Advanced Yoga Therapy Program
Welcome! We are so happy you want to be a Yoga Therapist!
The Advanced Yoga Therapy Program strives to give you a single stream, integrated approach to yoga therapy at the highest level (C-IAYT).
The Advanced Program builds upon the knowledge and skills gained in the Foundations Program. In addition to the Foundations Program, content is delivered during seven eight-day residential retreats.
Our program is modular. Once signed up for the foundations course you may begin attending the eight-day residential modules which can be taken in any order. Students may take all seven modules as they are offered over the course of two years, or space them out over a longer period of time (a maximum of 7 years).
The Advanced Program consists of three parts:
- The online Breathing Deeply Foundations Program.
- Seven weeks of residential learning at the Won Dharma Center in Claverack, New York.
- A practicum to be done in your community.
The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program is offered as a 50 lesson online Foundations Program and seven, eight day residential modules, in addition to a practicum.
The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Foundations Program is the backbone of our program. It contains 50 recorded lectures, homework, and live online classes. The subject matter is comprehensive and is designed to prepare students to do therapeutic work. It serves as the foundation for the live residential modules and allows us to move more quickly into advanced material since students have a common knowledge base. The foundations course covers many topics, but its main focus is to teach the fundamental frameworks we use, as opposed to focusing on as many individual conditions as possible.
The Foundations Program may be completed over a year, but students are welcome to take more time as their abilities allow.
The seven residential retreat modules are eight days. In six of them, the first weekend is a skill building workshop based on the koshas. Students learn and practice applications based in the koshas highlighted by the weekend (i.e. body and breath bodies vs wisdom and bliss bodies) These weekends give students the ability to apply and hone material from the foundations course in a live setting.
The rest of the live class time can be thought of as mini courses on specific subjects. Students are able to focus on condition sets (autoimmune diseases, back care, rehab techniques for surgeries, etc) as well as deeper explorations of material (ayurveda, how to reference yogic texts, examining research studies, etc..)
The residential modules are purposely not grouped around a unifying theme. The idea is to allow students to “switch gears” every couple of days or so. We believe in general that most students will be better able to absorb material this way.
All material in the modules is filtered through the system we have laid out in the Foundations Program. We believe this creates a very unified approach and will allow students to deliver clear yoga therapy as they enter the field.
Next Class Starts February 12
Become a Certified Yoga Therapist. Sign up now and begin your training (this will ensure your spot)! Then link up with your class cohort for discussion and community in our forum.
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Why Choose Breathing Deeply
The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program is taught and designed by Brandt Passalacqua, a Yoga Therapist with extensive experience in the field.
Brandt has maintained a full-time yoga therapy practice for over a decade and worked successfully with clients with a wide variety of conditions. His down-to-earth approach provides students with proven, real world applications of ancient yoga therapy concepts.
This is the way yoga therapy has traditionally been taught—teacher to student—in a mentoring relationship that goes beyond the formal training model.
The program’s online availability and modular format allows students to learn at their own pace and study when and where they choose.
Breathing Deeply encourages both students and graduates to connect, share, and learn from each other.
We have an online forum that is very active, which includes a monthly discussion topic.
Brandt conducts three live Q&A sessions each week.
These sessions allow students to ask questions, share resources, and gain expert advice and input.
Students are encouraged (and expected) to discuss the challenges they face with clients during our live sessions and in our online forums.
At Breathing Deeply, we believe that mentoring is a critical component of competency-building, and that it should continue well past graduation.
Advanced Program Curriculum
Foundations Program Outline
- The history of yoga therapy
- Yoga anatomy
- The Koshas
- The role of the Yoga
- Pathology from a yoga perspective
- The role of ayurvedic ideas
- What you need to know – anatomy
- How pain works
- What clears pain
- Basic yoga poses with anatomy and connections and how/when to use alignment
- Stages of rehab and healing with many techniques including muscle and nerve pain
- Breath anatomy and how to use it
- Ayurvedic concepts
- Food theory and how to apply it
- Case studies
- Pranayamas and their application
- How to balance the doshas
- Understanding prana flow
- How to work with: emotional imbalances (i.e. depression, anxiety)
- How to work with: system wide imbalance (i.e. autoimmune disease, chronic pain)
- Case studies
- The role of the conscious mind/intellect
- Yoga and philosophy teachings
- The uses of chanting
- Using the chakra model
- Using the mind for emotional release
- More yoga philosophy
- Practices for the intellect/personality
- How to talk to clients in a real way about point of view
- Yoga Philosophy
- Practices for opening the spiritual heart
- How to talk to people about intuition and heart
- Bhakti yoga for healing
- Case studies
- Assembling a plan
- Advanced anatomy
- More food theory
- When to refer out
- Scope of practice
- Integrating with other practitioners and modalities
- Ayurveda and Chinese medicine crossovers
8-Day Residential Retreat Modules
Healing Through The Body & Breath Weekend
In this Healing with the Body and Breath Weekend, students will investigate techniques to work with the physical body and the breath and learn assessment skills to inform their work with the physical body. Range of Motion (R.O.M.) assessment and muscle strength testing procedures will be taught. Students will leave with a clear ability to assess and give asana and breath work recommendations to to strengthen muscle groups, improve R.O.M. and give breath instruction that moves clients away from pain. This weekend is considered a foundational module for the BDYT course.
