Upcoming Start Dates:  January 14, 2022
*Application Window is now Open!

 Refine your skill set, define your life. Your transformation begins in January!

Who is the program for?

The Mental Health Specialist program accepts students who have a 200 or 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification (or equivalent experience), and also C-IAYT’s.  Other potential students who have experience in taking yoga classes may be admitted by permission of the Program Director if their background is considered appropriate.  Please contact us if you would like us to consider your resume.

Continue your Yoga Therapy training and become an Optimal State® Mental Health Specialist. The goal of this training program is to bridge the Eastern Wisdom of Yoga & Ayurveda and Western Psychology. This program will prepare Yoga Therapists to work in the field of Integrative Medicine at hospitals, Senior Centers, Youth Centers, Veteran’s Associations, private practice at home or a studio, and county or government facilities that have a mental health aspect.

  • Total hours: 186 + homework
  • Two 9 Day Online Modules: 167 hours
  • Distance learning: 19 hours
  • Program Length: 7 months (January to July each year)
  • Led by Amy Wheeler, Ph.D.

Two Modules: Two 9-day modules in January and July for a total of 167 hours will be held via zoom until further notice.  Both modules must be completed. There is a one day break in between two 4-day segments to digest and relax.

Please note that you might consider taking only the January module or only the July module, depending on the topics that you are interested in.  We can give you a schedule if you would like to see which topics are taught in January vs. July.

Distance Learning/Zoom Online Classes: 1 hour online interactive classes held Friday mornings 9:00am-10:00am PST. These hours will include reviewing case studies of real people. Classes are held on the Zoom platform, making it an interactive class with students from around the world.

Final Project: Create and present a 45-minute presentation on the application of the Optimal State Mental Health Model to an under served group. A summary of the presentation including; the population served, your presentation, photos/video of the event, and feedback forms from the participants is required. All presentation documents, including power points, must be pre-approved prior to the presentation. The outreach program highlights our desire to bring yoga and Yoga Therapy to under served and diverse communities.

Daily Yoga Practice: In order to serve others, you must nourish yourself with a practice each day. You will be asked to record a short journal entry about your practice several times a week. You will work with your mentor, peer-mentors and intuition throughout the program to develop a practice that is right for you. It might include postures, breathing practices or meditations. This is mandatory to graduate from the program.

Mental Health Specialist Info Packet
Mental Health Specialist Outline
Mental Health Specialist Application

The application submission window is open for the January start date. If you would like to turn in your application before that, we would be happy to receive it.  We will accept applications after Dec. 15th in special circumstances, but would prefer that you honor the application window.  

Please note that this program is a combination of 3 separate IAYT APD Courses.  If you take this course you will receive 3 separate CE certificates to use with IAYT as continuing education units.  The benefit of taking the entire course (instead of 3 separate parts) is that the fee is greatly reduced and there is a payment plan.  If you take the 3 courses separately, we ask that you pay each course fee up front and we do not offer a payment plan.  For more details contact us at