A diploma in transformational yoga therapy

for women's health, sexual- emotional wellness & trauma integration.

                      


                                                  

   

Part 1: foundation & personal process.

Part 2: clinical applications & becoming a therapist.


On line with in person weekends Cardiff, Wales.

and 2 residentials in France. 

 2024 is now full, I am taking applications for 2025. Dates will be updated shortly!


                                              

I will be offering an immersive 18 month program for those seeking a process orientated, trauma informed training that focuses on women’s health, holistic sexuality and embodiment.  This course is suited to those looking to work therapeutically with small groups and in 1 to 1's . Totaling up to 375 course hours of tuition, mentoring, personal and group process. This figure cannot do justice to the breadth and depth of this type of training which offers a unique experience to learn in a small apprenticeship group  

It is open to existing holistic, caring or mental health professionals  e.g. psychologists, coaches, midwives, Ayurvedic practitioners, psychotherapists, counsellors, massage therapists, body workers, doulas, yoga teachers/therapists and somatic movement educators with a background in embodiment, somatics or yoga. It would suit those wishing to develop their own practice and work with women in a compassionate, at depth, therapeutic way. 

Yoga therapy is distinct to yoga teaching. Yoga therapy emphasises the holding of space for transformation and integration. Techniques are not applied to address symptoms., nor are they taught to fix or clear problems. Yoga therapy is somatic and relational, The client’s own experience is a vital process unique to them. Yoga therapy supports the client to connect to and trust their own inner experience as the source of a wise and unfolding  process. The therapeutic relationship gives reassurance and guidance for clients to develop their self insight, self compassion and body wisdom.

The first part of the training is structured around a personal and heart opening process. Individuals who can journey deep within themselves, will cultivate the knowledge, skills and confidence to hold transformative spaces for other women. This course will take you into your body, to tap into what lies underneath. The container we build together allows for this deeper inquiry, for you to know and befriend your vulnerabilities. So much of modern yoga is about over riding the body. We do not have to be sorted but we need to be conscious of our body stories before we can help others.  

This program follows a decolonial- feminine centred way of learning. It prioritises self awareness, personal growth and embodiment as pre-requisites to working therapeutically. and achieving reflexivity in clinical practice. Click here to read more. This training is organised around an inclusive, non- hierarchal pathway to education based on a small group apprenticeship model of 5- 6 women. Click here to find out about assessments, scope of practice, standards and pre- requisites.





Participants will learn skills in body orientated process, somatic inquiry, feminine alchemy and therapeutic yoga as it applies to women's lives, the female body and pelvis. An apprenticeship training is unique in that each apprentice becomes centred rather than lost behind a computer, or within a large group. Learning will be by interacting, observing, asking questions, receiving guidance and building trust which itself models a therapeutic relationship.

The teaching method is relational and experiential. It will involve plenty of practice, group process, body mapping, journaling and reflection. There are also assignments, tasks and case studies to be completed. In person weekends are held in Cardiff, we cover the womb Gaia yoga practices, embodiment & clinical principles during this time. Online sessions are reserved for the discussion of themes and philosophy. The residentials are dedicated to group- personal process, deep nurture and  more practice. They are held in St Michel Chef Chef, 44730, France. at a maternal ancestral home by the sea. Closest airport is Nantes. Closest train station is St. Nazaire, a 2 hour journey from Paris.



 

Transformational yoga therapy is a psycho-somatic spiritual technology that responds to the emotional and physiological needs of a woman. Current day commercial yoga is unfortunately reductionist, super imposing techniques on individuals and treating the body in a bio-mechanical manner. Instead womb Gaia yoga therapy acknowledges the unique energies, memories, feelings and imprints within the female body and pelvis.  Historically, much harm and shame has been (and still is) directed at the feminine body and principle. This socio- cultural oppression will cut deeply for women as they experience any type of  gender based, sexual or reproductive injury, trauma or loss. However, despite the endemic suffering that women face, the female body is highly resilient. There is medicine within a woman, a dynamic potential and sacredness of biology.

