Introduction Michael de Manincor and the Yoga Institute
2:55 Why is yoga for mental health becoming more prominent? Yoga makes people feel good, beyond what another type of exercise might produce. People realise yoga has tangible benefits on mood status, stress levels. Word of mouth about benefits. Health professionals go to yoga classes and realise the benefits for themselves. Research is backing up these benefits.
6:00 Increase in medical industry accepting yoga in mental health. Will take some time to be widespread as entrenched, sceptical of change.
7:18 Yoga teacher training not addressing yoga for mental health generally. Short courses are not enough for a basically trained teacher Short courses are good for personal experience. To teach yoga in general must be confident and competent; true for yoga and mental health also. Current 200 hour training is not sufficient for sufficient knowledge on mental health issues in a yoga class. A lot of students in general yoga classes have mental health issues.
11:45 Challenging for a basic trained yoga teacher to address students with mental health issues.
14:23 Former President and Life Member of Yoga Australia. Yoga Australia is very open to looking at the content and length of basic yoga teacher training. Have for some years required 350 hours of training within a year. US Yoga Alliance set the 200 hour base and many Australian yoga teacher trainers use that instead of the 350 hours.
16:55 Basic training – basic techniques and tools of yoga. All of them have direct/indirect effects on physical body, body systems. Energy, emotion, and how the mind works. Basic teacher training focuses on the asana tool most and little if any done with other tools. All teacher trainings need a foundation of psychology as well as anatomy.
19:40 Basic trained teachers must welcome/teach people in a general yoga class who have mental health issues in a way that is safe, accepting and can modify for their needs. Basically trained teachers don’t’ have these skills. Some tools/techniques can make some mental health issues worse. For a general yoga class, if it is not suitable, people with mental health issues may not come or may not come back. Need specific training if want to work with specific mental health issues.
22:00 If offering general yoga classes, what is the basic knowledge needed to address mental health issues. Most importantly, that people feel safe. And then to have a relationship with students, get to know them, need to decide what is safe by talking within the relationship. YTT lacks training in communication skills. Yoga doesn’t help everyone. Breath as an example can be problematic for some. Yoga teaching must be more personal.
27:45 Next step is to reframe teacher training. Need more and better education/training. More solid foundations; much more depth. Has to be more than safe, also effective. The west has taken a small part of yoga and maximized and popularized it.
31:20 Business of yoga – more training, more expensive. Is the investment worth it to the individual yoga teacher given current payment systems.? To change it: yoga teachers make it change through yoga organisations. Are willing to embrace that and will the market accept it? May be push back. Otherwise, it may be legislated. If you want to work with vulnerable people, will have to be licensed. Has happened in other areas of alternative health therapies. When talking about these changes, lots of talk about the business concerns but should be talking about the care of people. A lot of money involved and people’s livelihood.
36:30 Yoga and mental health is a growing area of interest and need more evidence more robust research. What are the benefits of different lineages, tools, methods for people with mental health issues.