Svastha Yoga Therapy Foundations (300 Hours) – Syllabus

Courses & Contents (including Learning Objectives)


Duration: 10 hours

This course lays the foundation for understanding the traditional approach of yoga and
ayurveda toward wellbeing. Building on that, we then explore the practical ways to create
sustainable positive transformation. The contents of this course are at the heart of all work as
a yoga student, yoga facilitator and teacher of wellbeing, and as a yoga therapist

In this course you will:

  1. Appreciate the holistic view of yoga and ayurveda.
  2. Explore wellbeing as the balance of functions in all levels of yourself.
  3. Use the full-spectrum Svastha map of wellbeing to look at the skills of wellbeing.
  4. Receive an introduction to assessing imbalance.
  5. Work with the ways to create, support, and sustain positive change.
  6. Understand conscious vs. unconscious in the yoga view: patterns and shifts.
  7. Appreciate the importance of the principle of adaptation—use it or lose it.
  8. Explore willpower, energy, resistance, effort as parameters that influence change.
  9. Differentiate stress vs. challenge. Cultivate safety, resilience. Understand coping and
  10. Use curiosity, exploration, play, and the new vs familiar.
  11. Cognize the role of environment in change: supports for new patterns, triggers for old
  12. Choose steps in the journey of change: small steps and large steps.
  13. Adjust degree of challenge: less vs more in time and complexity.
  14. Manage lapses, trying again vs trying differently.
  15. Work with motivation: values, conviction, insight, changing vs. growing.
  16. Explore the personal meaning of change, value system, intrinsic and extrinsic rewards,
    changing vs. growing.
  17. Cultivating acceptance, balancing engagement and letting go.

Traditional Frameworks

  1. vṛtti, samskāra
  2. hetu, phala, āśraya, ālambana
  3. śraddhā, vīrya, prajñā
  4. tapas, svādhyāya, īśvara-praṇidhāna
  5. vrata/vow/commitment


Duration: 40 hours

This master course covers the keys of breathing well: skills, practices, wisdom, insights, and

In summary, in this course, you will:

  1. Learn the skills needed to breathe well, lifelong.
  2. Receive guided exercises, observation and assessment, and teaching practice for those
  3. Understand the necessary functional anatomy of breathing techniques.
  4. Learn decision pathways to work with imbalances of the breath.
  5. Understand safety and contraindications of different breathing skills.

Topics include:

  1. Charting the parameters of breathing.
  2. Observing the breath as it is.
  3. Finding comfort with the natural breath and understanding its uses.
  4. Regulating the cycle of breathing skillfully.
  5. Managing the effort of breathing: decreasing the effort of breathing with ease, increasing
    the effort with arousal.
  6. Working with deep breathing and shallow breathing.
  7. Understanding the anatomy, principles, and practice of physical patterns of breathing and
    their uses, including abdominal breathing, lower rib breathing, upper chest breathing, and
    breathing into the back.
  8. Appreciating the connection between breath and body movement and its practical uses.
  9. Lengthening the breath with care and comfort.
  10. Safely using fast breathing.
  11. Cultivating the inhalation: including using movement, position, touch, visualization, sound,
    and sequencing.
  12. Cultivating the exhalation: including using movement, position, touch, visualization,
    sound, and sequencing.
  13. Developing breath suspension, safety, contraindications, benefits, sequencing and more.
  14. Using breathing ratios and stepped breathing in asana and pranayama.
  15. Using ujjāyī breathing in asana.
  16. Working with sound to enhance breathing

Traditional Frameworks

  1. bhāva
  2. dhāraṇā, dhyāna, samādhi
  3. smṛti-sādhana
  4. prajñā
  5. vikalpa, vitarka, vicāra
  6. grahītā, grahaṇā, grāhya

Modern Science

  1. Functional anatomy of the respiratory system.
  2. Functional anatomy of breathing cycle.
  3. Physiology of respiration (control of breathing, oxygen and carbon dioxide, energy
    generation, hyperventilation and hypoventilation etc.)
  4. Visceral regulation and breathing (interoception, vagal tone, heart rate variability, regulation through breath etc.)


Duration 60 hours

This course will take you through all the important skills of movement for each region of the
body, the major disorders that arise in those regions, and the yoga therapy approach to
managing them. These same skills are also what keep your locomotor system healthy and
help you move well, lifelong.

In summary, in this course, you will:

  1. Learn the locomotor skills needed to move well.
  2. Receive guided exercises, observation and assessment, and teaching practice for those
  3. Understand the necessary functional anatomy of key body regions.
  4. Learn decision pathways to work with imbalances of these body regions.
  5. Appreciate the implication of major locomotor system disorders and diagnoses and learn
    how to approach them.

