Taking the message of yoga to psychologists

TSYP’s Andy Curtis-Payne is a practising yoga teacher and yoga therapist. Photo: Aga King

I am writing to let you all know about a very exciting opportunity I recently had at the British Psychological Society in London. I was asked to talk about how Yoga can contribute to the work of psychologists.

I was invited by a friend, Nina Dhiman, who is a Yoga Teacher and member of the BPS, to present to a group of mainly young postgraduates who were interested in the potential of Yoga in the field of clinical psychology. I had consulted with Nina to find out what aspects of Yoga Therapy would be of most interest to such an audience and she suggested I take the group through the process of an initial consultation and how this would be handled. With some help I prepared a PowerPoint presentation based around the TSYP procedure used for this process. 

I arrived at the British Psychological Society’s London headquarters to find a room full of young, energetic and enthusiastic people, some with a Master’s in Psychology, ready and waiting for the presentation. I have to confess at this point to being just a little nervous at the prospect of presenting to such a well-qualified group, but following the introduction, once I had begun the presentation the teaching just took over. 

I had been asked to present for an hour and a half initially, but the session before mine had finished early and so I began a little ahead of my scheduled time. I was overwhelmed at the reception I received: the audience were engaged from the very start and ready with many interesting and challenging questions. We were supposed to take a break during the presentation but such was the energy and enthusiasm of these wonderful youngsters that I completely lost track of time (not very professional Andrew!) and we had arrived at the one o’clock lunch break before very long.

Growing interest

So, what did I learn from this amazing opportunity? That there is huge and growing interest in Yoga and its potential in the field of therapy. This is wonderful news for all TSYP teacher members as I feel that there has never been a better time to be a Yoga Teacher keen to move into the domain of Yoga Therapy. It was clear that there is a great need for the healing potential that this amazing teaching offers in the wider community; we face a virtual epidemic of mental health issues and sadly it seems this is especially the case amongst the children and young adults in our society.

So, what can TSYP offer its members eager to work in this rewarding but challenging area? What support or extra training can we give? Fortunately, looking ahead, the theme of this year’s Annual Gathering is Yoga and Mental Health. And we have some excellent speakers lined up, one of whom, Hellfried Krusche, is a both a yoga teacher and a psychoanalyst. Another exciting opportunity to develop and grow further in the field of Yoga Therapy is coming in the spring of 2021, when TSYP will launch its first Advanced Yoga Therapy Training supported by leading faculty from the KYM, Nrithya Jagannathan and V. Srinivasan! 

Andy Curtis-Payne

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