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In-Depth Jobs


Yoga As a Career

Usha Albuquerque & Nidhi Prasad

We are today living in a world where people have become more health conscious than ever before. Recession, competition and the struggle to hold a job is making lives even more strenuous and stressful. All these are leading an individual to search for means of wellbeing, peace and calmness. Fitness is the call of today’s world, and many are turning to Yoga which has millions of practitioners worldwide.
Yoga has traditionally been the art of living a healthy life. It has been a major healer in ancient India. Be it a physical ailment or mental- the cure for all has been found in Yoga. What began as a philosophical way of life in the East, caught on like wildfire in the West, and has also seen a re-juvenation in India, the land where Yoga was born.
Yoga is the Sanskrit word which means Union. It is a 5000-year-old Indian philosophy that combines exercise, breathing, diet, relaxation and meditation. It is a combination of physical and mental disciplines which make the body stronger and healthier and the mind calmer and more controlled, helping towards self-realisation. There are many meanings of yoga. Some refer to physical postures, some to breathing and some to a mental technique. Yogic therapy basically comprises a wide range of mind/body practices, ranging from postural and breathing exercises to deep relaxation and meditation for promoting positive health and well-being as well as helping particular medical conditions. Yoga today is considered far superior to all exercises, because in yoga the emphasis is not just on exercises but on mind control and a balanced diet as well.
It is widely acknowledged that yoga has provided cure for diseases like diabetes, asthma, arthritis, heart disease and several others. Yoga has also helped put drug addicts back on track, and contain the spread of certain cancers. The goal of a yoga therapist includes helping clients become more self-aware by engaging energy in a way that will help reduce, remove or manage the symptoms that are causing discomfort, injury or illness in the body. Yoga therapists can also work with clients to help improve their relationship with their body and their environment.
Yoga today is not only confined to the Maharishis of the Himalayas, or eccentrics from the West, but has caught the attention across the world, of all those looking for healthy, holistic and alternative medical care or way of life. With more and more people in the western world turning to alternative therapies yoga teachers are being given great respect and importance. After the United Nations declared 21 June as the International Yoga Day in December 2014, there has been a surge in the interest among people to learn and practice yoga, and a consequent rise in demand for yoga instructors.
While Yoga therapy has been in existence for thousands of years, the yoga that we see and practice presently is just 80 years old– an offspring of the union of traditional yoga with modern medicine. Professional Yoga therefore offers several work options. The two main areas are those of teaching yoga for exercise and physical fitness, and yoga in research and in curing diseases.
A yoga teacher must have the required training of yoga as well as knowledge about diseases and the asana or exercises, and the meditation, and pranayama, or breathing and meditative exercises which help cure or contain diseases. Training in Yoga is essential because if the exercises are not done properly, it can be equally harmful. Proper training includes awareness of all the principles behind yoga.
There are also many scriptures on yoga, and much written about these scriptures. There are many schools of Yoga that have emerged, such as “Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa , are some of the styles, which require separate training. Much research is also being undertaken to understand the right techniques of practicing yoga.
Professional qualification in the field of yoga is imparted at both under graduate and post graduate levels. For seeking admission to under graduate program, one must pass 10+2 in any stream from a recognized Board. For post-graduation program, minimum qualification is a Bachelor’s degree in any stream from a recognized university, although philosophy graduates are given preference. Courses are available in degree/ diploma and certificate levels. At times, specific qualification is not required. Instead, experience is counted in this field. There is not any age limit for admission in yoga courses.
The main subjects of Yoga Theory include- Anatomy, Philosophy, Exercises, Meditation, and Theory and Principles of Yoga and Meditation, etc. A large component of the training is praticals, which include various asanas such as shatkama, yogasana, suryanamaskar, pranayam, meditation, and so on. A certain amount of knowledge in Sanskrit is considered beneficial too since most of the literature of Yoga is in Sanskrit.
There are many courses available in this field by which students can make their career in this field. Some of the most sought courses are:
Bachelors in Arts (Yoga), Masters in Arts (Yoga), PG Diploma in Yoga Therapy and certificate courses in yoga are also available.
If you wish to make your career as a naturopath or a yogic expert, you can opt for Bachelor of Naturopathy & Yogic Sciences (BNYS), which is again a five-and-a-half-year bachelor’s degree. Science with biology is a preferred option for this course, and selection is based on marks scored in the entrance exam.
*Good Communication Skills
*Interpersonal Skills
*Skills to motivate others to believe in yoga
*Strong Determination
*Have a will power to practice the most difficult “asanas” or yogic position
On a professional level, one needs to specialize in:
*Yoga exercises for physical fitness
*Spiritual yoga
*Yoga therapy
*Yoga especially designed for kids
*Yoga for the couples
*Corporate yoga
*Prenatal and/or postnatal yoga
*Private lessons of yoga
*Retreats or workshops
Yoga is known throughout the world because of its simplicity. Moreover as a form of healing has no side effects. Based on the Yoga training one can opt for the field of research, training or works as a Yoga Therapist. One can find work in:
*Health Resorts
*Health centers
*Housing societies
*Corporate Houses
Television channels also hire Yoga trainers, and renowned personalities prefer to hire personal Yoga instructors. Self-employment is an option many opt for as well. A great stress buster, Yoga is gaining ground among the ever-increasing number of foreign tourists who seek peaceful holidays, adding to the demand for Yoga specialists. There is no dearth of scope for the people in this noble profession.
They can work as a:
*Yoga Aerobics Instructor
*Yoga Therapist
*Yoga Instructor
*Yoga Teacher
*Therapists and Naturopaths
*Trainer/ Instructor Health Club
*Research Officer - Yoga and
The corporate sector has woken up to the deadly effect of stress on the health of its employees and has adopted yoga into its culture in a big way. Yoga instructors are therefore highly sought after in these domains. Personal one-on-one classes are also becoming a popular option.
With so much of competition around, it is not easy to establish oneself and gain instant riches in this field. A beginner may not draw much income in the industry but with experience comes a strong client base, through which comes popularity. The popularity of yoga amongst celebrities makes teaching yoga an even more lucrative profession. The number of hours you spend teaching yoga directly influences the salary you can earn.
It’s time to grow with spirituality! Grab a yoga mat to learn your lotus pose, And dream on!
Usha Albuquerque is Director & Nidhi Prasad is Senior Counseling Psychologist at Careers Smart Pvt. Ltd e-mail : careerssmartonline@gmail.com
Image: Courtesy Google