Topics include:

  1. Understanding, practicing, and teaching the skills of moving well:
    a. pain-management as needed
    b. awareness & exploration
    c. relaxation, release
    d. mobilization, easing movement
    e. stability, control
    f. strength, endurance
    g. range of movement, stretching
    h. alignment for safe and effective force transmission and loading
    i. balance, gait
    j. agility, speed and responsiveness
    k. coordination, increasing complexity
    l. positive emotion and supportive dialogue toward the body
    m. breathing to support moving well
    n. play, exploration, intrinsic reward
  2. Learning and teaching guided exercises for each of these regions to develop important
    movement skills, with a holistic focus:
    a. low back
    b. mid & upper back
    c. neck
    d. shoulder
    e. elbow, wrist & hand
    f. sacrum
    g. hip
    h. knee
    i. ankle & foot
  3. Learning and teaching guided practices combining multiple movement skills for a region
    and across regions.
  4. Appreciating safety and contraindications in teaching and practice.
  5. Observing a student, assessing locomotor imbalances, and working with decision
    pathways or protocols for managing those imbalances.
  6. Working with major locomotor disorders such as:
    a. lumbar spine (chronic low back pain, disc herniation, sciatica, facet joint dysfunction,
    hyperlordosis, spondylolisthesis)
    b. thoracic spine (hyperkyphosis, stiffness, facet joint dysfunction)
    c. cervical spine (head forward alignment, disc herniation, nerve compression)
    d. scoliosis
    e. shoulder (impingement, rotator cuff tears, instability)
    f. elbow, hand (epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome)
    g. sacroiliac pain and dysfunction
    h. hip (fracture, alignment, soft tissue imbalances)
    i. knee (IT band, meniscal tears, ligament strains)
    j. dropped arches, hallux valgus
  7. Understanding the tissues of the locomotor system: fascia, cartilage, bones, muscles,
    ligaments, joints, nerves.
  8. Appreciating the global organization of movement: tension, compression, tensegrity and
    integration; prediction, feedback, neural control; development of movement.
  9. Understanding the science of key locomotor skills.


Duration: 30 hours

Many of us are overwhelmed in modern life. We struggle to manage our energy, find rest,
and bring positive feelings to our mind and body. This program will give you the knowledge,
practice, and skills to balance your energy levels, find deep rest and restoration, and cultivate
positive emotions and sensations of compassion, joy, gratitude, and more. You will learn
ancient wisdom underpinning these topics in yoga, explore modern and practical applications,
and develop your teaching skills.

In summary, in this course, you will:

  • Learn to balance your energy levels from being low or high to a neutral and functional
  • Understand and practice rest, deep rest, and restoration.
  • Cultivate positive emotions and sensations in mind and body including compassion, love,
    joy, and gratitude.
  • Develop teaching skills for all the above.

Topics include:

Balancing energy

  1. Understanding emotion, valence, energy, and the connection to the yogic frameworks of
    guna-s and klesa-s.
  2. Winding down from high energy: using your body, breath, senses to recover balance.
    How to meet high energy level where it is and chart multimodal stepdown.
  3. Activating from low energy: using your body, breath, senses to recover. How to meet low
    energy level where it is and chart multimodal step up.

Cultivating deep rest and recovery

Working with:

  1. safety and letting go.
  2. support and release.
  3. mobilization and ease.
  4. visualization for relaxation.
  5. surrendering effort.
    …and more techniques of deep rest.

Cultivating positive emotions

  1. Exploring the role and importance of positive emotions in wellbeing.
  2. Understanding the traditional presentation of positive emotions in yoga.
  3. Growing compassion, joy, love, gratitude and more.
  4. Understanding the challenges in cultivating positive emotions.
  5. Working with therapeutic applications of positive emotion practices.

Traditional Frameworks

3 guṇa-s, bhāva, maitrī, karuṇā, mudita, upekṣā, santoṣa.

Modern Science

Understanding the stress response and its role in activation, regulation, and shut down:

  1. sympathetic nervous system, activation, mobilization responses.
  2. parasympathetic nervous system, relaxation, immobilization responses
  3. polyvagal theory, heart rate variability
  4. window of tolerance, resilience


Duration: 30 hours

This course gives you a solid foundation in the traditional approach of ayurveda, as relevant
to wellbeing maintenance, nutrition, and yoga therapy. We will explore the skills of healthful
eating and developing a nourishing relationship to food. We will also go into the topics of
lifestyle management, sleep management, and taking care of the senses. Further, we also
cover digestive disorders and the yoga and ayurveda approach to managing them.

In summary, in this course, you will:

  1. Learn the foundations of ayurveda for health maintenance and wellbeing direct from the
    ancient traditional sources, and made accessible and clear.
  2. Understand the importance of nutrition and be guided in developing strategies for
    optimizing relationship to food and diet.
  3. Examine and implement lifestyle management of sleep, energy, daily activity, fasting,
    exercise, and sensory management for greater wellbeing from a traditional and modern
    scientific perspective.

