Advanced Yoga Therapy Program WIP

Advanced Yoga Therapy Program

Welcome! We are so happy you want to be a Yoga Therapist!

The Breathing Deeply Advanced Yoga Therapy Program strives to give you a single stream, integrated approach to yoga therapy at the highest level (C-IAYT). Holders of an International Association of Yoga Therapists Certification are instantly recognizable to the public as a Yoga Therapist who has trained for years to receive the gold standard of yoga therapy education.

Advanced Program students broaden their skillset through hours of condition-specific mini-courses in a residential setting (7 8-day residential learning retreats) and by delivering a 215 hour mentored practicum, working with clients in their community.

Our Advanced Program is modular which means that once immersed in the Foundations Program content, students may begin attending the eight-day residential modules in any order; taking all seven modules over the course of two years, or spacing them out over a longer period of time (a maximum of 7 years) as time and budget allows.

The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Advanced Program is comprised of three parts:

  1. The online Breathing Deeply Foundations Program.
  2. Seven weeks of residential learning at the Won Dharma Center in Claverack, New York.
  3. A practicum (practice hours) to be done in your community.

Next Class Starts:
September 24

Become a Certified Yoga Therapist. Sign up now and begin your training (this will ensure your spot)! Then link up with your class cohort for discussion and community in our forum.

Get a jump start!


Graduates of Breathing Deeply Advanced Program will successfully work as a general practitioner helping clients with a wide variety of health challenges or as an effective specialist working with specific conditions and populations.

The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Advanced Program builds upon the knowledge and skills gained in the Foundations Program, also offered as a stand-alone course, providing students with a yoga therapy model and framework for becoming a skilled Yoga Therapist.

The Breathing Deeply Advanced Yoga Therapy Program is offered in 3 parts that are modular: The online Foundations Program, 7 weeks of residential learning (7 8 day retreats), and a supervised practicum. This modular flow allows students to decide how and when they participate in the 3 parts making up 875 hours, which creates a path that works for each individual’s budget and timeline. Students begin learning the model for becoming a skilled Yoga Therapist from the moment they begin the online Foundations Program while simultaneously progressing in the Advanced Program with residential and practicum hours, gaining clinical skills at a pace that works for them.

In More Depth

Click on the tabs below to learn more about the program curriculum.

The Foundations Program provides students with a yoga therapy model and framework for becoming a skilled Yoga Therapist. Students in the Foundations Program are part of a bigger vision in shifting the wellness paradigm. When they transition directly into working as a Yoga Therapist upon completion of this comprehensive course, they often decide to concurrently continue with the Advanced Program. Advanced Program students broaden their skillset through hours of condition-specific mini-courses in a residential setting (7 8-day residential learning retreats) and by delivering a 215 hour mentored practicum, working with clients in their community.

The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Foundations Program is the backbone of our yoga therapy school. It contains 50 recorded lessons, live Q&A’s, homework, an active online platform, and in-depth learning retreats. The subject matter is comprehensive and clearly prepares students to do therapeutic work. It serves as the foundation for the live residential modules and allows students to move quickly into advanced material using their common knowledge base from their online work at home. The Foundations Program covers many topics, but its main focus is to teach the fundamental frameworks we use, as opposed to focusing on as many individual conditions as possible. Throughout the course, students not only work one-on-one with a Teaching Assistant to guarantee their mastering of the (course)work, they are encouraged to open, lean in, stretch their curiosity, engage in thoughtful conversations, and obtain answers consistently during live Q&A’s (3x’s weekly) with lead teacher and Breathing Deeply founder, Brandt Passalacqua.

Foundations Program Outline

  • The history of yoga therapy
  • Yoga anatomy
  • The Koshas
  • The role of the Yoga
  • Therapist
  • Pathology from a yoga perspective
  • The role of ayurvedic ideas
  • Sadhna
  • What you need to know – anatomy
  • How pain works
  • What clears pain
  • Basic yoga poses with anatomy and connections and how/when to use alignment
  • Stages of rehab and healing with many techniques including muscle and nerve pain
  • Breath anatomy and how to use it
  • Ayurvedic concepts
  • Food theory and how to apply it
  • Case studies
  • Pranayamas and their application
  • How to balance the doshas
  • Understanding prana flow
  • How to work with: emotional imbalances (i.e. depression, anxiety)
  • How to work with: system wide imbalance (i.e. autoimmune disease, chronic pain)
  • Case studies
  • The role of the conscious mind/intellect
  • Yoga and philosophy teachings
  • The uses of chanting
  • Using the chakra model
  • Using the mind for emotional release
  • More yoga philosophy
  • Practices for the intellect/personality
  • How to talk to clients in a real way about point of view
  • Yoga Philosophy
  • Practices for opening the spiritual heart
  • How to talk to people about intuition and heart
  • Bhakti yoga for healing
  • Case studies
  • Assembling a plan
  • Pathology
  • Advanced anatomy
  • More food theory
  • When to refer out
  • Scope of practice
  • Integrating with other practitioners and modalities
  • Ayurveda and Chinese medicine crossovers