The vital philosophy and methodology in transformational yoga therapy is to shift embedded stories and limitations (samskara-vritti) and cultivate prema-rasa (the essence of love), noor (light) and beauty within oneself. Beauty creates harmony (sattva). In harmony we live peacefully from our centre.

Love philosophy is not readily gleaned in yogic teachings, which can be steeped in ascetic or patriarchal interpretations. To support an understanding of transforming pain to strength through devotion, (surviving to thriving and engaging with our worldly challenges) we look in depth at the non classical, vernacular, oral traditions: Indo Sufi Premakhyans, Bhakti- Tantrika- Sakhi- Sufi poetry  such as Lala Ded, Mira bai, Kabir, Akka Maha Devi, Baba Farid, Nizamuddin Auliya as well as European/Celtic Crone & Dark Madonna mysteries. This is by no means complete. Each apprentice is supported to include her own spiritual path and ancestral feminine heritage.

Online sessions take place on Friday evenings 6.-8 p.m.

In person weekends run from 2 p.m to 7. p.m on Fridays. 9 a.m to 6 p.m Saturdays and 9 a.m to 2 p.m Sundays.

They are held at the pines listening space, Llandaff and at the Cardiff yoga studio. See here.

Dates: the next course begins in February 2025 and finishes July 2026. You will have until December 2026 to submit your case studies and qualify.

Curriculum.

Part 1: personal process & embodying the practices.

February 2025-December 2025

1. Reviving feminine alchemy for transformation Yoga is liberation and freedom from suffering as it fast tracks an individual to grace without becoming trapped in wordily pain or karmic obstacles. However yogic teachings can emphasise spiritual bypassing or skill in action, which leaves out the feminine wisdom of receptivity and engagement: with the world. We explore the power of the sacred feminine and her guidance on a healing journey. How can we foster trust in a transformative process after a let down or heart break. How can we be patient with resistance to change.

2. Understanding embodiment & body orientated process in yoga therapy. What is the nature of our embodiment? What are the components of our embodiment and what is body orientated process? We look at the distinctions and overlaps between sensations, feelings, cognitions, perceptions, impressions and emotions. We explore the difference between the experiencing self, the knowing self and the thinking self, i.e. what the mind thinks about our body and what our body directly feels, knows and experiences. We consider how to understand the truth of our body and to hear her voice. We explore the principles of body orientated process as taking gentle steps towards becoming sensate, sensitized, receptive,  curious about our experience with out interpretations or problem solving. 

3.The sattvic & compassionate breath. The breath is a bridge from the universal soul to the human soul, We are never lonely when we feel connected to Divine unity, a sattvic breath allows us to trust that truth. The breath has the potential to re configurate the elements (gunas) and therefore create deep shifts and change. It is the cornerstone of yoga therapy. Along with attention ( mind) and intention ( heart) the breath can go deep in regulating the nervous system, cleansing the lymph and circulating the blood- energy flow. 

4. The yoga of love:  Shoonya (fertile void)  and the sacred wound. We delve deeper into love philosophy: tending and befriending the wound,  pouring love into the void to create beauty out of pain  Yoga gently draws women back to the present moment, shifting from tolerating their body, to being with their body. It inspires hope, deep self acceptance and transformation through rebirth. When the heart and womb hurt, we do not let this sorrow overwhelm women or keep them in states of separation. We consider the yoga of love: pratyhara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. In love philosophy, Samadhi is a continuous, creative process of dissolving into love and becoming  rebirthed a new. Each rebirth gives us the promise of a fresh start. 

5. The cosmic woman. Integrating cosmic love through flow & receptivity. The way we move and the shapes we create in a yoga practice make it therapeutic and transformative. To be transformative, we need loveLove manifests in the sacred pauses of movement and breath, it organises matter through spirals and vortices. Moving in  flow: cyclical, wave like and spiraling motions connects us to our primordial pattern. Fluid ways of being and breathing deeply soothe us and encourage the mind to let go of compulsions and fixations. We dispense with hard, modern postural yoga that can reinforce tensions or amouring and instead find freedom through yielding, flowing movement. 


