Yoga for Pain Training – 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 Preliminaries Training 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 yoga to people with pain so they improve their movement, calm the nervous system and build the foundations of good yoga practice that 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 10 in each course.

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 (Yamas, Niyamas and reflective thinking)
  • Mapping a biopsychosocial model of health to a yogic model of wellbeingThe 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 2-8 hours after the training for assignments that are required for course completion.

Outcomes for health professionals

EquipYoga for Pain Practitioner Trainings health professionals with the 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. Work in collaboration with a yoga teacher on a 4-week course designed to suit your client base

Please note this is not a yoga teacher training course.


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 for all students 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 classes to specific needs

Course facilitators

Rachael West holds a degree in Yogic Education from the University of Lille, France. Rachael has been teaching specialist courses to people with pain and providing education to health professionals since 2011. 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, including links to pertinent videos about pain and perceptions of pain
  • 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)

2017 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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