Learn more about the Yoga Therapy Foundations Program.

The bulk of the 875 hour Advanced Program is made up of 7 8-day residential retreats. During these in-person, in depth learning weeks, students cover a wide variety of topics spanning the breadth of yoga therapy including assessment protocols, physical complaints such as back care and rehab, mental health conditions, chronic disease, grief and end of life, eating disorders, trauma, as well as whole-system issues such as pain syndromes and suffering and autoimmune diseases.

All material in the modules is filtered through the system we have laid out in the Foundations Program. We believe this creates a very unified approach and will allow students to deliver clear yoga therapy as they enter the field. The residential modules are purposely not grouped around a unifying theme. The idea is to allow students to “switch gears” every couple of days or so. We believe in general that most students will be better able to absorb material this way.

Students spend their time during the residential modules studying western perspectives of these conditions in addition to yoga therapy’s perspective on these conditions, and most importantly, leave the retreats with a clear understanding on how to work with clients on multiple levels to provide better outcomes.

Residential hours also provide time for spiritual practice and personal evolution which is essential for being an effective Yoga Therapist.

8 Day Residential Retreat Modules

Over the weekend portion of this module, Healing with the Body and Breath students will investigate techniques to work with the physical body and the breath and learn assessment skills to inform their work with the physical body.

Back Care

Back pain is one of the leading causes of missed work and visits to the doctor in North America. In this course, students will learn to work with common spine/back pathologies. Students will learn function anatomy as it relates to back pain.

Hips and Shoulders

Hips and shoulders are also common areas for pain and dysfunction. In this course, we will learn functional anatomy and western diagnosis of common conditions that affect these areas.

In the weekend portion of this module called Healing through the Pranic Body and Conscious Mind, we move deeper into the koshas, or layers of the Self, unwrapping like a gift, the inner-workings of the pranic and mental bodies.

Rehab Yoga

As medical technology advances, surgery is becoming a more common form of treatment. In this course, we investigate the most common surgeries and the best practices for helping clients rehabilitate after surgery.

Working with the Pelvic Floor

A growing number of people with pelvic disorders are turning to yoga therapy. Pain, dysfunction, disease or trauma can manifest in many different ways. Therefore yoga therapy’s multifaceted approaches can be quite helpful. In this course, we will study both the male and female pelvic anatomy to learn how musculoskeletal imbalances impact pelvic function. We will also look at some common conditions that either contributes to or are caused by pelvic floor disorders, including incontinence, sexual dysfunction, and fertility.

Fascial Thinking

Fascia is a key structural component of the body. As such, it contributes to the physical well-being of our bodies and is often indicated in pain and dysfunction. In this course we will learn all about fascia and its relationship to structure and health. Students will learn how to identify facial lines in the body and the restrictions within them. There will also be an emphasis on common fascia-based pain patterns and how to shift fascia through asana and pranayama techniques. Students will leave with a clear understanding of how to work with bodies using a fascial viewpoint to relieve pain patterns.

Supporting Cancer Patients

Students will examine working with cancer patients through the koshic model—learning to effectively and safely teach asana, pranayama, and meditation with a clear understanding of contraindications for this population.

In the weekend portion of this module, Bliss and Wisdom; Yoga Therapy For The Innermost Self, we will take a deep dive into the Wisdom and Bliss Bodies (Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Koshas). Together these two koshas or sheaths make up the innermost layers of the self. We will examine practices that balance these aspects of self and students will learn to identify imbalances and then apply appropriate practices to restore balance and connection to these inner koshas.

Yoga Therapy For Bipolar & Borderline Personality Disorder

In this course we look at two difficult to work with mental health disorders, Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. Students will leave more confident in working with clients with these, as well as other mental health conditions.

