Course for yoga teachers, teacher trainees (and wellness professionals with yoga experience) with Charlotte Watts SYT

This course was moved online during the coronavirus crisis and as this format worked so well to enable home study and distance learning, is being offered this way moving forward as a hybrid between remote exploration and in-person workshops to complete.

Having much of the course online has the advantage of providing you with the notes, presentations and practice videos for lifelong access, alongside live weekly discussion for each theme – online (Tuesdays 2pm or Thursdays 7.30pm in Zoom) or in Brighton and London when easing of lockdown restrictions allow. The in-person practical aspects are then offered as four day-long workshops which can be spread over time and in different UK locations to make the course more accessible to those who need to travel; again when restrictions allow.

  • The online course is 76 hours study, practice and home exploration – next intake October 2020, see dates below
  • For full certification of the course, an additional four, day-long workshops in person to make entire course 100 hours (see below, these can be done at any time and in any order).
  • The full 100 hour course is also one of two parts that make up the complete 170 hour CPD Therapeutic Somatics for Yoga Teachers training – see details of the other part Teaching Somatics course – for Yoga Teachers, which you can do either alongside, before or after this course. If you want to do alongside for a full immersion, the live discussions are on different weeks to this course (but only 5 so are interspersed) so you can do both together. There is a retreat included in that course, next date March 2021.

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Course description

This course has been designed as an explorative journey for yoga teachers, yoga therapists and others to delve into how a compassionate and subtly attentive relationship with their bodies, practice and teaching can help address these commonly seen dis-ease states. This may be as a route to unravelling their own states and/or supporting those in students. There will be inclusion of Somatics practices – from the work of Thomas Hanna that emphasises internal physical perception and experience – and sits well within yoga to support modern body needs.

Other movement teachers and wellness practitioners are welcome to apply if they have at least a year’s yoga practice.

A large part of this exploration will be modern stress and trauma, and what this means for our bodies, minds, yoga teaching and practice; on and off the mat. Charlotte Watts gathers together strands of her courses on Teaching Yoga for Stress and Burnout, and for ME/Chronic Fatigue (for Yogacampus) and her recent books Yoga Therapy for Digestive Health (Singing Dragon 2018) and The De-Stress Effect (Hay House 2015), for an experiential dive into how we can view symptoms of 21st century living through the lens of the Yoga Model of Wellness.

As a Yoga Teacher with experience of and an interest in working with trauma, I have long been searching for a dedicated space for reflective practice, community and sharing that is underpinned by a balance of thorough, intellectual, knowledge-based input alongside a skilfully held space for somatic exploration.

What a treat this course has been in ticking all of these boxes! It has also stimulated, inspired, rejuvenated and invigorated my passion for my work, given me confidence to continue in the direction that calls to me, and filled in my gaps in knowledge.

Charlotte is an extraordinary Teacher with a wealth of experience & sensitivity as well as significant depth and insight. She is a fountain of knowledge and I am extremely grateful for this invaluable and exceptional offering that she has shared with those of us on the course. I would recommend it to all Yoga Teachers.”  

– Emma Cole, yoga teacher and teacher trainer, Forest Row

Throughout the course there will be accompanying directed home exploration to enquire through practice, self-reflection, reading and viewing, the themes taught and discussed each session. This will build up knowledge and experience of the aspects covered, as well as providing a supportive framework for self-healing and observing our deeper needs within a busy world of high expectations and goal orientation. Subjects such as fascia, the vagus nerve, trauma, posture, interoception and proprioception, the enteric nervous system, body psychotherapy and language will be woven into a longer story of somatic self-enquiry that can feed into teaching skills.

At last! A yoga training that encompasses the true breadth of the practise. This brilliantly crafted course reminds us of the potential yoga has to awaken, safely support and gently (and sometimes powerfully) heal the most hidden of our experiences.

