Dr. Taylor’s Yoga Therapy background…
The short version: Author of articles, research and textbook chapters on Yoga Therapy. Past president of the Intl Assoc of Yoga Therapists. Doctorate in Yoga-based philosophy.
The long version:
You've heard of hobbies gone out of control?….Well this would be one!
My introduction to Yoga began in 1996 when a health club member of ours suggested we should offer Yoga at Taylor Fitness in Galena, IL. There had been buzz about Yoga getting big at the recent Club Industry shows, so I thought, "Why not?".
Well that changed everything. We were fortunate to convince Jeff Wright of Dubuque, IA 15 miles away to venture over to our club every Tuesday night. Jeff taught from an Iyengar perspective and had been doing so for over 20 years. A special ed teacher by day, a yogi always.
Within 2 months my chronic, progressive low back pain had improved dramatically by attending as a student this weekly 90 minute class. No personal evaluation or prescription…just doing what he was teaching everyone else. My world view of how healing could occur was quite literally turned upside down.
I then attended and completed all of the Integrative Yoga Therapy training with Joseph LePage (left), the first two levels of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy and dozens of workshops in between and began running the business of Integrative Yoga Therapy….before 2000!
Did I mention I bought the domain name for www.yogaalliance.org and built their first website in 1999?
It gets worse!
I formed my own seminar business in 1997 to begin teaching rehab professionals how to integrate Yoga Therapy into Rehabilitation. I was the first PT or OT to do this on a national basis. There weren't many of us back then.
Writing opportunities began to develop through my contacts with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. I have over a dozen published articles and 3 textbook chapters in print. Two more in press as of March 2010, the most exciting being the release of a chapter in Elsevier's 6th Edition of Upper Extremity and Hand Rehabilitation, a 143 chapter "bible" of rehabilitation in Feb 2011.
I began my PhD studies in Sept 2001 at the California Institute of Integral Studies in Transformational Learning and Change …aka Yoga in the lineage of Sri Aurobindo. I was awarded my doctorate in May 2006 having written by dissertation on a group yoga-based back school program I conducted.
During that time I also began serving as an expert legal witness in Yoga injury litigation. This fueled my passion for safety in Yoga.
In 2006 my involvement with the International Association of Yoga Therapists deepened as an advisor when I chaired the first research section of the first conference in Yoga Therapy. We had over 600 attendees. I was fortunate to meet Dr. Sat Bir Khasala, PhD of Harvard University who then took the reigns of the section and has made it a showcase for Yoga therapy research.
I then joined the board of directors of IAYT in 2007 where we undertook a steep growth curve in membership and services. We presented 3 very successful conferences from 2007-2009. I was elected and served as President of the board during 2008-2009. I headed the committee that put forward the first working definition of Yoga Therapy for the association as more media requests were being made with Yoga's popularity.
My perspective on where I think Yoga therapy should head is recorded in this interview with the President.
I stepped down to an advisor and immediate past-president role in February of 2010 to devote myself to my chosen focus in rehabilitation. It was an honor to serve with such a distinguished board and membership, but time to contribute my "unstruck sound" in creation with my present projects and some exciting future affiliations in the Yoga therapy world.
I have not withdrawn myself from the Yoga therapy world however. Yoga continues to be my daily practice and inform all I do to create healing environments in the healthcare world. For those not familiar with my teaching style, please see my testimonial page here. I was also privileged to teach at Dr. Larry Payne's Loyola Marymount University Yoga Therapy studies program in April 2010. Larry was kind enough to make the following statement after my teaching as one example:
“Matthew J. Taylor Ph.D., P.T., E-RYT 500 has raised the bar for teacher excellence in the Yoga Therapy Rx course at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Taylor has an uncanny ability to integrate the ageless wisdom of Yoga with the best of modern medicine. His method is genius in its simplicity while honoring the best of both Yoga and emerging rehab science. He rocked our level III classroom!”
In October 2010 I donated a 2-day training for Yoga teachers in supporting MS through the AZ chapter of the MS Society. I am looking forward to many other teaching opportunities as they present in the future.
In October of 2011 I was selected by the National Osteoporosis Foundation to present their webinar, "Safe Yoga & Pilates for Bone Health" along with Pilates expert Sherri Betz, PT, GCS, PMA(R). You may listen and view the presentation for free here.