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Therapeutic Yoga Tools: A Polyvagal Informed Certificate for Body-Mind Practitioners

Course Status:


Therapeutic Yoga Tools: A Polyvagal Informed Certificate for Body-Mind Practitioners

CE's Available:


Cost: $





Marlysa Sullivan, DPT

Amy Wheeler, PhD

Stephen Porges, PhD

Course Overview

This course meets for 7 weeks from Oct 6th to Nov 17th. Five weeks are live sessions on Zoom 4-6 pm ET on the following dates: October 6 October 13 October 27 November 10 November 17 The weeks of Oct 20 and Nov 3 are self paced and include an interview with Dr. Stephen Porges. Bonus optional one-hour live broader student community discussion with Stephen Porges, PhD on Thursday, January 11, 2024 at 11 am Eastern Time. A 3-month payment plan is available at registration. We invite you to watch the introductory webinar recording. In the fields of pain care and mental health there is a need to identify ways to address the complexity of physical, psycho-emotional, social, and spiritual well-being. In addition, healthcare providers often experience burnout because of the workload and demands of the job which can be extreme. It can be difficult to keep your passion for your work to help others and you may find decreased presence with your client or yourself. Yoga therapy provides a holistic and embodied approach to practitioner self-care and client care. Polyvagal Theory provides a neural foundation for these practices which aligns well with the yoga therapeutic framework of the gunas. This relationship between Polyvagal Theory and yoga philosophy can create a shared language for yoga and healthcare/research professionals to understand the unique role of yoga in whole-person health and wellbeing. This course will cover the basic foundations for assessment and application of practices using the gunas and Polyvagal Theory as well as other yoga principles. Expand your skill set and knowledge to help others by using an integrative approach based on yoga philosophy and neurophysiology You will learn to use three yoga-based assessment charts and apply specific tools of yoga therapy to the findings to create personalized care plans. Throughout the process, you will learn to develop greater self-awareness to support the therapeutic relationship and help support empowerment of clients for their own transformation and wellbeing. Learners will also be invited to participate in an open live discussion with Dr. Porges on Thursday, January 11, 2024 at 11 am Eastern Time. Students will have access to the course for 180 days from the date of purchase.


Each synchronous module is held Fridays at 4-6 pm ET: Module 1: October 6th (Live/Synchronous) —Understanding The Context and Framework for Yoga Therapy Module 2: October 13th (Live/Synchronous)—Exploring Yoga Therapy Assessment through the Gunas Module 3: October 20th (Self-Paced/Asynchronous)—Polyvagal Theory and the Gunas Module 4: October 27th (Live/Synchronous)—Applying the framework of Polyvagal Therapy and Gunas to Support Neural Platforms of Safety, Therapeutic Container, and tuning into ourselves and clients. *This module includes a recorded interview with Dr. Porges. Module 5: November 3 (Self-Paced/Asynchronous) —Applying Yoga Practices Based on Assessments to Support Safe Neural Platforms through Balancing the Gunas Module 6: November 10th (Live/Synchronous)—Using the Practices to Balance the Gunas and Neural Platforms and Creating Plans Module 7: November 17th (Live/Synchronous)—Final Integration Bonus optional one-hour live broader student community discussion with Stephen Porges, PhD on Thursday, January 11, 2024 at 11 am Eastern Time.



Recommended Audience

yoga therapists, mental health therapists, physical therapists, yoga teachers and body-based healers

CE's and/or Certificate of Completion Available

CEs available for an additional $65 fee for behavior sciences, psychologists, nurses and physical therapists. 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.


Marlysa Sullivan, DPT

Dr. Marlysa Sullivan is a physiotherapist, yoga teacher and therapist with over 20 years of experience working with people with chronic pain conditions. She is the author of two books: Understanding Yoga Therapy: Applied Philosophy and Science for Well-being and Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain, as well as several peer-reviewed articles and chapters. She is the physical therapy coordinator of the Empower Veterans Program at the Veterans Health Administration where she offers mindful movement programs for veterans as part of interdisciplinary pain care. She is passionate about research that centers on bridging the wisdom of yoga with evidence-based healthcare utilizing philosophical and neurophysiological perspectives. She teaches in yoga therapy programs including Optimal State and Kripalu.

Marlysa Sullivan, DPT

Amy Wheeler, PhD

Amy Wheeler, PhD

Amy Wheeler, Ph.D. is the Founder and Director of Optimal State Programs, which provides both Yoga and Yoga Therapy Training Programs. She was a Professor of Kinesiology at California State University, San Bernardino for 25+ years. Amy's degrees include a B.A. and M.A. in Health Promotion and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. Amy has travelled to India many times and was certified to teach Yoga and Yoga Therapy in the Tradition of T. Krishnamacharya. Before that, she was certified by several other internationally recognized Yoga and Yoga Therapy Training Programs. She served as Board President for the International Association of Yoga Therapist (IAYT) from 2018-2020. Amy also helped the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) set standards for Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy.

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 3,000 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.

Stephen Porges, PhD


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