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The Yoga Pro Podcast

Oct 28, 2020


In this episode, Marlysa Sullivan talks about what constitutes yoga therapy and why it is important as a modality. We explore understanding the underlying framework for yoga therapy for any condition as the facilitation of eudaimonic well-being and body-mind regulation/resilience, and she even shares a little practice for us.  She is a Physical Therapist (PT) and Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) with over 15 years of experience working with people who suffer from chronic pain conditions.  She is an Assistant Professor at Maryland University of Integrative Heath and holds an Adjunct position at Emory University.  She is the author of Understanding Yoga Therapy and co-editor of Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain, as well as many peer-reviewed articles.



  • Marlysa talks about the field of yoga therapy [1:46]
  • How she transitioned from PT to yoga therapy [3:57]
  • The differences between yoga therapy and other health related practices [7:06]
  • How muscle imbalances and emotional states are related and where yoga philosophy fits in [9:29]
  • Adapting terminology for different environments [12:52]


We are providing yoga practices, not for low back pain, but we're providing yoga therapy practices to develop regulation, interoception and discernment and resilience, which then helps with back pain.”


  • The importance of meaning and purpose [12:55]
  • How to find meaning and purpose [17:40]
  • Too much or too little kindness [19:27]
  • Defining values [22:04]
  • Marlysa leads a practice [22:54]
  • The power of the breath [28:03]
  • Differentiating practices to meet the client where they are [31:09]
  • Resilience and regulation [34:32]
  • Measuring resilience [38:21]
  • Polyvagal theory and yoga [41:53]


“If I'm speaking to yoga people I'm going to talk about activating Sattva Guna. If I'm speaking to the medical community, I might say I'm going to activate the social engagement neural platform.”


  • Hedonic and eudaimoniac happiness [48:38]
  • Social isolation and telehealth [49:47]
  • How she wrote two books in two years [54:55]
  • Maryland University of Integrative Health’s Yoga Therapy program [100:24]


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Interact with Marlysa:

Yoga Therapy and Polyvagal Theory: The Convergence of Traditional Wisdom and Contemporary Neuroscience for Self-Regulation and Resilience

Understanding Yoga Therapy: Applied Philosophy and Science for Well-Being   (affiliate link)


Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain  (affiliate link)



Interact with Pamela:​ 


Music:  The State of Things (The Bouncy Song) by Rena Wren is used with permission.