Symptom Management vs Whole-being Transformation

A Yogic Approach


Presented by Michael Lee, founder of Phoenix Rising School of Yoga Therapy

This event will be recorded and available for members and non-members who register for this event. This course will not include CEs.


"The Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Method combines breath work, gentle poses, mediation and guided self-inquiry, designed to help people safely embrace their physical limits in order to gain mental and emotional insights into themselves. It does not replace psychotherapy (talk therapy), but rather provides a somatic pathway to a deeper understanding of the self." Yoga Journal - Sept 2020

In this workshop we will reference two approaches to healing based on their underlying paradigm—symptom management: in which the primary focus is on the treatment of symptoms and related conditions, and transformation: where the primary focus is upon whole-being transformation.

Most health professionals are aware that yoga provides a doorway to transformational healing. Yet, how do you deliver that experience to clients and students? Michael Lee, founder of PRYT, has taught exactly that for over 35 years. This experiential yoga therapy workshop with Michael is your chance to experience first-hand the unique benefits of yoga delivered with a transformational approach.

We’ll start with a led experience in which Michael will skillfully facilitate you in the 6 Phase Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy process. You will witness first-hand the power of tapping into the wisdom of the body in order to build a transformational bridge to new ways of ‘being’ in life.

Following the experience Michael will discuss:

1. The distinction between Symptom Management and Transformation: the underlying values and relevance of each.

2. Significance of present centered embodied awareness vs. narrative referencing in the transformational approach to healing.

3. The art of facilitating the container which sets conditions for transformation to occur.

4. The importance of taking into account the unique set of conditions that present with the individual before you.

5. Yogic and Buddhist philosophy and psychology underlying the Phoenix Rising Method.

You learn:

1. Language that facilitates present centered embodied awareness.

2. An easy to apply technique for engaging clients in embodied focused awareness.

3. How to determine when the client is open to engaging a transformational approach: comfort zone vs learning edge.

Excerpt from Michael's chapter Transforming Psycho-emotional Pain – from the book Yoga and Science in Pain Care:


Symptom-management methods often include practices, protocols, tools, and courses of treatment that can be employed to alleviate or lessen the impact of the symptoms and the associated pain. The goal of the practitioner is to minimize suffering in either the short or long term. If the approach is effective, the suffering experienced from the pain will be less intrusive in the individual’s life, and so life may become more manageable or tolerable on a day-to-day basis. The symptom- management approach may be highly interventional, or it may be more integrative but still aimed at creating a specific outcome for the patient, for example giving a client a simple mindfulness technique to help them overcome bouts of anxiety. It is the most widely used approach in healthcare.2 Success is measured in terms of positive change in the initial prevailing symptom or “condition” being treated. Such outcomes are generally easy to evaluate, and this could explain why these kinds of approaches are more likely to be chosen for research.


Whole-being transformation engages a process from which new insight or wisdom emerges. This produces a change in beliefs or values and new behavior results, and a different experience of life is engaged. The old way of seeing and experiencing life no longer makes sense and new beliefs and ways of engaging life are born. The moment the life-changing insight is integrated, a shift is activated. The full manifestation and life impact of this shift may or may not be immediate, but either way there is a new way of engaging life in place and a strong desire to move in this new direction is set in motion.3 The new level of awareness accompanying this change acts as a compass for future choices and, although the process may take time to become fully established, a new way of being in life is in play. Things that previously mattered no longer matter, and other things previously ignored take on new importance. This new direction often changes some or most of the conditions that gave rise to the pain and suffering in the first place. In some cases, symptoms may completely disappear. The result of what is produced as a result of the shift is what is valued in transformational work. This outcome is often accompanied by less tangible and not so easily measurable outcomes that are relative to the individual. These may include such things as a sense of greater meaningfulness in life, increasing joy and happiness, or greater fulfillment in life.


Wear loose comfortable clothing and if possible, you may wish to have on hand a journal and a cushion or chair for meditation. No yoga experience is necessary for this workshop.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Get invited to events like these, updates on free resource materials and more.
Subscribe to the USABP Highlights Newsletter.

Sign Up

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Your Instructor

Michael Lee
Michael Lee
Michael Lee, MA, Dip.Soc.Sci, Dip.T., C-IAYT, E-RYT 500
Founder and Dean of Phoenix Rising School of Yoga Therapy
Michael grew up in Australia. He held college teaching posts there, and in Papua New Guinea, and worked as a teacher and behavioral scientist in the field personal and organizational change, before leaving for the USA in 1984 to pursue his yoga quest. He wanted to learn about the effectiveness of yoga and Eastern practices for changing lives and so immersed himself at the Kripalu Center (then an ashram) in Massachusetts for two years. This began a career in yoga and yoga therapy with a focus on mental and emotional health now spanning 33 years. Michael founded Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy in 1986 based on his learning and integration of yoga and elements of contemporary psychology which is now supported by neuroscience.

Michael is the author of two books Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy—Bridge from Body to Soul and Turn Stress Into Bliss. He is also a contributing author to the American Psychological Association published book Beyond Talk therapy: Using movement and expressive techniques in clinical practice. In June 2016, Michael was a keynote speaker at SYTAR for the International Association of Yoga Therapists and in 2018 the opening keynote speaker at Yoga Australia Conference, a presenter at the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2018, the Toronto Yoga Conference 2018, the Japan Yoga Therapy Conference 2018, and the first Global Consortium on Yoga Therapy in Sendai, Japan in July 2018. Michael and his wife Lori parent five adult children live in rural Massachusetts.

Course Curriculum

Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!