Welcome to Yoga, Mind & Spirit Training

This training sees the future of yoga in its integration of asana with science and Buddhism, yoga psychology and spirituality. Prepare yourself for that future with this unprecedented 100-hour Yoga Alliance Certified advanced teacher training.

Learn to weave the neuroscience of plasticity, the healing arts of meditation, and the liberating wisdom of the yoga canon into your asana teaching and practice. Immerse yourself in the three spiritual psychologies shared by yoga and Buddhism—conscious dualism, compassionate non-dualism, and embodied bliss integration—in six weekend intensives with master scholar-practitioners of Kashmiri Shaivism, Tibetan Buddhism, Kundalini Yoga, and Restorative Yoga. Steep yourself in advanced practice sessions that prime you to integrate elements of science, meditation, and wisdom into a transformational embodied teaching style grounded in thematic asana and bliss-activating pranayama.

The training starts January 19th!


Program Features

This 100-hour training features:

• Six Friday evening talks on the health benefits and cultural impact of yoga.
• Six Saturday science intensives on neuropsychology, contemplative science, and scriptural wisdom.
• Six Sunday practice intensives weaving science, meditation, and wisdom into asana and pranayama practice.

All six weekends bring together an exceptional team of yoga psychology pioneers to give you the grounding and mentoring you need to take your teaching and practice to the next level. Our faculty believe that our impact as yoga practitioner-teachers depends on our integrating physical yoga with the cultivation of a wiser mind, warmer heart, and altruistic spirit.

We offer this training to inspire, mentor, and empower you to awaken and embody your fullest humanity, the strongest force for transforming your students and the world we share.

Join us to deepen your impact by igniting your own transformation as a yogi/yogini.



Areas of Study

Yoga & Neuroscience
Yoga & Buddhism
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
Witness Consciousness
Love & Compassion Meditation
Dualism & Non-Dualism
The Upanishads & Bhagvad Gita
Imagery & Recitation
Shiva & Shakti
The Shiva Sutras & Vijnana Bhairava Tantra
The Subtle Nervous System
Chakras, Channels, Winds & Drops
Inner Fire & Shaivite Kundalini
Yoga & Trauma Therapy
Buddhist Abhidharma, Madhyamika, & Tantra
Thematic Asana Sequencing
Weaving Science & Spirituality Into Teaching


Study Formats

Lecture & Discussion • Group Practice Sessions • Self-Study & Assigned Readings • Meditation Home Practice & Journaling • Yoga & Meditation Teach-Backs • Personal Project Mentoring


The Training

Weekend 1: Stop Surviving and Start Thriving

Ground your yoga teaching and practice in rigorous understanding of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Buddhist Abhidharma, and the neuropsychology of asana, pranayama, pratyahara, and embodied mindfulness.

Lecture Jan 19, 6:00–8:00 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD
Science Jan 20, 1:30–6:30 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD
Practice Jan 21, 1:30–6:30 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Jacob Kyle, MSc, MA

Weekend 2: Healing the Trauma of Everyday Life

Steep your yoga teaching and practice in the timeless self-healing methods of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga, Buddhist psychology, and the contemplative science of dharana, dhyana, samadhi, and metacognitive mindfulness.

Lecture Feb 9, 6:00–8:00 pm Sonia Sequeira, PhD
Science Feb 10, 1:30–6:30 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD
Practice Feb 11, 1:30–6:30 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Marlie McGovern, MA, E-RYT, RYPT

Weekend 3: Thou Art That

Awaken the heart of your teaching and practice with the heroic spirit of unconditional love and compassion taught in the Upanishads, Bhagvad Gita, and Buddhist Mahayana Sutras, validated by the latest breakthroughs in affective neuroscience and positive psychology.

Lecture Mar 16, 6:00–8:00 pm Mary Reilly Nichols
Science Mar 17, 1:30–6:30 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD
Practice Mar 18, 1:30–6:30 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Marlie McGovern, MA, E-RYT, RYPT

Weekend 4: Expand Your Horizons

Raise the consciousness of your teaching and practice with the profound wisdom teachings of Advaita Vedanta, Buddhist Madhyamika, and the integrative neuropsychology of non-dual awareness and non-local compassion.

Lecture Apr 13, 6:00–8:00 pm Jacob Kyle, MSc, MA
Science Apr 14, 1:30–6:30 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD
Practice Apr 15, 1:30–6:30 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Jacob Kyle, MSc, MA

Weekend 5: Follow Your Bliss

Inspire your teaching and practice by encountering the heroic legacy and transformational arts of the Shiva Sutras and Pratyabhijna Hrdaya, weaving together mantra recitation, advanced breath control, and blissful devotion to activate the social neuroscience of imagery, prosody, and the smart vagal nervous system.

