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Thu, Mar 21


Govinda Valley Retreat

BOOKED OUT: 4-Day, 50-hour Advanced Yoga Training in Trauma, Mental Health and Body Image

Are you a qualified yoga teacher, wanting to feel confident and equipped to offer more specialised support for your students, but are unsure exactly how to refine your teaching skills to be most sensitive to working with complex and vulnerable situations and communities? This training is for you.

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BOOKED OUT: 4-Day, 50-hour Advanced Yoga Training in Trauma, Mental Health and Body Image
BOOKED OUT: 4-Day, 50-hour Advanced Yoga Training in Trauma, Mental Health and Body Image

Time & Location

Mar 21, 2019, 8:30 AM – Mar 24, 2019, 5:30 PM

Govinda Valley Retreat, 51 Lady Carrington Rd, Otford NSW 2508, Australia


About the event

Are you a qualified yoga teacher, wanting to feel confident and equipped to offer more specialised support for your students, but are unsure exactly how to refine your teaching skills to be most sensitive to working with complex and vulnerable situations and communities? This 50-hour advanced teacher training is designed specifically for you.

What is the training?

This 50-hour 4-day advanced training is for qualified yoga teachers, focusing on Yoga for Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, and Body Image. The training is non-residential with an option to stay at the retreat centre if preferred. All modules are integrated from a person-centred, ethics-oriented, social-justice perspective. The course is designed to create deep shifts in the way you think about yoga, social justice and mental and spiritual health, and support you to be a confident facilitator of safe and empowering spaces for yoga to be shared in the context of challenging personal and psychological experiences in the lives of your students.

Based on contemporary research, social justice principles, and underpinned by the framework of the highly popular workshops and programs below (among many others), developed by your facilitator Sarah Ball over 15 years of teaching yoga and working with trauma, mental health, and eating and body image issues.

Who is it for?

The training is designed for yoga teachers who genuinely want to feel confident and equipped to offer more specialised support for their students, but are unsure exactly how to refine their teaching skills to be most sensitive to working with complex and vulnerable situations and communities. If you're among this community of teachers, then this course is tailored specifically to train you in these areas so you can feel confident and clear in your approach to mental health, trauma, and body image, in your teaching.

A minimum certification of 200 hour yoga teaching is required to attend the course (teachers-in-training who are currently completing a minimum 200 hour certification may also enrol). The training is kept below 20 participants, to ensure there's plenty of opportunity for integration of learning.

Modules and Topics Covered

Day 1: Trauma Sensitive Yoga + Social Justice Principles for Yoga Teachers

  • Yoga and Trauma: Understanding and applying the 4 primary principles of the Trauma Sensitive Yoga method
  • Methods of working with the nervous system to create greater safety in individuals and groups
  • Introduction to trauma informed practice as a wider social movement in the ‘helping professions’.
  • How yoga can be adapted in specific contexts to support trauma sensitive principles
  • A suite of simple teaching principles and practices that can be integrated into daily life, group yoga classes, and 1:1 yoga sessions
  • Methods of teaching public yoga classes with a trauma-informed approach
  • The scope of professional practice for yoga teachers in the field of mental health, trauma and body image.
  • Bringing life experience to teaching: peer work and the appropriate use of self-disclosure and lived experience.
  • Social Justice in Mental Health: The role of critical reflection in influencing how and what we teach
  • The Art of Facilitation: creating and sustaining a safe space
  • Providing tools in the yoga space that encourage acceptance self-empowerment, connection, agency and change.

Day 2 and 3: Yoga for Anxiety, Depression, and Mental Health

  • Mental Health through Multiple Lenses: yoga, western psychology and questioning pathology
  • Narratives of mental health: Ways of thinking about anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues using a narrative approach
  • How to adapt yoga for anxiety reduction
  • How to adapt yoga to support depression
  • The ecology of healing: The intersection of the koshas and ecological systems theory
  • A bio-psycho-social framework for teaching yoga for mental health
  • Working with the needs of the individual: avoiding a prescriptive approach
  • When and why to avoid certain practices for specific mental health issues
  • Spiritual Bypassing – what is it, and how does it show up in the yoga world
  • Working with ‘shadow’ - our own and those of others
  • Specific practices and teaching methods that work with the nervous system to support relief from psychological and emotional experiences, including anxiety, depression, grief, anger, and burnout
  • How to structure classes to cater to diverse mental health needs in one space

Day 4: Yoga for Body Image (+ Personal Practice Considerations + Self-Care)

  • Yoga and Body Image: How Yoga Harms, How Yoga Heals
  • Unpacking the notion of the ‘Yoga Body’
  • Encouraging environments of body-positivity and body-acceptance in yoga classes, 1:1 sessions, and personal practice
  • Balancing acceptance and change in the yoga space
  • Working with the damage wrought by the ‘transformation fantasy’ as it relates to the body and yoga in the west, while honouring the transcendent possibility of the practices
  • Practical approaches to welcoming difference and diversity in yoga spaces
  • Codependence in yoga teaching: how to work with the distress of others without moving to save or fix
  • Sustaining our own practice and passion for this work
  • Cultivating active hope in the face of the difficulties of our students and communities.

