Lane Community College will offer its first yoga instructor certification program in January. The 200-hour training emphasizes injury prevention and therapeutic approaches to give instructors tools to teach a variety of people.
The class, Radiant Health Yoga Teacher Training, is unlike many others because it is certified by the National Yoga Alliance, a nationally recognized organization. The Yoga Alliance has 94,000 registered yoga teachers and 6,200 programs.
“That’s all there is right now for yoga,” Kathy Calise, program director of medical careers at LCC, says. “Anybody can go out and say ‘I’m a yoga instructor,’ but not everyone is a certified yoga alliance instructor.”
Joanna Cashman, the creator of the Radiant Health Yoga, used her experience with nursing, dance and licensed massage therapy when she developed the training course. She was motivated by people who came to her with injuries they had due to other yoga classes.
The training is centered in injury prevention. She does this by teaching students different topics of kinesiology and physiology. The goal is for graduates to be able to teach a wide range of people to practice yoga safely.
“My graduates are versatile,” she says. “They can teach young athletes or frail elders. They know how to create a population-specific yoga practice.”
Students who take the training will also learn acupressure self-care techniques. This combines different cultural ideas behind yoga and acupuncture for a more well-rounded experience. Instructors will also learn the six neurological development patterns. If instructors understand the brain, Cashman says, they can create therapeutic practices.
“It’s a very rich program,” she says. “I’ve had people take this program as a second training.”
For Calise, it was important to find a professional and safety driven yoga training program.
“Yoga is an unregulated health career. For someone to not be properly trained as a yoga instructor is a detriment to those who want to practice yoga,” Calise says.
Cashman started the Radiant Health Yoga program in 2002. She taught the program in Washington and then in Bend at Central Oregon Community College until recently moving to Eugene to teach the program at Lane.
“I was so excited,” Calise says. “She was at COCC doing a very successful program over there, and hopefully we can have the same successful program over here in Eugene.”
Since her program began, Cashman has trained more than 150 students who have used their certification for different careers. Some, she says, were in the National Guard and taught in Afghanistan, and others have opened up their own yoga studios.
The course offered at LCC begins in January and will take place on Saturdays and Sundays until May. Because the program spans the lengths of two terms at Lane, students can make payments in two installments. It will be offered annually.
The instructor program will also bring in a variety of guest teachers throughout the course. Cashman is still working on acquiring everyone, but wants to make sure the guest teachers have a strong background in kinesiology.
Students can register online at ce.lanecc.edu. For more information, they can contact the program director Kathy Calise at firstname.lastname@example.org For details on curriculum, contact Joanna Cashman at email@example.com. The deadline to register was Dec. 28, but Calise says some exceptions can be made.