We hope to reopen later in 2021 when we can safely do so. We look forward to serving you in person again. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates. Attend programs online!


  • $375.00 – Program Price

Date & Time Details: Live sessions with Amy and Mala
Weekdays, Jul. 28–30 & Aug. 2 & 3
11 am–1 pm and 4–6 pm

Saturday, Jul. 31 and Sunday, Aug. 1
11 am–2 pm and 4–6 pm

Live Event: The main program sessions are live and all sessions are in ET. Attendance is required during all Live sessions for certification. The live sessions will be recorded and posted to the Online Programs access page if you wish to review any sessions. Recordings* are usually posted within one day and are available to program participants and presenter(s) only.
*Students will be asked to keep their cameras on during the live online sessions.

*You will have access to the video recordings for 8 weeks after the program ends.

Registration: Please register by 10 am on Jul 28

Financial Aid: Financial Aid is available.
Fill out and return the form below to [email protected]

Finanical Aid Application for Online Workshop


Email us about program

Mental Health, Brain Science, and Yoga – Online

with Amy Wheeler, Ph.D., C-IAYT and M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D., C-IAYT

July 28 - August 3, 2021

For everyone, especially mental health professionals, Yoga teachers, Yoga therapists, and healthcare workers

During this online workshop, learn about integrating Yoga and mental health through research, theory, and practice sessions. Research has shown that mindfulness, meditation, and Yoga practices have the ability to positively impact mental and emotional health. Yoga, neuroscience, and mindfulness powerfully influence resiliency, emotional health, and healing related to anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, and mood states.

Explore concepts of well-being and health through the lens of brain science, neuropsychology, and Yoga practices. Learn how chronic stress and trauma influence behavior and mood states as well as the influence of the vagus nerve and vagal toning on healing.

The workshop will include:

  • A review of polyvagal theory, stress, and Yoga
  • How yogic practices influence our neurobiology, brain, and hormones
  • Research on Yoga practices and healing
  • The importance of the vagus nerve and vagal toning.
  • Neuro-therapies for healing by both practitioners and for self-healing
  • Practices that rewire the brain and positively impact mood states
  • Research on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and how trauma affects mental health and physical health outcomes

Live sessions on weekdays at 11 am–1 pm and 4–6 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday at 11 am–2 pm and 4–6 pm ET.

Attendance at live sessions is required for certification. The live sessions will be recorded and the recordings are usually posted within one day for program participants to review. Recordings will be available for review for 8 weeks after the program ends, until September 28.

Students will be asked to keep their cameras on and be face to face to the camera during the live online sessions.

In addition you will have access to recorded Ashram meditations and hatha classes, and inspiring talks with Sri Swami Satchidananda. You will also have access to an online social community to connect and communicate with other participants about this course.

Continuing Education (CE) Opportunities




These two women are powerhouses of information, passionate about their fields, and compassionate— they are great together. This was very informative for my personal as well as professional life. I will always consider taking classes when these two are the presenters either alone or together. As much as I would have loved to have been at the ashram for the training, the zoom format allowed me to do this whereas it would have been too time and monetarily restrictive if it had been just in person. Thanks for offering the zoom format! I highly recommend any trainings from Yogaville. In addition to fabulous expert speakers, you will enjoy the sangha of community and getting to know other enthusiastic life long learners as well as the addition of meditation, hatha yoga classes, and lunchtime talks. Dr.s Mala and Amy make a great team. Loved my training with them on Mental Health, Brain Science and Yoga— so good— not enough words! — Susan Shanthi Polk

This course, Mental Health, Brain Science, and Yoga with Dr. Mala Cunningham and Dr. Amy Wheeler was extraordinary. Both of them shared their expertise, experience, compassion, and empathy with all of us in attendance. The research they presented on yoga practice and yogic breath, on yoga and the brain and mental health, was particularly convincing and reaffirming. All in all, the course was life-transforming for me personally and in a very practical way. The presenters were extremely professional, knowledgeable, personable, helpful, reassuring and supportive for the whole 7-day training session. — Susan Grabara

What an informative and engaging course! I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Both Dr. Amy and Dr. Mala were superb. Their expertise and delivery were second to none. What a beautiful partnership. As a yoga therapist in training, the content of this course was of particular interest to me. I wanted to learn more about how to share the beautiful tools we have in yoga, and also be able to provide my clients with the scientific knowledge to support these sacred teachings. This was such a transformative course. Being able to support the sacred teaching of yoga with scientific evidence for healing will just be so beneficial in helping to bring yoga to a broader audience. I am beyond grateful for Dr. Amy and Dr. Mala for giving us the tools we need to not only take our own personal yoga practices to the next level, but to also be able to confidently share these beautiful tools and ancient wisdom with others on their own journey towards healing. — A. Baric


Amy Wheeler, Ph.D., C-IAYT
Amy is the Founder and Director of Optimal State Programs, which provides both Yoga and Yoga Therapy Training Programs. She is a Professor of Kinesiology at California State University, San Bernardino for 20+ years. Amy’s degrees include a B.A. and M.A. in Health Promotion and a Ph.D. in Education and Psychology. Amy has traveled to India many times and was certified to teach Yoga and Yoga Therapy in the Tradition of T. Krishnamacharya. Before that, she was certified by several other internationally recognized Yoga and Yoga Therapy Training Programs. She served as President for the International Association of Yoga Therapists…
Learn more about Amy Wheeler, Ph.D., C-IAYT
M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D., C-IAYT
Mala Cunningham is a Counseling Psychologist and Certified Yoga Therapist in Charlottesville, VA. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia School of Nursing where she teaches courses in Foundations of Medical Yoga for Health Professionals. Dr. Cunningham is also the president of Positive Health Solutions and is the founder and director of Hospital Bed Yoga and the Cardiac Medical Yoga Teacher Training Program. She is also the co-director of Medical Yoga at the University of Virginia and is involved in several Yoga-based initiatives, including a research study exploring the impact of Medical Yoga on lupus patients. She…
Learn more about M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D., C-IAYT

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