There will also be plenty of time for discussion and questions, as well as ample opportunity to practice facilitating the methods and practices explored in the theoretical modules.

Home study requirements to meet 50-hours of Training

The vast majority of the course content is covered over the 4-day intensive. However, in order to meet the 50 hours of training and receive a certificate of completion, the following activities are required:

  • Read the required text (this needs to be read prior to the training), and at least one of the recommended texts either prior to, or following the training, and write a 250 word summary of your key learnings from each book:
  • Required reading: Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga by David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper (write a 250 word summary of your key learning)
  • Recommended Readings (choose at least one and write a 250 word summary of your key learning)​​

1. Yoga for Depression by Amy Weintraub

2. Yoga for Emotional Balance by Bo Forbes

3. Yoga and Body Image edited by Melanie Klein and Anna Guest-Jelley

PLEASE NOTE: If reading these texts is not possible for you for any reason, please get in touch to discuss alternative methods of meeting additional study requirements.

Also included in the training...

  • Resources for key topics and methods covered
  • Membership to a closed facebook group for ongoing peer feedback and resource sharing beyond the training
  • Optional priority booking for 1:1 mentoring with Sarah in-person or on Skype following the training (limited number of spots available as Sarah's clinic is often booked out)
  • Nourishing lunch and refreshments provided daily
  • Attracts CPD points
  • Certificate of completion for 50-hours of advanced yoga teacher training

Your Facilitator

Sarah Ball has been teaching yoga for over fifteen years, and regularly facilitates on level 1 and 2 yoga teacher trainings as well as yoga therapy trainings. She is also a qualified social worker, counsellor, and art therapist, specialising in mental health, social justice, positive body image, eating disorders, and trauma recovery, who has developed the popular Yoga for Anxiety and Depression 8-week course, 4-week intro to Trauma Sensitive Yoga, and Body Love Yoga programs. Sarah also teaches the trauma informed practice and mental health subjects in the Bachelor of Social Work program at the University of Wollongong.

Sarah's yoga courses and facilitation are informed by her extensive ongoing training in a wide variety of yoga approaches. Her programs offer a fusion of trauma-sensitive, body-positive, hatha, vinyasa flow, Vini, yoga therapy, and yin yoga methods, with an emphasis on the power of yoga to inform and transform our lives beyond the yoga mat. She is also an affiliate member of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and senior facilitator for Off the Mat, Into the World Australia.

Sarah runs a private clinic in Bulli NSW and on Skype, working with counselling and yoga teacher mentoring, specialising in 1:1 and group therapy for anxiety, depression, trauma, body image, emotional eating and eating disorder recovery.

Investment Options


This option includes the 4-day Training program, as well as resources, and nourishing lunch and snack each day (earlybird $1150) Full fee $1250



This booking option includes all described in option 1, plus 3-nights residential quad-share stay at the retreat centre on Thurs-Sat nights, including meals and refreshments (Lunch and dinner on Thursday, all 3 meals on Friday + Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday). Limited to 12 quad-share spots. (Earlybird $1450). Full fee $1550


  • Add a single1.5 hour mentoring session with Sarah post-training $110
  • Add a 6-session package of monthly mentoring sessions with Sarah post-training $425

EARLYBIRD DATES: Earlybird fees apply until two months prior to the training (January 21st 2019). 

RE MENTORING: These sessions can be in-person at the clinic in Bulli NSW, or on Skype following the training (limited number of spots available as the clinic is often booked out)

PAYMENT PLANS AVAILABLE with a $300 non-refundable deposit- please get in touch to discuss.

COMPLETED THE TRAUMA SENSITIVE YOGA TRAINING WITH ME BEFORE? Please note: A fee reduction of $150 from any of the above booking options is available for students who have already completed the 1-day intensive trauma sensitive yoga training with me - please get in touch to arrange this option.  

Venue and Training Times

  • Training dates for 2019 are Thursday March 21st to Sunday March 24th.
  • The training will be held at the beautiful Govinda Valley Retreat Centre in Otford, NSW, which is just 75 minutes south of the Sydney CBD.
  • The training will run from 8:30am-5:30pm daily.

