Tools for Resilience: Managing Triggers With Polyvagal Theory and Yoga

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Course Overview

What happens—both physiologically and psychologically—when we experience uncomfortable reactions in situations that evoke past traumas? In this foundational course, psychotherapist and ayurvedic yoga specialist Kathryn Templeton delves into polyvagal theory (a theory that sheds light on the role the vagus nerve plays in our body’s stress response) and how deepening our understanding of the stress response can have a positive impact on our ability to cope with challenging experiences. She also demonstrates how doing specific yoga practices and breathing techniques can help us become more resilient.

This program includes six classes: What Are Triggers?, What Is Polyvagal Theory?, Integration of Western and Yoga Psychology, A Yoga Practice to Build Stress Resilience, A Pranayama Practice to Develop Self-Regulation, and A Deep Relaxation to Tone the Nervous System.

You’ll not only learn about the significance of polyvagal theory in your daily life, you’ll also explore its influence on the way we think about the nervous system in general. And you’ll learn how to apply therapeutic concepts from Western and Eastern psychology to decrease the intensity of triggers. Finally, you’ll also get yoga practices (asana, pranayama, and relaxation) that can help you learn to self-regulate.

Let this program be your opportunity to move through your daily life with greater self-awareness and to learn to better manage your triggers.

Certificate of completion

3 CEU’s Upon Completion

Self Paced Learning

Course Outline

2.4hrs to complete

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Section 1
  • In this discussion, Kathryn explains what a trigger is from a classical psychological perspective. She also discusses the types of experiences that can trigger us, the impact that getting triggered has on our behavior, and she introduces key terms she’ll be using throughout the course.
  • In this discussion, Kathryn dives into polyvagal theory—what it is, how it explains our individual responses to stressful situations, and what those responses can feel like.
  • In this discussion, Kathryn begins by introducing concepts from both psychology and yoga that you can employ to identify and diffuse fear. She then shares how particular practices (asana, pranayama, and meditation) help to decrease the intensity of our reactions and enhance our relationship to ourselves and to others. And finally, she talks about some of the everyday tools psychotherapists and yoga therapists use to help their clients manage their stress responses.
Section 2
  • Props: blocks, blanket, bolster In this therapeutic sequence, you’ll move back and forth between feelings of activation and relaxation so you can develop this important skill off the mat. This practice includes sun salutations, pelvic tilts, side planks, supported bridge pose variations, forward folds, and more, before a final savasana. Along the way, Kathryn explains the function of each pose in building resilience.
  • In this class, you’ll learn and practice effective breathing techniques (pranayama) you can use as self-regulation (or “self-measuring”) tools for different types of triggered states. You’ll explore bhastrika (bellows breath), three-part breathing, and alternate nostril breathing with breath retention.
  • Props: blanket, bolster, small pillow or sandbag In this class you’ll explore how deep relaxation practices can help with the development of healthy coping mechanisms. The sequence begins with a gentle stretch, then after that you’ll lie on your back and cover yourself with a blanket if you wish. Once you’re comfortable, Kathryn will guide you through a guided relaxation that includes breathwork designed to help you release tension, a self-forgiveness practice, and more.
Section 3
  • Definition of Terms

  • Window of Tolerance

  • Polyvagal Theory

  • Grab a ball and a friend and join Kathryn to explore a quick, fun way to let go of stress.
  • Learn a soothing body-sensing practice that you can do at work whenever you feel triggered.
  • Feeling overwhelmed? Connect with your feet and your hips in this grounding practice that you can do anytime, anywhere.

How to Get This Course?

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Meet Your Teacher

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Kathryn Templeton
Kathryn Templeton, MA, RDT/ MT/LPC, E-500 RYT, C-IAYT. Ayurvedic practitioner Kathryn Templeton has devoted... Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, you can include this course in your Yoga Alliance training hours, with each hour equivalent to one continuing education credit.
This course is entirely self- paced, allowing you to learn at your convenience.There are no imposed deadlines or time constraints for Course completion.
No prerequisites are required; this course is open to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and practice.
No, the course is accessible to all individuals interested in enriching their understanding and practice of yoga.Yoga teaching certification is not a prerequisite.

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