February 2014
In this Issue:

Conference on Yoga & Ayurved in Dubai

Mudra Yoga Teacher Trainings

Release of Beth Gibb's CD 

IAYT Accreditation      

Upcoming Trainings

We are well on our way into a brand new year! 2014 already promises to unfold new possibilities and opportunites for change and growth for IYT. Harnessing the quality of Vipulachetana or "opening to transformation" we greet this fresh season with both a groundedness and openness for what lies ahead and extend deep gratitude towards all of our students and teachers around the world who join us on this amazing journey.
Shunya Mudra 

"With greater openness to new ways of seeing, space is created for the journey of awakening."


This is the phrase that accompanies Shunya Mudra, Gesture of Emptiness. This mudra's core quality is "opening to transformation" or Vipulachetana. 


As we release the patterns of conditioning that keep us from true freedom, we create openness to take the next step in our spiritual journey. Shunya means "zero" or "empty". Shunya mudra cultivates space to live our lives with greater clarity. It also helps facilitate release of tension which increases circulation to the thyroid gland, supporting metabolic processes. This gesture supports the awakening of our inner voice, or intuition.

Order your copy on Amazon today! 
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Shunya Mudra is one of the many mudras you will encounter in the book, Mudras for Healing and Transformation™ by Joseph and Lilian LePage.



Mudras for Healing and Transformation

With over 120 beautiful illustrations, 272 pages of color charts, visuals, mudra images, affirmations and more, the E-book has arrived!


We are happy to announce the conversion of this complex and beautiful text by Joseph and Lilian Le Page which will translate onto your iPhone, iPad, Kindle, computer and more. Whatever your choice of e-reader, you now have access to the beautiful craft of Mudras for Healing and Transformation™, right at your fingertips. 

It's a perfect tool for any instructor's yoga mat for guiding mudras, meditations, and imparting the knowledge of this ancient science.  Whether traveling to an Integrative Yoga Teacher Training or simply on the go, travel lighter with the Mudras for Healing and Transformation™ E-book!





  April 6th - 13th Ancient Yoga Center, Austin, TX  

September 7th - 14th 

Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Stockbridge, MS 

(Register Now)

Discover a multidimensional journey of integration 
and healing designed for yoga teachers who are 
ready to delve deeper into healing and transformation. 
You will learn:
  • The study and practice of 108 key mudras 
  • An understanding of how the five koshas form a framework for the journey of integration and healing 
  • How mudras facilitate breathing and how they can be combined with asana and bandha to prepare for pranayama 
  • The use of mudras for specific health conditions 
  • Ways to create inspirational classes and individual sessions using a combination of mudra, asana, pranayama, bandha, mantra, bhajan and meditation


NOTE: Participants who have completed the Integrative Yoga Therapy Professional Training Program at the 500-hour level may request licensing to present this training in their communities. This training also qualifies for the Module III component of  
our 500-hour certification.


Visit our website: iytyogatherapy.com 
1 800 750 9642
Joseph Le Page at the International Conference on Ayurveda & YogaDubai

Joseph Le Page was a keynote presenter at the International Conference of Ayurveda and Yoga held in Dubai on January 4th and 5th of 2014. The conference included presentations by well-known Ayurvedic physicians in India, as well as professors and researchers of Ayurvedic medical colleges. The conference also included well-known Yoga teachers and gurus, such as Yogi Amrit Desai. Joseph presented The Use of Mudras in Ayurveda. Joseph used an experiential approach, allowing the audience to feel the effects of the gestures for each of the five elements and for balancing the three doshas. Some of the Ayurvedic doctors commented that it was the first time they had really experienced and understood the mudras as a therapeutic modality. 

Beth Gibbs, Senior Faculty with IYT is pleased to announce 
the launch of her new CD: Beth
"Release, Relax and Let Go," an introduction to Yoga Nidra.

The CD offers three guided relaxations for body, breath and mind and is designed to help the listener increase feelings of well-being, experience positive changes in sleep patterns, enhance creativity and manage stress levels. Visit http://cdbaby.com/cd/elizabethgibbs for background information, to read the endorsements AND download Track #1 for FREE!

Digital download is available at CdBaby for 9.99 or the physical CD for $15 available directly from BethPlease contact her at: www.proyogatherapeutics.com or bethagibbs@comcast.net.

There is still time to sign up! Module 1: Foundations in Yoga Therapy
SM at the Ancient Yoga Center in Austin, TX! 
 Click Here
Integrative Yoga Therapy and IAYT Accreditation IAYT

Integrative Yoga Therapy supports the new Educational Standards for the Training of Yoga Therapists. We have submitted an application to IAYT for accreditation of our yoga therapy program, and will be able to provide information on our status after IAYT completes its review process. 