 6. Sacred biology: spiritual and experiential anatomy of the female pelvis: We begin by seeing the blue print of the female pelvis that reveals an intelligent and unique signature and design. We look at the specific presentation of the female pelvis and reproductive organs in her spiritual and energetic anatomy,. We consider the impact of emotions, memories or survival coping strategies on the pelvis ( pelvic adaptations) as well as her incredible power to re -create. patterns beyond trauma, injury or stress..

7. Womb centre & yoni source : We consider the importance of knowing and inhabiting our womb as epicentre, sacred source and point of gravity. We consider how the sacrum protects the womb and how to load and effort through the pelvis to enhance a posture that is secure and grounded. We also look at stimulating blood, (absent from yogic anatomy/texts) along with prana, to clear congestion and revitalise the pelvis. The womb and yoni needs freedom and spaciousness to thrive. Women can be supported to inhabit or move into their pelvis beyond any pain that was experienced

8. Restoring our root: beyond bandhas & pelvic floor exercises : We explore why the male anatomical bias overshadows solutions for healing by narrowing the perspective of pelvic health and obsessing with the pelvic floor.  We look at  the failure of bandhas and why any type of locking or holding reinforces physical and mental armouring which in turn restricts blood flow, alignment and optimum functionality  Drawing upon feminine functional movement, pelvic bio-tensegrity and Ayurvedic approaches, we consider a truly integrative way to restore our root and embody the pelvis with joy.

9. Decolonising the feminine and our body. We bring awareness to the epistemic violence of feminine wisdom and voice, where subjectivity, lived experience were considered as unworthy and feelings were classified as a lesser intelligence. We learn about the legacy of projection and objectification onto colonised/indigenous black and brown women. By not using the masters tools, or spiritual bypassing, we re-claim the erotic, our feelings and sensations to offset the voyerurism and control of the female body. We consider practices such as the healing gaze, locating our position ( claiming subjectivity) and restoring dignity by inhabiting the sacred vertical axis of heart and womb.

10. Herstory. The cultural trauma of the feminine: returning to multifaceted cyclical power.  We consider how historical memory accumulates through maternal lineages to shape the current social nervous system of women. We look at the cultural trauma that led to erosion of the feminine cyclical principle, the virgin/whore split, and binary positioning of the feminine. Certain systemic and ancestral misogynistic beliefs patterns  have influenced harsh -cathartic coping strategies and the way that women relate to themselves, their body and each other.  We consider how to evoke the belief and practice for women to heal the cultural feminine wound, reclaim the multiple facets  of the feminine and cyclical power

11. Understanding & healing shame in the body.  Yoga spaces and body processes can trigger shame. Wherever shame lives in the body, there can be a profound disconnect. For women, there can be generations of shame in the pelvis or body. Shame shows where healing is needed, it reveals where the trauma and neglect lies as well as the cracks in body image, identity and self -esteem. With shame, women can bury their experiences of trauma, loss or hurt within their body, fawn or turn upon themselves. We explore restoring dignity and connection to the body, through conscious rather than compulsive movement. slowing down, giving reassurance in confusion, and creating the language to recognise but not judge the embodied story.  

12. Understanding pain and tension from non patriarchal perspectives to reduce suffering. What is pain? What is a women’s relationship with pain and how has society projected pain onto women? We consider the racist and misogynist legacy that influences the gender health gap and gaslighting around women's embodied experiences. We then consider the benefits of Ayurvedic and holistic approaches that help us understand pain from a non patriarchal perspective. We look at the phenomena of tension , discomfort and pain on a spectrum.  We consider how sattvic pleasure, rest and digest supports healing and where hyper or hypo responsive interoception to pain can block this process. Pain can be a sign of inflammation, swelling, obstruction or depletion in Ayurveda.  Chronic pain and tension can move and migrate in the body particularly as it does not get a chance to be cleared. We explore the exit points for tension and how to ease pain through intention, attention ,self- warmth and breath. 

  With just 5-6 women there will be plenty of space and time to become familiar with these practices during the in person weekends and residentials. The movements consist of rocking, swaying, spiralling, circling and undulations to target soft tissue, fascia, organs and marma points. They work to bring relief to stiffness, tension, pain in the pelvis and to re calibrate the nervous system.



Part 2: Clinical applications and becoming a yoga therapist.

