top of page

Embodying Safety: A Certificate for Integrating Yoga, Qigong & Polyvagal Theory

Course Status:


Embodying Safety: A Certificate for Integrating Yoga, Qigong & Polyvagal Theory




Cost: $


CE's Available:


Amelia Barili, PhD

Stephen Porges, PhD

"By drawing from her deep knowledge of ancient healing traditions and her lifelong practice of meditation, Amelia shares with us powerful and transformative practices for regulating health, growth and restoration. These practices help our nervous system shift from states of defense into states of safety and interconnection. "
-- Stephen Porges, PhD

Course Overview

This 10 week course meets for 6 live two-hour sessions every other week on Zoom on Thursdays at 2:30 pm ET / 11:30 am PT (US & Canada). Recordings of previous live sessions are available on the learning platform.

Time zone conversion.

• March 14

• March 28

• April 11

• April 25

• May 9

• May 23

3 month payment plan is available on the registration page.

We invite you to watch the introductory webinar recording.

Over 3,000 years, the wisdom healing traditions of Classical Yoga and Qigong developed a map of our vital energy and nervous system, and taught techniques to generate good health and experience our highest human potential. Many of these teachings were passed from teacher to student in small groups of disciples so only a small part of the population was acquainted with them. Dr. Barili studied directly from those teachers and is a pioneer at integrating the teachings of both wisdom traditions. In this polyvagal-informed certificate course, Dr. Barili shows us how Polyvagal Theory (PVT) provides us with a map that perfectly fits the maps of the continuum of body, mind and spirit developed by these ancient wisdom healing traditions, and gives us a language to relate those wisdom teachings to our daily life, so that we can navigate the challenges we meet. By integrating this ancient knowledge and Polyvagal Theory you can learn to reset your body/mind complex to optimize your human experience.

In this course, you will learn how these three maps—from Yoga, Qigong and Polyvagal Theory—complement and enrich each other. These maps will help you understand your own specific terrain: your autonomic nervous system (ANS), its vulnerabilities and potential. You will learn how to bring balance into your ANS and how to access your unconscious mind by working with 3 major centers of energy recognized in all ancient healing traditions, and especially in Yoga and Qigong. You will find new pathways back to regulation as you learn and practice the skills taught by the sages of these ancient wisdom traditions, now integrated with the insights that PVT provides to us.

Dr. Barili teaches you how to engage your nervous system’s natural pathways and your body’s regulating circuits to regain a sense of safety and connection, and to gently shape your nervous system in new ways. You will more easily be able to monitor what is going on in your body and mind, notice when you are getting triggered or stuck and use the ancient techniques learned in this course to come back into balance. They integrate breath, contemplative states, touch, gentle moves, brief guided meditations, mudras as centering, releasing and supporting practices. Practiced every day, these techniques will develop in you a stronger and more flexible autonomic nervous system and a platform of greater ease and regulation with emergent characteristics of openness to new opportunities, resilience and compassion.

This certificate course prepares anyone interested in developing a strong and flexible nervous system to easily come back into homeostatic balance again, and to assist others in experiencing states of safety, flow and co-regulation. These techniques are easy to learn and safe to practice. Learn them for yourself and share them with clients and loved ones.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

1. Explain in your own words what Polyvagal Theory (PVT) is and what PVT teaches us about how our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) shapes our human experience.

2. Discuss what Classical Yoga is and what it teaches us about how to use our ANS for integral healing and developing our highest potential.

3. Discuss what Qigong is and what it teaches us about how to use our ANS for integral healing and developing our highest potential.

4. Describe ways the ANS responds to cues of safety and danger.

5. List the 3 Basic States or platforms of the ANS from PVT and the corresponding neurological platforms from Classical Yoga and Qigong.

6. Describe vulnerabilities and potential that accompany those 3 basic ANS platforms.

7. Compare the correspondences between the Classical Yoga and Qigong maps of your vital energy and ANS, and the map of the ANS provided by PVT.

8. Create a map of your autonomic nervous system, integrating PVT, Classical Yoga and Qigong. Identify your own cues of safety and danger in relation to yourself, others and the environment.

9. Utilize practices from Yoga, Qigong and PVT that bring a return to autonomic regulation.

10. Utilize skills to engage the nervous system’s natural pathways to regulation from Yoga, Qigong and PVT.

11. Discuss the opportunities and promise of optimizing the human experience in integrating Yoga, Qigong and PVT in your daily life.

Students will have access to the course for 180 days from the date of registration.