Topics include:

  1. Exploring the roots and key frameworks of ayurveda from the traditional sources, clearly
    and effectively, including:
    a. guṇa and kriya: qualities and functions of body and mind.
    b. three doṣa-s (vāta pitta kapha) and their divisions.
    c. seven dhātu-s.
    d. agni and āma.
  2. Understanding and assessing ayurvedic constitution (prakṛti) and observing individual
    balance and imbalance (vikṛti).
  3. Learning common patterns of imbalance of the functions of the doṣa-s and measures to
    balance them.
  4. Exploring the impact of daily life routine (dinacarya) and adaption to the seasons or
    environment (ṛtucarya) from the traditional ayurvedic perspective.
  5. Following the models of kāla, artha, karma, hīna-, ati-, and mithyā-yoga, and
    prajñāparādha, to analyze imbalances of senses and actions and bring them back to
  6. Developing daily routine and rituals and personalizing lifestyle. Balancing work, play, rest.
  7. Reflecting on and developing pathways for adapting to stages of life.
  8. Taking care of the eyes and ears and managing what we see and hear.
  9. Appreciating the importance of sleep, the science behind it, and developing better quality
    and duration of sleep holistically.
  10. Overview of the physiology of the digestive system as relevant to holistic wellbeing and
    yoga therapy.
  11. Introduction to the complexity of the science of nutrition, the microbiome, and common
    approaches to diets in the modern era.
  12. Charting diet and eating patterns for yoga therapy.
  13. Understanding relationship to food and hunger (nourishment, sensation, craving, coping).
  14. Cultivating beneficial relationships to food, before, during, and after eating.
  15. Investigating the importance of fasting, its relevance, safety, and strategies to practice it
  16. Major digestive disorders and the yoga therapy approach to managing them.


Duration: 30 hours

Awareness is the basis of conscious choice. Empowerment in self-care and wellbeing begins
with noticing our patterns. Starting from there, classical yoga presents the practices of
mindfulness, absorption, and contemplation expansively and in depth. In this master course
you will understand, practice, and learn to teach these experiences of awareness to others—
comprehensively, from yogic, modern, and practical perspectives.

In summary, in this course, you will:

  1. Understanding the key types of awareness practices.
  2. Examine the ancient yoga frameworks that structure and explain awareness practices.
  3. Explore how we can use different types of awareness practices optimally on our journey
    of wellbeing.
  4. Classify objects of awareness, what we can practice mindfulness or meditation on, based
    on practical samkhya and yoga frameworks.
  5. Practice yogic mindfulness extensively and in-depth.
  6. Experience absorption practices in sight, mantra, breath and body, positive emotions and
  7. Practice composite visualizations of sensations, images, and more.
  8. Explore the neuroscience of consciousness and attention.
  9. Understand the connections between yoga and modern positive psychology and
    neurobiology on the topic of meditation and mindfulness.

Topics covered include:

What and why of awareness practices

  1. The categories of directed attention: mindfulness, absorption, contemplation. What are
    their key features and the differences between them?
  2. The stages of progressive absorption in meditation practices.
  3. dhāraṇā, dhyāna, samādhi, samyama in traditional yoga.
  4. Ways that awareness practices play an important role in supporting holistic wellbeing and
    self-transformation: monitoring, focus, insight, goal-setting.
  5. Experiencing holistic states of change (bhāva).
  6. Recalling one’s attention (smṛti-sādhana).
  7. The arising and role of insight (prajñā) in transformation.
  8. What to meditate on? Objects or experiences of focus: body, breath, senses, emotions,
    abstractions, I-sense (grahītā, grahaṇā, grāhya).
  9. Contemplation and abstractions in meditation pathways: vikalpa, vitarka, vicāra.
  10. Awareness and the three guṇas of yoga as an underlying framework.

How of awareness practices

  1. Balancing effort and relaxation in attention practices, walking the line between energy
    and dullness.
  2. Growing the qualities of steadiness and entrainment.
  3. Understanding and practicing focused vs. expansive awareness states.
  4. Managing the emotional background of mindfulness and absorptive states.
  5. Cultivating a stable meditation pathway over time.
  6. Finding salience or importance in objects of absorption.

Yogic mindfulness: cultivating sattvic presence

  1. Understanding the cautions, challenges, recommendations in mindfulness practices.
  2. Developing and deepening sattvic mindfulness of breath, body, senses, thoughts and

Yogic absorption: foundations of mantra, imagery and more
Understand the principles of, and practice absorption in:

  1. sound, mantra, speech.
  2. light, images.
  3. breath and body sensation.
  4. positive emotions.
  5. peace, stillness.

Science of consciousness and attention
Understand the neuroscience of the self, including:

  1. emergence and purpose of self-construct.
  2. nerve signaling, neural circuits.
  3. theories of consciousness.
  4. top-down monitoring and feedback systems.