Weight Loss & Eating Disorders

Based on Brandt’s work with obesity and eating disorders, this course is an overview to approaching obesity and eating disorders from a yoga therapy perspective.

Therapeutic Relationships

Managing therapeutic relationships is a foundational skill for yoga therapists. In this course students will explore possible issues in the therapeutic relationship. Students will learn how to manage and identify boundary issues, transference and countertransference, and have a clear understanding of how to be ethical from a yogic perspective.

The weekend portion of this unit presents an opportunity to deepen the skills necessary for working with body and breath. Students will learn to articulate the Joint Freeing Series for therapeutic purposes as well as asana for the doshas. We will examine techniques to correct improper breathing patterns. Advanced muscle testing and postural assessment will be covered.


In this course students will learn to design yoga therapy programs for clients who are suffering from issues related to trauma. Students will learn about the current science around yoga and trauma and how to integrate this knowledge into the Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy model.


Students will examine and gain knowledge in addictive behaviors and their roots as well as expression in each kosha while also learning the appropriate interventions for each aspect of the self. Doshic considerations will be touched upon, as well as group protocols.

Yoga Nidra for Yoga Therapists

Yoga Nidra is an extremely powerful tool for healing. When properly taught yoga nidra can be modulated to treat many conditions and imbalances. In this course we will learn the basic theory behind yoga nidra. We will learn how to adjust yoga nidra to target specific koshas and gain the skills to language yoga nidra instruction appropriately for different condition sets.

In the weekend portion of this course, students will delve deeper by learning advanced techniques for working with the pranic body and conscious mind (Pranayama and Manomaya Koshas). Students will explore practices that affect the 5 pranas for specific disease states. Students will then focus on the application of mantra and chanting for disease states.

Brain, Neuroscience, Research & Yoga Therapy

In this course—taught by a seasoned neuroscientist—students will learn how to properly read and evaluate research studies. Students will examine how to integrate vetted knowledge into yoga therapy settings. Students will also be given an overview of the current state of neuroscience research as it relates to yoga and meditation.

Yoga Counseling Skills For The Very Ill & End Of Life

In this course—taught by a grief and loss expert with over four decades of yoga study—students will investigate how we as Yoga Therapists can help those nearing the of their time in this form.

Yoga For Anxiety & Depression

In this course students will examine strategies for working with clients suffering from anxiety and/or depression based issues.We will learn assessment and treatment strategies using the koshic and doshic models.

In this course students will learn the theory and practice of pulse and tongue assessment as it relates to the BDYT assessments taught in the foundations program.

Ayurvedic Foundations

The inner Koshas are the Wisdom and Bliss Bodies (Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Koshas). Suffering can often have it’s roots in these koshas, but it can be unclear how to shift practice appropriately to create positive client outcomes. In this course we will look at the subtler shifts in practices for these koshas.

Pulse & Tongue: Ayurveda Applications and Diagnosis

In this course, students will learn advanced assessment and practices to address issues related to the Wisdom and Bliss Bodies (Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Koshas). Students will learn preparatory practices to facilitate access to the areas of self. The chakra based model for Vijnanamaya Kosha will be taught. Students will learn more advanced practices for ananamayakosha and how to share this information with diverse populations.

Yoga Therapy’s Deepest Realm: Solving Pain and Suffering Through the Inner Koshas

This course offers a practical overview of Ayurvedic Principles as they relate to yoga therapy. Students will gain the knowledge of ayurvedic lifestyle guidelines as they relate to dosha diagnosis. Students will also learn to apply ayurvedic informed asana and pranayama.

Autoimmune Disease

This course will explore yoga therapy interventions for autoimmune disease. Students will practice assessment and how to create working strategies for several autoimmune conditions.

Philosophical Foundations Of Yoga Therapy

As Yoga Therapists, it is important to keep ourselves firmly grounded in the philosophy that eventually birthed yoga therapy. In this course, we will examine teachings from key texts and how to apply them to our day to day work as healers.


Spinal curvatures and scoliosis are a common cause of physical suffering. In this course, students will learn to properly assess spinal curvature and deliver yoga therapy to improve client’s conditions. Students will leave with more clarity on how to work with this challenging condition that can be greatly benefited by yoga therapy.

Learn more about the Yoga Therapy Retreats.

