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Curriculum Package for Yoga Teacher Training Programs

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This program is taught over 16 weeks. It is intended to be fun and dynamic, encouraging group work and interaction. Attention was taken to develop a program that engages various learning styles, with the understanding of how people learn and retain.

Learners need a variety of presentation formats to stay engaged during long sessions.

For example, an asana practice might begin a class, followed by a meditation. Next would be a lecture on the History of Yoga, followed by a group exercise worksheet using note cards that must be ordered for a hip sequence. Next would be group work on the details of Tree Pose. The class would conclude with a lecture on Sequencing Concepts.

I believe that teaching, we need to vary our styles and mediums to allow for the brain to integrate the material. We lose so much of what we learn, so quickly, with in days of learning.

To counteract that, if we are creative in our learning process, making it a notable experience, we will retain the information and find the experience fun and memorable!

Learn the course structure and modules.

There are a total of 6 modules + one bonus modules. The modules cover everything from yoga philosophy to sequencing to the business of yoga. See the module heading below for more information on each section.

Yoga History

o Who was Patanjali?
o Explore what is meant by classical yoga and the timeline of Yoga in history
o What are the origins of Yoga
o Introduction to the studies of the Yoga Sutras and how they relate to the 8 Limbs of Yoga
o Trainees will read Desikachar and Iyengar’s texts to gain a deeper understanding of the philosophy and history. As this module can be studied for years to gain true understanding, the text books are an important support to the lead teachers!
o Who are some of the great master’s of Contemporary Yoga?

yoga philosophy

o What are the different types of yoga: Hatha, Raja, Bhakti, Jhana and Karma
o Western vs Classical Yoga
o What are the 8 Limbs of Yoga
o What are the various forms of Hatha Yoga? : Ashtanga, Bikram, Partner, Iyengar, Kundalini, Kripalu, Sivananda, Vinyasa, are discussed yet not an all inclusive list as that list keeps growing each year with the popularity of Yoga in the U.S.!
o Understanding the Teacher-Students Relationship and what it is to be a Yoga Teacher


o We will learn and practice meditation
o There are many forms of meditation: breath, mantra, movement, transcendental, Buddhist forms, prayer, mindfulness, guided imagery, and creative visualization.
o What is the difference between meditation and relaxation and how it effects the brain/mind.
o Learn various styles- it’s not just a blank mind!! Thank goodness
o What are mala beads and mudras used for?


o Discussion on the importance knowing how to use your breath in effective ways
o Self Quiz: How do you breathe?
o What are common breathing patterns?
o Explore the 10 different exercises of breath control
o What is the Darth Vader Breath?
o How do yogis make their stomach move in a wave???!!
o What are Nadis and how do they relate to breath work?
o What are bandhas? How are they integrated into a yoga practice? Why are they used?


o The study of the poses (over 100 poses)
o What makes up a pose?
o Adjustments vs. assists
o Cueing – specific cueing skills are so important
o Be aware of contraindications of poses
o Category of poses
o Alignment is essential to keep poses safe
o Asana manual includes Independent Worksheet on the break down of poses such as benefits, description, directions, counterpose, contraindications, cautions, etc. The Group Worksheet is to be completed as a class during the Workshop of poses.
o Sanskrit Posters are included and can be posted up upon completion of pose.
o Pose exercises to facilitate learning such as “Name the Pose” game and “Talk Thru Poses” exercise.

Teaching the Poses

o Learn the different kinds of poses that make up a rounded sequence
o There are many components of a pose…learn what makes up a pose
o How do I use cues to help direct a pose?
o What is the objective of my pose?
o What is the focal point of a pose?
o How do I create a level 1 versus level 2 class?
o How do you prepare the class for more challenging poses?
o Variations and modifications are essential for mixed classes
o Adjustments- learn how and know when!
o Includes Worksheets and exercises such as: Focal Point, Level of Pose, Objective of Pose and Category Sort Pose game.

Class Creation

o Sequencing and Construction of Poses
o How do I think about the Progression of a Class?
o What are the 3 Elements of a Pose?
o Why do creative transitions make a better class?
o How to develop a class
o How to create a style that is an expression of you?
o What, there is a logic to the sequence of a class??
o How do you build a class to a “peak pose”?
o Excite your class by creating theme classes
o Let’s develop opening and closing sequences!
o You will have a Toolbox of various sequences upon completion of program

Qualities of a Yoga Teacher

o What qualities make a good yoga teacher?
o Boundaries in the classroom
o Discuss Code of Ethics
o What are your Personal Parameters on Your Teaching?
o Teacher/Student Relationship
o Your role as teacher
o Role play Questions & Answers you may get as a Teacher
o Private sessions and how to prepare for them
o Agreement and liability Release for your Students

Business Aspects

o Create a business plan-you are your own business
o Entire workshop devoted to the Business side of yoga
o Taxes, expenses, when to ask for help?
o How can I promote myself?
o Where and Who do I want to Teach?


The Anatomy Coloring book is a very effective way to expose Trainees to Anatomy. The process of coloring gives them time to look at the layers and origins/insertions of muscles. This anatomy coloring book includes the study of bones, muscles, nerves, etc. It is an effective learning tool!

I also encourage the use of Ray Long’s various books to help support the Lead Teacher in the presentation of poses. Long is an orthopedic surgeon who spent a few years in India studying with Iyengar. He loves yoga and found that many yoga teachers were speaking/cueing/sequencing without a true understanding of anatomy.

Cues that we often learn to use often do not make anatomical sense. Or teacher ask students to do things with their body without giving them effective directions…how does one root through their feet? How does a new yoga practitioner even understand what that means?

Why do teachers cue you to soften your hip flexors when folding forward? We need the hip flexors to help fold us forward. That is their job! Open your hip in triangle…we need to cue them to tighten their top gluteal muscles to help make that happen…otherwise the cueing means nothing. He makes you understand how to use your muscles to help get you into the pose.

Having these books while talking through the Group Pose work during the Workshop, can help Lead Teachers discuss the poses more effectively. True integration of Anatomy and Pose.


As yoga teachers we exemplify to our students health, balance and wellness. This can be a hard role to live up to. We need to be able to enter a studio grounded and calm, no matter what is going on in our personal life. If we are able to maintain a flowing level of balance, this comes more easily. You will have them Trainees fill out the Wellness Wheel and assess what things are or are not in balance in their lives. A discussion will follow on the various aspects of the wheel.

Bonus Workshop- Ayurveda and Chakras

o A full day with four yoga sessions and lunch
o 4 Yoga classes centered around the Chakras, building from Root to Crown.
o Ayurveda
– What is this form of Medicine?
– What type am I? Trainees will be asked to fill the questionnaire out before class to determine their predominant Ayurvedic Dosha Type
o Chakras
– What are Chakras?
– How can we use our yoga practice to balance our chakras
– Through the yoga sequences, the emotional and physical manifestations of imbalances will be explored.

Get a preview of our student manual!

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Feel free to take a look into the Student Manual. The text book is 290 pages, 12 modules of content and worksheets: History, Philosophy, Asana, Meditation, Pranayama, Class Creation, Teaching The Poses, On Being a Teacher, Business Plan, Chakras, Ayurveda, and Wellness. The 125 poses that will be studied is in a separate Asana Manual.


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