Yoga Therapy Training Program
The CYS Yoga Therapy program is an 800+ hour program. It is conducted over the course of four years, the last year being solely practicum delivery in your community and mentorship with faculty.
Year 1 is made up of 5 intensives. Each intensive is 4 days long and they run Thur 8AM through Sun 3pm. They provide fundamental therapeutic and philosophical principles. The focus of this year is group classes and self-assessment. At the end of year 1 students may register with the Yoga Alliance at the 500RYT level. This year meets and exceeds the minimum standards set forth by the Yoga Alliance. An equivalent RYT500 from a different school is non-transferable.
Years 2 and 3 are made up of 2 intensives each (4 in total). These intensives are each 11 days long (Wed 8AM through the following Sat 3PM). They teach assessment at the biomechanical (Move Well), physiological (Feel Well), emotional (Breathe Well) and spiritual (Live Well) level as well corrective strategies for each.
Year 4 is solely focused on practicum and mentorship hours in the yoga therapist’s community. No travel is required, but the yoga therapist will have regular digital interactions with a mentor after each practicum session. You make up your own hours!
'East Meets West' Holistic Approach
Year 1: Yoga Therapy Foundations
At this level, we introduce therapeutic and philosophical principles that will continue to unfold and develop throughout the Yoga Therapy program. This program lays the foundations of ‘Chikitsa’ (or therapy) by marrying Eastern philosophy with Western medicine. The program advances the students’ knowledge of biomechanics as well as subtle anatomy, both of which are taught through the lens of compensation and adaptation. The result is a consistent worldview that enables students to make elegant and effective sequencing choices that access the body’s own healing powers. Graduates from this program gain incredible versatility as teachers and are further freed into a creative process of exploration of movement in their body and their mind. This program teaches the foundations of individual assessment. Other Details.
2018 -2019 Program
Intensive One: WATER, Oct 18th - 21st, 2018
Intensive Two: EARTH, Feb 7th - 10th, 2019 (Inclement Weather Makeup Dates: Mar 21st - 24th)
Intensive Three: AIR, May 23rd - 26th, 2019
Intensive Four: FIRE, Aug 1st - 4th, 2019
Intensive Five: SPACE, Nov 7th - 10th, 2019
Intensive One: WATER, Sep 12th - 15th, 2019
Intensive Two: EARTH, Dec 5th - 8th, 2019
Intensive Three: AIR, Mar 5th - 8th, 2020 **(Inclement Weather Makeup Dates Apr 9th-12th, 2020)
Intensive Four: FIRE, Jun 4th - 7th, 2020
Intensive Five: SPACE, Sep 24th -27th, 2020
2020 - 2021 Program
Intensive One: WATER, Apr 2nd - 5th, 2020
Intensive Two: EARTH, Jul 30th - Aug 2nd, 2020
Intensive Three: AIR, Nov 5th - 9th, 2020
Intensive Four: FIRE, Mar 4th - 7th, 2021 **(Inclement Weather Makeup Dates Mar 18-21st, 2021)
Intensive Five: SPACE, Jun 3rd - 6th, 2021
Years 2-3: Individual Assessments and Corrective Strategies
Know how to look at the whole human being to address disease and imbalance
The purpose of this curriculum is to establish the foundations which define the wholeness of the human system and its integral relationship to the universe and consciousness. These foundations are a fusion of classical Yoga, ayurveda, bioscience, evolutionary development, and positive psychology, which is a broad vision of psychic life that includes Eastern and Western views of mind and identity, positive and negative views of psychic functioning, and transpersonal dimensions of development.
These foundations support and guide our assessments of the system and the technology of adaptation that address the needs of individuals.We deliver an integrated body of esoteric and practical knowledge that is organized around the great liberation triads that have appeared as consistent illustrations of the nature of matter, spirit, evolution and transcendence. Examples of these include Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being, Consciousness, Bliss), Rajas-Satva-Tamas (Kinetic energy, Emptiness, Solidity). These triads illustrate the forces that embody and animate creation at every scale of its manifestation from the largest to the smallest. We assume that the human system is primarily an expression of the energies that form these triads operating at a small scale. Flourishing, dysfunction and illness are then matters of expressing a more or less harmonious relationship among the three primary forces that create and sustain us.
