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Yoga therapy for central axis (SI/pelvis and spinal health) / Elia Nikolaev


Elia Nikolaev (and Alison McLean) / teaching in English

This training is available for you as an individual (50hrs) Yoga Therapy Teacher Training, or if you are a Finn, you can study it as a part your wider 350 hours teacher training programme.

This unique training is designed for certified yoga teachers desiring to deepen their knowledge in anatomy, biomechanics and pathologies for central axis, and the therapeutic applications of yoga for SI, pelvis and spinal health. Reaching beyond the physical and anatomical aspect of yoga postures, this first module of the training offers a multi-faceted curriculum with in-depth areas of study providing an effective & sustainable approach to yoga therapeutics. Participants will gain an enriched skill set to support the healing and wellbeing of the whole person.

Teachers attending this training will build confidence in their ability to provide tools that help their students prevent and heal injury, as well as assist students with specific medical concerns/special needs. This module will cover and teach the relevant anatomy, biomechanics and physiology to make a technique appropriate for the given pathology. Various therapeutic applications will be explored through the students' own yoga practice and in a group setting. An opportunity to implement therapeutic yoga techniques will be given in lab time. The layers of the panchamaya koshas will be woven in to create a holistic intervention for students and clients when combined with asana, meditation, pranayama, and essential oils.


  • Introduction to yoga therapeutics & the panchamaya koshas

  • Introduction to purusharthas (the 4 aims including dharma, artha, kama and moksha) and how they relate to injury and recovery

  • Yoga therapy for spine
: Anatomy, biomechanics, and physiology to make a technique appropriate for the given pathology

  • Yoga therapy SI/pelvis
: Anatomy, biomechanics, and physiology to make a technique appropriate for the given pathology

  • Time to implement therapeutic yoga techniques in lab time

  • Pranayama and meditation 
for healing

  • Participants will develop a specific skill set, tools and confidence to help their students prevent, manage and heal injury, as well as work with students with specific medical concerns and special needs

  • Custom tailored videos on foundation and theory of yoga therapy, and anatomy videos on spine, pelvis and SI joint.


  • Look at the anatomy and biomechanics of the pelvis and spine in order to learn how to assess and support the health of the central axis with the most common pathologies

  • Explore typical pathologies and dysfunctions of the studied body parts and understand how to choose right therapeutic techniques for the given pathology through the knowledge of relevant anatomy, biomechanics and physiology. (For example degenerative disc disease, disc herniation & rupture, scoliosis, stenosis, upper & lower crossed syndrome)

  • To reach skills to include the therapeutic use of the Great Yoga Wall™ system.

  • Teach asana therapeutically based on the individual anatomy, and needs and symptoms of the student

  • Discover how to teach and cue the therapeutic poses based on the needs of the individual student rather than the external form of the asana.


  • Yoga teachers with YTT 200 or higher

  • Yoga teachers wishing to safely design therapeutic classes and classes for specific populations (yoga for spinal health, yoga for improved balance, yoga for scoliosis etc)

  • Health care practitioners wishing to deepen their yoga knowledge and bring yoga into their practice

  • Please notice: You can of course take part only in this one module, you don’t have to take the whole VM 350h training. See more underneath.


1. CONTACT-HOURS (42HRS) / Elia Nikolaev

Elia will be leading the entire contact hour portion of the training as described above.

2. NON-CONTACT-HOURS (8HRS) / Alison McLean

Alison will be present for the group call, grading of the assigned project and for any support via phone or email after the live training.


