Curriculum

EMBODIED AWARENESS 200

Introduction:

The term “therapeutics” can be intimidating. It can conjure images of group psychotherapy encounters, along with a concern that we’ll be sitting around processing our “issues” from June to February! Quite the contrary: This training starts by honoring the body- its inner mechanisms, its messages, its sentient and intuitive wisdom- as a vehicle for transformation. In a nutshell, we spend a great deal of attention on exploring the body, and yoga, as essential elements of mind-body medicine. While this training offers a strong self-study component, it is more based in mind-body communication and embodied awareness than it is derived from psychotherapy.

This year, for the first time, we’re please to offer all trainees the opportunity to participate in an exciting research collaboration with renowned neuroscientist Norman Farb. This research focuses on interoception, a special form of body awareness, and its effect on stress resilience, emotional well-being, immunity, and relationship health. Upon registration for the training, we’ll send you a letter detailing the study and how you can participate in this groundbreaking study.

Integrative Yoga Therapeutics™

Integrative Yoga Therapeutics™ forms the heart of our Teacher Training Program. Created by Bo Forbes, Integrative Yoga Therapeutics combines both Eastern and Western healing systems. This unique method draws from Bo’s two decades of experience in yoga, mindfulness, psychology, education, and yoga therapy; its central focus is the mind-body network, the intricate communications superhighway that links the nervous system, immune system, mental body, emotional body, physical body, enteric nervous system, pain modulation pathways, and more. Throughout the training, we explore this network as it applies to emotional well-being, anatomy, alignment, asana, assisting, therapeutic sequencing, and the application of yoga- and mindfulness-based tools for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual transformation.

Bo pays particular attention to the sequencing of the course material. You’ll experience her unique and integrative teaching style as she lays the scaffolding for her therapeutic approach and then builds upon it progressively and incrementally throughout the course, just as she does in a therapeutic asana class. To this end, Bo introduces key concepts and revisits them later in different contexts, helping you to contextualize and integrate the course material. You’ll also receive the benefit of several assistant teachers who visit the class and share with you their unique distillation of class material and the ways in which this therapeutic approach has influenced their teaching path.

We believe that excellence in the teaching of yoga (particularly with a strong therapeutic focus) requires a strong commitment to one’s own growth and healing. Accordingly, the training emphasizes svadhaya, the art of self-study and embodied insight. Together with Bo, her cohort of teachers, and your colleagues, you create a blueprint for self-study to extend throughout the training year and beyond; this blueprint is founded on the intersection between yoga, mindfulness, neuroscience, and the body, and infused with your own personal themes relating to growth and change. Bo believes that the mindfulness traditions greatly enrich the practice of yoga. Bill Morgan, Psy.D., one of our psychologist consultants and founding member of the Institute for Meditation in Psychotherapy, will teach a mini-module on Mindfulness. Teachers-in-training will be required to have a minimum of three clinical supervision sessions, either with Dr. Morgan or another consulting psychologist: one of these sessions must take place between Modules I and II, and the other between Modules II and III. There will also be self-study writing assignments at the conclusion of each training module.

The therapeutic component of this program is deeply experiential and kinesthetic, and takes place in live clinic settings. These clinics involve real people from the community. This gives our teachers-in-training the opportunity to see physical and emotional imbalances expressed live and in real time, and to observe the efficacy of therapeutic yoga interventions in action.

 

The Empath Studies Mentorship Track:

If you’re an empath- a highly empathic person- please read our latest blog on empaths.  Many empaths are drawn to become yoga teachers and healers, and we find this to be especially true of our teacher training cohort. You don’t have to be an empath to take this training, of course. However, this year we’ve instituted an Empath Studies track which is supervised by Lindsey Tucker, a 2012 graduate of our training. We will offer monthly webinar check-ins for anyone who wishes to attend.

 

The Out-of-Town Global Community Track:

If you live outside the New England region, we have a special support system in place to help you thrive in our teacher training program. Amy, our Out-of-Town Ambassador, is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is a graduate of the training. Amy will offer monthly meetings that you can attend remotely to share your experiences, discuss concepts learned in training, and stay connected with our community. She’ll also offer practice tools, optional assignments, and exercises to help integrate our therapeutic tools as the training progresses. We’ve had students from Switzerland, the U.K. Canada, and throughout the United States in our program. Please contact Amy with any questions you have about the Out-of-Town Global Community track. Please note that this is not a distance learning program, but rather a program to support continuity and continued practice and learning for our out-of-town participants.

 

The course includes the following modules:

  • Integrative Yoga Therapeutics and the Mind-Body Network
  • Embodied Yoga Anatomy (with Katherine Hartsell)
  • Our system of Mindful Vinyasa
  • Restorative Yoga
  • Neuroscience, Yoga, Mindfulness, and Psychology
  • Ethics and the role of a teacher
  • The neural mechanisms of emotional contagion and empaths
  • Anatomy, Alignment, and the Physical Practice
  • The Art of Assisting
  • Sequencing: The Architecture of a Therapeutic Vinyasa Class
  • Finding Your Personal and Teaching Voice
  • Navigating the Business of Yoga (with Coeli Marsh, M.A.)
  • Yoga Therapeutics I: Spinal Anomalies
  • Yoga Therapeutics II: Anxiety, Depression, Chronic Pain Disorders, and more
  • Yoga for Emotional Balance: Healing Anxiety, Depression, and Chronic Stress
  • Yoga Philosophy (with Edwin Bryant, Ph.D.)
  • Sanskrit: The Language of Yoga (with Nicolai Bachman, M.A.)
  • The Teaching Laboratory
  • An Introduction to Mindfulness and Yoga (with Bill Morgan, Psy.D.)