About Essential Yoga Therapy

Essential Yoga Therapy has two distinct missions:

One is to offer a means for safe, personal healing to people living with chronic pain or illness through Customized Yoga Therapy. The other is to help develop highly qualified yoga teachers and subsequently to provide comprehensive training in yoga cikitsa or yoga therapy for teachers who are motivated to go deeper.

The spring board for developing these programs arises from the same fundamental teaching of yoga: That we bear responsibility for reducing suffering in ourselves; and once we have achieved a level of health we are to be in service to others.

Whether you are entering our door as a client or a student-teacher, the EYT orientation will help you to grow in wisdom and self-awareness, assisting you in living a more conscious, joyful and fulfilling life.


Robin Rothenberg, Director of EYT

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Robin Rothenberg draws deeply from the authentic lineage of yoga, while also incorporating contemporary understanding of mind-body medicine, the result of years of study in western science. She acts as an educator or bridge between these two seemingly disparate worlds, facilitating clients and teachers in breaking free of habits that are debilitating, and developing a clear plan of action to help themselves find equilibrium and a greater sense of confidence and well-being.

Robin has been training yoga teachers for the last fifteen years. Certified in both Viniyoga and Iyengar yoga (through 1992), with additional training as a Spiritual Director and Buteyko Breathing Practitioner, Robin brings a unique weave of traditions into her practice. Since 2014, the EYT Therapist Training has been an IAYT Accredited Yoga Therapist Training Program, with Robin as Program Director. She is also a regular presenter on Yoga U and offers workshops, trainings and clinics around the country.  See our Events Calendar to find her current schedule.

After owning The Yoga Barn studios outside Seattle for 20 years, Robin has now shifted to teaching therapeutic yoga focusing on chronic pain and movement disorders such as MS and Parkinsons. She offers classes for Evergreen Hospital in KirklandVillage Green Yoga in Issaquah and sees private clients at Rehab Options in Issaquah. She also offers annual therapeutic clinics at Bastyr Naturopathic University for teachers and her 5-day Essential Low Back Training Program.

Robin is passionate about the emerging profession of Yoga Therapy and serves as Chair of the Accreditation Committee for the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) as well as the Advisory Council. She has presented on lower back pain at SYTAR (Symposium for Yoga Therapy and Research) and is considered one of the foremost experts in the area of yoga therapy for lower back pain. Her ability to speak articulately to the way in which yoga impacts the nervous system, mind and emotions has led to her presenting at both NAMA (National Ayurvedic & Medical Association) and SYTAR on the subjects of anxiety and stress.

The experience of being a student of yours last week was truly special. The combination of yoga philosophy, chanting, dharma talks, yoga therapy teachings in the viniyoga method, and your feminine energy has left me very filled in the heart space!
— Beth

Highly involved in Yoga Research, Robin co-authored the protocol and taught the classes for the landmark study Comparing Yoga, Exercise, and a Self-Care Book for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized, Controlled Trial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in Dec., 2005. A later follow up study using the same protocol was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in Oct. 2011. Her ground-breaking work in the field of yoga research has been written about in the New York Times, Seattle Times, Yoga Journal, Fit Yoga and Natural Health. She continues to work in the field of yoga research having written the protocol for another NIH study, designed to reduce hot flashes in women in menopause, and collaborating with researchers on a study addressing arthritis and insomnia in seniors.

In 2010, Robin developed Living Yoga Radio a talk show explicitly targeting the teachings and practices of yoga with interviews with some of the yoga’s most celebrated teachers. Podcasts are enjoyed worldwide and can be downloaded from iTunes.

On a personal note, Robin lives in Fall City, Washington with her husband Peter. They have two beautiful, grown daughters and and two darling grandchildren, all who live in the northwest. Robin’s journey into yoga began with her own chronic health issues, ranging from auto-immune dysfunction to acute low back and neck pain. Yoga has always been central to her healing regime through the years, and now in her fifties Robin has established a level of health and well-being she could never imagined as a young adult. It is her ‘dharma’ and passion to share the wealth of knowledge and blessed teachings that have been passed down to her from the yoga lineage and she is enormously grateful to all of the teachers that have mentored her over the years. In 2011, Robin graduated from Morei Derekh, a training program in Jewish Spiritual Direction that has deepened her understanding of her own faith and fulfilled her intention to better support students and clients spiritually as an integral part of their healing journey.

After just one session, Robin was able to give me hope. Her gentle style, and extensive understanding of chronic pain and injury, coupled with talk therapy has made a profound impact in my life. The first time I saw Robin I could hardly move and was in severe pain. I now have a 40 minute individualized yoga therapy session that I practice every day. Robin has been a huge blessing in my life and I am so thankful to have found her!
— Starr Sanborn