Teaching Yoga for Stress, Burnout and Fatigue


with Charlotte Watts 500RYT SYT (Yoga Alliance UK)

Join Charlotte Watts and Leah Barnett, specialists in Yoga for Stress, Burnout and Fatigue Conditions. The course takes a scientific, philosophical and experiential look at how yogic practices can support us within our culture of psychosocial stress, high expectations and stimulus, as well as these more recent times of fear, challenge and overwhelm within the pandemic. It explores specific practices that can offer us a lifeline when social engagement is less available and energy and coping resources are either compromised or on the floor. 

[NB: This course combines the previously two separate, but intimately connected courses Yoga for Stress and Burnout, and Yoga for ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to open out the material for more current relevance].

Stress, burnout and fatigue are states that are intrinsically linked via the nervous and immune systems, which can become disordered from psychosocial stress, overwhelm, fear, anxiety, trauma and the high expectations of modern living. These body systems are greatly affected by social isolation and lack of healthy social engagement, where practices of kind attention, self-compassion and attuning to our deeper needs become even more important.

This course is offered ONLINE via Yogacampus

Thursday 14 October to Sunday 5 December 2021

Module 1 Pre Course material will be released from Thursday 7 October.

Module One Live Online
Thursday 14 October: 14:00 to 17:30 (UK time)
Sunday 17 October: 14:00 to 17:30 (UK time)

Module Two Live Online
Thursday 11 November: 14:00 to 17:30 (UK time)
Sunday 14 November: 14:00 to 17:30 (UK time)

Module Three Live Online
Thursday 2 December: 14:00 to 17:30 (UK time)
Sunday 5 December: 14:00 to 17:30 (UK time)

Early bird end date: 12 September 2021

Course Description

This course combines what were previously two separate, but intimately connected courses looking at how yogic practices can support us in times of overwhelm and offer us a lifeline when our energy is either compromised or on the floor. 

Stress, burnout and fatigue are states that are intrinsically linked via the nervous and immune systems, which can become disordered from psychosocial stress, trauma and the high expectations of modern living.


What is Stress?

Stress is a major part of 21st century living, with the World Health Organisation previously estimating that by this year stress-related disorders will be the second leading cause of disabilities in the world. This epidemic is an underlying cause of most non-communicable and chronic degenerative health conditions expressed in the Western body including fatigue, anxiety, digestive issues (including Irritable bowel syndrome IBS), insomnia, depression, high blood pressure and heart disease.


What is Burnout?

Burnout is a term used to describe the emotional and physical collapse that can occur after long-term or chronic stress. It describes a state of ‘constant alert’ having lost the ability to regulate and self-soothe. As teachers we need to be able to guide students into a sense of safety and stillness so that they can develop holding strategies and the ability to be with intense sensations with understanding and equanimity.

Chronic stress and burnout are fatiguing by their excitory and reactive nature. The prevalence of fatigue as a chronic condition is hugely on the increase, especially Post Viral Fatigue (PVF) and its Syndrome – resulting from viral infections such as glandular fever and Covid-19. An individual may also have a diagnosis of deeper Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS also known as ME) or fatigue that can commonly be related to post-illness or medication regimes (such as cancer, digestive and cardiovascular diseases), or autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. We bring these considerations back to relationship with the nervous system, stress and trauma, where the Yoga Model of Wellness seeks to restore equilibrium.

Yoga and meditation practices offer very real (and well-researched) methods to quieten over-activated and fatigued body systems and to support individuals with tools to self-soothe and regulate. The key aim of yoga is to ‘still the mind’ through body awareness and connection to the breath, thereby intercepting the chattering monkey mind (analytical left brain) so dominant in Western cultures and Western bodies.

From course students:

Charlotte and Leah have created a brilliantly structured course to give clear learning and practical application on a complex area of great difficulty…I feel they have taught us skills safely and compassionately.

- Emily Young

It was a great opportunity to be able to attend this course online, often I end up going to London or Manchester for courses like this, and whilst the live face to face element adds so much, the ability to do this from home, not to have to travel and stay over, really worked for me. I found the course really well-structured, with a good blend of practice, listening/learning the theory and opportunities for group interaction. I also enjoyed doing the practices again and that really helped and encouraged me to listen and feel more without the feeling of being on a ‘course’. So all in all a great experience for me.

- Yen Yau, yoga teacher


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In this online course you will learn

This course will explore how psycho-social stress – the ‘neck-up’, ruminating stress we tend to get stuck in in ‘modern’ societies – can affect people and how the modern body needs special consideration for the way the average student lives their lives.

By understanding the common symptoms of Stress, Burnout, PVFS, CFS and other fatigue states, you will learn how energy is affected in terms of its creation and usage in those affected.