Explore the neurobiology of:

  1. mindfulness, absorption.
  2. flow states, default mode network.
  3. mystic and alternative consciousness states.

Traditional Frameworks

  1. bhāva
  2. dhāraṇā, dhyāna, samādhi, smṛti-sādhana
  3. prajñā
  4. vikalpa, vitarka, vicāra
  5. grahītā, grahaṇā, grāhya


Duration: 10 hours

Relationships are a key ingredient of good life quality. Humans are not meant to live in
isolation. We depend on relationships from birth until our passing to provide us with support,
connection, stability, positive emotions, meaning, and much more. In this course, we will
explore the yogic frameworks, reflections, and practices that can help us nurture supportive,
safe, and beneficial relationships in our lives.

In this course, you will:

  1. Appreciate the role of connection in wellbeing.
  2. Learn to take a holistic approach to navigating relationships.
  3. Understand common archetypes from the ancient perspectives in a modern context:
    parent-child, spouse, friend, teacher-student, therapist-client etc.
  4. Explore how ethics and boundaries are key to safe and stable relationships.
  5. Be guided through reflections, practices, and teaching skills on all the above topics.

Traditional Frameworks


Duration: 30 hours

This flagship course presents the core psychological and philosophical theory, frameworks,
and insights of Samkhya and Yoga. Presented by the Mohans, with impeccable authenticity,
exceptional depth, and precise clarity, this course encapsulates the teachings of Patanjali, the
esteemed commentator Vyasa and the key yogis from thereon.

Samkhya and yoga philosophy and psychology are grouped and organized by concepts and
frameworks in this offering. The entire wisdom of these ancient texts is made accessible in a
structure that students can follow in modern times, without compromising their integrity.

In this course, you will:

  1. Learn all the important frameworks of Samkhya and Yoga.
  2. Understand these ancient systems by concepts and frameworks, so you see their
    relationships clearly and concisely.
  3. Be connected directly to the classical sources, so that you are completely confident in
    what you are learning.
  4. Explore how these teachings are related to wellbeing


Duration: 12 hours

Learn to use yoga therapy to help people with asthma, allergies, sinusitis, COPD, high blood
pressure, atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, arrhythmias, and deep vein

Topics include:

  1. Key anatomy and physiology of respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
  2. Symptoms, pathology, and summary of modern medical guidelines as relevant to yoga
    therapy of important disorders: asthma, allergies, sinusitis, COPD, high blood pressure,
    atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, arrhythmias, and deep vein
  3. Yoga therapy approach to these disorders


Duration: 8 hours

Diabetes is one the most prevalent major diseases in the world now. It has been on the rise
for years and the burden of its complications is unfortunate and traumatic. Diabetes is not
merely a disease of insulin and glucose—that is only part of a more complex metabolic

Obesity is a worldwide problem and it is well-known that behavioral change is crucial to
managing a healthy weight.

Yoga and ayurveda, through a holistic approach to nutrition, movement, lifestyle change, and
stress management, can have a substantial impact on managing diabetes.

This course will explain the yoga therapy approach to helping those with diabetes and obesity.

Topics include:

  1. Physiology of metabolism, insulin and glucose, and weight control..
  2. Symptoms, pathology, and summary of modern medical guidelines as relevant to yoga
    therapy of diabetes and obesity.
  3. Yoga therapy approach to these disorders.


Duration: 8 hours

Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent, debilitating, and expensive problems in the modern
world. This course will explain pain science (biology, pathways, etiology, classifications) and
the practical ways through which we can help manage, mitigate, and resolve chronic pain
with yoga therapy.

Topics include:

  1. Pain science: biology, pathways, etiology, classifications.
  2. Practical ways in which yoga therapy can help manage, mitigate, and resolve chronic pain.


Duration: 40 hours

Essential to the Svastha Yoga Therapy Program and other Svastha trainings, this mentoring
and integration stream will anchor and deepen your yoga studies. It is an opportunity to
immerse yourself in direct, ongoing, holistic study with the master yoga teachers.

In this ongoing mentoring, you will:

  • Receive teachings on the full spectrum of yoga, traditional wisdom, yoga therapy,
    practical application, case studies, integrative and holistic approach to wellbeing, and
  • Be able to ask relevant questions and deepen your yoga knowledge with direct
    contact to primary sources.
  • Receive ongoing support and inspiration in your yoga journey.
  • Bring your teaching questions related to your group and individual therapy
  • Be guided in a variety of yoga practices, month after month.
  • Establish a long-term study pathway as was done in the traditional days.
  • Find insights by revisiting and iterating on the many deep keys of classical yoga.

This integration and mentoring pathway offers students a rare and unique opportunity,
beyond time-limited and topic-limited courses.