Current Dates for Years 2 and 3
MOVE WELL: Screening Structure and Motion, Developing Corrective Strategies, May 2nd - 12th, 2018
BREATHE WELL: Pranamaya, Kriya and the Nature of Stress, November 7th - 17th, 2018
LIVE WELL: Contemplative Dimensions and Practices, April 17th - 27th, 2019
FEEL WELL: Ayurveda and Rasa, October 9th - 19th, 2019
Next Availability for Years 2 and 3
MOVE WELL: Screening Structure and Motion, Developing Corrective Strategies, March 18th - 26th, 2020
BREATHE WELL: Pranamaya, Kriya and the Nature of Stress, September 9th - 19th, 2020
LIVE WELL: Contemplative Dimensions and Practices, May 12th - 22nd, 2021
FEEL WELL: Ayurveda and Rasa, September 22nd - October 2nd, 2021
Year 4: Increase Proficiency with Practicum
Serve your community as a Yoga Therapist under guidance of mentorship
The final year is solely focused on practicum and mentorship hours, meaning the yoga therapist in training practices and delivers principles previously learned in a public and private setting, working one-on-one and in group sessions. The mentorship relationship begins early in the training; however, it is the sole focus of the last year to increase proficiency in working in a clinical setting and developing a private client business.
Yoga Therapy Faculty
Click HERE to view our amazing, passionate and most competent staff!
Year 1 Intensive 1: Water
Chikitsa begins with a model of health as well as disease that is embodied by the Pancha Maya model. The Pancha Maya will serve as the context for all strategies that the students will learn throughout the program. However, in this first intensive, the strategies are focused at the level of Anamaya, or the body. Informed by the principles development set by the cephalon-caudal trend, we study mobility and motor-control phases of infants, which then are experienced through a sequence we call the Evolutionary Namaskar. Additional fascia anatomy and soft tissue strategies are taught to support the return through infant-like movement. The hypermobility of infants and the water origin of all life is where this intensive draws its name.
Year 1 Intensive 2: Earth
This intensive introduces the Ayurvedic model of health in order to broaden the range of tools at our disposal to be used in personalizing intervention and harmonizing the system. This intensive too, looks at the body (Anamaya) but from the perspective of the 5 elements of nature (mahabhutas), the Ayurvedic theory of tri-dosha and Brahmana/Langhana. In parallel to the discussion on doshas, this intensive also teaches the forces that stabilize the core. While the focus of intensive 1 was mobility, the focus of this intensive is activation and motor control, or “stability” (or earth). Students will be provided with anatomical and developmental knowledge about the core and spine, as well as postures, breathing patterns and practices designed around these principles.
Year 1 Intensive 3: Air
This intensive is focused on movement (air). The material progresses the knowledge and application of Ayurveda by introducing the 5 Vayus (winds). The Vayu theory is applied into a guided meditation that embodies the stages of transformation that unfold as meditative absorption. The movement standard is progressed to upright position re-creating actions found in walking, stepping, and squatting. Multiplane movement is explicitly identified through the teaching of “6 degrees of freedom” and the practices explored offer a wide range of complexity, suitable for chikitsa but also anticipating a more rigorous practice.
Year 1 Intensive 4: Fire
The purpose of this intensive is two-fold: we take a brief tour through the historical arc of development along which modern yoga-posture practice seems to have moved. From this we connect intense and complex physical experiences to meditative states of absorption and the kind of learning and transformation which these experiences potentially offer. This connection is fleshed out via a comparison between the characteristics of traditional Yogic notions of Samadhi, Nirodha, Samapatti, and the more recent findings from the field of Positive Psychology, also known as “Flow Psychology”.
This intensive also defines levels of intensity expressed through the “Waving Intensity” which provides a guide for reaching long-term goals, the 5 capacities for assessing appropriate asana foundations and the “Performance Pyramid” for working toward mobility, motor control (stability), capacity or skill.