What Charlotte does so well, and with more acuity than any yoga practitioner I’ve known, is to help us to listen to our body’s communication so we might feel more proximity to our truth. Her courage to stand out from the usual suspects, venture beyond the obvious to explore, and share her findings with intellect, wit and a playfulness that grounds this emotive learning, is what sets her apart.”

– Sam McCarthy, Counselling Therapist and co-founder UMEUS foundation, Brighton

Each of the 10 themes (released weekly and listed below) includes the following:

  • Two 25-40 minute video presentations with illustrated slides covering the content
  • PDF documents of the presentation slides to refer to as you watch or makes notes on as you need
  • Extensive notes covering parts of the presentations in more depth, including self-enquiry exercises and the home exploration to guide deeper experience of the practice; suggested reading/self-enquiry/practice
  • 60 minute practice video – this will bring in asana, somatic practices (eg from Thomas Hanna, Feldenkrais and Tias Little’s SATYA training), breath consciousness, sounding/mantra and meditation
  • either 60 minute live session – weekly online with two time slots to choose
  • or 2 hours meetup in person every 4 weeks (as Covid restrictions allow in the future) Brighton or London

The course will support the needs of teachers to foster their own resources and self-protection from burnout and compassion fatigue as they help and hold space for others. Yoga philosophy will be brought in as relevant to the course material, to also explore what aspects such as the yamas, gunas, koshas and chakras bring to new understandings of stress, trauma, fascia, movement patterns and self-regulation.

“Charlotte entwines her in-depth knowledge, wisdom and experience and delivers the course with humility. The knowledge shared within a safe and supportive space gives time to explore and nurture your own personal development and practice as well as giving the tools to support others.

Charlotte’s enthusiasm is contagious and I eagerly awaited each weekly session. Words alone cannot truly express how wonderful this course is, as it is very much a journey of healing as well as learning.”

– Charlie Nash, yoga teacher, Brighton

Who is the course aimed at?

Qualified yoga teachers who have either recognised their own need for self-care, self-support, stress coping, trauma recovery and health practices; and/or who want to guide others they teach – either in specifically tailored class, workshops etc or to recognise the more subtle needs of those within more general classes. Also those looking for an introduction to Somatics and included this practice within yoga teaching.

Others will be considered on a case-by-case basis according to relevant experience, including trainee yoga teachers, yoga therapists and other health professionals.

Charlotte is very passionate and knowledgeable about her subject and puts her heart and soul into teaching the course. Her course materials are well organised and structured. I would highly recommend this course to add to your knowledge and teaching, it provides very useful additional and varied tools to your tool kit and a different perspective.”

– Zophanie Vazquez-Howard, yoga teacher, Guildford

How is the course assessed?

At the end of the course, an assessment will be set. This will be a written exploration of a personal chosen and related topic, designed teaching practice and reflections when both taught to a group or individual student and as a self-practice. Completion of course is granted on submitting the assessment within a month of the last date of the taught course. If the assessment is not up to pass standard, then constructive feedback will be given and one more submission (within one week) will be allowed. Those who do not pass will then have the option to redo the course at 20% discount.


Breakdown of the 76 hours course CPD hours:

Each of the 10 themes:

2 presentations – c.1.5 hours
Practice – 1 hour
Live discussion – 1 hour (dates available below)
Reading – 1.5 hours
Home exploration – 1.5 hours

= 6.5 hours per week

+ 11 hours assessment 


Course details

  • The online course content is housed within the platform Teachable; you will be able to sign-in whenever you want and have lifetime access to the material
  • You sign up for the timing to receive the course within the different available live discussion slots – dates below
  • Each new theme will become available to you a week before its live discussion, giving you time to explore the material before, bring relevant questions along and apply after
  • The material is designed for you to explore in whatever way best suits your needs
  • There will be a student forum for you to connect with Charlotte and other students throughout the course and beyond
  • Pre-reading of Charlotte’s book Yoga Therapy for Digestive Health a prerequisite – passages from the book may be recommended for weekly reading or preparation
  • See below info on the themes for the extra 4 days workshops to make up the whole certification

COURSE CONTENT – 10 themes 

Each of the themes below will be explored within the above format and released weekly:

1. Arriving – Setting our community healing space. Where we find ourselves in modern life and what it means to be a ‘modern yogi’ in a world of goal orientation, high expectation and physical ideals. How these considerations can be supported by the yoga model of healing and recovery, as distinct from the reductionist model of disease.