FAQ regarding the IAYT Grandparenting Guidelines  


Our committment remains to offer the highest quality training to all of our students. For more information please view our full Program Outline or Contact Us.


Joseph and Lilian visit Kerala Ayurveda River Retreat in Aluva, IndiaIndia
From the journal of Joseph Le Page, January 31, 2014: 

      "One of our intentions along our Indian journey was to see how Yoga interfaces with Ayurveda as a therapy. To explore this relationship between Yoga and Ayurveda in practice more deeply we spent four days at the Kerala Ayurveda River Retreat on the banks of the Periyar River in Aluva, just fifteen minutes from the Cochin international airport.


      We chose this retreat because it is associated with the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, one of the largest Ayurvedic organizations in Kerala and considered to be among the most professional with a satellite campus in Fremont, California. As Ayurveda grows and attracts large numbers of people ranging from those seeking to relax to those with serious health challenges, many new organizations have entered the field, often motivated by profit, and so we did some research which led us to the River Retreat.

Ayurbusiness is a new and challenging concept for Kerala because, as one of the doctors explained to us, Ayurveda was traditionally taught in families. Students would study for many years in the home of an Ayurvedic doctor or Vaidya in the traditional Gurukula system, living and studying in the Guru's home. Their course of study would finish when their Guru knew they were ready. The student would then go to the local Raja and announce that they were "approved" by their Guru to practice Ayurveda. Henceforth they would receive a monthly stipend from the Raja, but would generally administer their services free of charge to all in need.

      Part of this tradition remains intact because most Ayurvedic consultations are still free, but a tremendous amount of money is at stake in the treatments, food, and lodging. With all of the new organizations entering the field, questions arise regarding the quality of the diagnoses and the treatments. Ayurvedic physicians in India all go through a five and half year course and are certified to practice Ayurvedic Medicine. Naturally not all of the Ayurvedic medical schools are of the same quality, and tourists who are here for a short time tend to ask for Ayurvedic treatments that are quick and easy sometimes sacrificing Ayurveda's full healing potential.



      ....I had an opportunity to talk with Doctor Sanjay who is one of the leading teachers as well a researcher at the Kerala Ayurveda Academy.  Sanjay is both an MD and a doctor of Ayurveda, giving him an excellent perspective on healing both from the East and the West. I asked Dr. Sanjay about this relationship between Yoga and Ayurveda both in theory, and as it was applied at Ayurveda centers in India. He explained that Yoga and Ayurveda have a historical relationship, sometimes coming closer together and at times further apart.

       Because of the common basis in Samkaya philosophy they are sister sciences, but in practice very few places in India are actually bringing them together. He mentioned SVYASA in Bangalore and Svasa (directed by the Mohan family) in Chennai as the only ones, as far as he knew, that were practicing any kind of Ayuryoga.Dr. Sanjay went on to offer some reasons for this lack of integration of Yogic practices into Ayurveda. In recent times Yoga and Ayurveda occupied very different places in society. The Ayurvedic doctor was very much a part of society, working with the people daily while the Yogi was in many ways exactly the opposite, living according to the Yoga texts and removed from society in order to achieve spiritual freedom. Also, he noted, even among the Yogis, Asana was not their principle focus, it was only a preparation for meditation and Samadhi. So there was no basis for developing any kind of Ayurvedic Yoga with a focus in Asana. Dr. Sanjay also mentioned that colonization, first by the Muslims and then by the British, changed the traditional approach to learning, which was the Gurukulam system. Many of the traditional ways of acquiring knowledge were lost, especially in terms of Yoga, and when the pioneers of the Yoga renaissance such as Krishnamacharya and Iyengar emerged, they really had to pick up the pieces from a tradition that had been fragmented by colonialism. In order to explain what they were doing to the "modern mentality," these pioneers of modern Yoga placed a focus on Yoga's benefits for particular health conditions. With this new focus it began to make sense to begin to combine Yoga and Ayurveda in practice, but previously Yoga was a spiritual pursuit while Ayurveda was a healing art.

      I asked Dr. Sanjay if this new Ayuryoga, much of which was being created in the west, could then be considered valid. He stated that Ayuryoga was not new because it is based on knowledge and information from the past. He also mentioned that Ayurveda has both principles and practices and that the practices may vary, but the principles are constant. In this way if Ayuryoga develops based on the genuine principles of Ayurveda it is valid. For this to occur, however, the practitioners must have a thorough understanding of both Yoga and Ayurveda.

He felt that it would be useful to have individual Ayuryoga sessions at the Kerala Ayurveda River Retreat...

      Although the Yoga at the Ayurvedic retreats is not oriented to the individual needs of the student, the Yoga classes are often very good and show an approach to teaching Yoga quite different from what we normally see in the West. Most of the classes we have taken seem to be based on the Sivananda system in some way. This makes sense because of this institution's strong presence in India, especially in Kerala where they have a regular teacher training course. Each teacher, however, expresses their own unique connection to the practice and to Vedic culture, which underlies all of the Yoga classes we have seen in India. The teacher at the Kerala Ayurvedic River Retreat, Rajeev, was one of the most professional we have seen, and a short description of his class allows for an understanding of how Yoga is generally taught in India.



     Rajeev begins the class by asking us to close our eyes and silence the mind as we softly focus on the third eye. He takes several minutes for reflection at the beginning of class, making it clear that all we are about to practice has the intention of bringing us into silence. He then chants several Sanskrit mantras, beginning with the student teacher prayer, Sahana vavatu, "May there be respect and harmony between us."

He then brings us to standing for a series of warm-ups with at least six repetitions of each, including lateral bending, forward and backward bending, and twisting. Between each segment of the class we lie down onto our backs for a one-minute Savasana.

He then guides us through a series of six classical sun salutations that develop quite a bit of heat followed, of course, by Yoga Nidra.

The poses that follow vary from day to day but have several common features:

  • They are almost always classical poses from the traditional text of Hatha Yoga. They are easy to identify because they all have the name of an animal, or a symbolic object such as a Bull or a Plow. We almost never see the standing poses that are so common in the West. This seems to support Mark Singleton's thesis in his book "Yoga Body" that the standing poses were a later addition coming from Western gymnastic traditions.
  • All of the poses are done three to five times each, and there is no holding of the pose except in the lengthened holding of the inhaling breath coming into the posture.
  • Every sequence of poses is followed by Yoga Nidra.
  • There is always a Pranayama and meditation section within each class. This is not always at the end, sometimes it happens in the middle, and individual teachers can vary its position from day to day. The most common Pranayama practices are Nadi Shodhana, Kapalabhati, and Brahmari.
  • The most common meditation practices is breathing in and out through the third eye, sometimes using Brahmari on the exhalation with the hands in Yoni Mudra covering the ears, eyes, and mouth. The overall effects are quite powerful.
  • The teachers mention the benefits of the poses regularly and quite accurately. They also mention the contraindications, but seldom offer any modifications.
  • The Yoga Nidra at the end of class is usually extensive, up to twenty minutes long. The most common theme is simply relaxing each part of the body, but we have also seen some very interesting and creative Yoga Nidras such as being guided to remember each of our birthdays as well as to sense each of the vertebrae.

     The total effect of these traditional Indian Yoga classes is quite profound and as we return to a seated meditation we sense a connection to the whole of the Yoga tradition and to its roots to the ancient Vedas. Rajeev completes the class with the Patanjali mantra in a clear and powerful voice that lets us know that he is truly living his Yoga. As we open our eyes and look into his, we see the most essential element of Indian Yoga - the teacher's innocence and purity, with the teacher as a vehicle to the true heart of Yoga. We gave Rajeev a copy of our book and he held it lovingly in his hands. "We have material on Asana and Pranayama," he said, "but no detailed information on Mudras. This is a great gift." He gave me the big hug of true Yoga brother and we returned to our room with tears in our eyes, knowing that was we who had received the gift.  



     Later that day, we went to visit Kaladi, the birthplace of Adi Shankara, India's greatest philosopher. In his short lifespan of thirty-two years he united the whole of Indian philosophy into a concise framework. He also traveled the whole of India from the very south to the Himalayas and established teaching centers in the north, south, east, and west to hold the essence of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal truth that is at the heart of all Indian philosophy.

     Perhaps India is now ready to receive a new sage in the molds of Adi Shankara, who can bring Aryurveda and Yoga together as a lived reality in all of the Ayurvedic centers which are expanding across India so rapidly."



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Schedule of Training Programs for 2014 Schedule

Module 1 
Foundations of Yoga Therapy: PYT-500 SM
March 23 - April 5th, 2014   
Ancient Yoga Center, Austin, Texas
For program details Click Here
Space is limited! 

Mudra Yoga Teacher Training SM
April 6 - April 13th, 2014
Ancient Yoga Center, Austin, Texas
For program details Click Here
Space is limited! 

Module 1
Foundations of Yoga Therapy: PYT-500 SM  

August 5 - 18th, 2014

Kripalu Center, Stockbridge, Massachusetts
For program details: Click Here
Call Kripalu to register:
(800) 741-7353 / (413) 448-3152
Mudra Yoga Teacher Training SM
September 7 - 14,th 2014
Kripalu Center, Stockbridge, Massachusetts
For program details Click Here

Module 2 

Yoga Therapy in Practice: PYT-500 SM

August 19 - September 1, 2014

Kripalu Center, Stockbridge, Massachusetts
For more details: Click Here 
Call Kripalu to register: 
(800) 741-7353 / (413) 448-3152

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Om Shanti Shanti Shanti