Back pain is one of the leading causes of missed work and visits to the doctor in North America. In this course, students will learn to work with common spine/back pathologies. Students will learn function anatomy as it relates to back pain. We will familiarize ourselves with common pathologies and western diagnosis. We will then learn assessment techniques for different pathologies and how to apply asana and pranayama to help clients. Students will also leave with a clear view of general principles for back care and injury prevention.
Hips and Shoulders
Hips and shoulders are common areas for pain and dysfunction. In this course we will learn functional anatomy and western diagnosis of common conditions that affect these areas. Students will learn how to work with clients on acute vs chronic issues, as well as, a general overview. We will learn how to work with injuries to hip structures, congenital hip dysplasia, shoulder surgeries, torn rotator cuffs, and frozen shoulder. Students will gain the confidence to assess and provide effective yoga therapy for their clients in this area.
Healing Through The Pranic Body and Conscious Mind Weekend, Rehab Yoga, Yoga for Cancer, and Fascial Thinking
In this Healing through the Pranic Body and Conscious Mind weekend, we move deeper into the koshas, or layers of the Self, unwrapping like a gift, the inner-workings of the pranic and mental bodies. Teachers through the ages have taught us that we are much more than just our physical body, and in this retreat we begin the process of moving our awareness through the layers of our being toward the core. Participants will examine the healing relationship that the pranamaya and manomaya koshas share, and better understand, through theory and practice, how working at this level can bring balance to the body and mind. This weekend is considered a foundational module for the BDYT course.
As medical technology advances, surgery is becoming a more common form of treatment. In this course we investigate the most common surgeries and the best practices for helping clients rehabilitate after surgery. We will learn pathologies and the surgeries used to correct them. Students will leave with the most pertinent information about surgeries, the knowledge of when to begin working with clients, proper assessment techniques to help clients achieve their goals, and how to use mind-body techniques to improve outcomes. There will be special emphasis given on how to provide yoga therapy in the post Physical Therapy phase of surgery rehab.
Working with Cancer
Yoga therapy provides a unique opportunity to improve outcomes for cancer patients. In this course, students will get an overview of and familiarize themselves with cancer types and treatments. We will examine evidence based strategies for improving outcomes. Students will examine working with cancer patients through the koshic model—learning to effectively and safely teach asana, pranayama, and meditation with a clear understanding of contraindications for this population. A special unit on working with breast cancer patients is included in this course due to the prevalence of this condition.
Fascia is a key structural component of the body. As such, it contributes to the physical well-being of our bodies and is often indicated in pain and disfunction. In this course we will learn all about fascia and its relationship to structure and health. Students will learn how to identify facial lines in the body and the restrictions within them. There will also be an emphasis on common fascia-based pain patterns and how to shift fascia through asana and pranayama techniques. Students will leave with a clear understanding of how to work with bodies using a fascial viewpoint to relieve pain patterns.
Bliss and Wisdom; Yoga Therapy For The Innermost Self Weekend, Yoga Therapy For Bipolar & Borderline Personality Disorder, Weight Loss & Eating Disorders, and Therapeutic Relationships
In the Bliss and Wisdom; Yoga Therapy For The Innermost Self Weekend we will take a deep dive into the Wisdom and Bliss Bodies (Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Koshas). Together these two koshas or sheaths make up the innermost layers of the self. We will examine practices that balance these aspects of self and students will learn to identify imbalances and then apply appropriate practices to restore balance and connection to these inner koshas.
Yoga Therapy For Bipolar & Borderline Personality Disorder
Often people with mental health conditions are “stuck” in western models that don’t provide positive enough outcomes. In this course we look at 2 difficult to work with mental health disorders, Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. Students will learn about the current western models for treatment of these conditions. We will then learn, as a Yoga Therapist, how to assess and work with clients suffering from these disorders in a safe way and how to stay within our scope of practice. Students will leave more confident in working with clients with these, as well as other mental health conditions.