Year 1 Intensive 5: Space
Any holistic system of therapeutic intervention does two primary kinds of work: first it provides clarity about the nature of our imbalances. Second, it provides a map of our inherent potentials and the direction and nature of our development when primary imbalances have been harmonized. In this broad sense, chikitsa is not only a path away from instability and pain, but also a direction in which to go based on deeper self-understanding, purpose, and relationship. Meditation and contemplation are two of the key developmental milestones in this process of transformation and actualization. Using the teaching of the Avidya, the Kleshas, the Enneagram, as well as evolutionary theories for self-deception, we explore contemplative techniques for self-remembering and self-observation.
Year 2 Move Well: Screening Structure and Motion, Developing Corrective Strategies
This intensive teaches a two part biomechanical assessment and the details of the corrective pathway that is engaged for the biomechanical portion of therapeutic interventions.
Part 1 assesses the state of the system’s functional mobility and motor control competency by screening motions that derive from the fundamental milestones we master as we acquire the upright walking posture: rolling, creeping, crawling, lunging, squatting, and single legged stance. These motions are representative of the functional relationship between the mobility in the distal limbs and the stabilization reflexes in the core.
The second part involves screening of the skeletal tilts, shifts and major rotations that are observed while the body is positioned in stillness in Tadasana. These static structural asymmetries are interpreted via Thomas Meyer's "Anatomy Trains” concept and then related to the findings in the motion based screens. This process reveals the body’s most prominent functional asymmetries and ranks their severity by revealing the developmental level at which they are most recognizable.
With a coherent assessment of function and structure, a clear and simple corrective pathway upon which to revitalize and integrate fundamental motor integrity, and method of testing the results of biomechanical intervention, the YT is equipped to adapt traditional asanas and vinyasas, as well as engineer new variations for client’s individual needs.
Year 2 Breathe Well: Pranamaya, Kriya and the Nature of Stress
This intensive teaches the deep relationship between Prana and the major organ systems of the body.
We examine in detail many common dysfunctions in those systems, and breath based methods of adapting sadhana to them based in part on the 5 Prana-vayus.
We also examine traditional Kriyas and Bandhas to address certain of these dysfunctions within the scope of the YT’s practice.
Using Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, we study the evolutionary development of the cardio-pulmonary and nervous systems to flesh out the significance of the cardiac rhythm (RSA, HRV) as an indicator of the body’s reaction to stress, and as the basis for the human need to resolve and overcome stress in ways that ultimately involve engaged relationships with others. The cardiac rhythm is screened via two correlated methods: heart rate monitors, and Ayurvedic pulse analysis.
We study the chakra system to provide another model of development and assessment, and its correlations to the organ systems. To further the understanding of the relationship between prana and healing, we teach breath as sound, and how to interface asana, vinyasa and chanting using the bija syllables.
These physiologically based methods combine with the assessments from “Move Well” to round out the adaption of asana, vinyasa, and pranayama to individual’s needs by giving clear ways to engineer a broad spectrum of sadhana intensities that span the continuum between non-aerobic, aerobic, and anaerobic.
Year 3 Live Well: Contemplative Dimensions and Practices
This intensive teaches the process of screening for asymmetries in the psyche, habitual points of focus that impede the growth of self knowledge and courageous openness to the freedom of the ever-changing universe.
The Enneagram of Fixation guides deep inquiry into the specific nature of individual’s samskaric make-up, fleshing out the distinctions between 9 essential character traits that divide into 27 shades of subtle psychic asymmetry.
Using Claudio Naranjo’s Character and Neurosis as a bridge between the Enneagram types and their correlations to the diagnoses in the DSM-V, students will be guided in developing an understanding of psychic imbalance occurring in degrees along a spectrum of health and dis-ease.
We provide education on common mental health conditions within the scope of practice, common approaches or interventions for these difficulties, and how they correlate with contemplative methods of developing presence that nourish personal and spiritual growth while also opening the door to transcending it. Attention will be given to the ways in which the yoga therapist can support a patient in their therapeutic work with a mental health care professional.
To harmonize and balance the material that is deficiency based, the program includes a deep investigation into the nature of the flow state (Samadhi) and in its role in healing and spiritual evolution. Topics include flow and the body, the flow of thought, flow and the workplace, flow and relationships, the fundamental tenets of positive psychology, the autotelic personality and etc.
