Psychology, Yoga, and Mental Health Training – Online
Jun. 17–Jul. 16, 2023, Phase 2 Module

with Sampada Desai, M.A., LPC, NCC, E-RYT 500, CLL/CLTT
and Guest Teacher – Rachel Goudey, Psy.D., C-IAYT
Price: $750.00

Saturdays: 9:30–11:45 am and 1–6 pm ET
Sundays: 9:30 am–12:30 pm ET

This Integral Yoga Therapy training is a core requirement of the 800-hour Integral Yoga Therapist Certification program and will run on five weekends from June 17 – July 16, 2023. It will examine the connection between yoga and psychology and explore how their integration serves to support mental health. Students will learn about common psychological disorders and their possible causes from both psychological and yogic perspectives. The nervous system’s role in mental health will be covered, along with Polyvagal Theory and its applications. Prevalent evidence-based biomedical, psychological, and mindfulness-based therapies will be reviewed for their role in treating the whole person. Students will participate in several yoga and mindfulness practices, including yoga postures, meditation, conscious breathing, relaxation, guided imagery, chanting, and self-havening. Taught within the framework of sensitivity to diversity and trauma, participants will develop a foundation in assessment and needs-based interventions. A variety of teaching modalities that include experiential practices, peer interaction, case studies, videos, stories, and faculty/peer feedback will be used.

This course is open to licensed and/or certified mental health professionals not on the IYT certification track. Knowledge, study, and personal practice of yoga is strongly recommended, however. Current certified yoga therapists who wish to deepen their skills and practice are also welcome.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand mental health from a whole person perspective integrating the body, mind, and spirit

  • Compare and contrast yoga philosophy and psychology

  • Explore and understand the value in integrating yoga and psychology for mental health

  • Become familiar with common psychological disorders and symptoms

  • Review mental afflictions and their causes from a yoga perspective (e.g. gunas, koshas, samskaras)

  • Learn about the role of the nervous system, including Polyvagal Theory, on mental health

  • Become familiar with prevalent mindfulness-based psychological therapies (e.g., DBT, MBSR, MBCBT, ACT)

  • Learn mindfulness practices to help clients regulate their nervous system for mental and emotional wellbeing

  • Learn trauma-informed interventions to promote mental health

  • Learn how deliberate laughter can be an effective intervention in yoga therapy

  • Learn professional and ethical standards for practicing yoga therapy in the context of mental health

  • Add strategies to the self-care toolbox

Teaching Format

  • Lecture and discussion
  • Personal stories, anecdotes, parables
  • Web resources, including online video links, podcasts
  • Readings, digital handouts
  • Participation in experiential practices: asanas, breathing practices, yoga nidra, mantra, chanting, movement, singing, guided imagery, positive visualization, self-havening, journaling, laughter yoga
  • Reflection: sharing insights and experience in small and large groups
  • Case reviews: hypothetical and real
  • Faculty and peer feedback

Course Completion Requirements

  • Attendance in all classes with camera on at all times
  • Completion of all in-class and home assignments (including readings, discussion, case studies, experiential practices).
  • Develop and submit a yoga therapy care plan for a hypothetical or real client dealing with minor to moderate mental health issues. The plan will need a satisfactory evaluation from course faculty.
  • For those auditing this course, having the camera on is preferred during live attendance for interactive and purposeful learning.

All IYTh Students must be live in attendance for all sessions. Any absences must adhere to the IYTh policies for make-up work.

Required Materials and Texts - None

Throughout the course, several resources like books, articles, podcasts, videos etc. will be recommended.

Mental health professionals not on the Yoga Therapy certification track are advised to familiarize themselves with yoga philosophy, including the basics of Integral Yoga, prior to taking this course. You will find the following books helpful in this regard.

  • Integral Yoga Hatha by Swami Satchidanda
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami Satchidanda

IY Therapy Module Cost:

Continuing Education (CE) Opportunities

Yoga Alliance (YA): Approximately 50 total hours. You can input your contact hours using your YA login information. Integral Yoga 300-hour: Approximately 50 hours towards RYT 500 designation Yoga Therapy: This is one of the required modules to become certified as an Integral Yoga Therapist.

All those auditing this course will not receive a certificate of completion. Neither will any continuing education credits be issued.

Refund Policy

After Jun. 3, 2023 the deposit and program tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable. If canceling before Jun. 3, 2023, the balance will be refunded minus $125 administration fee. This course may be cancelled two weeks prior to the start of the course due to low enrollment, in which case you will receive a full refund for the course tuition.

For more information or payment plan request--IYTh students contact Satya at [email protected]

Lead Trainer

M.A., LPC, NCC, E-RYT 500, CLL/CLTT Sampada Desai

Licensed Professional Counselor and Experienced Yoga Teacher

Sam is a licensed professional counselor with over thirty years of clinical experience in various settings such as a health organization, schools, universities, and a mental health agency. She is the founder of Desai Counseling and Yoga and the proud developer of a 2-day Choose Laughter certification program.

Sam is highly skilled at integrating Western and Eastern wellness practices. As an experienced Integral Yoga teacher, she has an uncanny awareness and knowledge of how Yoga supports mental health. Sam skillfully weaves in mindfulness practices of physical asanas, meditation, positive visualization, relaxation skills, and breathing to promote holistic wellness.

Furthermore, Sam is a talented and engaging speaker who has given numerous talks and workshops on mental health, mind-body wellness, stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, anger management and laughter.


Psy.D., C-IAYT Rachel Jennine Goudey

Rachel is an Integrative Yoga Therapist, Educator and Doctor of Clinical Psychology specializing in trauma. Working from an eclectic background in dance, somatics, psychology and yoga, Rachel guides individuals into states of peace and trust in their life’s story, increasing their capacity for joy and love in life. Rachel began studying the human mind and emotions through the Western lens of psychology as a teen, and later through Eastern spiritual practices as part of her own healing journey, "as a way to understand and heal myself, but more so because I wanted to offer a place for others to go to feel seen, heard, understood and held; a place I never fully felt I had until I discovered yoga."

Rachel brings nearly two decades of mental health experience working with at-risk and underserved populations, integrating Eastern and Western practices to help clients move past symptom relief into true healing. She has brought Integrative Yoga Therapy programs into community mental health centers, hospitals, and schools throughout California, as well as provides mentorship and clinical consultation to International Yoga Therapy certification programs, schools and nonprofits. She is passionate about making healthcare more inclusive, accessible and holistic. Rachel is the creator of an 8-week Integrative Yoga Therapy Group for Trauma, and co-creator of Healing our Healers: Self-Care for Healthcare Workers.

Enroll Now

Students will learn about common psychological disorders and their possible causes from both psychological and yogic perspectives. Prevalent evidence-based biomedical, psychological, and mindfulness-based therapies will be reviewed for their role in treating the whole person.

Not currently part of the IY Therapy Program?

Learn More and Apply to IY Therapy