Yoga for Pain Training – Practitioner Preliminaries

“I feel a lot more comfortable referring people with pain to yoga. The pre-reading and resources were excellent and it was really valuable to understand the four stages of pain healing. I think this program will continue to grow and support the integration of pain management at a community level.”

(Shelley Barlow, Physiotherapist, Ballina Community Health Pain Clinic)


Work with like-minded health professionals and yoga teachers on ways to bring yoga to the 1 in 5 people with persistent pain.

The 2.5-day Practitioner Preliminaries takes you beyond yoga as purely a physical practice, exploring how yoga’s rich philosophy can help people appreciate the social and psychological factors that contribute to pain, and how to be part of their own solution.

Complete as a standalone, or as part of the 50-hour Foundations Training.


Learn the key principles for introducing movement to people with pain so they improve their capacity, calm the nervous system and build the foundations of a good yoga practice they can continue for years.

A training highlight is the Yoga for Pain workshop on day 2, which shows how yoga can be used to help people with pain relax, move better, calm the nervous system and build confidence. This is a valuable chance to meet and learn first-hand from those in pain. You’ll also work in groups to design a short course that helps people with pain get back into exercise, reduce social isolation and manage stress.

Preliminaries Training has been designed to encourage relationships between yoga teachers and referring health professionals. You have time to talk with people with pain about their pain experience and barriers they face attending regular classes.

Max 12 in each course.

Some of the topics covered

  • IMG_8751Pain science
  • Mainstream pain management interventions
  • Research into yoga and pain
  • Adapting yoga to reduce pain symptoms, increase activity and reduce social isolation
  • Techniques to improve proprioception and movement quality
  • Overcoming barriers to participation
  • Skills for referring people with pain to the right yoga class
  • Yoga course design
  • Application of yogic philosophy in pain care yoga
  • Mapping a biopsychosocial model of health to a yogic model of wellbeing

The course has been designed to encourage relationships between yoga teachers and referring health practitioners. You have time to talk with people with pain about their pain experience and barriers they face attending regular classes.

Allow 2-4 hours after the training for assignments. These are required for course completion.

Outcomes for health professionals

EquipYoga for Pain Practitioner Trainings health professionals with transferable skills to get clients moving, relaxing and focusing. Build your knowledge to safely refer to, or prepare patients for, the most appropriate yoga class for their needs. A practical evidence-based education in how yoga can be a safe, effective part of pain care. Learn:

  1. Non-physical aspects to yoga that can assist people with pain with motivation and regular practice
  2. Relaxation and movement techniques that compliment clinical practice
  3. Build networks with local yoga teachers who understand persistent pain
  4. To match patients with the most appropriate yoga class
  5. Skills to prepare clients for their first yoga class
  6. How yoga can (and should) be tailored to the individual with pain
  7. Collaborative course design skills

Please note this is not a yoga teacher training course but you can apply a Yoga for Pain approach to any profession.

Outcomes for yoga teachers

The training equips yoga teachers to take a pain-sensitive approach to their teaching. You are also trained to think about outcomes-based learning which will improve your work with all students.

  1. Read research about yoga, pain and related conditions
  2. Understand yoga’s role in multi-disciplinary pain care
  3. Meet health care professionals who want to refer to skilled local teachers
  4. Learn to tailor courses to specific needs

Course facilitators

Rachael West holds a degree in Yogic Education from the University of Lille, France. She has been teaching specialist courses to people with pain and providing education to health professionals since 2011. Rachael has been invited to speak about Yoga for Pain at TEDx Bunbury and the International Pain Society annual meeting. She is assisted at each training by a pain physiotherapist with specialist skills – Nicole Moore (in person in Melbourne, via video and Skype other locations) and Tim Mitchell (Perth). Read more about the team in your area on the people page.

Included in Preliminaries Training

  • Significant feedback on assignments
  • Extensive pre-reading
  • 20 hours contact time
  • Workbook and handouts
  • Six months complimentary membership to the Yoga for Pain Practitioner network
  • Eligibility for listing on the Yoga for Pain Practitioner Register (subject to successfully completing assignments and adhering to a code of ethics)
  • Light refreshments for morning and afternoon tea

What previous participants say

“The best professional development course I have experienced in a long time. It was so well prepared, full of up to date information, interactive, challenging and stimulating.”
(Yoga teacher and Alexander technique practitioner Kate Morris, Melbourne)

“I learned how to integrate yoga and neuroscience in a non-threatening and balanced way.  Translating these skills to the classroom will be beneficial on many levels for my clients with persistent pain.”
(Physiotherapist Alana Brass, Canberra)

“Excellent, comprehensive training and a nice mix of experiencing yoga, didactic information and practical application. I really enjoyed Rachael’s teaching style – warm and inclusive, offering correction and feedback to facilitate my learning.”
(Clinical psychologist Gemma Barter, Perth)

“I really appreciate your bringing together of health professionals and yoga teachers who are interested in evidence-based practice and working with groups who often feel isolated and not safe or confident in making a start in general yoga classes.”
(Physiotherapist Jane Leslie, Perth)

“I learned a lot and came away more inspired, not just for teaching for pain, but about yoga teaching in general.”
(Yoga teacher Rosemary Harding, Bunbury)

2018 course fees

$800 Preliminaries
$1600 Foundations (Preliminaries + 4-day practical module)

Please read the booking policy on the schedule page and full terms and conditions here.


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