Year 3 Feel Well: Ayurveda and Rasa
This intensive teaches the Ayurvedic concept of Rasa as a means of engaging and cultivating our relationship with the senses, the mind, emotion, and the environment in ways that culminate in an understanding that the purpose of existence is thriving enjoyment. Accordingly, enjoyment is distinguished in its unique character as a mode of being that includes both pleasure and pain, while transcending each.
In keeping with the Ayurvedic understanding that modifications in eating are the fastest, most efficient way to produce positive changes in the system, and that the 6 tastes are the keys to understanding what a healthy diet is and how the digestive cycle is managed, we teach eating according to the tastes, developing a sophisticated palette, and how to modify intake according to change of season, time of day, sickness and etc. In this vein we also teach the dynamics involved in modern versions of fasting and/or abstaining from particular tastes.
In keeping with the understanding that Rasa denotes emotion as well as taste, we teach that emotion is the essence of all experience and the primary means by which the experienced, subjective difference between the mind and the body is bridged.
We look in detail at the 9 emotional rasas and their relationship to the five elements and the doshas. This understanding of emotion as central to sensible experience is also taught from a modern neuroscientific standpoint as we examine the concept of neuro-plasticity and the neurotransmitter profiles involved in aversion and reward, so that YTs can assist in the breaking of unhealthy habits and the formation of healthy new ones in healing and development.
Lastly, we teach the nature of intuitive experience and its place in spiritual evolution and enjoyment. This involves looking at the relationship between bias and intuition, and how intuition can indeed be developed and honed with regard to training and inquiry.
Private Training Site
We have a private training site for all of our YTT/YT programs. This comprehensive site consists of each program and their manuals broken into the various sections for easy accessibility in finding and referencing content. We video record each intensive, at all the locations offered, so in addition to your manual, you have access to lectures, sequences, corrective strategies, practices and more on the site. The site is also used for homework assignments, and being in touch with the program faculty.
This resource also allows you to continue growing your knowledge in between intensives via the digital platform.
Become a Yoga Therapist
Join Our World Class Program
Yoga Therapy Tuition Fees
$200 deposit to be made after acceptance into the program.
Course tuition fees:
Intensives 1-4: $704 per intensive
Intensive 5: $504 (less initial deposit)
Course fee due 15 days prior to start date.
Total tuition fees Year 1: $3,520
Tuition discount option: One and Done: $3.250
Review Student Handbook.
Fill out application and pay $150 application fee.
$400 deposit to reserve your spot.
Course tuition fees:
Year 2 Intensive 1: 11-day Intensive: $1,950
Year 2 Intensive 2: 11-day Intensive: $1,950
Year 3 Intensive 3: 11-day Intensive: $1,950
Year 3 Intensive 4: 11-day Intensive: $1,950
Year 4 Practicum and mentorship: $1,200 ($1,600 minus $400 initial deposit)
Total Program fees: $9,000
One and done, 10% discount: $8,100
Applicant must have completed a 200YTT
Applicant must have at least one (1) year of teaching in public setting.
Due to the specific content and nature of our program we do not accept credit transfers.
Deposits to be paid within 10 days of acceptance into the program.
If the program is scheduled to begin within 10 days of acceptance, full tuition is paid instead.
Enrollment Agreement to be signed at time of deposit.
Tuition paid in full 15 days before the start of the program.
Course fee does not include accommodations.
See school policies on fees, refunds, transfers, etc.
See shala page for logistics and to sign waiver.
Review Student Handbook.
Beautiful, eco-friendly accommodations, 3 delicious meals prepared for you from our organic gardens, free wi-fi, surrounded by Ozark National Parks and Forests
Year 1 Room and Board
Accommodations are separate from tuition/course fees and can be paid upon arrival. The prices shown are reduced fees for long-term stays at the Shala.
Year 2-4 Room and Board
Upstairs dorm space (6 beds)
Downstairs dorm space (4 beds)
Private space (3); Private spaces are on a first come basis
Bring your own linens
We accommodate vegan, vegetarian and omnivore diets. Any additional diet needs/restrictions require an additional $13/day up-charge.
Please note, laundry service is not included in the program's accommodations and can be done by hand or at the laundry mat in town. Also, the telephone in the main house is not for personal use except in the case of emergencies. (The local phone provider does not offer unlimited long distance). You are welcome to give the number to family/friends to be able to easily reach you if necessary.