Weight Loss & Eating Disorders
Based on Brandt’s work with obesity and eating disorders, this course is an overview to approaching obesity and eating disorders from a yoga therapy perspective. Students will learn about the current state of treatment for these issues including the most up-to-date science surrounding them. Asana, pranayama, lifestyle, and meditation adaptations will be examined. We will examine on integrating the koshic and doshic models for these populations with a focus on safe effective languaging will also be discussed.
Managing therapeutic relationships is a foundational skill for yoga therapists. In this course students will explore possible issues in the therapeutic relationship. Students will learn how to manage and identify boundary issues, transference and countertransference, and have a clear understanding of how to be ethical from a yogic perspective.
Healing with the Body and Breath Weekend #2, Trauma, Addiction, and Yoga Nidra for Yoga Therapists
This weekend unit presents an opportunity to deepen the skills necessary for working with body and breath. Students will learn to articulate the Joint Freeing Series for therapeutic purposes as well as asana for the doshas. We will examine techniques to correct improper breathing patterns. Advanced muscle testing and postural assessment will be covered.
In this course students will learn to design yoga therapy programs for clients who are suffering from issues related to trauma. Students will learn about the current science around yoga and trauma and how to integrate this knowledge into the BDYT model. Students will spend time on proper languaging skills for those with trauma issues in order educate clients safely. Students will become well equipped to work with clients who are suffering from trauma related imbalances effectively in a one-on-one setting.
This course will examine addictive behavior and yoga therapy interventions. There will be an overview of current addiction treatment models and how yoga therapy can support these models. Students will examine and gain knowledge in addictive behaviors and their roots as well as expression in each kosha while also learning the appropriate interventions for each aspect of the self. Doshic considerations will be touched upon, as well as group protocols.
Yoga Nidra for Yoga Therapists
Yoga Nidra is an extremely powerful tool for healing. When properly taught yoga nidra can be modulated to treat many conditions and imbalances. In this course we will learn the basic theory behind yoga nidra. We will learn how to adjust yoga nidra to target specific koshas and gain the skills to language yoga nidra instruction appropriately for different condition sets.
Healing Through The Pranic Body and Conscious Mind Weekend #2, Brain, Neuroscience, Research & Yoga Therapy, Yoga Counselling Skills For The Very Ill & End Of Life, and Yoga For Anxiety & Depression
In this weekend course, students will delve deeper by learning advanced techniques for working with the pranic body and conscious mind (Pranayama and Manomaya Koshas). Students will explore practices that affect the 5 pranas for specific disease states. Students will then focus on the application of mantra and chanting for disease states. Time will be allotted for practicing teaching these skills to others.
Brain, Neuroscience, Research & Yoga Therapy
In this course—taught by a seasoned neuroscientist—students will learn how to properly read and evaluate research studies. Students will examine how to integrate vetted knowledge into yoga therapy settings. Students will also be given an overview of the current state of neuroscience research as it relates to yoga and meditation.
Yoga Counseling Skills For The Very Ill & End Of Life
In this course—taught by a grief and loss expert with over 4 decades of yoga study—students will investigate how we as Yoga Therapists can help those nearing the of their time in this form. Students will learn philosophical foundations of death, dying, and grief work. We will learn the 5 needs of grieving people and how to provide practices to integrate and fulfill these needs. We will also examine end of life from a koshic perspective.
Yoga For Anxiety & Depression
In this course students will examine strategies for working with clients suffering from anxiety and/or depression based issues. Students will become familiar with western models of treatment and learn to use this knowledge to inform assessments. We will learn assessment and treatment strategies using the koshic and doshic models. Students will be able to integrate this material into existing understanding of general yoga therapy principles and feel confident working with these common mental health challenges.
Bliss and Wisdom; Yoga Therapy For The Innermost Self Weekend #2, Ayurvedic Foundations, Pulse & Tongue: Ayurveda Applications and Diagnosis, and Yoga Therapy’s Deepest Realm: Solving Pain and Suffering Through the Inner Koshas
In this course students will learn advanced assessment and practices to address issues related to the Wisdom and Bliss Bodies (Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Koshas). Students will learn preparatory practices to facilitate access to the areas of self. The chakra based model for Vijnanamaya Kosha will be taught. Students will learn more advanced practices for ananamayakosha and how share this information with diverse populations.
This course offers a practical overview of Ayurvedic Principles as they relate to yoga therapy. Students will gain the knowledge of ayurvedic lifestyle guidelines as they relate to dosha diagnosis. Students will also learn to apply ayurvedic informed asana and pranayama. Shatkarma (cleansing) techniques will be taught with specific guidance on when these practices are most beneficial and how they might be offered to clients.
Pulse & Tongue: Ayurveda Applications and Diagnosis
Pulse and tongue assessment can provide much clarity to the Yoga Therapist when used correctly. In this course students will learn the theory and practice of pulse and tongue assessment as it relates to the BDYT assessments taught in the foundations program. Students will complete this unit with the ability to confirm and add to assessments using these 2 techniques.