Just like the other aspects of the program, students get full mentorship and support in our 215 Hour Practicum. Students train directly with Brandt, to work in an open-minded, humble, solid, educated, compassionate way. From this place of service, students are creating positive effects of healing in their communities throughout the world. Once students have reached this phase of their education, they work with clients with all sorts of needs, and are not only capable but are effectively working on multiple levels using our holistic model.

Where the Foundations Program provides a complete set of tools and knowledge to begin working as a Yoga Therapist, graduates of the Advanced Program are fully equipped to work in private practice as well as institutional settings such as hospitals and integrative healthcare centers. Breathing Deeply Advanced students are able to utilize the full spectrum of yoga therapy tools and techniques with their clients.

We are seeing our practicum community, those working towards C-IAYT, getting referrals from doctors, therapists, and even insurance case managers! Breathing Deeply is changing how people address their conditions, find healing and integrating yoga therapy models into their existing western models.

Once these 3 components are complete, Breathing Deeply is honored to collaborate with students on completing their education with a final exam. Comprised of both oral and written components, a pass confirms the highest level of yoga therapy training (C-IAYT) has been granted—a huge milestone after a long journey!

Breathing Deeply Advanced Program graduates not only hold the highest level of yoga therapy certification in the world, but they also adhere to the code of ethics and responsibilities offering the highest quality of yoga therapy.

A unique benefit of training with Breathing Deeply is Yoga Therapist graduates always have a home with us, receiving continued mentorship from colleagues and teachers while working in the field. Being able to help clients with complex issues with the guidance of seasoned Yoga Therapists and experts to infuse and inspire your yoga therapy practice is an integral part of clinical success and longevity.

We hope you choose to add your passion and voice to our vibrant community.

The Breathing Deeply Advanced Yoga Therapy Program has the following prerequisites:

  1. Students must be at least 18 years of age
  2. Students must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  3. Students must have a 200 hour yoga teacher training certificate or equivalent (see our 200 hour teacher training/Foundations Program combination offering, if you do not have this)
  4. Students should have at least one year of personal practice
  5. Students should have at least one year minimum teaching experience

(Note: If you don’t meet #’s 4 and 5, you may begin the Foundations Program, and complete these prerequisites before matriculating into the Advanced Program. The Yoga Therapy Foundations Program is also offered as a stand-alone program with different entrance requirements.)

Yes. You will be a Yoga Therapist. In the west, yoga therapy is finally coming into its own. Yoga Therapists work with private clients for a wide variety of conditions. They also work in conjunction with other healthcare providers. Institutions such as hospitals and addiction centers are increasingly looking to Yoga Therapists to design and implement programs. As the field of yoga therapy continues to expand, so do the opportunities. Breathing Deeply Advanced students are able to utilize the full spectrum of yoga therapy tools and techniques with their clients. This is a great time to become a certified Yoga Therapist!

Because of the modular (“pay as you go”) design, of our programs, the financial commitment for the Advanced Program begins easily with the Foundations Program tuition to be paid in full or in monthly instalments. Click here for complete tuition details and payment plans.

Breathing Deeply students gain the added benefit of a tightly knit community of Yoga Therapists to draw upon as they forge ahead in their yoga therapy careers.

The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program is taught and designed by a Yoga Therapist with extensive experience in the field. Brandt has seen clients for a huge array of conditions and maintained a full-time yoga therapy practice for over a decade. Brandt’s down-to-earth teaching style provides his students with proven, real world applications of ancient yoga therapy concepts. The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program is designed to directly transfer this method in a clear and useful way to you. Traditionally, this is the way yoga therapy has been taught—teacher to student—with a mentoring relationship that goes beyond just the formal training model.

The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program is also committed to training people with busy lives, families, and other careers and responsibilities. Our format is designed with this in mind. There is no extra busy work or wasted time. We want our students to know that they are supported to become an ethical Yoga Therapist, no matter what their lives and learning needs are. So, take a course at a pace that works for you. Complete the Advanced Program in 3 years, or take more time upgrading your knowledge. It’s your choice!

Finally, a mention that we are creating a community of Yoga Therapists. Our online format never ends. We expect our graduates to participate, bring case studies and real world problems to our forums and mentoring sessions. Join a collective of skilled Yoga Therapists that goes beyond graduation. Become a Yoga Therapist and find your yoga home with Breathing Deeply.

Next Class Starts:
September 24

Become a Certified Yoga Therapist. Sign up now and begin your training (this will ensure your spot)! Then link up with your class cohort for discussion and community in our forum.

Get a jump start!