Yoga EQ teaches Marshall counselors new approaches

Mental health is a complex issue and people have developed many approaches to the issues. Marshall University mental health professionals learned a new approach to addressing and helping students with emotions.

“Yoga EQ (Yoga for Emotional Intelligence) is an embodied Social Emotional Learning program that shows students how to address tough emotional situations, process these experiences, and relate to their peers,” Jeannie Harrison, founder and director of the Karma Yoga Institute and creator of Yoga EQ, said.

Nine mental health professionals participated in the six-hour training which included information on basic grounding techniques.

“We learned about basic grounding, breathing and emotional recognition techniques,” Candace Layne, director of Marshall Counseling Center, said.

A few counselors said they were happy to participated in the training and excited to use the new yoga poses they learned on campus.

“I am a big fan of yoga, but it was nice to learn how to apply it in my own practice as a counselor,” Stephanie Shaffer, a new Marshall counselor said. “I liked how instead of focusing on yoga form and trying to make sure you’re doing it right, this training focused on the mental health aspects and benefits of yoga. This was very interesting and allowed me to broaden my understanding of using yoga for overall mental and physical health.”

“The Yoga EQ training was an incredible recourse to pass along to others.” counselor Nikki Barr said. “Many use Yoga for mindfulness and grounding and the EQ just gives another layer of emotional intelligence and I also loved how this can be implemented with any and all ages.”

Counselor Ryan Majher said he was happy to relearn yoga poses he had forgotten from his youth.

“The training was exciting and fun, and I cannot wait to begin to actually implement this with my own clients here at Marshall University,” Majher said. “Additionally, I got to reacquaint myself with various yoga positions I had long since forgotten about, and strangely seemed easier to do when I was younger.”

Layne said the counselors train yearly, to keep up with trends and offer more options for a larger variety of students.

“We want to offer various approaches and a variety of techniques helps various different groups of people so we want to make sure we stay up on the new trend on mental health,” Layne said. We’re going to continue to take different trainings. We took one on eating disorders we took one on trauma as a group. It’s just something we like to do yearly to stay up to date.”

Michaela Crittenden can be contacted at