At the Yoga Therapy Institute, we don’t want to make any grand statements.
We just want to share what we have been doing for the past 12 years, “working” in the most amazing, rewarding and inspiring “job” that we could have dreamt of. Six days a week -sometimes seven, with a constant flow of clients who even come from abroad for our treatments.
I am an IAYT certified yoga therapist and my partner , Emile Pochman, is a registered shiatsu/hypnotherapist and yoga teacher based in Amsterdam. Together, we work in our warm, light studio, welcoming our clients, who through the years have trusted us with their health issues, from lower back pain, insomnia, degenerative disease, cancer, heart disease and many, many more…
They also send us their colleagues, employees, husbands, wives, children and even their mother-in-law! For years we have never, ever, advertised, done any marketing, not even a phone call. No leaflets, no social media, no networking. Our business has been growing through the years simply by recommendation. And trust.
It has grown…our clients, they tell us, feel better through our treatments, as part of they health support system in life.
Eventually, we’ve had to admit one thing: whatever it is that we are doing, it works.
More specifically, Yoga Therapy works.
There is much talk about this new subject in the US and India -where Yoga Therapy has been effectively practiced for many years-, and, as it seems, it is now coming to Europe.
The problem is, no one knows where to start. What we do know is that it is becoming more and more clear that massive yoga classes with 25, 50, 70 students are simply not working. In fact, they are becoming dangerous for our health as we increase the risk of injury or even worsening a serious health condition.
Yoga studios are struggling to bring in more students to make a profit, and so they develop marketing strategies such as “20 lessons for 20 euros”, or “unlimited classes for 15 euros a month”, which is the equivalent of the “eat as much as you can” of today’s mass production mentality.
I was very lucky to have been part of a pioneer Yoga Therapy Diploma Course in London 12 years ago, organised by The Yoga Biomedical Trust. It was run by doctors, taught by doctors and highly experienced, senior yoga teachers from a wide range of traditions, in the classic high standard British mentality.
It included quite in-depth medical studies and examinations, so much so that from 45 students only 17 of us graduated, 2 intense years later. The work reminded me of my time back at university. I finished exhausted and relieved, but I enjoyed every moment and I was proud of it.
I left feeling confident and hungry to work as a Yoga Therapist, taking with me a large Mary Poppins bag filled with infinite tools that I could apply for equally infinite situations.
The rest is history,, as they say.
It was three years ago that I became hungry again. Hungry and excited to start teaching yoga teachers and students to do the work hat I have been doing for the past years, helping people to feel better, to recover from injures, sleep longer hours, relieve their pain and find the joy in life again. Through Yoga Therapy.
My Life Moves, our website blog, was born, and slowly, together with Emile and the support of our clients and friends, we have finally grown organically into The Yoga Therapy Institute. A universal project for education and training of future Yoga Therapists.
We are doing this, by inspiring ourselves in all the amazing training we have received in the past decades, and the thousands of hours of experience from the hundreds of clients we have worked with. We are also brining with us medical professionals and other yoga therapists to join us in this project.
This is why, accreditation and international recognition is very important to us. We are where we are because we took our studies, our certifications and programs seriously, and our clients know, as they can see it by themselves, that we are professionally trained.
Part of this profesional training involves learning when referrals to medical specialists are necessary. It is important to remember that we are “complementary” to conventional medical care, and it is just as important knowing what to do, as to”what not to do”.
In this line of thinking, we are currently in the process of accreditation with The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), and we will continue to pursue this path of international recognition and high level of standards.
Naturally, it will take time to fine-tune some elements of the courses we are developing. That is why we are always leaving an open line for all the students joining these courses, so we can talk with them and advice them on their career path as yoga therapists, and support them all the way. Our groups are small. Ten to 14 students maximum. So everyone receives the attention they need…this is in tune with our aim to help develop some the best yoga therapists in the world.
This, is our philosophy, or should we say, our story.
We are committed to The Yoga Therapy Institute just as we are- and always will- be committed to our clients’s needs. We hope to make a difference.
Montserrat G. Mukherjee & Emile Pochman