From there, we will explore many tools and consider how to best help students regain strength, find new ways of coping with these symptoms and live life in a way that supports recovery.

This course offers a well-rounded and in-depth experiential understanding of how it feels to move and live from a burnt-out, ‘tired but wired’ exhausted state. It will explore how to teach holding space for the habit patterns – samskaras– of pushing, doing, over-doing, striving etc to be seen clearly in a non-judgemental environment so that they become less and less binding.

Crucially we will explore how to encourage students’ agency and development of their tuning inward, so they can begin to hear the body’s whispers of ‘enough’.

Grounding, mindful and somatic work will be offered to help promote healing, conserve and restore energy and transform unhelpful habits of the body/mind system.

Course Structure

The themes in these days will be woven throughout the entire course, both in discussion and experientially.

  • An overview of definitions, contributing factors and the latest scientific understanding of stress and fatigue conditions.
  • Specific physical and emotional considerations for those with Burnt-out and fatigue conditions and how this might affect a person’s ability to be present, process guidance, access the postures etc.
  • Recognising that our culture continually consumes and ‘fills up.’ Understanding how yoga can provide a space for emptying out, releasing and letting go.
  • How it feels to move, open and stretch for someone who is highly activated and/or exhausted possibly with pain (physical and/or emotional) and intense emotional reactions;
  • Considerations for the mind-set of those in highly activated and/or exhaustive states; how habits – samskaras – may affect the very practice that could help by observing and unravelling these unhelpful habits.
  • Exploration of the ‘Relaxation Response’ (using breath practices and relaxation practices) as a direct means of improving vagal tone and activating the ‘rest and digest’ tone of the central nervous system.
  • Working with the yamas and the gunas as guides for working with chronically heightened energy and mind-sets.
  • Guidance on how to direct students understanding of the energetic impact of their yoga practice and how to best support their own health/recovery.
  • An introduction to Polyvagal theory and how this can be used as a way of understanding hyper-arousal and de-activation of the nervous system in relation to stress, burn-out and fatigue conditions.
  • The effects of trauma (shock and developmental) on the primal body, how this can manifest and how it needs to be approached to prevent relapse.
  • The relevance of trauma within fatigue and stress states and how this can manifest in practice as ‘rebound’.
  • How trauma and inflammation create fatigue and chronic pain and how to work with these.
  • The need for both restoration and movement and finding the balance within fascia, body fluids and structural/psycho-emotional needs.
  • The importance of identity – how the teacher can help the student loosen their attachment to the identity of suffering in chronic illnesses.
  • The necessity of compassion (ahimsa and karuna) and deep listening within our practice, our own bodies and our world, to be able to work with people’s needs on an individual level.
  • What ‘resilience’ means in relation to yoga and compassion; how mindfulness within our practice helps to cultivate this equanimity and ‘grace under pressure’.
  • Unhelpful samskaras in stress and the modern world; examination of personality types, how this can work against recovery and how yoga can help.
  • The role of sound and vibration within a healing practice, how this can be simply woven within asana to allow the breath to extend and release – the use of mantra to still the chatter of the left brain.
  • The difficulties of meditation for the stressed and how to hold, guide and facilitate; the internally critical tendencies of those with heightened stress responses – thanking the negative voices!
  • Teaching language; using mindfulness, creativity and compassion to encourage practice with a soft mind and body – with humour to release and create a positive sensory experience.
  • Where the latest neuro-scientific research fits in with the ‘stilling the mind’ effects of yoga, mindfulness and meditation.


Course feedback from previous Yogacampus training

Adi Frankovitch

Thank you Charlotte. A thoroughly interesting workshop that felt very holistic. A perfect combination of mind and body. I came here this morning very much in my head, and by the end of it I feel connected to my body and my mind, and very complete.

Lou Wellby

Charlotte and Leah create a most open and affirming environment in which to learn and grow. A wealth of experience and knowledge combined with a natural ability to engage, listen and encourage self-realisation. I felt a great sense of belonging and positivity throughout, thank you for sharing.

Josie Harrington

I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 days. I have learned so much and I’m looking forward to putting it into practice! Leah & Charlotte bring a fabulous balance of knowledge, experience, and practice. They held the space beautifully – I felt safe to explore with ease.

Fern Ross

Two fascinating knowledgeable teachers and a deep, well-rounded course that has provided me with new tools to my practice and teaching.

Lisa Williams

Leah and Charlotte embody the practice with charm, humour and intellectual rigour. They provided me with a safe space to re-connect to my teaching and my true self.

Mavis Graham

Really enjoyed the course and found both teachers knowledgeable and approachable. Have attained a lot of ideas to implement in classes.

Registration is open!

If you have any questions, please reach out to Charlotte at [email protected].

Sign up here