Polyvagal-Informed Certificate for Wellness & Performance Coaching

Course Price


Course length

15 hours

About the course

This Polyvagal-informed Coach Certificate is for:

  • Sports Coaches

  • Health & Life Coaches

  • Performing Artists

  • Business Leaders

  • Fitness Trainers

  • Pilates Instructors & Yoga Therapists

  • Physical Therapists & Naturopaths

  • Anyone leading others to wellness & performance

Prerequisite: Complete The Play Zone, A Neurophysiological Approach to Optimize Performance (a 5-Hour, On-Demand Course)

Start Date:  a new cohort begins the first Wednesday of each month

Duration: 4 weeks of instruction (a hybrid of live and on-demand) plus exam & case studies

Time Commitment: 5 Hours live + 10 Hours on-demand

  • Live Zoom Webinars w/ Michael (5 Hours)

  • (4) 75 Minute Sessions

  • 1 per week for 4 weeks

  • Wednesdays 3PM - 4:15PM  Eastern Time

  • New Cohort Starts 1st Week of each month

  • Live ZOOM Recordings posted in the course if missed/for review

  • May attend future monthly LIVE cohort meetings

The intervening variable that either supports or interrupts our wellness, performance and quality of life is our physiological state, which is regulated by our autonomic nervous system. In every situation, interaction and environment, we either feel safe or under threat. This feeling emerges inside our body, often beneath awareness, and influences how we experience the world, how we interact with others, and how we feel on the inside.

Pragmatically, our physiology (whether we feel safe or under threat in our body) impacts every aspect of our health, wellness and performance, and biases, for better or for worse, every aspect of our human experience. We can let this play out on its own because it will, whether we recognize it or not. Or we can meet our body where it is, and learn how to regain control of our physiology to support our values, goals, work, play, wellness, performance and how we engage in our most important relationships. We can embody the core principles of Polyvagal Theory so that we can live a Polyvagal-informed life in our Play Zone, and help others do the same.

Whether you are a Sports Coach, Wellness Practitioner, Fitness Trainer, Life Coach, Physical Therapist, Yoga or Pilates Instructor, Executive Coach, or Performing Artist - anyone leading others to better health, performance and wellbeing - the Polyvagal-Informed Coaching Certification will take your coaching to the next level and enable you to reliably become the “intervening variable” that promotes the wellness, healing, health and performance your clients seek from you.  It is only when we, as coaches, embody what it really means to be safe and accessible that we can lead others to their goals and highest potential.

  • Develop a deep understanding of PVT that you can apply directly to your work, how you show up, what you do, and how you are received so that you can optimize the growth and development of those you are working with.

  • Construct a comprehensive framework grounded in PVT that will support and organize all of the other tools and strategies you implement in your work.

  • Cultivate resources, tools, practices and strategies aligned directly with your unique discipline that you can employ on-demand for yourself and those you are leading.

  • Become part of an integrated community of other coaches, leaders, wellness practitioners, performers and enthusiasts who are Polyvagal-aligned and continue to evolve, share ideas and collaborate on your professional journey.

  • Gain wisdom, experience and an embodied understanding so that you can feel confident in applying Polyvagal Theory and the methodology of The Play Zone in all aspects of your work.

  • Learn how to regain control of your physiology to optimize your wellness, performance, longevity, adaptability and improve the quality of your relationships in every role that you play in your own life.

  • Build daily habits, lifestyle practices, inner resources and relationships that help you live, breath, move and interact with others and the world around you in your Play Zone!

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

Instructor Information:


Michael Allison

Michael has partnered with Polyvagal Institute and Stephen W. Porges Ph.D. in developing education and coaching around the application of Polyvagal Theory. His unique application of Polyvagal Theory to performance - The Play Zone - provides a paradigm shifting methodology to optimize control of our performance through skillful and conscious control of our physiology, and is endorsed by Polyvagal Institute and Dr. Porges. He will be a featured speaker at the Polyvagal Institute’s Annual Summit coming up in October, and is currently leading the development of a PV-informed Coaching Certification program.

Michael consults with professional, collegiate and high performing coaches, teams, organizations, athletes and performers in a variety of disciplines, as well as executive coaches, business leaders and corporate teams. He is a Health & Performance Coach, Personal Trainer, Medical Exercise Specialist, Post Rehab Specialist and Certified Oxygen Advantage Breathwork Instructor. He is the author of SMARTER Coaching, a certificated behavior change course accredited by the American Council on Exercise. In addition, Michael is a certificated ILS Safe & Sound Provider / Remote Provider and Focus System Training Provider.

With more than 25 years of experience in the fitness & wellness industry, he is the founder (1999) and co-owner of Physical Focus Inc. in Santa Barbara, California  (www.physicalfocus.com) and leads a team of personal trainers, fitness instructors, health coaches, nutritionists and bodyworkers.

Most importantly, Michael is a husband of 22+ years to his wife Jamie, a teacher-librarian, and father of two beautiful daughters, Kate (21) and Samantha (17).

Email Address: michael@theplayzone,com

Website: www.theplayzone.com


Stephen W. Porges, PhD

Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is 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 also the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol ™, which is used by therapists to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement.