Psychology and Mental Health Online

Psychology and Mental Health – Online

April 2 – September 27, 2021
Taught by M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D., C-IAYT

Yoga and mindfulness practices are powerful tools for assisting in emotional healing, self regulation, and resiliency. This training will provide participants with a thorough overview of how Yoga and mindfulness can impact and heal issues related to emotional dysregulation, depression, anxiety, trauma, an overactive brain, and negative wiring. Through an exploration of theory, research, clinical practice, and self-care practices, participants will emerge with the knowledge and skills to apply their understanding of psychology and mental health to how they interact with Yoga students and private clients, as well as in their own approach to personal self-care.

This course is both didactic and experiential in nature; after lecture and discussion, participants will have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in practice and gain feedback on their work. Coursework includes reflection journaling, designing assessment and treatment-based care plans, and recording practice sessions. Participants will be actively engaged during the course, through participation in discussions and partnering work with classmates.


The program covers theory, research, and practice in the following areas:

  • How psychology characterizes psychiatric disorders
  • Definition and symptoms of common psychiatric disorders
  • Understanding affective neuroscience, stress, and mental health
  • Basic overview of theories of human development, personality, and various cultural and societal influences on development
  • An integrative model of Yoga and psychology
  • Common steps / stages of a clinical intervention
  • Active listening and interview skills for peer counseling
  • Opportunities for clinical practice and application, including referral and ethical guidelines for the Yoga therapist as peer counselor

Learning objectives:

  • Understand and identify how psychiatric disorders are categorized as per the Axis I through V conceptualization of organizing psychiatric disorders
  • Understand the difference between Axis I and Axis II disorders
  • Comprehend and identify the most common psychiatric disorders and their symptoms
  • Understand psychiatric symptoms related to the gunas and koshas
  • Demonstrate and understand the five stages of a clinical intervention
  • Understand and articulate when and how to make a referral to a mental health professional, including scope of practice, professional boundaries, and ethical considerations
  • Comprehend and apply the techniques of active listening, peer counseling, and interviewing skills
  • Understand the role of intuition in healing
  • Comprehend and understand basic theoretical concepts of Yoga and psychology related to: models of human development, personality, affective neuroscience, and healing

This training program includes free access to IYTV, an ever-expanding library of recorded Integral Yoga Teachings, throughout the duration of this training!

Recommended Reading

The following texts are recommended as supplementary reading materials for this course. They are not required, but students may wish to acquire a digital or hard copy version for personal reference.

Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body
– by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson. Avery Publishing Group, NY. 2017.

Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living
– by Donna Farhi. HarperCollins, NY. 2010.

Principles and Practices of Yoga in Health Care
– by Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Lorenzo Cohen, Timothy McCall, and Shirley Telles.
Sage Publications, India. 2017. Kindle Edition Available.

Yoga Therapy: A Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Yoga and Ayurveda for Health and Fitness
– by A.G. Mohan and Indra Mohan. Shambhala Publications, Boston, MA. 2004.

Yoga Therapy, Ayurveda, and Western Medicine: A Health Convergence
– by Dilip Sarkar. Lulu Publishing Services. 2017. Kindle Edition Available.

Yoga Therapy & Integrative Medicine: Where Ancient Science Meets Modern Medicine
– by Larry Payne and Terra Gold. Basic Health Publications, Inc. 1st Edition. 2014.

This training is open to:

  • Integral Yoga Therapy students (recommended but not required to have completed Raja Yoga and Adaptive Yoga first)
  • C-IAYTs who are interested in deepening their understanding
  • Yoga teachers with a 200-hour teaching certification and sufficient teaching experience, who are considering the Integral Yoga Therapy Certification pathway. Please note: this course is highly academic and designed for the Yoga-therapist-in-training. 200-hour teachers applying for this course should be seriously interested in pursuing Yoga Therapy and prepared for rigorous study. This course alone does not confer Yoga Therapy practitioner status, but is a required module in the 800-hour IYTh training curriculum.

Technological Requirements

Regular access to the Internet with a steady connection is required to participate in this online training. You must be able to run Zoom on your computer or tablet with functional audio/video, and have an active email account for delivery of course materials.


