C-IAYT ~ What it means to be recognized.
(by Sudha Allitt 9/8/16)
I am honored to say that I am officially a C-IAYT.
C-IAYT is a newly available designation for Yoga Therapists available via application and documented experience, through the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).
I have been working as a Yoga Therapist for nearly nine years. One would think, and many have said as much, that I don't "need" the credential behind my name. My work speaks for itself. However, my reflection is this: When I began this service and this work, most organizations and agencies had no idea what I was talking about when I said Yoga or what good the practices of Yoga could bring about. A few took a chance anyway and signed me on as a Yoga Therapist for their clientele. The proof was in the pudding as they say and the work I was doing began to build its own reputation.
Person after person, child after child, community after community, hospital after hospital, school after school... The adults and the children I served stated that things were improving. Sometimes a lot, sometimes just a bit, but change was happening and they were noticing. Their lives seemed better, their health more robust, they said they were happier, and suffering less. Sometimes the change was dramatic, sometimes just a small seed was planted, which I lovingly accepted I may never see take sprout. I have complete faith it will eventually though and I tell them so. I have faith in them and I have faith in Yoga. Simply put, I am honored to be of service to people, to all beings, to the healing of this planet and her inhabitants.
I learned a lot on this journey and it wasn't always easy. There were no in-roads in my area (New Jersey). I had to speak in front of Executive Boards of hospitals and "prove" my validity via available research. I had to answer their questions and address their doubts. There was no credentialing organization (IAYT was here then but they were not yet playing this fuller role). It would have supported my work greatly had the benefit of credentialing from a trustworthy, member driven and socially valuable organization been available.
Mind you I enjoyed every meeting. I LOVE to talk about Yoga. But realistically, there is something very valuable in having a like-minded community behind you, supporting you and providing a broader validation of the work. I personally do not "need" validation, but others do. Clients do, doctors do, PT's do, counselors do, schools do, not every one, but many. It helps them feel more at ease with what we offer. It allows them to trust a little differently, with a little more certainty.
I may not "need" the credential but I am glad it is there.
So thank you IAYT, for recognizing my work and the work of Yoga Therapists everywhere. I am relieved and happy to know a good organization is walking alongside us, and in a way that will support and nurture the work of this amazing community.
So my reflection on this credentialing process, and the process of accreditation of our 870 hour Professional Yoga Therapy program (also IAYT), is that IAYT is doing tremendous work on behalf of our Yoga Therapy community. They are working to ensure that Yoga Therapy is recognized and accepted as a significant wellness modality with the ability to support health, healing and recovery, and at times even the curing of individuals living with illness and experiencing suffering. So I am honored. I am humbled. I am happy to place "C-IAYT" behind my name as a meaningful credential reflective of the work and dedication that has been and that continues to be.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti.