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Amy Wheeler

Ph.D. President IAYT


Amy Wheeler

Ph.D., President IAYT

Amy Wheeler, Ph.D. is a Professor of Kinesiology at California State University, San Bernardino for 21 years. Amy's degrees include a B.A. and M.A. in Health Promotion, and a Ph.D. in Education and Psychology. 

Amy has extensive Yoga training in the Krishnamacharya Tradition and was certified as a Yoga Teacher, a Yoga Teacher Trainer and Yoga Therapist. Amy helped to set standards for Yoga Therapist in organizations such as NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association).

Amy is a Co-Founder of The Optimal State of Living, an organization that certifies Yoga Teachers and Yoga Therapists at the 200, 300, 500, 800 and 1000-hour levels.

Amy is President of the Board of Directors for the International Association of Yoga Therapist (IAYT). 


Clinical Assessment of the Yoga Therapy Client:  

Theory, Tools and Practices

SATURDAY / 2:10 - 4:10

The profession of Yoga Therapy is rapidly spreading all over the world in a very exciting way.  Many countries have already defined their Scope of Practice and Educational Standards for training.  The newest trend in Yoga Therapy (YT) is that several countries have begun working together to create a global Yoga Therapy Assessment Bank that all Yoga Therapists can use in their clinical practice.  The progress report on this data bank will be reviewed in this workshop.
The thought leaders in the field of Yoga Therapy have recognized that it is critical that we have client assessments that are in alignment with the ancient teachings of Yoga.  By claiming assessments specific to Yoga Therapy, we define the Scope of Practice for Yoga Therapy.  Furthermore, defining and  education about YT assessments assists Yoga Therapists to stay in their own Scope of Practice when working with clients.  Defining and educating about YT assessments also keeps other professions from over-stepping into the Scope of Practice and field of Yoga Therapy without proper training to do so.  These are important steps in the development of any emerging new profession, for the safety of the client and the practitioner.

In this workshop Amy will :
- Give several examples of Yoga Therapy assessments that are currently in use in the field of Yoga Therapy. 
- Discuss the importance of validating each assessment over the next 20 years, using formal research methods of validation.
- Help you (the Yoga Therapist) understand and be able to speak about the difference between a YT assessment vs. a medical diagnosis. 
- Examine how the Scope of Practice defines the parameters of YT assessments.
- Discuss the importance of using the ancient Yoga texts as the foundation of YT assessments.
- Demonstrate how the results of the assessment are used to formulate an individualized YT daily therapeutic plan.

* There will be time for question and answer and sharing of ideas around Yoga Therapy Assessment.

What Yoga Therapy Offers to Healthcare: 

PACKRA Client-Centered Communication

SATURDAY / 4:30 - 6:30


Yoga Therapy offers a humanistic model of care that is desperately needed in healthcare today.  The genuine care the client receives during a yoga therapy session is client-centered, not disease centered.  Yoga Therapists are not treating a disease pathology in the yoga therapy session.  Yoga Therapists are learning to hold space for another human being and helping the client to explore how they can heal from the inside out.  Eventually the client might even experience human flourishing (eudaimonia) as a result of practicing yoga therapy.
It is not easy for new and old yoga therapy practitioners to learn to hold space for another human being, to listen without judgment, and to let go of one’s agenda and desired outcome for the client.  There are concrete skills that can be learned by the practitioner and practiced over time to create a container for healing to take place via the relationship.  The newest research in the area of client-centered care shows that up to 60% of healing and health improvements come from the experience of deep connection with a healthcare provider.
In this workshop we will learn the PACKRA model of client-centered communication developed by Amy Wheeler.  We will learn each communication skill (listed below), and then work in pods of 3 people to practice each skill.  One person will be the Yoga Therapist, the second will role-paly as the client and the third person will be the witness of the interaction.  Each student in the workshop will have the chance to play each of the 3 roles several times.
The PACKRA model will include practicing skills from each of the following categories;
- Presence - Acceptance - Connection -Kindness - Relationship - Availability
This will be a very experiential workshop, not a 2-hour lecture.  Be open to allowing your own vulnerability to arise while you are practicing your new client-centered communication skills.  A safe environment will be created in the room to do this work together.
The PACKRA model is something that can help both Yoga Therapist and client to suffer less, knowing that we are not alone in this difficult world. You never know!  The PACKRA model may just change all of the relationships in your life if you practice it often!

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