What Others are Saying About training and courses for Anxiety, Depression, Trauma and Body Image with Sarah

"Hi Sarah Thank you so much for yesterday. Your knowledge and delivery is excellent as is your approach. You are one of the best facilitators I have ever experienced, and I felt that your integrity is impeccable. I learnt way more than I expected and believe that you have left me with so much that I will integrate personally as well as professionally over time. I look forward to training with you again in the future." Adrianne, Trauma Sensitive Yoga trainee

"This is a complex body of research. Sarah has the ability to distill important aspects into pieces of information that can be applied to teaching to improve the experience of class members, while also assisting the teacher to identify other areas of personal interest in the subject matter." Fiona, Trauma Sensitive Yoga trainee

“This is yoga, but not as you may know it through past experiences, or images on social media. This course encourages you to do what you can and offers you a range of options on postures dependent on your capabilities. There is time to rest the body, reflect, learn, and heal yourself.” Jodie, course participant

“Wow. Just wow. I loved that the course wasn’t overly structured or inflexible about how to practice. It was just really inclusive, offering lots of options with different movements and adapting to you as an individual. Sarah has a beautiful, calming voice and manner. The class is a non-judgmental, non-competitive, in a warm and welcoming environment. I am new to yoga classes because I never thought I could do it, but I just loved it. Thank you.” Therese, course participant

"Sarah is incredible in terms of her knowledge! No two classes are the same. She creates a beautiful, nurturing space for self-exploration, and a lovely community vibe too." Renee, Course Participant

“Sarah’s course is a beautiful opportunity to pause and reflect on the ways yoga can expand your understanding of wellbeing. Whether approaching it from a professional or personal perspective, Yoga for Anxiety and Depression will add a valuable selection of trauma-sensitive strategies to your toolkit.” Clem, course participant

"I would recommend this yoga course to anyone...even if you don't suffer from a mental illness. I just finished the course and I was beyond amazed! Sarah the instructor is such a lovely soul with many facets. I would love to do it again!" Megan, course participant

"Words cannot express how much I loved the class last night and how my state of being and feeling, body and mind drastically transformed from my frazzled state beforehand to a way more peaceful and uplifted state after. Your balance of wisdom, compassion, gentleness, lightheartedness and fun was simply perfect." Lisa, course participant

"Loving the class, love the talks, and all the info. Thanks for doing all the research/home work" Dave, course participant

"The course is full of detailed descriptions to understand yoga in a whole new way" Course participant.

"Just wanted to let you know that my partner and I are really enjoying the course and getting a lot out of it. We're learning so many new things! The way you explain things is awesome." Joanna, Course Participant

"Just a quick thanks for helping me back on my feet...with the help of some amazing people, such as my beautiful wife, my doctor, psychologist and now you, I am in a place I thought was impossible 8 weeks ago." Tony, course participant

"I just wanted to send a quick email to say how much I truly appreciated tonight's class. I had had a day that meant by 6pm I was wound up to the point of chest pain and nausea and it really helped me so much. I also loved the 'story'/information in class, it really resonated with me. Thank you!" Rebecca, course participant

“I'm currently doing Sarah's yoga for anxiety and depression course and have learnt so much. Sarah is a joyful, heart felt teacher who brings an unique perspective on what yoga can offer regardless of your experience. She is generous in sharing tools for resilience in this wild journey called life" Penny, course participant

"It was good to have the weekly talks that linked to the practice - it makes it more specific and easier to guide my practice. Also very beneficial were the weekly handouts. Coming each week made my head so much better." Helen, course participant

"I loved how supportive the environment is for people with anxiety or depression, or people new to yoga with all the options and invitations offered...I learned that it's ok to play in yoga, which i think will make it much more likely that i'll practice at home. it is a whole learning journey, not like any other class I have experienced. So much warmth in this room." Josh, Course Participant

"Taking this course is an act of kindness to yourself and the society we find ourselves in. Sarah will meet you where you're at. If you've ever been turned off, hurt, or intimidated by the machismo in yoga, then come to this class as the antidote. It will be as athletic as you like, as mentally challenging as you like, and I hope, like me, you'll find it enriching and revitalising"

Cath, Course Participant

"I really took away from the course a home practice. Even though I have done yoga for ages I have never had a home practice. I guess I thought I would have to plan a whole practice and that seemed too overwhelming. Your description of how to practice at home made so much sense and made a personal practice seem so much more achievable. Also that it can be 5min. I really enjoyed the course. Thanks" Nicole, course participant