  • $1080, including $100 non-refundable deposit
  • $900 for Active IYI teachers and C-IAYTs (contact to request the discount)


Part 1: April 2 – May 28
• Fridays • 3:00p.m.–6:00p.m. EDT

Part 2: September 10 – 27
• Fridays • 3:00p.m.–6:00p.m. EDT
• Mondays • 4:00p.m.–6:00p.m. EDT

Plus 8 hours of pre-recorded practices and clinical homework assignments.
Attendance at all live online sessions is required for certification.

How to Apply

An application form and $100 non-refundable deposit are required to complete your enrollment.

Application + Deposit

* Integral Yoga Therapy students currently enrolled in the 800-hour program should register through the IYTh online student portal.

Certification and Continuing Education Credits

  • Yoga Alliance: 42 contact hours + 8 non-contact hours for continuing education.
  • 300-Hour Certification: 50 hours credit for Integral Yoga 300-Hour Certification.
  • IAYT: 50 hours for continuing education with completion of both the self-paced and live sections.

Mala CunninghamM. Mala Cunningham, PhD, C-IAYT, is an International spiritual and motivational speaker and is also an author, educator, and certified Yoga therapist in the field of Health Psychology and Lifestyle Integrative Medicine. Dr. Cunningham has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and has a private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is also an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Virginia and is the President of Positive Health Solutions. Dr. Cunningham is the Founder and Director of the renowned certification training program Cardiac Medical Yoga for heart patients and is the Founder of Hospital Bed Yoga and Limited Mobility Yoga. Dr. Cunningham has been highly instrumental in developing initiatives and innovative programs in the emerging fields of Lifestyle Medicine, Neuroscience, Psychology and Medical Yoga and Mindfulness. She has a unique ability to bring together divergent concepts and make them understandable to her audience. She has been a consultant to businesses and hospitals for over 30 years and has been an innovator in the field of Behavioral and Lifestyle Medicine.

Dr. Cunningham is the author of two innovative books: Medical Yoga: A Gentle and Modified Practice of Yoga for Assistance in Healing and Cardiac Yoga. She has also produced two popular CD’s entitled:  Healing Journey and Before and After Surgery: Guided Imagery & Relaxation for Surgery Patients; and has a series of CD lectures on Neuroscience, Yoga, and Mindfulness. Dr. Cunningham has been prominently featured as an expert in Lifestyle Medicine, Corporate Health, Medical Yoga, and Spiritual Psychology. Her knowledge base and her informative, inspiring lectures and retreats make her a much sought-after speaker for keynote presentations and workshops. She has been practicing Yoga and meditation since the early 1970’s. She resides in beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.




Integral Yoga Institute offers 500 hours of training in two segments, 200 hours and 300 hours, permitting teachers who graduate to become either an RYT 200 or an RYT 500, depending on the level of training completed. Our 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training program can be customized to fit your individual interests. You may select from our many graduate-level Yoga Teacher Training programs.
Psychology and Mental Health training is a required core module in the 800-hour Integral Yoga Therapy Certification program.
Please visit for more information on our yoga therapy credentials.


Call 212-929-0585, ext. 16


Ready to sign up?
Application Form + Submit Deposit


“All of it was fantastic…Mala was amazing and so is Yogaville.” – Mary C.

“I particularly enjoyed looking at the relationship between thought, behavior, and yogic healing.” – Past Participant

“Mala was absolutely terrific! Great intersection and synthesis of neuroscience with philosophy!” – Dan S.

“She presents the latest information about lifestyle and health in such a remarkable, knowledgeable and engaging summary, everyone can benefit and be inspired.”  – Sandra M.

“Mala has expertise and in-depth knowledge of yoga, neuroscience, and the practices of enhancing mental and physical health. Her wisdom and guidance is steeped in deep personal practice and direct guidance from years of study with yoga masters and neuroscientists… People transform when they take part in Mala’s classes and workshops.” – Cynthia M.

“Mala Cunningham is a wonderful teacher and therapist with a wealth of knowledge in the field of yoga therapy and neuroscience. Yogic practices, including mindfulness and meditation, have been shown to positively influence emotional regulation, depression, anxiety, healing, and resiliency. Mala is an outstanding communicator, and is able to convey these practices, insights and theories to her audience clearly and effectively.” – Ina S.

Cancellation Policy

Before the program begins, tuition may be refunded minus the $100 non-refundable deposit. Once the program begins, tuition is non-refundable.