This course offers experiential instruction in integrating Yoga, Qigong and Polyvagal Theory to support healing, achieve your highest human potential and bring forth personal, professional and community transformation: • 6 two-hour live Zoom classes every other week on Thursdays at 2:30 pm ET / 11:30 am PT • 8 hours of self-paced lectures by Dr. Amelia Barili • Recorded conversations between Dr. Amelia Barili and Dr. Stephen Porges. • Additional self-paced content including videos, articles, and self-reflection First live session is on Thursday, March 14, 2024 • Module 1: self-paced • Module 2: live Zoom meeting on March 14 • Module 3: self-paced • Module 4: live Zoom meeting on March 28 • Module 5: self-paced • Module 6: live Zoom meeting on April 11 • Module 7: self-paced • Module 8: live Zoom meeting on April 25 • Module 9: live Zoom meeting on May 9 including a live discussion with Dr. Stephen Porges • Module 10: live Zoom meeting on May 23 Outline: Module 1: An ancient and new invitation. Understanding Your Potential (I): how to use this integration to achieve your highest potential Module 2: Understanding Your Potential (II): from a Polyvagal Lens. How to befriend your nervous system with Polyvagal Theory Module 3: Understanding Your Potential (III): from a Yoga lens. Yoga's continuum of Body, Mind and Spirit Module 4: Understanding Your Potential (IV): from a Qigong lens. How to befriend your nervous system with Qigong Module 5: Developing Your Potential (I): what Classical Yoga and Qigong teach us about how to monitor and regulate dorsal states Module 6: Developing Your Potential (II): what Classical Yoga and Qigong teach us about how to monitor and regulate sympathetic dysregulation Module 7. Developing Your Potential (III): what Classical Yoga and Qigong teach us about experiencing and sustaining a ventral state Module 8: Developing Your Potential (IV): signaling safety and connection. Ancient techniques to consciously activate the social engagement system Module 9: Integrating Yoga, Qigong and Polyvagal Theory to optimize our human experiences. Live discussion with Dr. Porges and Dr. Barili Module 10: Conclusion: going deeper and bringing it all together



Recommended Audience

The teachings offered in this course are suitable for the general public, as well as parents, coaches, counselors, educators, body-based teachers, meditators, healthcare professionals, and human resources trainers. These practices are easy to learn. No previous knowledge of Yoga or Qigong is required for this course. In a nutshell, yes, it is for everyone!

CE's and/or Certificate of Completion Available

30 CEs have been approved by co-sponsor Spiritual Competency Academy (SCA). CEs for psychologists, LPCs, LCSWs, LMFTs, and nurses are available for purchase for an $85 fee. Polyvagal-Informed Certificate upon completion of the course. Polyvagal-Informed Certificate courses offer a deeper level of training including: • 20+ hours of curriculum • Live interaction with instructor • Application exercises and embodiment practices • Group discussion and individual reflection • Assessment(s) to demonstrate understanding • Polyvagal-Informed Certificate Please note: because we are not an accrediting agency, neither the Certificate of Completion nor the Polyvagal-Informed Certificate offers licensure or certification of any kind. We do not measure nor endorse one’s ability to teach Polyvagal Theory or use the term “PVI certified.” However, the Polyvagal Institute affirms that certificate training results in a polyvagal-informed level of knowledge and application.
  • What is the attendance policy for a course?
    Live/Hybrid courses: While specific course policies may vary, we typically allow one absence for a live or hybrid course and require watching the recording and sometimes submitting a reflection for the missed session. If a participant is absent for more than the permissible number of live sessions, they may not be eligible for a certificate. Self-paced courses: In short, not applicable. Attendance does not apply to self-paced as they are designed to be consumed when the student is willing and able to take the course. All material is pre-recorded content, reading, or individual assignments.
  • How are live sessions held?
    Live sessions are held via Zoom. Zoom links are available inside the course content and in email reminders sent to enrollees.
  • What if I am unable to attend a live session?
    We upload recordings of our live sessions within 72 hours. (Please see the attendance policy above.)
  • How can I tell what time the live session will be in my local time zone?
    We typically provide live session start times in the four time zones of the continental United States. To convert live session times to your local timezone, please visit
  • Where can I find the course material?
    Thinkific is our learning management system. Upon enrolling in a course, you will receive an invite email to the course in Thinkific, where you can find all of the course materials and links.
  • Is this course accredited?
    The course page will list any continuing education credits (CEs) or other professional benefits that might be available for the course (and any applicable restrictions). If none are listed, then none are available.
  • How do I reset my password to Thinkific?
    You can reset your password by going to and clicking “Forgot Password?” link below the password field. You will then enter the email address you used when creating your account to receive a one-time password reset link. Use the instructions in that email to complete your password reset. If you have any other technical questions, feel free to reach out to us at
  • Is there closed captioning?
    Yes. Most pre-recorded content is hosted in Vimeo, which has closed captioning. If you come across a video that does not have closed captioning, please send us a message at
  • In which currency are your prices listed in?
    Our prices are listed in USD (United States Dollars). Your credit card or bank statement will likely reflect the price in your local currency.
  • Will I be charged sales tax?
    If you are located in the US or Canada, you will be charged sales tax on the cost of your course.
  • Are there scholarships available?
    Yes, PVI offers scholarships for all of our courses on a rolling basis. You can apply for a scholarship at
  • Are there group discounts?
    Yes. For groups of five or more participants, a 15% discount is available for each participant.
  • What is your refund policy?
    30 day money back guarantee for all of our courses (from date of purchase for self-paced courses and from date of first live session for live courses). Please reach out to us at if you'd like to inquire about a refund.
  • Can I purchase a gift certificate for PVI courses?
    Give the gift of learning! Yes, Polyvagal Institute offers digital gift certificates that arrive by email, and can be used towards any of our courses. Gift certificates are a simple way to share polyvagal insight and knowledge that stems from a better understanding of the human experience. Purchase a gift certificate now!


