Registered Yoga Schools

Pain Care Aware™ Info for YA RYS (Registered Yoga Schools)

Pain Care Aware Yoga Teacher Training

Prepare your YTT students for people who attend their yoga classes to address pain, or who experience pain during their yoga class.

Yoga teachers benefit from learning about pain science, the lived experience of pain, and what to do when an individual reports pain during asana.

The PCA™ program is grounded in traditional yoga philosophy and practice. It provides the knowledge and skills required to update yoga teachers’ approach to asana, and to the language related to pain and safety. Based on current pain science information, PCA will inform teachers as compassionate pain care movement educators, and give them a greater understanding of how cueing and guiding students within yoga classes can influence pain.

The PCA program can easily be inserted into any RYS 200, 300, or 500-hour YTT training, adding an additional 20 hours of curriculum and as many as 20 hours of practicum, depending on the size of the RSY YTT group, and whether or not the RYS chooses to offer both Level 1 online training, and Level 2 in-person certification/test-out.

A PCA Trainer can be contracted to guest teach in the RYS program, to complete the PCA Certification process for each RYS YTT group/school; or a PCA Trainer can train a designated trainer within the RYS YTT faculty, to complete the certification process for each YTT group or school.

To have a PCA Trainer train a school faculty, trainer within the RYS will be required a specific process of co-teaching with a designated PCA Trainer. Contact us for more details.

What is Pain Care Aware YTT?

PCA provides yoga teachers and teachers-in-training with the knowledge and skills required to adapt their teaching within our growing awareness for the need to provide a pain-informed approach to teaching yoga. Graduates attain updated language and cueing to enhance overall safety within yoga classes, and the confidence to hold space knowing people in pain are present.

PCA is a two-step training program, integrating yogic and scientific views of pain and pain care. It prepares yoga teachers for the growing number of students coming to yoga in pain, while assisting in prevention of injury and pain from yoga practice. See more info for further details, cost, and time commitment.

Benefits to RYS:

More health professionals are sending people to yoga when they’re in pain, based on evidence and treatment guidelines. Current training doesn’t prepare YTs for students coming to yoga class to treat pain.

Addressing popular misconceptions, myths, and stigmas starts YTT on the path towards questioning their beliefs on pain, and the language they use to increase safety in their classes.

PCA prepares yoga teachers to inform their students in a safe and effective style of pain care, without inadvertently increasing fear of movement—regardless of the classroom student’s pain experience.

PCA provides greater depth of knowledge for your YTTs so that more RYTs can confidently teach yoga when people in pain are present.

In 2019 Yoga Alliance mandated new changes to RYS YTT200 credentials. PCA fits into the new YA standards of education, and can be a simple solution to meet the new requirements.

How does it work?

RYSs embed the PCA Level 1 online course into their YTT program. PCA offers a YTT group discount of 20% off, for groups of five or more. Each RYS is given a promo code for their YTTs to enroll in the online course through the RYSs affiliation.

Step One: Level 1, Self-Paced Online Learning

Video and Audio guides the student

  1. Pain Neurophysiology Education
  2. Yoga and Pain Philosophy
  3. Awareness and Regulation Practices
  4. Movement Teaching Guidelines
  5. Pain Care Aware Language
  6. Pain Care Aware Cueing
  7. Written Content and PDFs Provide Supporting Knowledge to Reconceptualize Pain
  8. Current Research on Pain and Movement
  9. Integration of These Principles Into Yoga Classes
  10. Connection to Yoga Ritual

The self-paced online PCA curriculum includes six modules, with self-reflection assignments and coursework questionnaires within each section.

On completion of all four modules, students receive a “unique identification number,” proving competency of PCA Level 1s to enroll in Level 2 and complete their certification.

Step Two: Level 2, Pain Care Aware YTT Practicum and Certification

What It Is: Up to 20 Hours CEUs

The certification process is typically completed over a weekend or two days.

  • A review of the PCA principles and language.
  • Q&A Pain Science and Yoga Concepts.
  • Experiencing a PCA class by a PCA trainer.
  • Participating in small group practicum.
  • Teaching break outs with feedback from trainer and peers via form evaluation.

There are four ways in which the students enrolled in your RYS can complete the second step, process of certification in PCA.

Option One: The RYS can pay a flat fee to a PCA Trainer to have them come to their school and certify their YTT group, after they complete the online Level 1. Or, if the school has a designated trainer, Step Two can be completed internally.

Option Two: An RYS can simply embed the PCA online training Level 1 into the RYS’s YTT Modules, and leave it up to each of your YTTs to complete the PCA Level 2 certification process on their own.

These are the options for your YTTs to complete the PCA Level 2 certification in this situation.

  • Attend a Pain Care Aware Certification Weekend (2i) at any hosted studio. Up to 20 hours CEUs; OR
  • Complete an Online Group Certification with PCA Trainer (2.i) When a participant is unable to attend a certification weekend, or concerned with or regulated by Covid-19 best procedure guidelines; OR

Complete a one-on-one Distance Mentorship Certification (2ii). This has an additional cost. Lead trainer will review the PCA Principles and Language and view/listen to the student’s recorded Pain Care Aware class. Oral and written feedback is provided before certification is completed. Up to 20 hours CEUs

  • An affiliated Yoga Studio to the RYS can host a PCA Certification Weekend Workshop and enrolled YTTs can choose to register separately from the RYS YTT program. This option would be contracted out through a PCA Trainer.

Benefits to students enrolled in RYS:

PCA helps YTs keep their students safer without limiting their potential or inadvertently creating fear of movement and fear of injury. It expands the yoga teacher’s knowledge of pain science, while helping uncover their misconceptions of pain, people in pain, and of what to do when there is pain during asana. PCA teaches the importance between awareness and regulation offering practices and accompanying teaching scripts.

Practical options for teaching yoga, and specifically movement guidelines for asana, prepare the teacher for times when a student reports pain before, or experiences pain during, asana.

The goal of a PCA teacher is to avoid limiting the student’s potential, while fostering mindful fearlessness. PCA is an adjunct to YTTs, in that the student will obtain a separate certification, and can lay claim to specialized training in teaching with a focus on being PCA certified.

This certification will make the RYT more appealing to health care professionals who are looking for safe resources to refer their patients.


Level 1—$395
RYS group rate of five or more YTTs = 20% discount per YTT

Level 2—Options one, two, or three, contracted out with PCU and designated PCU trainer.