Mental Health & Wellness Yoga Teacher Training

Austin, Texas | September 18-23, 2023

Join Diane Malaspina, PhD and Valerie Knopik, PhD for this 50 hour training to uncover the science and therapeutic theory behind psychological wellness, and learn to powerfully utilize yoga practices to support a variety of mental health issues.

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Mental Health & Wellness Yoga Teacher Training | Module – Austin, TX


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Training Description

Adapt practices to achieve mental health inclusivity, effectively support uniqueness, and become a better ally for your students and clients.

Mental health is undoubtedly one of the most important considerations in teaching yoga. Aside from the numerous ways yoga can be a powerful mental wellness supplement, it’s also an important area to be aware of contraindications and cautions.

As teachers, it’s essential that we have the tools to not only apply yoga practices as a powerful antidote for anxiety and distress, but also be able to support and appropriately refer students experiencing more significant forms of mental or emotional turbulence.

In this advanced 50 hour in-person training, we’ll examine the latest research on psychological health and its role in a yoga practice.

Led by 2 experts in the field including applied psychologist Diane Malaspina, PhD and mental health researcher Valerie Knopik, PhD, this training will equip you with the knowledge and experience to provide personalized mental health support for your yoga students.

You’ll develop an applied understanding of how to leverage yoga practices to soothe anxiety, provide relief in the face of stress, and create healing and true transformation mentally and emotionally. 

If you’re looking to provide outcome-based mental wellness support to your students and clients, you won’t want to miss this!

With this 6-day, 50-hour yoga teacher training located in the Convention Center & Historic Sixth Street Districts, this urban-style module allows you to explore Austin’s buzzing downtown including its mix of museums and galleries, local restaurants and shops, bars and music. We hope you’ll join us for this urban adventure!

Training Details

The Mental Health & Wellness training kicks off with a deeper look at the biological and environmental factors that make us ‘the way we are.’ 

We’ll examine the research behind how nature and nurture shape our unique mental health and the foundations of how learning and cognitive development shape our perceptions as it relates to mental health, and the common stressors that lead to psychological difficulties, including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, trauma and addiction.

This training will cover:

  • An in-depth look at the science and therapeutic theory behind psychological health and wellness
  • Interactive exercises and case studies to integrate the material
  • The application of yoga and related approaches to work with and troubleshoot a variety of mental wellness ailments that may arise with yoga students and private clients
  • There will also be case studies, journaling prompts, and stress management planning exercises to help you integrate the information along the way

PLUS, a variety of more nuanced and complex topics, including: 

  • The effects of meditation and movement on the brain, and ways to improve mental fitness, adaptability and resilience through yoga
  • Effective strategies to navigate stress and the resulting inflammation
  • The biology of behavior and emotion (i.e. genetics, epigenetics, neuroscience)
  • The lens of arousal and how experiences affect anxiety 
  • Characteristics of trauma, how yoga practices can be supportive, and sensitivity tips to skillfully teach a trauma-informed approach
  • Cognitions, nerve cells and signaling, and how learning shapes us
  • Positive psychology, and strategies to powerfully support individual differences in mental health

Please note that this Mental Health and Wellness Module does not include the Traditional Chinese Medicine portion that is included in the online version.

This yoga teacher training counts as 50 hours towards your 500-hour/1000-hour Yoga Medicine certification. Directly following the yoga teacher training you will be invited to take an online exam to receive your certificate of completion.

Anticipated Daily Schedule

  • 7-9am: Asana Practice
  • 9-10am: Break
  • 10am-1pm: Lecture
  • 1-3pm: Break
  • 3-6pm: Lecture & Therapeutic Mini-Practice

This training will consist of full days of asana practice and lectures with scheduled breaks in the morning and afternoon. During this training, all participants are responsible for the coordination of their own meals, accommodation and travel.

When booking flights, please keep in mind that the training begins at 7am on September 18th and ends an hour earlier at 5pm on September 23rd. We recommend reviewing our attendance policy and the cancellation/refund policy in the FAQ’s for more details before registering.

Please consider acquiring travel insurance to help protect yourself from the unforeseen and unavoidable that may affect or prevent your participation in the training (sickness, injury, family emergency, weather, etc.).

For teachers dedicated to a higher standard of learning looking to deepen their knowledge.

The Mental Health & Wellness Yoga Teacher Training is a 50-hour advanced online training for yoga teachers, physicians, healthcare providers and fitness instructors with yoga experience who are interested in learning more about this invaluable curriculum. To fully benefit from this training, we recommend that anyone considering enrollment is actively working with students and clients within a yoga or therapeutic setting.

Yoga Medicine® believes that an experienced yoga teacher can be a valuable asset within the healthcare networks; and with our credentials, students know their yoga teacher is highly trained in both science/research as well as traditional yoga practices. Yoga Medicine® trains our community of teachers to understand the body and the therapeutic approaches within a yoga practice so that they can build a personalized practice to the individual across any yoga style or level of wellness.

Hazel Sligting

500-Hour Yoga Medicine Teacher

“As a teacher currently working in Qatar, a vast majority of my students are expats who are here without their family and support structures. I find that a lot of students are drawn to my classes for the community and that they are having troubles dealing with the stress and loneliness that comes from moving to a foreign country. The information in the Mental Health & Wellness Module is going to be invaluable for understanding what is actually going on internally with those who are having mental health issues, and for being able to support both my group and private clients. The Mental Health Training will definitely influence how I teach those that I know have mental health issues. I have also been teaching singing bowls meditation for the past three and a half years too, and I will definitely introduce more pranayama practices during these classes. Overall I think that this knowledge is going to help me no matter what type of class I am teaching!”