Yoga Therapy’s Deepest Realm: Solving Pain and Suffering Through the Inner Koshas
The inner Koshas are the Wisdom and Bliss Bodies (Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Koshas). Suffering can often have it’s roots in these koshas, but it can be unclear how to shift practice appropriately to create positive client outcomes. In this course we will look at the subtler shifts in practices for these koshas. Students will learn how to identify signs that they need to shift their client’s meditation practices related to these koshas as well as, effectively choose practices best suited to their clients. Students will examine teaching styles and language to educate clients from differing backgrounds. Case studies will be presented for clarity.
Autoimmune Disease, Philosophical Foundations Of Yoga Therapy, and Scoliosis
The incidence of autoimmune diseases is rising steadily. This course will explore yoga therapy interventions for autoimmune disease. Students will become familiar with the basic science behind autoimmunity and western approaches to common autoimmune diseases. We will then look at various autoimmune diseases through the BDYT model. Students will practice assessment and how to create working strategies for several autoimmune conditions.
Philosophical Foundations Of Yoga Therapy
As Yoga Therapists, it is important to keep ourselves firmly grounded in the philosophy that eventually birthed yoga therapy. Without this grounding, our work can easily become irrelevant. In this course, we will examine teachings from key texts and how to apply them to our day to day work as healers. Students will learn how to use these concepts for themselves as Yoga Therapists, as well as how to translate textual references for the general population.
Spinal curvatures and scoliosis are a common cause of physical suffering. In this course, students will learn to properly assess spinal curvature and deliver yoga therapy to improve client’s conditions. Physical and koshic assessment for this condition will be taught. Practices to counter common muscular imbalances and systems to stop or reverse curvature will be discussed. Students will leave with more clarity on how to work with this challenging condition that can be greatly benefited by yoga therapy.
Advanced Program Path
Click on the arrows to follow your timeline from start to finish with Breathing Deeply.
If you have a 200 hour certification and one year of personal yoga practice, we’d love to hear from you!
Begin the online portion of our course. Participate in all aspects of our distance learning platform and online community.
You are now in your 215-hour practicum in your community being completely mentored along the way. There is a manual and guidelines, of course. You can begin once you’ve taken 4 of the 7 modules.
You’ll take your final exam (oral and written) after attending all 7 modules and of course, pass. You’ll do great!
Receive the gold standard of yoga therapy certifications! Yoga Therapist, you are. Om Shanti.
As a Yoga Therapist, you always have a home with us, receiving continued mentorship while working in the field. Breathing Deeply believes that this model is a big piece of supporting ethical Yoga Therapists in the world and it also makes our program special.
What are the prerequisites for the Advanced Program?
In order to be accepted into the Advanced Program, students must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or equivalent certificate. Students must also have a 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate or equivalent as well as at least one year of personal practice and one-year minimum teaching experience.
The Yoga Therapy Foundations Program is also offered as a stand alone program with different entrance requirements.
Where will I be able to work? Will I be a Yoga Therapist?
Yes. You will be a Yoga Therapist. In the west, yoga therapy is finally coming into its own. Yoga Therapists work with private clients for a wide variety of conditions. They also work in conjunction with other healthcare providers. Institutions such as hospitals and addiction centers are increasingly looking to Yoga Therapists to design and implement programs. As the field of yoga therapy continues to expand, so will opportunities. This is a great time to become a certified Yoga Therapist!
How much is the tuition?
The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program is taught and designed by a Yoga Therapist with extensive experience in the field. Brandt has seen clients for a huge array of conditions and maintained a full-time yoga therapy practice for over a decade. Brandt’s down-to-earth teaching style provides his students with proven, real world applications of ancient yoga therapy concepts. The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program is designed to directly transfer this method in a clear and useful way to you. Traditionally, this is the way yoga therapy has been taught—teacher to student—with a mentoring relationship that goes beyond just the formal training model.
The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program is also committed to training people with busy lives, families, and other careers and responsibilities. Our format is designed with this in mind. There is no extra busy work or wasted time. We want our students to know that they are supported to become an ethical Yoga Therapist, no matter what their lives and learning needs are. So, take a course at a pace that works for you. Complete the entire 871-hour Advanced Program in 3 years, or take more time upgrading your knowledge. It’s your choice!
Finally, a mention that we are creating a community of Yoga Therapists. Our online format never ends. We expect our graduates to participate, bring case studies and real world problems to our forums and mentoring sessions. Join a collective of skilled Yoga Therapists that goes beyond graduation. Become a Yoga Therapist and find your yoga home with Breathing Deeply.