January 8, 2022:

History of Yoga & Yoga Therapy 8:30am-12:30pm
Faculty: Priya Saini Verma
Honoring the roots of yoga as coming from India, we strive to learn the historical and cultural setting that yoga and yoga therapy emerged from. Topics: How did yoga begin? How was it kept it alive? What were the major milestones and time periods? Who can we thank for protecting it over thousands of years? All yogis are welcome to attend this talk!
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Building A Yoga Therapy Business 1:30pm-5:00pm
Faculty: Amy Wheeler

Using the yamas and niyamas to be the foundation of building your ethical business. Practicing yamas and niyamas in marketing, advertising and student care are the keys to success. We will examine our own behavior and work through scenarios to determine right action and clear decision-making in business. We will also examine what worked from last year and where our business needs to transform for the upcoming year.  All yoga teachers and yoga therapists are encouraged to attend.
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February 5, 2022:

Purusha, Prakriti & Prana for Healing in Yoga Therapy 6:30am-10:30am
Faculty: Nrithya Jagannathan
Lecture on the relationship between Purusha, Prakriti, & Prana and how to use this model for healing in the context of Yoga Therapy. Using the elements, the senses and types of mind, we’ll explore moving from illness to health, healing & beyond.
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Scope of Practice in Yoga Therapy 1:30pm-5:30pm
Faculty: Amy Wheeler

Group discussions on the IAYT Scope of Practice in Yoga Therapy. Explore in detail how each part of the Scope of Practice must be grounded in Yoga Philosophy. We will also discuss the new IAYT policy for touch; providing clear instructions for waivers & practices around touch.
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March 5, 2022:

Cultural Appropriation & Yoga Therapy 8:30am-12:30pm
Faculty: Priya Saini Verma
Yoga arrived in the west in a different form than it had taken in India. The cultural context, the language, the oral tradition, the ritual and the ancient texts were stripped away. Are you the type of yoga teacher or yoga therapist that wants to make sure you are not practicing in cultural appropriation? Do you want to know the signs of cultural appropriation? Do you understand how you can do better? Are you confident in the historical knowledge of colonialism and want to understand why people are feeling sensitive about cultural appropriation? In this workshop we will explore how we can be true to Mother India and to the origins of yoga. We will give suggestions and discuss how to stay within the guidelines of the yamas with respect to cultural appropriation.
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Daily Practice & Mentoring in Yoga Therapy 1:30pm-5:30pm
Faculty: Amy Wheeler

The student-teacher relationship is sacred. We will have a discussion and group learning around the importance of self-care, daily reflection on actions, relationship with mentor, and using an outside source used to see yourself more clearly. We will also discuss how to help our clients have more compliance and adherence to their daily practices and lifestyle routines. Maintaining daily practice is essential to bring about change and healing. Are you curious how to get your clients to have better adherence in their daily practice and lifestyle modifications? Do you think that if your clients followed your guidelines, they would see more success and come back again and again, improving your business? Do you need motivation on how to make sure you do your own daily practice each day? Can you imagine having a modern mentor relationship with someone who is not a guru, but rather asks you the questions to help you see yourself more clearly?
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April 2, 2022:

Grief & Loss in Yoga Therapy 8:30am-12:30pm
Faculty: Sarah Capua
It is inevitable that as a yoga therapist we will have clients experiencing grief and loss. This can be a delicate time and requires a sensitive approach. Do you feel confident in knowing how to be with someone who has just experienced loss? Do you know how to give empathy and hold space without solving a problem or placing your belief and values on the client? Are you comfortable with death and dying and acceptance? This workshop will provide an overview of how to work as a yoga therapist in the area of grief counselling. A hospice Chaplain and yoga therapist will walk us through what is helpful and unhelpful with respect to helping our students through their grief process. In this workshop we’ll focus on a case study, biomedical information, assessment and therapeutic plan for someone experiencing grief.
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Ethics in Yoga Therapy & Touch Policy 1:30pm-5:30pm
Faculty: Amy Wheeler
Review the IAYT Code of Ethics, policies for forming a complaint and how to protect yourself and your business. Yoga Therapy has become a profession and this means that we now must adhere to professional ethics. Do you feel comfortable with knowing how to handle a client who has a crush on you? Do you know how to address a client who is projecting onto you? How do you end a client-therapist relationship ethically? What are the ethics around money and payment? What do you do when a colleague has said things about you that are not true? Do you find yourself participating in gossip about your colleagues or even clients? We will be discussing all this and more in this community day and how to handle these difficult situations. We will also discuss the Optimal State Code of Conduct and how to become curious when we get into ethical dilemmas in our life and business. It is this curiosity and willingness to shine a light on our behavior that helps us get to the other side and learn from our mistakes.
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May 7, 2022:

Samkhya Model for Healing in Yoga Therapy 7:30am-11:30am
Faculty: Nrithya Jagannathan
Sometimes the healing that occurs as a result of yoga therapy seems like magic. It is hard to explain the actual mechanism that seems to heal the nervous system and ultimately all the layers of the human system. Do you ever wonder how you can explain it to yourself, other healthcare providers, or even your clients? Do you have a clear language around Samkhya Philosophy, the different types of mind, and how turning the senses inward promotes healing? Sometimes you know a topic, but you have a hard time explaining or need visuals to solidify the concepts for yourself and others, That is exactly the goal of this workshop. We want to help you get more clarity around Why Yoga Therapy Works and for you to be able to share it with others! Curriculum handouts are provided for you to use with your clients. Lecture on the Samkhya model, including the tanmatras, rajas, tamas and sattva guna. Explore the similarities and differences of sister schools; Samkhya Philosophy and yoga. We will also demonstrate how Samkhya is the foundation of the system of healing for both yoga and Ayurveda.
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Yoga Therapy for Gender & Sexual Minorities (GSM) 1:30pm-5:30pm
Faculty: Steven Inghram
Yoga Therapy can offer deep healing to those whom identify as GSM (LGBTQIA+) and great care must be taken to understand this population in order to provide them with a safe and trusted space to process their experience. In this Community Day, you will be educated about the intricacies of both gender identity and sexual orientation, the trauma experienced in three communities, and how to provide a safe therapeutic space for GSM individuals and groups. We will go into detail about which pronouns to use, the different categories of LGBTQIA+ appropriate language and how to have a new perception and understanding of human BE-ingness
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August 6, 2022: 