Amelia Barili, PhD

Amelia Barili, Ph.D. studied with old teachers of the healing traditions of India and China and has taught Yoga, Qigong and Meditation for over 40 years. A survivor of deep trauma herself, in this course, Amelia shares with us a distillation of her lifelong dedication to learn from sources of knowledge that contain the foundational principles to enhance health and optimize human experience. Dr. Barili is a pioneer at integrating the ancient wisdom healing traditions of Classical Yoga and Qigong, which she knows deeply not only from her passionate dedication to learn them and teach them, but also from her own journey of discovering healing and inner guidance.

In the seventies, Amelia studied and graduated from Kaivalyadhama Yoga School in India. Founded by Swami Kuvalayanda in 1924, Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute was the first ever to research with scientific methods the application of yoga therapy to manage chronic diseases. Dr. Barili participated in some of the experiments conducted at the Yoga Therapy hospital adjacent to the institute. That experience profoundly imprinted in her the transformational power of working with the energy body by applying ancient yoga practices.

Inspired by those discoveries, Dr. Barili set out to learn what the other great pillar of ancient wisdom, China, taught about the energy body. She apprenticed with Qigong masters and healers among them several from the lineage of Grandmaster Yang, Mei Jun, the 27th generation inheritor of the Taoist Medical Qigong system developed in the sacred Kunlun Mountains in China. Seeing the parallels in the understanding of the continuum of body, mind and spirit in the wisdom healing traditions of both India and China, She developed through persistent practice and teaching a unique way of integrating the knowledge of Classical Yoga, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Qigong.

Dr Barili teaches her health, healing and awakening approach in this PVI course and to broad audiences worldwide. Dr. Barili is emerita professor from UC Berkeley and faculty at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes in Berkeley and Irvine, and at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery. She teaches youth and older adults a systematic approach to personal and community transformation. A strong advocate for experiential learning and universities becoming centers of transformation, she integrates contemplative techniques and volunteering in her courses as tools to assist students in experiencing safety and connection. Currently she teaches “Meditation, Volunteering and Positive Neuroplasticity” at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of California, Berkeley, and “Wellness and Wisdom,” a series of self-care courses based on ancient wisdom techniques seeing from a polyvagal perspective, at OLLI UC Irvine. In recognition for her innovative courses and her work with the community, she received the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Award for Public Service.

Dr Barili is the founder of “Integrating Yoga and Qigong” ™ approach which now has extended to “Integrating Yoga, Qigong and Polyvagal Theory,” ™ a practical transformative approach to integral health and transformation at an individual, community and global level. To find out more about Dr. Barili’s work, see the documentary “Building Nurturing Communities” and “The Embodied Mind” on YouTube, or visit her website

Amelia Barili, PhD

Stephen Porges, PhD

Stephen Porges, PhD

Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium in the Kinsey Institute. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He served as president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He is the originator of the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral, mental, and health problems related to traumatic experiences. He is the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol ™ , which currently is used by approximately 4,000 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement. Dr. Porges is a founder of the Polyvagal Institute.


Upcoming Events

Check out live and virtual upcoming events featuring PVT, Dr. Stephen Porges, and other leaders in the field.

Join Our PVI Community

Get access to curated content, ask questions, and make connections by becoming a member of the free app.

Stay Informed

Subscribe to our bi-monthly e-newsletter to receive links to fresh articles, videos, podcasts, and events.

bottom of page