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Mental Health & Wellness Yoga Teacher Training | Online

Join Tiffany Cruikshank, Valerie Knopik PhD and Dr. Diane Malaspina in this 55 hour online training looking at the science and therapeutic theory behind psychological health and wellness and how to work with a variety of mental wellness ailments that may arise with yoga students and private clients.

Mental Health & Wellness Yoga Teacher Training | Online


Training Description

Join us for the Mental Health and Wellness online yoga teacher training from the comfort of your home. This online training will be co-taught by Senior Yoga Medicine Instructors and Therapeutic Specialists — Valerie Knopik Ph.D, Diane Malaspina Ph.D, and Tiffany Cruikshank L.AC. MAOM. Valerie brings her academic expertise as a professor and researcher that includes over 20 years of professional study and research on the intersection of biology and environmental stressors on various domains of mental health. Diane brings a clinical background to provide another perspective, her work incorporates research-based interventions to coach clients on behavioral change that reduce stress, enhance relationships, and fosters healthy growth. Tiffany brings her background in Traditional Chinese Medicine to view mental health through another lens, alongside 25+ years teaching yoga, 19+ years training teachers and 17+ years working with patients.

Together, these expert instructors will offer (i) an in-depth look at the science and therapeutic theory behind psychological health and wellness, (ii) interactive exercises and case studies to integrate the material, and (iii) the application of yoga and related approaches to work with, and to troubleshoot, a variety of mental wellness ailments that may arise with yoga students and private clients.

In-line with the current educational industry standards under COVID-19, this training is being offered in an online format.

Training Details

This training has six sections – each section is composed of pre-recorded lectures, asana practices, review and homework to integrate the information.

We also have scheduled “office hours” via Zoom to help support you throughout the training. If you’re unable to join the Zoom calls, you can post your questions online and watch the recording within the online portal whenever you like.

Live Office Hours Schedule (subject to change):

  • Tuesday, November 29th at 9am PST
  • Tuesday, December 27th at 9am PST
  • Tuesday, January 31st at 9am PST

We created this online training to be flexible with your schedule so you can complete it at your own pace. The full training is available now and there is no deadline by which you need to complete the training as you’ll have unlimited access to the training materials even after completion. Most of all we are committed to bringing you the highest quality of education by our incredible teachers to your door.

This yoga teacher training will count as 55 ‘in-person/contact’ hours towards your 500-hour/1000-hour Yoga Medicine certification. Directly following the training you will be invited to take an online exam to receive your certificate of completion and training hours. These online training hours will be recognized by Yoga Alliance if completed by the end of 2023, click here to read more about their guidelines on online training hours.

Many yoga practitioners seek out yoga to relieve the effects of stress on both body and mind as well as to find support in managing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other emotions. This intensive yoga teacher training begins with a deeper look at the biological and environmental factors that make us ‘the way we are’. The curriculum examines the biology of behavior and emotion (i.e., genetics, epigenetics, neuroscience), common environmental stressors, and therapeutic theory with an exploration of the most common psychological difficulties, including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, trauma, and addiction.

Importantly, this yoga teacher training is not designed to teach yoga teachers to be therapists. Rather, this course will provide yoga teachers with tools to work with and support a variety of psychological ailments that may come up in client sessions as well as in group classes. This 55-hour training will also teach you how to understand the effects of stress and emotion on your own psychological health. A combination of case studies, journaling, and stress management planning will help to integrate the information. You will leave with a deeper understanding of how biology and environment interact with one another to affect mental health and wellness as well as strategies that support and enhance your interactions with students as well as your individual practice.

Here are the main topics that we will cover during the Mental Health and Wellness Online Training:
  • What Makes Us the Way We Are?
  • Biology of Behavior
  • How Learning Shapes Us
  • Individual Differences in Mental Health
  • Nervous System: Structure & Function Review
  • Understanding Arousal
  • Nerve Cells & Signaling
  • Cognitions
  • The Emotional Response
  • Emotions
  • Stress & Health
  • Working with Students
  • Mental Health Disorders
  • Positive Psychology
  • Yoga & Psychology
  • TCM Theory & Mental Health
  • 5 Elements & Mental Health
  • Acupressure Points to Support Mental Wellness
  • TCM & Mental Health
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Putting It All Together

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

The Mental Health and Wellness Yoga Teacher Training is a 55-hour advanced online training for yoga teachers as well as physicians, healthcare providers, coaches 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 an asset in conjunction with the healthcare network; and with our credentials, your students will know that their yoga teacher is well trained with a range of experience. 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.”

Tiffany Cruikshank

Founder of Yoga Medicine®, L.Ac, MAOM, E-RYT

Tiffany is a yoga therapeutic specialist, author, licensed acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine provider.

She’s trained over 15,000 yoga teachers, athletes, medical professionals, physical therapists, bodyworkers and coaches on how to fuse anatomy, western medicine and cutting-edge research with traditional yoga practices to therapeutically support individuality and holistic wellness.

Today, she’s dedicated to helping teachers and students nourish their health and feel their best through a combination of modern science, traditional modalities, and experience.

Meet the teachers...

Valerie Knopik

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

Valerie is an endowed Professor and Department Head of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. 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.

With a Ph.D. in Psychology, Valerie is extremely 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’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.

Diane Malaspina

M.S.Ed., PhD

Diane is a psychologist and yoga teacher with over 15 years of experience in the health and wellness field. She is a Yoga Medicine® E-RYT 500 instructor and Therapeutic Specialist. 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 also teaches meditation workshops, leads retreats, and offers 200- and 300-hour yoga teacher training programs in her community.

She earned 200-hour certifications from Shiva Rea (Prana Vinyasa Flow) and YogaWorks and a 500-hour certification from Yoga Medicine®, as well as hundreds of hours of advanced training in meditation, pranayama, and philosophy. She currently focuses on workshops, yoga teacher trainings, and therapeutics with private clients.

Our Promise

We believe bridging the gap between yoga and medical systems is a crucial therapeutic adjunct to modern healthcare. That’s why all of our offerings strive to reach the same goal: to empower teachers and students through deeper yoga education.

We train our community of teachers to understand the body and the therapeutic approaches to yoga so that they can build a personalized practice to the individual across any yoga style or level of wellness.

With our credentials, your students will know that their teacher is well-trained with a range of applied and highly specialized therapeutic experience!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be enrolled in the Yoga Medicine 500-Hour program to attend this Yoga Teacher Training?


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 55 ‘in-person/contact’ hours would automatically be applied towards your 500-hour.

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

How do I prepare for and access the online training?

Before the training, it is recommended to read chapters 1 & 2 of the book, Voices of Qi.

When you register for this training, you will also receive complimentary access to the following online courses: Conducting a Therapeutic Evaluation and Recognizing Red Flags in a Therapeutic Yoga Setting – reviewing these courses will also help you prepare for this training.

After registering for this training, you will receive a confirmation email with more details on general information, training materials needed, and instructions on how to access your online training.

Do you offer refunds?

Immediately after your payment is processed, you will receive access to this training’s online portal and materials. For this reason, refund requests for online trainings are not accepted.

We appreciate your understanding.

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 55 ‘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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