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NAMA Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist Update

Thursday, August 18, 2016   (3 Comments)
Posted by: Ayurveda Yoga Therapy Sub-Committee

Proposed Draft of Certification Standards for Ayurvedic Yoga Therapists

This remains a working document with further certification details to be announced.


Applications of Ayurvedic Principles to the practice and principles of Yoga based on the Ayurvedic understanding of the nature of patient, the nature of imbalance and the nature of therapies, to promote healing and achieve a harmonious state of body and mind with respect to individual consciousness.

Scope of Practice:

The Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist shall have competency to design, implement, demonstrate, instruct and teach an individual a yoga therapy program to help with their healing process based on the Ayurvedic Prakrti/Vikrti paradigm and Ayurvedic definition of health. (Sushruta, Sutra Sthana) “Samadosha samagnischa samadhatumalakriyaha Prasannatmenindriyamanahaswastha Itibhidhiyate”


Competency of Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist:

  • Ayurvedic Yoga therapist would be competent enough to assess Prakruti, Vikruti, Status of Agni, Ama, Dhatu, Mala, Srotas, and Samprapti of a disease.
  • They would be competent to design, implement and provide instruction to their patients regarding various yoga practices including Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Meditation, Mudra, Bandha, Shatkriya, as any of these practices can be effectively utilized for therapeutic purpose.
  • They would be competent to discuss implications of Yama and Niyama on achieving balance, and advise appropriate diet and life style to achieve balance.
  • They would be familiar with different paths of Yoga like Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga etc.
  • Any diagnosis or disease with western medical nomenclature can be viewed through the Ayurvedic understanding of Dosha and Samprapti of the disease process and hence can be helped using Ayurvedic yoga therapy techniques.
  • Hence they should be familiar with western nomenclature of the diseases, and able to interact with western healthcare providers.
  • They would be competent enough to refer the patients to other Ayurvedic practitioner for additional therapeutic interventions like use of Herbs, Panchakarma etc.

Yoga Education:

  • Prior foundational yoga theory and practice training (I think we should quantify)
  • In-depth knowledge of yoga practices as described in classic Yoga texts.
  • Yoga Philosophy as described in Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali, Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Bhagavad Gita.
  • Different paths of Yoga viz. Raj Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga.
  • Familiarity of different yoga practices viz. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Dharana, Samadhi, Mudras, Bandha, Mantra, Japa, Shatkriya and potential therapeutic effect of these practices, indication and contraindications of these practices.

Ayurvedic Education:

  • Ayurvedic education equivalent of Cat. I (According to new standards).
  • Detail understanding of Samprapti of different diseases,
  • Able to understand from Ayurvedic perspective: modern anatomy, physiology, and diagnosis of different diseases.

Ayurvedic Yoga therapy education:

  • In depth knowledge of effect of different yoga practices on Prakrti, Vikrti, Agni, Ama, Dosha, Dhatu, Mala, Srotas, Kosha, and Chakra.
  • Indications and contraindications of different yoga practices for therapeutic purposes.
  • Basic knowledge of implications of different paths of yoga so as to be able to guide appropriately their patients to achieve desired goal, be that physiological, psychoemotional or spiritual in orientation. Extensive internship and direct hands on experience in dealing with patients will be required.

Sanskrit education:

  • An understanding of Sanskrit terminology as it is used in yoga and Ayurveda.




The AYT will be knowledgeable about and able to integrate related history, philosophy, fundamental principles and appropriate shared concepts across Yoga and Ayurveda.

  1. History and Lineage of Ayurveda
  2. History and Lineage of Yoga
  3. Philosophical Pillars of Yoga
  4. Philosophical Pillars of Ayurveda


The AYT will have in-depth knowledge of important concepts within Ayurveda, including the gunas, the doshas, agni, mala, ama, prana, tejas and ojas. The AYT will demonstrate an ability to integrate Ayuvedic concepts into the therapeutic usage of yoga. 

  1. Twenty Qualities (10 opposing pairs)
  2. Dosha Prakrti & Vikrti (related primarily to physiology)
  3. Manas Prakrti & Vikrti (related primarily to psycho-emotional
  4. Agni, Ama and Mala (metabolism, toxicity, waste elimination)
  5. Prana, Tejas and Ojas (cellular respiration, immunity and metabolism)
  6.  Integration of Ayurvedic concepts into the practices of Yoga Therapy


AYT will have in-depth knowledge and demonstrate the ability to apply this knowledge in assessing the client and interpret clinical findings.

  1. Personal and Family Health History (Vidya Pariksha: Questioning and Observation
  2. Interpretation of Vital Signs (may include blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory, or bowel sounds)
  3. Chief Complaints and Symptoms (Rupa and Purva Rupa)
  4. Analyze Client Strengths and Weaknesses
  5. Etiological Factors
  6. Pathogenesis (Samprapti)
  7. Knowledge of the appropriate Ayurvedic medical literature and evidence base.  
  8. Contextual Understanding of Biomedical terminologies, concepts and relevant healthcare information
  9. Panca Maya Model 


AYT is able to recommend the appropriate therapeutic plan in accordance with dosha, agni, ama, age, season, bala, and samprapti of the client. 

  1. Food and Diet
  2. Lifestyle
  3. Senses
  4. Psychology, the Mind and Counseling
  5. Doshic Management: pacification, cleansing and rejuvenation through yoga therapy techniques
  6. Reduction and Tonification
  7. General Adult Ayurvedic Medicine (Kaya Chikitsa)
  8. Children’s Health
  9. Reproductive Health
  10. Gerontology
  11. Head and Neck Health
  12. Contextual Knowledge of Jyotisha and Vastu Shastra relevant to Yoga Therapy
  13. Top 20 Culinary Herbs and Spices in Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy for Prevention and Health  Promotion (Per NAMA guidelines for AHC)
  14. Contextual knowledge of biomedical diagnostic categories and medicines for referral purposes
  15. Yoga Therapy practices to support and implement the above categories
  16. Referral practices for Advanced Ayurvedic practitioners and other health professionals.
  17. Understanding of the Shatkarma and the Pancakarma models, their relationship and their differences.
  18. Understanding of Achara Rasasyana and how it relates to the Yama-Niyama model.


  1. Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga Therapy
  2. Sub Dosha, Dhatu and Srotas
  3. Energetic Anatomy (nadi, chakra, kosha)
  4. Western Pathophysiology for referral and cross-reference purposes.
  5. An understanding of biomedical, physiological, biomechanics and energetics in relationship to Ayurvedic yoga therapy. 


Student has in depth knowledge and demonstrated ability to teach, demonstrate and adapt yoga and Ayurveda practices to meet the individual needs of client(s).

  1. Yoga practices to include but not limited to asana, pranayama (amantra and samantra), bandha, pratyahara, mudra, mantra, samyama. 
  2. Provide Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy (includes practicum)
  3. Demonstrate the necessary skills to convey information, to listen, to understand, to support
  4.  Demonstrate ability to conduct intake and assess the client/student
  5. Demonstrate ability to elicit the goals, expectations, and aspirations of the client/student.
  6. Demonstrate ability to integrate information form the intake, evaluation, and observation to develop a working assessment of the client's condition, limitations, and possibilities.
  7. Demonstrate ability to apply knowledge of how to determine which aspects of a client/student's conditions, goals and aspirations might be addressed through Ayurveda yoga therapy.
  8. Demonstrate ability to identify priorities and set both long- and short-term goals with the client/student.
  9. Demonstrate the necessary skills to convey information, to listen, to understand, to support client, to earn trust, to communicate effectively, to make recommendations


150 of the 250 total hours need to be in supervised face-to-face interactions with clients in treatment sessions, be they initial consultations or follow-up sessions. The first 15 hours need to be directly supervised in real-time (in person or via Skype/other video) and then an additional 10% of hours will be reviewed by the supervisor via the means specified below: 100 hours of the 250 total hours are for mentorship by supervisors, chart preparation and review, and research necessary to deliver care. Supervisory activity includes: guided review of client cases through video, or review of files and treatment plans via phone, email, Skype or in-person contact.

  1. Demonstrate ability to apply knowledge of strategies that address common disorders and pathologies of the major human systems and common mental health conditions, as well as other goals and aspirations of the student as relevant to the work of an Ayurveda yoga therapist.
  2. Demonstrate ability to apply knowledge of how to combine intake, evaluation, observations, and working assessment to develop an appropriate practice or session strategy for individual clients/students as well as group classes, taking into consideration the holistic nature of the individual.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of how to choose and prioritize the use of Ayurvedic yoga tools and techniques, including selecting, sequencing, adapting, and modifying yoga practices appropriate to the needs of clients.
  4. Demonstrate ability to teach and deliver the appropriate practices for individuals as well as groups, taking into consideration the assessment of their conditions, limitations, possibilities, and the overall practice strategy.
  5. Demonstrate ability to facilitate the client/student's experience of the practice.
  6. Assess and determine the client's strengths and willingness to follow recommendations
  7. Demonstrate ability to develop and maintain therapeutic relationships.
  8. Demonstrate ability to provide follow up and re-planning.


Ayurveda training for an AYT is equivalent to Health Counselor level. Therefore, we believe that an integrated curriculum that also includes yoga and yoga therapy practices can be achieved in 1100-1500 hrs. (High and low ends based on Competencies)


Chaya~Sharon Heller CAP AYT C-IAYT LMT says...
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2017
I am a Ayurvedic Practitioner, Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist and Yoga Therapist who studies, practices and teaches yoga therapy in the Ayurvedic tradition of yoga since 1999. I have been developing and delivering Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy since 1999 and would like to be assured of grandfathering and consideration for me and my courses to be accepted and specific Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy designations that are newly developed so I can continue to be a leading educator in this field. Thank you.
Arun Deva says...
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2016
Dear Denise M. Wagoner, thank you for your sharp eye. Noted and appreciated.
Denise M. Wagoner says...
Posted Saturday, August 20, 2016
My proofing habits never seem to stop: Section 2 Concepts of Ayurveda #5 Prana, Tejas and Ojas (cellular respiration, immunity and metabolism) definitions should be identified as (cellular respiration, metabolism, and immunity). Great work, when is NAMA looking to implement this category of certification? Warmly, Denise Wagoner

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