Neuroscience, Yoga and Mindfulness

with M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D., C-IAYT
Founder & Director
Price: $196.00

The practices of yoga and mindfulness have a powerful impact on our neurobiology. In this course you will be introduced to new theories and research studies that are contributing to a more expansive conceptualization of Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine. 

Looking at yoga, and mindfulness practices and theory through the lens of neuroscience enables us to more deeply understand why and how yoga heals.

This course will cover:

  1. Yoga Theory and Polyvagal Theory
  2. What is Affective Neuroscience? And an Overview of the Limbic System.
  3. The Five Assessment Categories
  4. Asanas (Postures) and our Neurobiology
  5. Pranayama (Breathing) and our Neurobiology
  6. Meditation, Cognitive Revamping and Neuroscience
  7. Additional articles and research studies

You will have access to the course for 1 year from sign-up

In general, the field of Neuroscience, Yoga, and Mindfulness is in its infancy and every day there are new and exciting studies and theories being put forth. This course is formatted to to strike a balance between technical and rigorous empirical studies and making this vast field of neuroscience and yoga understandable to those who are not scientists or researchers.

I think we have hit the mark with a good balance of information, articles, research, and slide presentations. We think you will enjoy this very exciting information!

How to take this course:

  • Personal Growth and Learning

    You can take the course for non-credit and for your own learning experience. Please note, you will not receive APD or continuing education credit for the course.

  • Professional Development

    International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT): Approved Professional Development (APD) course eligible for 45-IAYT continuing education credits. Those taking this program for APD hours/credits will need to complete either the in-person or LIVE online course. Completion of both is required in order to receive the 45-APD hour certificate of completion for this course.

Professional Development

If you're taking this course to receive professional development. The following will be needed.

Each segment of the on-line training builds on the previous section, as such, please complete each section in order and step-by-step.

Please note, for the on-line training there are a lot of articles and studies that we included in Section 9, i.e. way more than is required for the 45-hour course. The studies and the information were so fascinating that we wanted to gift you with this exciting information. We didn’t think you would mind. We found the information so intriguing and interesting that we couldn’t help but share it with you!! So please enjoy - but don’t feel you have to read everything in Section 9 in order to receive your certificate.
  • You will need to attend the Neuroscience, Yoga, and Mindfulness 5-day retreat course at Yogaville, Buckingham, Virginia or Yogaville's Live Online workshop. For full details on registering for the retreat here is the link
    For in-person Yogaville Programs
    For online: Yogaville Online

  • The in-person retreat provides you with 26 credit hours. The on-line portion provides you with the remaining 19 credit hours. You must complete both segments of the training, i.e. the on-line and the in-person 5-day retreat in order to get the full 45 hours APD credit hours.

  • As part of the requirements for fulfilling the 45-hour credit option you will be required to take and pass an oral test that will be given at the in-person, 5-day retreat. During the retreat those taking the course for APD credit will meet with me in a private group to review business items, form study groups, and review for the oral test. It’s a supportive environment and all material will be covered.

  • After completion of all the requirements you will receive a certificate of completion for 45 hours of APD credit.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    1. Welcome and Introduction

    • Welcome and Introduction

  • 2

    Terms and Agreement

    • Terms, Waiver, & Policy Information

  • 3

    2. Getting Started

    • Getting Started

  • 4

    3. Yoga Theory / Polyvagal Theory

    • Introduction

    • Slides: Yoga Theory & Conceptualization

    • Article: Yoga Therapy and Polyvagal Theory

  • 5

    4. What is Affective Neuroscience? The Limbic System.

    • Introduction

    • Slides: Affective Neuroscience and the Limbic System

    • Article: Health Neuroscience: Defining a New Field

  • 6

    5. The Five Assessment Categories

    • Introduction

    • Slides: The Five Areas of Assessment

  • 7

    6. Asana's and Our Neurobiology

    • Introduction

    • Slides: Integrating Guna's, Asana's & Pranayama

    • Article: Interoception, Contemplation, and Health

  • 8

    7. Pranayama and Our Neurobiology

    • Introduction

    • Article 1: Breathing and the Brain

    • Article 2: Breathing modulates brain activity and mental function

    • Article 3: Effect of Fast and Slow Pranayama Practice on Cognitive Functions In Healthy Volunteers

    • Article 4: Meditation Breathing and Brain Health

    • Article 5: Breathing and Attention

  • 9

    8. Meditation, Mindfulness, Interoception and Our Neurobiology

    • Introduction

    • Slides: The Brain on Meditation; Mantra's & Sound Vibrations

    • Article 1: The Interoceptive Turn

    • Article 2: The Wandering Nervous System:: Ups and Downs in the Nervous System

    • Article 3: 19 Ways to Stimulate the Vagus Nerve

  • 10

    9. Additional Research Articles and Abstracts

    • Introduction

    • Research Articles and Various Readings. Optional Reading


M. Mala Cunningham, Ph.D., C-IAYT

is a leading speaker, educator, and trainer in the field of Lifestyle Medicine, Health Psychology, Neuroscience, and Medical Yoga. Her passion is creating a bridge between medicine, psychology, neuroscience, yoga, and mindfulness. Dr. Cunningham is the Founder and Director of the renowned training programs Cardiac Medical Yoga; Hospital Bed Yoga; and Limited Mobility Yoga. She is on the faculty of the University of Virginia School of Nursing and is also the President and CEO of Positive Health Solutions.

Dr. Cunningham has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin / Madison in Counseling Psychology and did post-doctoral work in Health Psychology & Behavioral Health. She has a private practice in Charlottesville, Va. & has also been a business and hospital consultant for over 25 years.

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The practices of yoga and mindfulness have a powerful impact on our neurobiology. In this course you will be introduced to new theories and research studies that are contributing to a more expansive conceptualization of Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, please email me at and let us know what your concerns are and we will work out mutually beneficial resolution. Thank you!!!