Author | Educator | Innovator

Amelia Barili

About Amelia

Dr. Amelia Barili is faculty at the UCB Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and professor emerita from the University of California at Berkeley, where she received the Chancellor’s Award for Public Service in 2008. She teaches a systematic embodied approach for personal and community transformation that integrates recent discoveries from neuroscience with volunteering and contemplative practices from ancient wisdom traditions. Amelia has been teaching Yoga, Qigong and Meditation for over 40 years. She received her diploma in Yoga Therapy and Philosophy, in 1972, from Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute, India. She is an internationally respected yoga teacher and a disciple of Grandmaster Yang Mei Jun, the 27th inheritor of the Taoist Medical Qigong system. A pioneer at integrating both wisdom traditions, Amelia has brought contemplative practices to broad audiences and to academic environments. She teaches youth and older adults how to overcome stress and foster inter-connectedness.

“Enormous skill in bringing out the best in people”

Dr. Barili offers a rare combination of academic brilliance, heartfelt personal support, deep personal practice, and enormous skill in bringing out the best in people. She’s a joy to work with, and her students are very fortunate. In a single sentence she can move from a soulful insight into the way we relate to ourselves to a penetrating comment about the brain’s neuroplastic potential. Plus she is funny, kind, and generous. A gem of a human being.

– Rick Hanson, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including the recent Making Great Relationships

“Deeply healing”

Amelia Barili is an embodiment of the healing power of love. She has an amazing ability to weave together healing practices developed over thousands of years and scientific insights while guiding us into connecting with our deep source of inner peace and of love for ourselves and for each other. Being in Amelia’s presence and following her wise and kind guidance is deeply healing.

– Sue Carter, PhD, internationally renowned scientist, expert on oxytocin, the “hormone of love and bonding”

“Aquietar nuestra mente y descubrir la belleza de nuestro espíritu”

En sus talleres y videos, Amelia Barili logra transmitirnos sus virtudes de compasión, empatía, paz y comunalidad, a través de sus conocimientos y prácticas milenarias de respiración, meditación y movimientos sutiles del Qigong y de la Yoga antigua. Basta una sesión con Amelia, para despertar la conciencia de lo maravilloso que es nuestro cuerpo, aquietar nuestra mente y descubrir la belleza de nuestro espíritu.

– Ivonne Vizcarra Bordi, PhD, hija, hermana, madre, compañera, esposa, amiga, profesora, investigadora y luchadora.

Amelia Barili


Free Virtual Workshops

Join Amelia every Saturday on Zoom for free virtual workshops on developing resilience and inner peace with Yoga and Qigong.

There are two online workshops every Saturday open to the international community. One in English (10am PT) and one in Spanish (11am PT).

To register simply sign up for the mailing list below. You will then receive an email with the Zoom link and more details. 

New Course Offering

Embodying Safety: A Certificate Course for Integrating Yoga, Qigong and Polyvagal Theory

Instructors: Amelia Barili PhD & Stephen Porges PhD

Offered through the Polyvagal Institute, taught by Dr. Amelia Barili, this 35-hour certificate course integrates the wisdom healing traditions of Yoga and Qigong with Polyvagal Theory. Learn how to use your nervous system and your vital energy to promote good health and to achieve your highest human potential. You can take in the course material at your own pace within each module and meet every other week with Dr. Barili for LIVE Zoom group meetups. Scholarships and payment plans available.

Live-Online September 12 to November 7, 2024

The New Paradigms

Join Amelia for classes on Meditation, Self-Care, Healthy Relationships, and Building Nurturing Communities.

Cómo Volver a Dormir Cuando te Despiertas a la Noche: Efectiva Técnica Milenaria.

The Power of Your Nervous System for Healthy Relationships and Self-Healing. Dialog with Dr. Stephen Porges

This documentary narrates the story of how students from UC Berkeley and their professor, Amelia Barili, learn and serve while transforming lives in the Berkeley community.

Meditación y Auto-Aceptación. Técnicas Fáciles Para Aprender a Meditar


Yoga, Qigong & Neuroscience

My teachings integrate the wisdom healing traditions of Classical Yoga and Qigong, with evidence about their benefits based on the most recent discoveries of Neuroscience. I teach ancient effective practices for developing your inner resources which you can easily integrate in your daily life. They will help you experience greater ease and well-being, cope with challenges and pain, improve your digestion and your sleep, have healthy relationships, and awaken a sense of inner guidance and peace. I teach my approach to healing and awakening in my free online workshops in English and Spanish every Saturday and on courses and retreats at the UC Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes in Berkeley and Irvine, Mount Madonna Center, The Polyvagal Institute (upcoming) and other centers.

Older Adult Wellness & Education

I teach older adults how to live a healthier and happier life. In my courses I share the scientific evidence that confirm the benfits of mindfully working with our body and mind; and teach my students ancient techniques to let go of tension and open their minds and hearts to a sense of safety, healing and peace. These practices include self-inquiry, brief guided meditations, mindful breathing, release points and contemplative moves, volunteering and cultivating positive neuroplasticity. Learn more about my approach to older adult wellness and education in various pages of this website, such as “Workshops” and “Science and Spirituality” and my YouTube channel thenewparadigms.

Volunteering: Personal & Community Transformation

I assist my students to experience that personal and community transformation are intrinsically connected. A main innovation I brought to UC Berkeley is designing my courses for the undergraduates and the older adult students with a strong component of volunteering. My students volunteer one-on-one in serving those with less resources in our communities. They also volunteer abroad in NGOs in Latin America that serve the disadvantaged in their own communities in the fields of public health, education, women’s rights, immigration and environmental protection. At the UC Osher Lifelong Learning Institute I have been teaching since 2003 various iterations of “Everyone Helps One: Neuroplasticity in Action” and “Meditation, Volunteering and Positive Neuroplasticity”, all of which integrate personal and community transformation. You can find out more about these experiences in my blog “Can You Learn to Increase Your Sense of Well-being? Yes. With Practice and a Community“, my article on “Teaching Intercultural Citizenship through Intercultural Service Learning”, the documentary “Building Nurturing Communities; A Berkeley Story“, the blog on Students Volunteering Locally and Abroad  and series of videos in my YouTube channel thenewparadigms.

UC Berkeley Awards

Amelia receives the UCB Chancellor’s Award for Public Service from Chancellor Birgeneau for her academic innovations in serving underrepresented communities.

Dr Amelia Barili RECEIVING CHANCELLOR'S AWARD for Public Service