2: Context of the Modern World – The stress response and what it means for the modern yogi – the effects of modern life and psychosocial stress on the nervous system, noticing polarities, somatic practices, survival over growth. Bringing in the yamas and the gunas as guides for practice and life.

3: Vagal Connection – Trauma & polyvagal theory – the freeze response, grounding, orientation and what this means within practice on and off the mat. The importance of the vagus nerve and old/new vagal tones.

4: Belly Connection – The enteric nervous system aka ‘second brain’ and listening to ‘what is true right now’, as well as sense of safety, intuitively responding and embodied awareness. Observing separation of head and body in reductionist culture; coming back to ‘head, heart and hara’ as whole.

5: The Fascial Web – Fascia as a sensory organ and how everything is connected to everything else.  Communication via the psoas and fascia for kinaesthesia; interoception and proprioception, and how tightness, lesions and distortions in this matrix can ripple through the nervous system and affect how we move and feel.

6: Posture & Self – Modern postural habits from stress, sitting on chairs and trauma patterns. Including exploration of the primary and secondary spinal curves, the ventral and dorsal aspects (front and back body) and expressions of these via breath tones, and the Deep Front Line (Anatomy Trains) and sense of self.

7: Body Psychotherapy – Modern chakra theory & developmental trauma models for body psychotherapy – relationships with survival, trust, attunement, attachment and autonomy and how they affect our expressions through responses, gestures and movement.

8: Mindful Language – Stress, trauma & hypervigilance language – the modern habits of goal-oriented and self-critical language; how this affects yoga practice and teaching. The language of modern mindfulness as a helpful guide; inviting movement rather than imposing our will and the support of sound during physical practice.

9: Health as Whole – The yoga model of wellness (as opposed to the medical model of disease) and approaching health as coming back to whole, the root of the word ‘healing’. Discussing the kleshas (hindrances) as obstacles to wellness and sources of dis-ease within yoga philosophy. Identification with illness as a state and finding our essence nature.

10: Bringing it all together – Bringing it all together – gathering together the threads of the course to review aspects of whole health covered – in the context of moving beyond stress, trauma, burnout, anxiety, fatigue and post-illness through embodied awareness.


UPCOMING COURSE DATES – online live discussions

Here are dates for two intakes to be offered for the autumn (fall) term. The ten live discussion sessions for each theme (60 mins) will be choice of either:

Tuesdays 2pm UK time 2020 – October 6, 13, 20, November 3, 10, 17, 24, December 1, 8, 15

Thursdays 7.30pm UK time 2020 – October 8, 15, 22, November 5, 12, 19, 26, December 3, 10, 17

You will need to sign up to a specific group, but there may be the option to attend the other occasionally if you cannot make a session.


WORKSHOPS IN-PERSON – in addition to the online course for the full 100 hours certification 

These workshops will bring together key threads of the online course themes to bring into the reality of teaching therapeutically:

1. Grounding, Orientation and Agency
2. Observing and Responding to Needs
3. The Language of Embodied Awareness
4. Resourcing Yourself to Support Others

Details: 

  • These will be £80 per day (10am-5pm) and booked separately to the online course
  • Dates will be announced from September – according to covid restriction allowances
  • They will comprise practice, discussion and group/diad exercises – you will be directed to relevant material from the online course to review before each, and guided to which home explorations from the online course will support embedding the content after
  • Within the whole course requirement, these can be taken at any time available and in any order – ideally before you complete the assessment, but other arrangements can be discussed
  • The full certification is awarded on successful completion of the online course, all workshops and the assessment

