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Working with Grief - Theory and Therapeutic Application of Yoga

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As yoga teachers, many of us intuitively step on our yoga mat in times of joy and sorrow, but how can we guide our students through life’s peaks and troughs? Working with Grief – Theory & Therapeutic Application of Yoga is an online training designed for experienced yoga teachers who work with clients in a private setting and would like to refine their approach to helping those experiencing grief. Your instructor — Diane Malaspina, an applied psychologist and yoga teacher — will lead you through a discussion on the nature of grief and outline carefully crafted approaches to help you, as the teacher, understand grief. Building on this groundwork, you will gain tools to frame a yoga practice and your presence as a therapeutic approach to work with your students.

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What Will I Learn?

  • Learning how grief is a continuous process.
  • Gaining an understanding of misconceptions of how people adapt to grief.
  • Building an introductory familiarity with the psychological theory to support clients’ experiences in the yoga setting.
  • Engaging in appropriate therapeutic responses.
  • Creating a yoga sequence and self-care plan for managing grief-related symptoms.
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Required Tools

  • Pen and paper for notes but remember, a downloadable handout comes with this course.
  • The following props will be helpful sources of support for the practice session: a yoga mat, a yoga bolster (you can substitute with regular pillows), yoga blocks, a strap (you can substitute with a scarf or belt), 1-2 blankets.
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Course Features

  • Simple yet informative lectures on concepts of grief, each section broken down into easily reviewable segments.
  • A nurturing, guided yoga practice, approximately 90 minutes.
  • An informative course handout available for download.
  • A course certificate after the successful completion of the online quiz.
  • This course is available on demand and does not expire, so you can always return to practice and revisit the material to deepen your understanding over time.
  • This course is eligible for 2 hours of continuing educational hours with Yoga Medicine® and/or Yoga Alliance.
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Course Outcomes

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand how different theories contribute to both positive and negative expectations about the grieving process.
  • Recognize where a client may be in terms how s/he is adjusting to an experience of grief.
  • Demonstrate therapeutic presence as a skill for working one-on-one with clients.
  • Devise a yoga plan that includes asana, pranayama, meditation, myofascial release techniques, and lifestyle suggestions to help ease the stress associated with grief.

About The Teacher

Diane Malaspina, Ph.D., is a psychologist, yoga teacher, and consultant working in the field of health and wellness since 2001. Diane’s work is split between teaching yoga and her consulting business as a psychologist, where her specialty is implementing evidence-based strategies to reduce stress and foster healthy behaviors. Diane is currently working on a 1000 hour certification with Yoga Medicine® lead by Tiffany Cruikshank, and developing therapeutic yoga and meditation programs in her community. She earned 200-hour certifications from Shiva Rea and YogaWorks, her a 500-hour certification from Yoga Medicine®, and hundreds of hours of advanced training in meditation, pranayama, and philosophy. Diane is registered as a Yoga Medicine® Therapeutic Specialist. She lives a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach with her husband, Omar, and rescue dog, Prana.


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