Upcoming Start Dates:  January 11-19, 2020 • January 9-17, 2021
Enrollment Window Open June 1st- July 1st each year

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

Who is the program for?

The Mental Health Specialist program accepts C-IAYT's and students who have a 200 or 500-hour Teacher Training Certification.  Other potential students 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 psychology practices, and county or government facilities that have a mental health aspect.

  • Total hours: 186
  • In-person Residential Modules (two 9-day modules): 167 hours
  • Distance learning: 19 hours
  • Final project
  • Program Length: 7 months (January to July each year)
  • In-person Residential Module located in Southern California
  • Led by Amy Wheeler, Ph.D.

In-Person Residential Modules: Two 9-day modules in January and July for a total of 167 hours of in-person training. Both modules must be completed. There is a one day break in between two 4-day segments to digest and relax. Community is created with students. All residential modules are held at a retreat center in Southern California.

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 Application

The application submission window is Nov. 1st- Dec. 1st, each year for the Jan. 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. 1st 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

We are now able to provide Continuing Education Credits for Psychologists, LCSW, LPCC, LEP, LMFT and Nurses in California. Click here for more details!