  • videos on foundation and theory of yoga therapy

  • anatomy videos on spine, pelvis, and SI joint (made by Elia & Alison specifically for this training)

  • 2 hour case study call

  • 1 group project



10.00-13.00 Lecturing / theory / workshopping / lab time, PART 1

13.00-14.15 Manor’s vegetarian & vegan lunch

14.15-17.00 Lecturing / theory / workshopping / lab time, PART 2

17.30-20.00 Applied practice / workshopping or lab time, PART 3

20.00-> Supper


8.00-9.00 Breakfast

09.00-13.00 Lecturing / theory / workshopping / lab time, PART 1

13.00-14.30 Manor’s vegetarian & vegan lunch

14.30-17.00 Lecturing / theory / workshopping / lab time, PART 2

17.30-19.15 Applied practice / workshopping or lab time, PART 3

19.15-> -> Supper, yoga movie, and on Friday traditional Finnish sauna


6.30–9.00 Morning class

10.00–13.00 Lecturing / theory / workshopping / lab time, PART 1

13.00-14.30 Manor’s vegetarian & vegan lunch

14.30–17.00 Applied practice / workshopping or lab time, PART 3


The price of this yoga teacher training module for the training tuition is 1000€ (inc. VAT 24%) . Reservation fee 499€ is paid when booking your participation, and because the space is limited, this fee is non-refundable. The rest of the payment comes due in 1-1,5 months.

Because the days are demanding and require good rest, proper nutrition as well as us sticking to our schedule, we recommend you calm your life/avoid non-essential traveling back and forth during the study days. Villa Mandala offers accommodation and food as follows:

You will stay in Villa Mandala for lodging Wed-Sun for 265€ (inc. VAT 10%) and enjoy our heavenly vegetarian & vegan food Wed-Sun for 235€ (inc. VAT 14%). The lodging and food / 5 days are billed together 500€, because the spots are limited.

More information


Our reservation system is coded in Finnish language. We know you are already stoked on reserving your spot, so please follow the help of this little Finnish-English dictionary and fill in the form HERE :

Yritys -> Company

Etunimi -> First name

Sukunimi -> Surname

Katuosoite -> Street Address

Postinumero -> Postal Code (number)

Postitoimipaikka -> City

Sähköposti -> E-mail

Gsm-numero -> Phone number

Syntymäaika -> Date of Birth



Into the empty boxes under these questions you can write extra information such as your travel company, possible physical limitations, allergies and diets.

Remember to tick the squared boxes - they are a waiver of liability in Finnish and ask you to take full responsibility of your health when participating on this retreat. By ticking the boxes you assure that you, your heirs or legal representatives forever release, waive, discharge and covenant not to sue the instructor(s) or the Villa Mandala (or it’s staff) for any injury or other unexpected outcome caused by your voluntary participation in this training.



Elia is a yoga teacher and a yoga therapist (E-RYT, YTRX) based in San Diego, California. He obtained his first teaching certification in 2006 and has studied extensively in the Iyengar and Ashtanga lineages. He has studied in India in 2010 and 2013 in the traditions of Bishnu Ghosh at the Ghosh College of Physical Education, and at the Iyengar Institute in India (RIMYI) with the Iyengar family and their teachers. 

Elia completed a 2-year Training in Yoga Therapy with Larry Payne, MD and Lori Rubenstein Fazzio, DPT at Loyola Marymount University, including an invaluable clinical internship. He is also a certified Happy Back Yoga teacher under the tutelage of Rachel Krentzman, DPT. Some of his most influential teachers & mentors include Roger Cole, PhD, Richard Freeman, Carolyn Belko and Usha Devi of Rishikesh, India. 

Teaching for close to 13 years has amounted to hundreds of hours of training in both Western and Eastern methods of movement and wellness, and thousands of hours in practice and application.


Alison is a doctor of physical therapy, yoga therapist & teacher. She teaches anatomy and alignment in Prana's 200hr & 300hr Teacher Trainings as well as the The Yoga Wall Method. A skilled teacher and passionate yogi, she teaches Happy Back and Therapeutic Yoga classes and workshops all over San Diego. Her approach to Yoga Therapeutics is holistic and comprehensive, reaching beyond the physical. Some of the teachers who most inspire me and I have studied with are Judith Hansen Lasater, Ginger Garner, Roger Cole, Shelly Prosko and Jules Mitchel. Learn more at