Yoga for BackCare - 4 day Teacher Training

Yogacampus Islington, London

The spine is the very foundation of our being – and its health influences how we interact with the world. Healthcare advice increasingly recommends Yoga as a therapeutic exercise and healthcare professionals commonly recommend Yoga to help with low back pain.

Students with back aches and pains often attend general yoga classes as specialist BackCare is limited. But general yoga classes don’t often address the specific factors that contribute to lower back pain and potential new students can be deterred from coming to class at all because that yoga postures could worsen their pain.

Anji Gopal

Do students with lower back problems attend your general classes?

Do you sometimes feel you don’t have enough knowledge to integrate them into your class?

Did your 200-hour training feel a little ‘light’ on anatomy and conditions of the low back?

Do you sometimes worry that yoga might make back pain worse?

Would you like to feel REALLY confident when dealing with students with low back pain and be sure that the yoga practices you are teaching are going to HELP them?


This specialist 4-day course will provide you with the skills to offer a Yoga for BackCare class, improving your knowledge, raising your confidence and making you a safer yogi and yoga teacher.

Course Description

This immersive course aims to furnish teachers with knowledge of anatomy, conditions, red flags relating to lower back pain, contraindications and postures to avoid, as well as modifications and more. It will increase understanding of reasons for LBP and provide ready-made routines to teach to improve the health of the low back.

Teachers will benefit from a refresher of anatomy, pathology and practical content to increase safety of students in general classes and their own confidence in dealing with students who present with LBP.

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints in the adult population, and the most frequent reason to visit the GP. Research shows that appropriate yoga practice can both prevent and improve lower back pain. As teachers we also know of spinal injuries caused by or exacerbated by inappropriate yoga practice and this course will help you to make both your and your student’s practice safer.

Please note: this is a Yoga for BackCare training, enabling participants to offer a specialist group class, for students who wish to improve their spinal health. It is NOT a course covering Yoga Therapy and will not enable participants to work 1:1 with back pain patients.

Course format and student participation

This practical and interactive course contains a mix of knowledge, increased understanding and skill development, taught in an accessible mix of presentation, discussion, small group work and workshop style asana.

Participants will be encouraged to test their knowledge with interactive quizzes, tests and small group work. The course will be delivered in a blended way: Day 1 being held Live Online and Days 2 to 4 being held in person.

Students will be able to ask questions, discuss with their peers and encouraged to participate in small group discussions.

Pre-Course Material: each student will be expected to have completed the pre-course revision material to ensure they have refreshed their anatomy knowledge, ready to think and learn in the live sessions. The pre-course material is a simple presentation with videos to refresh and revise understanding.

Live teaching: each student will be required to prepare and teach a 5-minute sequence to the group on Day 4 of the training.

Coursework: to check understanding and ensure safety of students and teachers. To be submitted within 3 months of the course conclusion:

  • 2 class plans – can be based on the pre-made routines, but participants are encouraged to bring their own knowledge, language, yoga philosophy to their own teaching
  • A 30 minute class recording demonstrating techniques learnt on the course
  • Written answers to 5 questions to test safety and understanding
  • A self-reflection sheet

You must attend the whole course including the live online session to be certified (see below). Catch up via recording for the live online session is not eligible for this training.

What will I learn?

Refresh knowledge of anatomy / physiology / pathology to a depth to allow safe teaching:

  • Revision of structure and function of the Spine, from neck to sacroiliac joint
  • Revision of common conditions of the low back – and understand why they happen
  • Posture & when it matters
  • Pain & when it matters

Yoga for BackCare:

  • What is Yoga for BackCare – definitions and objectives
  • The underlying Yoga principles of YBC
  • Ready made routines, focused additional postures
  • Teaching, modifications, adjustments

Keeping Students Safe:

  • Ensuring new students are safe to teach & understanding when to refer on
  • Red flags and contraindications
  • What not to promise, appropriate language and cues

Developing Skills & Practical applications:

  • What to ask new students and how to form a contract with them
  • How to manage LBP within a group & online
  • Practical teaching tools – modifications and contraindications
  • Ready-made routines

Core skills you will develop:

  • An understanding of the principles of Yoga for BackCare – both anatomical and yoga-based.
  • Ability to plan and deliver a Yoga for BackCare class.
  • You will feel safe in accepting new students with general LBP and incorporating them into general yoga classes, or referring students on to other specialists.
  • You will have an improved understanding of how to keep yourself safe in your own asana practice

The knowledge learnt on this course will be immediately applicable to teaching.


By the end of the course you will also have:

  • Advanced your understanding of anatomy, pathology and pain in relation to the low back and spine in general.
  • Learnt how to decide if a student is safe to teach in a general yoga class.
  • Advanced your skills in providing appropriate modifications to LBP students within a general yoga class.
  • Learnt how to sequence and provide a Yoga for BackCare class.

Who is this course for?

The course is for existing yoga teachers with a recognised certification. Final year teacher trainees from accredited schools, yoga therapists and registered manual therapists with an appropriate level of yoga experience may also be considered, depending on experience and specific areas of interest.

What this course isn't

This course is an introductory training in Yoga for BackCare – anatomy, common conditions, how to keep your students safe and yoga practices that will improve the health of the low back. If you are looking for a well-designed training that will offer you skills you can use immediately with your adult students to help them move more and feel safe – this is it.

It is NOT a Yoga Therapy training or a training in how to work therapeutically or 1:1 with students with Back Pain.

You are strongly advised NOT to offer personal medical advice to any student unless you are specifically trained in this field.

Pre course material

2-weeks before the course start date, a 1.5 hour pack of pre-course reading and videos will be sent to you. This will include revision of anatomy and physiology and you will need to have completed this before the course starts. Please complete this before the start of the live training and bring any questions to the training.

Props

You will need a Yoga mat, 3-4 blankets, 4 yoga foam blocks, a yoga bolster, chair and access to a wall. Props can be purchased from www.yogamatters.com

Hours and Certification

The course is currently being assessed as a BWY Module and certification will be provided on completion. You will also receive a Yogacampus Certificate of Completion.

You must have attended the whole course and completed the coursework to be certified.

Optional Teachers Directory

On certification, you will entitled to join the Association of YBC Teachers via the BackCare Foundation and to be listed on the YBC teachers directory. There will be a fee payable for this. Details will be sent on course completion.

Meet the Teacher

Anji Gopal is a London-based Osteopath & Yoga Teacher who works with patients, students and teacher trainees on a daily basis, using Yoga as a practical and gentle way to improve health. She is a passionate advocate of using Yoga as an evidence-informed healthcare intervention. Over the last 15 years she has built an area of clinical expertise in Yoga for BackCare - in private practice as an Osteopath, in the NHS, and as a teacher and educator.

Anji runs her own private clinic in London; an innovative yoga-based programme for NHS back pain patients in a London hospital; she teaches weekly classes at Triyoga and teaches Applied Anatomy on the Triyoga Teacher Training programme. 2021 marks the launch of a Yoga for Backcare training also available through Yogacampus.

Anji Gopal headshot

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