Dr. Marlysa Sullivan is a physiotherapist and yoga therapist with over 15 years of experience.
Marlysa balances clinical research and practice with education, speaking and writing.
She is the Physical Therapy Coordinator of the Empowered Veterans Program at the VA. This is a comprehensive pain care program that integrates whole health coaching, psychotherapy, and mindful movement with a chaplain, psychotherapist and physical therapist. She trains physical therapists as well as offers the mindful movement component integrating therapeutic pain education, mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapeutic principles with movement practices.
She teaches as part of yoga therapy programs at Kripalu, Optimal State, and the School of Embodied Yoga Therapy. She previously created many of the courses and taught in Yoga Therapy and Integrative Health Sciences at Maryland University of Integrative Health. She holds an adjunct position at Emory University, where she teaches the integration of yoga and mindfulness into physical therapy practice in the DPT program.
She is the author of Understanding Yoga Therapy: Applied Philosophy and Science for Well-being and co-editor of Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain, as well as several peer-reviewed articles.
Marlysa has been involved in the professionalization of the field of yoga therapy through the educational standards committee of IAYT, which helped to define the competencies for the field, and in characterizing the yoga therapy workforce through her research. She is also part of the Global Consortium of Yoga Therapy focusing on international collaboration and development of the field.
While she has been focused on researching and treating chronic pain conditions and bridging evidence-based healthcare with western and yogic philosophy, her broader research interests involve defining the framework and explanatory model for yoga therapy based on philosophical and neurophysiological perspectives.
In her clinical and research consulting work, she has researched and developed yoga interventions for studies on managing dementia symptoms, osteoarthritis, low back pain, and sickle cell disease.