The Integral Yoga Therapy training “Psychology and Mental Health” (a core module as part of the 800-hour Integral Yoga Therapist Certification program) will run from  April 2 – September 27, 2021 taught by M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D., C-IAYT and hosted by the Integral Yoga Institute of New York. Yoga and mindfulness practices are powerful tools for assisting in emotional healing, self regulation, and resiliency.

This training will provide participants with a thorough overview of how Yoga and mindfulness can impact and heal issues related to emotional dysregulation, depression, anxiety, trauma, an overactive brain, and negative wiring. Through an exploration of theory, research, clinical practice, and self-care practices, participants will emerge with the knowledge and skills to apply their understanding of psychology and mental health to how they interact with Yoga students and private clients, as well as in their own approach to personal self-care.

This course is both didactic and experiential in nature; after lecture and discussion, participants will have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in practice and gain feedback on their work. Coursework includes reflection journaling, designing assessment and treatment-based care plans, and recording practice sessions. Participants will be actively engaged during the course, through participation in discussions and partnering work with classmates.



The program covers theory, research, and practice in the following areas:

  • How psychology characterizes psychiatric disorders
  • Definition and symptoms of common psychiatric disorders
  • Understanding affective neuroscience, stress, and mental health
  • Basic overview of theories of human development, personality, and various cultural and societal influences on development
  • An integrative model of Yoga and psychology
  • Common steps / stages of a clinical intervention
  • Active listening and interview skills for peer counseling
  • Opportunities for clinical practice and application, including referral and ethical guidelines for the Yoga therapist as peer counselor

Learning objectives:

  • Understand and identify how psychiatric disorders are categorized as per the Axis I through V conceptualization of organizing psychiatric disorders
  • Understand the difference between Axis I and Axis II disorders
  • Comprehend and identify the most common psychiatric disorders and their symptoms
  • Understand psychiatric symptoms related to the gunas and koshas
  • Demonstrate and understand the five stages of a clinical intervention
  • Understand and articulate when and how to make a referral to a mental health professional, including scope of practice, professional boundaries, and ethical considerations
  • Comprehend and apply the techniques of active listening, peer counseling, and interviewing skills
  • Understand the role of intuition in healing
  • Comprehend and understand basic theoretical concepts of Yoga and psychology related to: models of human development, personality, affective neuroscience, and healing

This training is open to:

  • Yoga teachers with a 200-hour teaching certification and sufficient teaching experience, who are interested in the Integral Yoga Therapy Certification pathway
  • Integral Yoga Therapy students who have completed Raja Yoga and Adaptive Yoga
  • C-IAYTs who are interested in deepening their understanding