Yoga Therapy Therapeutic Plan: Pacifying Symptoms & Finding Root Causes 7:30am-11:30am
Faculty: Geetha Shankar
Lecture on the definition of healing the symptoms vs. getting to the root cause of the suffering. There are times when the client is weak and we must first soothe and pacify the symptoms before they can work towards pulling up the roots of the problem. There are other times we must dive in and get to the cause immediately. The question is when do we work with symptoms vs. the causes? That is the topic of this day!
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Non-Violent Communication (NVC) Satyam & Ahimsa 1:30pm-5:30pm
Faculty: Laurie Angress
Non-violent Communication as outlined by Marshall Rosenberg and friends is the heart of the Optimal State Yoga Therapy School. We cannot have trust without honestly. We each work to identify our own needs and make requests of others. We do this in our personal lives and professional lives. This workshop is for anyone that has trouble with boundaries, sensing their own needs and asking for help from others.
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September 3, 2022:

Yoga Therapy Sattvic Mind: Finding Balance & Peace in Difficult Times 8:30am-12:30pm
Faculty: Amy Wheeler
Looking at sattva from a holistic perspective. Exploring the practices around the experience pertaining to sattva, states of mind leading to sattva, how to get there using yoga philosophy and what the experience of sattva feels like from the inside out. We will also tie in information about the parasympathetic nervous system, the Vagus Nerve, Heart Rate Variability and what modern science shows us about the sattvic state of being.
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Building Functional Groups in Yoga Therapy 1:30pm-5:30pm
Faculty: Amy Wheeler
Lecture and group discussion on group yoga therapy in a community setting. First we will differentiate yoga therapy from therapeutic yoga classes. We will demonstrate how to create and administer a personal assessment of each client in the small group, and track each person’s progress. We will also give examples of how to set up small functional yoga therapy groups, intake forms, waivers and everything you need to get started!
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October 1, 2022:

Yoga Therapy Assessments on the 5 Layers of the Human System 7:30am-12:30pm
Faculty: Srinivasan .V.
Lecture on the panch maya model as described in the Upanishads and also the secular version given by TKV Desikachar for more public settings like hospitals and public schools. We will be assessing ourselves and practicing on one another. We will also do group activities to demonstrate how balance and imbalance shows up on each of the 5 layers. Yoga Teachers and Yoga Therapists are welcome to join us.
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Building Cultural Humility in Yoga Therapy 1:30pm-5:30pm
Faculty: Tzipporah Gerson-Miller
Based upon the framework conceptualized by Dr. Melanie Tervalon and Jann Murray-Garcia, cultural humility is a process involving self-reflection and commitment to lifelong learning. It allows us to acknowledge and shift the power imbalances that exist within the therapeutic relationship, while fostering both individual and collective accountability Being able to engage knowledgeably and competently with individuals and communities from diverse backgrounds is essential for trauma informed practice. In addition, yoga therapists must also be able to understand and appropriately respond to the unique combination of cultural variables and the full range of dimensions of diversity that the professional and client/patient/family bring to interactions. To understand cultural humility, we must become aware of factors, including but not limited to age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity (encompasses gender expression), national origin (encompasses related aspects e.g., ancestry, culture, language, dialect, citizenship, and immigration status), race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and veteran status. Developing cultural humility as a yoga therapist is a process requiring ongoing self-assessment and continuous expansion of one’s own biases.
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November 5, 2022: 

Trauma & Social Identity 8:30am-12:30pm
Faculty: Tzipporah Gerson-Miller
The social structures embedded in our society create conditions for inequity, lack of inclusion, and disenfranchisement to occur on a daily basis. Systems such as, patriarchy, racism, homophobia, bigotry, body shaming, Islamaphobia, colonialism, Antisemitism, and white supremacy, etc, prevent marginalized individuals and communities from meeting their basic needs, as well as inhibiting their ability to maintain a quality of life that supports their mental/physical health and well-being. Health inequities and systemic barriers to quality care cause significant trauma to those who possess this lived experience. It is imperative that yoga therapists understand how to minimize harm by normalizing trauma as a valid response to social/cultural PTSD, rather than perpetuating the narrative that such a response is pathological. Yoga therapists should have a core understanding of how the complexities of trauma and social identity intersect in the everyday lived experience of an individual, so that they can provide a continuum of trauma sensitive and culturally informed care. Yoga therapists should also have an awareness of their own implicit and cognitive biases, that may consciously or unconsciously inform the way in which they provide yoga therapy services.
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The Bird Model from the Upanishads & Applications in Yoga Therapy 1:30pm-5:30pm
Faculty: Colleen Carroll
The ancient Upanishads give us a beautiful method for looking deeply into the 5 layers of the human system. The text asks us to reflect on the wings, head, tail and torso of the bird model and how they correspond to our human system. This model can become a deep object of meditation for all of us. This workshop will include experiential teachings that go beyond the head and into the heart.
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