Lecture May 4, 6:00–8:00 pm Sonia Sequeira, PhD
Science May 5, 1:30–6:30 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD
Practice May 6, 1:30–6:30 pm Mary Reilly Nichols

Week 6: Embody Bliss Mastery

Infuse your teaching and practice with the intoxicating taste of pure bliss energy and chemistry by integrating the advanced breath-control methods of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra and its Buddhist analogues, known to activate the smart vagal nervous system and cultivate embodied flow states and traits.

Lecture Jun 1, 6:00–8:00 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD
Science Jun 2, 1:30–6:30 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD
Practice Jun 3, 1:30–6:30 pm Mary Reilly Nichols & Sonia Sequeira, PhD




Mary Reilly Nichols, is the Director of the Nalanda Institute’s Yoga, Mind & Spirit and has been teaching yoga for over 30 years. She specializes in yoga with an emphasis on the development of wisdom and experience through the lens of non-duality offered in the Upanishads, Advaita Vedanta, as well as in the Tantric methods of Kashmiri Shaivism and Kundalini Yoga. She holds a BA in anthropology from Harvard University, is a devoted student of Muktananda, and completed five years of residency in meditation ashrams in both India and the US. Currently, Nichols teaches stress management in psychiatric settings and is involved in ongoing research on the mind/body benefits of yoga and meditation.

Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD, is a contemplative psychotherapist, clinical researcher, and Buddhist scholar-teacher who integrates ancient contemplative science and technology with current breakthroughs in neuroscience and optimal health. After training in psychiatry at Harvard and completing a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies at Columbia, he founded Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science, a non-profit that helps people build sustainable happiness, compassion, and leadership through integrating science-based contemplative skills into their daily lives.

On faculty at the Weill Cornell Center for Integrative Medicine and the Columbia University Center for Buddhist Studies, Dr. Loizzo lectures widely on the role of meditative learning in the future of heath, education, and leadership, and teaches regular public classes and workshops at his Nalanda Institute, and Tibet House US. In 2007, he published Nagarjuna’s Reason Sixty with Chandrakirti’s Commentary, a translation study of contemplative self-analysis in Buddhism. His second book, Sustainable Happiness: The Mind Science of Well-Being, Altruism, and Inspiration, appeared in the Routledge Behavioral Science Series in 2012. He has published dozens of chapters and articles on contemplative science in peer reviewed books and journals including The Journal of Religion, the Annual Review of Psychiatry, and the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. Loizzo has a private psychotherapy practice in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife, Gerardine, and their sons Maitreya and Ananda.

Sonia Sequeira, PhD, is a neuroscientist, yoga instructor, and manager of the Drug Development Program for Clinical Trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She has been teaching yoga since 1997 and is a certified instructor in Hatha, Kundalini, and Naam yoga. Dr. Sequeira is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Meditation Sciences and also spearheads the Advances in Meditation Research conference series. Her work revolves around the use of scientific methodologies to study how meditation can be applied to improve health in diverse populations.

Jacob Kyle, MSc, MA, is a yoga asana teacher, writer, philosophy educator and the Founder of Embodied Philosophy, an online educational platform for Eastern philosophies and practices. Kyle holds two Masters Degrees in Philosophy: an MSc in Political Philosophy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an MA in the History of Philosophy from the New School for Social Research. He studied Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis at the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research in London. His ongoing studies in Western and Eastern philosophies have included the study of the Yoga Sutras with Edwin Bryant and Tantrik philosophy with Christopher Wallis. He was initiated into Neelakhanta Meditation and has since then been enrolled in Blue Throat Yoga programs under the tutelage of esteemed Kashmir Shaivism scholar Paul Muller-Ortega, studying the texts and practices of the Trika Kula lineage of Kashmir Shaivism. To augment his yoga teaching practice, Kyle has completed over seven hundred hours of training and workshops with many master teachers.

Marlie McGovern, E-RYT, RPYT, MA, teaches meditative and somatic practices from the contemplative traditions of Yoga and Buddhism, informed by contemporary insights from Western psychology. With an educational background in cultural anthropology and psychology, Marlie explores how we experience ourselves and others in the world. She specializes in restorative yoga, a deep and nuanced practice of fully supported asana that stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and facilitates exploration of the subtle limbs of yoga. Marlie coordinator for Nalanda Institute’s Yoga, Mind & Spirit and Meditation Teacher Training programs, and a graduate of the Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program.



All six weekends of the Yoga, Mind & Spirit training will be held at Pure West, 204 W 77th Street at Amsterdam Avenue, in New York City.



Yoga, Mind & Spirit training is $1850 for all 6 weekends. Payment options and discount for Pure members available. A limited number of scholarships are available — contact scholarship@nalandainstitute.org