Yoga therapy reviewed in India

India is looking again at credentialing complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, who are really doing traditional healing methods.

The Deccan Herald reports of efforts by a state government in India to change credentialing standards:

The State Government recently decided to scrap the Common Entrance Test (CET) for Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy. Institutions will now take into consideration only the 12th standard or 2nd PUC marks for eligibility. This move has come in the wake of several colleges being unable to fill in all available seats in the State. It is hoped that a simplified admission process will boost admissions to alternate medical courses like Ayurveda, Unani and Yoga.

The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) was established under the Indian Systems of Medicines and Homeopathy (part of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare) in March 1995. The popularity of these alternate healing systems cannot be undermined. Whether in India or abroad, there is a lot of scope for the practice of these systems.

Yoga as a career can be in the field of research and training and/or as a yoga therapist.....

Degree and diploma programs in yoga are available in a host of universities spread all over India. Many universities in Karnataka do offer degree programmes in yoga.

...If one is looking at making a mark on the national or international scene as a teacher then two types of yoga are the most in demand: Ashtanga Yoga and BKS Iyengar's style of yoga.

"Ashtanga Yoga is taught exclusively at Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, Mysore by Guruji Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath Rangaswamy," says Vinita Rashinkar, Spa Director, Windflower Spa and Resorts. "There is a huge demand for Ashtanga yoga in the West with some of the most popular celebrities practicing this form of yoga being Madonna and Gwenyth Paltrow."

She adds that this form of yoga is just as popular in India and there is demand from all metro cities for teachers. "Those who are authorised by the AYRI to teach Ashtanga Yoga can easily earn around two lakhs per month in the West. But commitment and dedication to this form of yoga is really tested before authorisation is given. The Iyengar style of yoga is also getting more and more popular and is taught at some centers but mainly at Pune under the guidance of BKS Iyengar," opines Vinita.

For Ayurveda the study options are limited to the time consuming BAMS degree offered from various universities in India.

With the global economy in recession, people are increasingly turning to yoga to find meaning and balance in their lives and qualified yoga teachers will be in great demand as people the world over embrace the art.

Career Prospects

Even in India, yoga is poised to become an organised sector in the coming years. More professional set ups will mean that more people will look at making it a career rather than a part-time hobby.

The article also reviews professional use of yoga as a rehabilitation therapy. In the US, we have a movement for yoga therapy as method of using yoga therapeutically and not simply for exercise or relaxation.

Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen.