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Yoga therapist

Yoga therapists use yoga to help people with physical issues, emotional issues or specific health problems. 

Salary, a pound sign Salary: Variable average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need:

  • a yoga teaching qualification
  • to have completed an approved yoga therapy course
  • to regularly practise yoga
  • a high level of physical fitness 

The British Council for Yoga Therapy (BCYT) has more information on training providers and courses that meet the occupational standards needed to join their register as a yoga therapy practitioner.

If you want to work with children or other vulnerable groups you’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • communication and listening skills 
  • the ability to motivate individuals and groups 
  • the ability to understand medical terms and information
  • awareness of when to refer a client to another medical practitioner

3. What you'll do

You’ll work with people with a range of physical problems, like asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure or back pain. 

You’ll also help people with emotional issues like stress, anxiety or depression. 

You’ll tailor the yoga to a patient’s specific situation, with the aim of helping ease the symptoms and preventing further problems.

You’ll start a therapy session with a consultation, taking note of the client's physical condition, medical history and any related lifestyle factors. 

You’ll then:

  • decide on a programme of therapy
  • teach a range of yoga postures from simple moves to more complex ones
  • teach breathing exercises, relaxation techniques and visualisation exercises
  • give advice on how to maintain good health and a sense of inner peace and relaxation

You’ll work with clients on a one-to-one basis or in group classes.

4. Salary

Most yoga therapists are self-employed.

You’ll charge around £5 to £14 an hour per person for group sessions and £35 to £60 for private sessions.

You’ll have to pay for things like equipment and room hire out of your earnings.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You might work part-time and have another job in a related role, like teaching other fitness classes.  

You’ll usually set your own working hours, which may include evenings and weekends to meet the needs of your clients.

You could work at several centres, like sports centres or health clinics, which would involve local travel.

6. Career path and progression

You could teach yoga, as well as practising as a self-employed therapist.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016