate from your YTT. These yoga therapy programs will vary in length, depending on if you have your 300 hour yoga teaching certification or not.

Once you've completed yoga therapy training, you can become certified through a professional organization, such as the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) if you have completed your training with a IAYT approved school and meet all of the other requirements.

Certification is not required to practice yoga therapy, but it will be nearly impossible to get personal clients or a job in the field without certification. This goes for teaching yoga as well, you do not need to be certified by law, but to be employable you will need to prove that you have completed a 200 hour TTC (teacher training course) so that your employers know you have the skills and knowledge required to safely and effectively teach yoga. I imagine that we all know this by now!

It is most ideal to attend your yoga therapy education with a school that is also a Yoga Alliance RYS (registered yoga school) because with some programs, some of the additional hours of training you will complete can qualify you to become a RYT-500 (registered yoga teacher 500 hours) if you are attending training with a Yoga Alliance registered yoga school. 

What is the international association of yoga therapists?

The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) is a professional organization that offers registration and certification for yoga therapists. To become certified through the IAYT, you'll need to complete a yoga therapy training program, pass an exam, and meet all other registration requirements before submitting your application for registration.

Are there online yoga therapy programs?

Yes, there are a few online yoga therapy programs that are offered by yoga schools and professional organizations. These programs typically include both self-paced and live-streamed components. You must be a certified 200 hour yoga teacher to apply.

My Vinyasa Practice module 1 clinical yoga therapy course (must already be RYT-300):

  • Affordable online IAYT module 1 certification.
  • Lifetime access to course materials.

Some online yoga studios, online yoga teacher training programs, and brands that we write about may offer us a small commission should you decide to make a purchase or signup after reading our content. Thank you for enabling us to exist!



Hi, I'm Heather, the visionary behind The Yogatique - my passion project. I am also a world traveler, global citizen, and avid online yoga practitioner. I thrive on Nature, sunlight, exploration, creativity, creation, and movement. I have been living abroad for 8+ years, and my hope is to inspire you to take your yoga practice where ever life may take you, too.

The Yogatique
Enable registration in settings - general