"I thought the course was very helpful and am so glad I did it. I think everyone can benefit from doing it as we all experience anxiety in some shape, its just the nature of our society. What I valued most about the course was the fact that I felt respected and not judged in any way. I liked the fact that I could just be! without having to talk. I felt very nurtured. I valued the meditative benefit of the course. I would most definitely recommend the course. Your kind teaching style was very nurturing. I could have listened to you talk endlessly Sarah. The price point was excellent for the quality of the teaching. The parking was easy. I left the course with tips on how I could practice yoga at home which is great because you can do it in your PJs and its free. The value of the teaching was excellent and I got so much more out of the course than I do in a yoga class." Sonja, course participant

"So well facilitated. The style of teaching was clear, constructive, & sensitive, as well as being open and embracing. Sarah's use of diverse references and speaking from experience, as well as the reflection at the beginning of each week made the course in depth and very experiential. I would say it's helpful for anyone." Jo

"So that concludes four weeks of transformative social work and yoga professional development and practice, delivered by the incredible Sarah Ball. As a teacher, I have used her strategies daily to enhance the wellbeing of both my students and myself ... 100% self-care ... totally worth 90 minutes of travel in each direction. Can't recommend Sarah and her workshops highly enough!" Kim

"An extension of trauma-informed theory from social justice frameworks, but placed in a practical form and accompanied by a soul restoring practice." Course Participant

"Sarah is a wonderful teacher. The yoga is suitable for everyone. Supportive and compassionate environment." Course Participant

"I enjoyed everything, especially the time at the beginning to listen followed by the yoga practice later. Sarah made me feel so safe and relaxed. I would say it's a fascinating course regardless of why you're here. Interesting, challenging and reflective." Course Participant

"I really appreciated that there was no sharing of our own stories in the class, which allowed me to feel safe and really focus on myself. I loved the slow, rhythmic practice and feel that it's a fab course to start your awareness of trauma in the body." Course Participant

"Great for practitioners and those struggling/family/friends to understand the experience of trauma. As a mental health professional this course allowed me to put the principles into practice." Emma

"The respectful way of presenting made it feel very safe and comfortable." Course Participant

"Bloody excellent. soul nourishing. Calming. Relaxing. Very gentle and respectful. The perfect balance between theory and practice. Learning yoga as a beginner, this course was transformative. This course made me want to do yoga regularly. Sarah's use of real examples of how real people/client's journey through trauma experience was supported through Trauma Sensitive Yoga practice really stood out for me." Andrea

"Sarah's passion for this topic was infectious. Everything was explained so clearly. An excellent course with a great instructor." Course Participant

“I was pleasantly surprised at how tangible and useful it all was. Not a dull moment, with high-energy and zest for hours – and I usually have a limited attention span! Thanks – it was amazing” Workshop participant

“Thank you Sarah. It was a beautiful workshop format that is empowering and enriching. You create a safe, confidential environment where new ideas can be explored with openness and honesty. I loved learning to honour the body, and soul, and to be kind.” Workshop participant

“I loved this workshop – thank you so much Sarah. You are an incredibly warm, honest, authentic and skilled teacher. I loved the connection with others and realising we share the same stories. Please keep sharing!” Workshop participant

“I absolutely loved it. There is something incredibly powerful about connecting with other women. Knowing I am not alone in how I feel and the struggles I have and learning practices I can use to quieten the internal critic was really valuable to me….feel like anything is possible!” Body Love Yoga Workshop participant


  • 4-day non-residential

    4-day Training including resources, and nourishing lunch and snack each day (earlybird $1150) Full fee from January 21st 2019 is $1250

    Sold Out
  • Residential training

    4-day Training including resources, and nourishing lunch and snack each day, plus 3-nights residential quad-share stay at the Govinda Valley retreat centre on Thurs-Sat nights, including meals and refreshments (Lunch and dinner on Thursday, all 3 meals on Friday + Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday). Limited to 12 quad-share spots. (Earlybird $1450 end January 21st 2019). Full fee $1550

    Sold Out
  • Post-training mentoring single

    Add a single 1.5 hour mentoring session with Sarah post-training to your booking. These sessions can be in-person at the clinic in Bulli NSW, or on Skype following the training (limited number of spots available as mentoring with Sarah is often booked out). Learn more

    Sale ended
  • Post-training mentoring x 6

    Add a 6-session package of monthly 1-hour mentoring sessions with Sarah post-training to your booking. These sessions can be in-person at the clinic in Bulli NSW, or on Skype following the training (limited number of spots available as mentoring with Sarah is often booked out). Learn more

    Sale ended



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