Halley Dzendolet

500-Hour Yoga Medicine Teacher

“I have taken the Mental Health and Wellness, Nervous System and Restorative Yoga, and Mindful Trauma-Informed Yoga modules. The wealth of knowledge I gained from Yoga Medicine® was immensely beneficial for my recent presentation to 60+ mental health professionals for the Trauma Care Institute, the training branch of the Trauma Support Services of North Texas. Thanks to my training with Yoga Medicine®, I confidently provided up-to-date, quality information and infographics, enabling and encouraging mental health professionals to utilize yoga more, both professionally and personally. The feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive both during the presentation and in the official evaluations.”

Meet the teachers...

Diane Malaspina

M.S.Ed., PhD, Yoga Medicine® Therapeutic Specialist

Diane is a psychologist and yoga teacher with over 20 years of experience in the health and wellness field. Her teaching and practice are a creative blend of slowing down and balancing the nervous system paired with stabilizing yoga postures to support sustainability in life and the yoga practice. 

Diane delivers cutting-edge wisdom with user-friendly approaches honed in her rich hands on experiences as an applied psychologist, university educator and veteran yoga teacher. She blends neurobiology and psychological science with yoga and mindfulness practices that empowers individuals, families and organizations to heal, cope with stress, and transcend struggles to orient toward growth and possibility.

Diane teaches meditation workshops, leads retreats, offers 200- and 300-hour yoga teacher training programs in her community, and runs a thriving private practice helping clients heal from chronic stress and burnout and reclaim thriving physical, mental and emotional health.

Valerie Knopik

PhD, E-RYT500, Yoga Medicine® Therapeutic Specialist, YACEP

Valerie is endowed Professor and Department Head of Human Development and Family Science at Purdue University. With a Ph.D. in Psychology, Valerie is active in mental health research, focusing on how our internal biology and our external physical environment (including yoga, mindfulness, and meditation) can interact to positively change our mental health landscape.

Valerie is the lead author of the leading textbook in her field, Behavior Genetics (7th edition). She also serves as Associate Editor of the journal Behavior Genetics, a consulting editor for Child Development, and is on the editorial board of Psychological Medicine. For the last 20 years, her primary area of interest is the joint effects of genetic and environmental (specifically prenatal and early postnatal) risk factors on the development of child and adolescent mental health, associated learning and cognitive deficits, and later substance use.

Formally trained in classical ballet, as well as a former runner, Valerie has always been a believer in staying active but yoga is the perfect marriage of her work in mental health and her love of movement and anatomy. Valerie’s sincere hope is that, while the physical asana practice might be the introduction to yoga (as it was for her), her students can utilize the asanas as a tool to find cohesion of body, mind, and spirit in order to experience fullness and purpose in their lives.

Training Venue

Sunset Room

310 E 3rd St, Austin, TX 78701

Set in downtown Austin, the chic and cozy Sunset Room is a premiere gallery style event space with exposed brick walls, original wood rafters and oak floors. The convenient central location provides a great base from which to explore the charm of Austin's Convention Center & Historic Sixth Street Districts and enjoy the city’s shops, restaurants and entertainment.

Pricing and Policies

A full payment of $1690 (including a non-refundable and non-transferable $500 deposit) will secure a spot for teachers in the Mental Health and Wellness Yoga Teacher Training. The full payment is non-refundable and non-transferable after July 18, 2023.

Payment plans for all trainings are available at checkout to US customers via Affirm and PayPal. For international customers, please email directly to set up a payment plan.

Price includes:

  • Training tuition
  • Hardcopy, custom-designed training manual
  • Personal Stress Management Plan (PSMP) handout
  • Yoga Medicine® shirt

Not included:

  • Travel
  • Accommodations and meals – there are hotel accommodations and restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the event venue
  • Airport transfers

There are no refunds or transfers of payments after July 18, 2023 due to the fact that we are required to make payments to reserve the event venue and secure training materials for the group. We realize that some extenuating circumstances beyond your control may prohibit you from attending; however, we cannot make exceptions regardless of the circumstance due to the non-recoverable payments that we deliver in advance. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance which covers refunds due to medical emergencies and other difficult circumstances.

We appreciate your understanding that this policy is for all.

Frequently Asked Questions


This training is designed for yoga teachers, physicians, healthcare providers, and coaches who are interested in learning more about this invaluable curriculum.

If you have a consistent yoga practice and a desire to deepen your knowledge, then we would love to have you join!

If you are new to Yoga Medicine and would like to join the 500-hour program, then please complete the online application. Upon successful completion of this training, the 50 ‘in-person/contact’ hours would automatically be applied towards your 500-hour.

More information about the 500-hour program can be found here.

You will be supplied with a list of props and information to help you prepare for this training. All of this information will be given to you after submitting your payment.

When booking flights, please keep in mind that the training includes full days beginning at 7am on September 18th and ending an hour earlier on September 23rd at 5pm. The typical daily schedule is approximately 7am-6pm, so we advise planning your travel itinerary carefully to ensure you do not miss out on any valuable content since the information will all come together at the end. Please consult the attendance policy on required training participation for accreditation.

If traveling between countries, you may also need to contact your healthcare provider about any necessary immunizations as well as making sure your passport and any necessary visas are in order.

Apply This Training Towards a 500-Hour Certification

If you are enrolled in Yoga Medicine’s 500-hour or 1000-hour program, then this training counts as 50 ‘in-person/contact’ hours towards your certification, as well as continuing education hours with Yoga Alliance!

If you are a yoga teacher interested in pursuing continued education with Yoga Medicine, then you have the option to apply to our 500-hour program (in which case, these teacher training hours will automatically apply towards your 500-hour certification process).

To learn more about our 500-hour certification program, click here.

Apply Now
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