January 2026-July 2026

Listening to the woman: attunement, mirroring and healthy empathy.. We need to be clear mirrors to attune, reflect and be in service to another. This involves meeting people where they are at, validating them, hearing their dilemmas and respectfully entering into their hearts. We consider the practice of deep listening to help others feel felt and heard. Mirroring empathy restores self-acceptance and trust in the body again. We explore how tuning in to your client's body can enable her to listen and validate her own body voice. This is crucial to offset by passing, shame or avoidance.  

Being the wise guide and space holder: understanding power dynamics & somatic counter-transference. How can we use our authority (as a guide, therapist or facilitator) to hold and create strong containers (protected) as well as spaces free from interfering or controlling. This involves understanding power dynamics between therapist and client. We explore being conscious of and purifying one's own energy and boundaries when interfacing with others. This enables us to recognise somatic countertransference and mitigate any negative effects from it,  We explore how shifting power from competitive to collaborative, creates 'sister' affinity circles, spaces of belonging and relational resourcing. These are tend and befriend spaces to be seen, felt and affirmed. 

The somatic effects of trauma, chronic stress and injury in the female body and pelvis. We go into a deeper understanding and exploration of the somatic patterns that chronic stress and trauma present in the body. We consider what a traumatic embodiment looks like as well as the coping strategies that women experience in their life time as it concerns pelvic, sexual and reproductive distress or imbalance. I share my findings/observations from 15 years of clinical experience as well as modern research. 

The process of recovery and healing (making whole and unifying). We focus on the process of embodied union: awareness, connection, intention, titration and transformation. A trauma informed approach challenges notions of spiritual bypassing: letting it all go, mind dissolving into nothingness (absolute awareness) or forcing change. We look at process orientated movement as body responsive and honouring the pace of the body.

Supporting awareness & compassionate witnessing. We explore how to evoke our inner compassionate witness to track and connect to body sensations, signals, feelings. We consider respecting the window of tolerance, building or calming interoception, working with barriers to awareness such as hyper sensitivity,  hyper cognition, fear, mistrust and dissociation. 

Connecting to body authority and wisdom through metaphor and somatic language. Learning how to feel safely is the premise for healing but it can be challenging due to disconnect between mind and body under stress or trauma. We look at accessing the voice of the body, utilising metaphor and positive affirmations to enable embodiment as well as how to Impress new meaning through movement, to over come rigid, self negating states. 

Titration: Slow and steady gives the body time to process, understand and integrate new movements, postures or breath-work. This is grandmothers wisdom of accumulation and repetition. We explore bridging non- verbal (unconscious) experience of sensation to verbal expressions of sensation as well as moving from states of shame to beauty and full breath.

Re- patterning and integration: We can break up or compost down old patterns through softening, breathwork, creating space and taking brave steps to 'die to the old ways'. It is also possible to call in body wisdom by harnessing specific energetic zones and marma points which support nervous autonomic release and  deeper shifts


 Course hours:

14 online sessions= 28 hours

2 residentials ( 6 days long)= 144 hours

10 weekends=190 hours.

4 hour personal support per student

9 hours of group supervision.

total: 375

You will also be dedicating time to your own study, personal practice as well as facilitating and working on your assignments and case studies.

Dates: (in the process of being confirmed)
Online sessions: 

2025: February 21st,  March 14th, April 4th, July 4th, September 12th, October, November, 

2026 January, February, March, April, May, June,  

In person weekends

There are 4 weekends in 2025

February 28th-2nd March,

March 28th--30th, 

July 11th-13th,

September 12th-14th.

 6 weekends in 2026: 

February,

March,

April,

May,

June,

July. 

Residentials  take place in 2025

May & August 


Price and investment for the course:


Cost of the course: £3,900 

Payments are £200 instalments over an 18 month period  from February 2025- July 2026. There is a £300 deposit to secure your space. 

This cost includes the accommodation and food for two residentials in 2025.  

There is a £400 supplement charge for a single room that covers both residentials.  This is paid as a one off before the first residential.

What is not included:

You will need to pay your travel to France and your accommodation and food in Cardiff during the weekend trainings.