The venues for future workshop dates:

UMEUS Therapeutics, Brighton & Hove – new venue to be announced soon

Evolve Wellness Centre, 10 Kendrick Mews, London SW7 3HG (nearest tube South Kensington)

Cheltenham Pilates and Yoga, The Yoga Studio, 53-57 Rodney Road, Cheltenham GL50 1HX


COURSE FEES (does not include workshop days)

£540 or £480 total to be paid in one of these ways: 


TERMS AND CONDITIONS/ FAQ – for the online course

NB: when the day workshop dates are announced, there will be a separate page with separate terms and conditions for these – please email info@charlottewattshealth.com with any queries.

When do deposits need to be paid by to sign up?

The initial payments to secure a place needs to be made as soon as possible as this course is limited to 8 students on a first come, first served basis. This amount (minus £60 booking fee) may be refunded if other students come to fill the course or the student transfers their place to another student who also fits the course criteria.

If paying via the £90 per month over 6 month plan, refunds are only given beyond the initial payment if other students come to fill the course or the student transfers their place to another student who also fits the course criteria (minus the £60 booking fee).

The same applies to the discounted full payment of £480.

The 15% concessionary rate can be applied to all of the above, except the reduced full price, which has 10% off concessionary rate – please contact Charlotte for these prices.

Is there a minimum attendance for the course to run?

There is a minimum of 4 students needed for each course to run. In the unlikely event that the course does need to be cancelled, you would be given at least a week’s notice and a full refund of any monies paid.

What if I can’t make one of the course live sessions date?

You may be able to attend the other course session ie if you are in the Tuesday afternoon cohort, you could join the Thursday evening one for that week. If not, missing 1 or 2 sessions in the course will not make too much difference as long as 80% attendance there and communication to acknowledge engagement in the material for that week. There is the option to attend those specific themes in future courses.

Do I need to pay for all weeks if I can’t attend one of the dates?

Yes, the course included all dates and if you cannot attend one week you will have the option to come to the same week within the other time cohort or a future course to have covered all of the content (see above).

What happens if a student needs to cancel their place on the course?

In this event, the student should contact Charlotte at retreats@charlottewattshealth.com (the email used for course members) and let her know of the circumstances. Then if the course has not started, a refund minus the £60 booking and materials fee can be given. Once the course has started, any amounts paid cannot be refunded.

Is there an additional charge for re-submitting an assessment?

No, you can submit an assessment once after you have received constructive feedback where a pass has not been able to be issued. After this, you may be asked to pay an additional fee for a one-to-one tutor session with Charlotte before one last resubmission. Alternatively, those who do not pass will then have the option to redo the course at 20% discount.

Can I cancel the course at any time?

Once you have begun the course, no refunds for monies paid will be issued. You are bound to pay the second and third instalment of £160 each, but if have a valid reason (sent to Charlotte with 7 days’ notice) then you can leave.

Do you have a complaints procedure?

If you have a complaint about the course, please talk to Charlotte in the first instance. It is preferred that there is an open and honest discussion and that any issues are brought to the group, but you always have the opportunity to have a one-to-one talk and if you need, to bring along a friend for support. If a complaint is written, Charlotte will respond within 2 days and this will remain anonymous.

What is your privacy policy?

You can see the general privacy policy for Charlotte Watts Health here: //www.charlottewattshealth.com/privacy-policy/ and contact info@charlottewattshealth.com if you have any specific enquiries or concerns. When you join the course, you will be added to Charlotte’s mailing list and have the option to opt-out at any time. As course communication is via the email retreats@charlottewattshealth.com opting out of the main list will not affect this line of contact.

Do you share information with any other party?

When you sign up as a student of this training course, you give automatic consent for your contact details (name, email and phone number) being passed onto our partners, Yoga Alliance Professionals, so they can contact you directly and invite you to register as a Trainee and Teacher. You have the option of opting out of this registration process.

Your information will not be shared with any other party.

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