Journey to the Centre of the Soul:
300 Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training with a focus in Mental Health
This yoga teacher training is certified by the Yoga Alliance.
What is yoga? In the Yoga Sutras, Pantajali defines yoga as:
योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः॥२॥ “yogascitta vritti nirodhah” (Sanskrit).
This translates to English as, "Yoga is the restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff".
It took me several years of teaching yoga (almost seven!) to come to the realization that this definition means that yoga was always about mental health - even thousands of years ago. In a simple way: we can be peaceful and happy when we learn to control the mind. We learn to control the mind by practicing and studying yoga. If we don't learn to control the mind, the mind will control us.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, mental illness is experienced by 19% of U.S. adults. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, approximately 31% of all American adults will experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their life. And the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. The WHO expects depression to be the biggest health problem on earth by 2030.
Everyone has mental health. Everyone experiences emotional imbalances from time to time. And In 2014, the Society for Neuroscience reported that 60% of Americans feel they are under a great deal of stress at least once per week.
Unfortunately, many of us grew up with so many issues in the way mental health was taught to us. It was stigmatized, thought of as separate from physical health, and we weren't educated on an Eastern approach to wellbeing - drawing in all aspects of the many layers of the human being to bring a balanced approach to mental wellbeing. And this is why we need yoga.
My personal interest in this subject matter comes from my own mental health struggle. For many years I struggled to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment for my suffering with an undiagnosed mood disorder. For the many years in which I wasn't receiving proper health care, yoga became my coping mechanism (as well as the use of alcohol). It's due to having my yoga practice that I believe I am alive and not just surviving - but thriving - today. This is not just a co-incidence - after working in the field of yoga for several years, I've had the fortune of witnessing this miracle in many others - not just myself. The fact is - many people arrive at yoga struggling - and they keep coming back because yoga works.
But how does it work? In what ways does it work? My curiosity in the magic of yoga has led me to develop a 300 Hour Advanced Teacher Training on this subject matter specifically.
It is important to note that this training will not qualify yoga teachers to act in place of mental health professionals. But it is my belief that as yoga professionals - we can work in conjunction with healthcare providers - to bring holistic healing to the lives of our yoga students. Through focused education in all parts of of yoga as a system - and how it can work through the many layers of the human being - we can bring about healing. We will also bring about healing within ourselves.
Deepen your practice and join our community of yogis transforming their lives all over the world. Become a 300 Hour Advanced Registered Yoga Teacher specializing in mental health with us.
NOTE: This is an advanced yoga teacher training and it is recommended that participants have already completed a 200 Hour foundational Yoga Teacher Training prior to enrolling. However, if you have relevant experience (such as coaching, teaching, mental health professional etc) and don't plan on teaching yoga after this training, and would like to integrate this knowledge into your current practice, you are welcome to apply.
Here's what I can guarantee:
This course is the only 300 Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training course I have seen out there with a focus on not just yoga, but also how it can be applied to mental health, stress, trauma, addiction and sober curiosity, specifically. You will walk away a more competent, confident and knowledgable yoga teacher - but you'll also go on an inward journey to the self. Expect to walk away with strategies to help your students but also enhance your own practice - and with a deeper ability to serve your community.
What You Get:
Modules 1-3 either completed in person in Bali, or Live on Zoom - including asana workshops and history, philosophy, ethics, discussions with Alex.
A Year Long Yoga Sutra Study for all students - Bali group and Zoom group - with exclusive live Zoom yoga classes for just 300 Hour YTT students.
An advanced Yoga Teacher Training Manual of over1000 pages
Access to some of the Foundational content as review from Alex's 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training
What You're Learning:
From the Vedic Text the Taittiriya Upanishad, comes a model to describe human beings. This is a tool for mapping our experience of self. The model describes five koshas, or bodies. These Bodies include:
1. Annamaya Kosha – Physical Body
2. Pranamaya Kosha – Energy Body
3. Manomaya Kosha – Mental & Emotional Body
4. Vijnanamaya Kosha – Wisdom Body
5. Anandamaya Kosha – Bliss Body
Our 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training will follow this map of the human body to explore mental health as it relates to yoga.
Working with the koshas will allow you to go deeply into the center of your self or soul. Not only will you learn how to support others in this Yoga Teacher Training - this can help you take your spiritual practice to the next level and make positive changes in your self, your life, and the world around you.
Module 1: The Annamaya Kosha (The Physical Body)
The first module of the 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training will focus on the physical body, or the annamaya kosha. We will begin our exploration of yoga and the self by studying the physical body. This will include the philosophical perspectives and benefits of Asana. We will review the musculoskeletal system anatomy, nervous system anatomy, brain anatomy, and the asanas (postures) of yoga. Students will review the seven categories of asanas and practice hands-on adjustments and assists for postures. Students will be introduced to the science of Aryuveda, and learn about asanas and practices which balance Kapha, Pitta and Vata. Students will learn about individual differences in mental health, be introduced to mental health disorders, and learn about the specific role yoga plays in anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. Students will design an asana practice with a specific goal in mind related to mental health (yoga for anxiety, stress, emotional balance, etc) and practice teach it.
Module 2: The Pranamaya Kosha (The Energy Body)
The second body is the energy body. During the second module, we will begin to understand the breath as a purveyor of energy. We will review subtle body anatomy (the Koshas, the Chakras), and also review respiratory anatomy. We will explore the nervous system and trauma, stress and PTSD. We will look at trauma-informed yoga, as well as inclusivity in yoga. We will study how the breath can be a tool in managing mental health.
The practice of pranayama involves breath control and helps train the mind for meditation. During this unit students will be exposed to pranayama philosophy, foundational pranayama techniques, including Ujjayi, Nadi Shodhana, Khapalabhati, Bhastrika, Agni Sara and Brahmari. Students will explore incorporating pranayama into their teaching and design an asana and pranayama practice with a goal in mind related to mental wellbeing.
Module 3: The Manomaya Kosha (The Emotional Body)
The third layer according to the Kosha model is the emotional body. In this module of the 300 Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training, we will bring focus to emotional activity and patterns. We will study the philosophy of pratyahara (sensory withdrawal), dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation). Students will learn about samadhi and how to raise individual consciousness. Students will learn introductory coaching techniques, such as how to hold space for a group, listen nonjudgementall y, and ask powerful questions.We will study Samskaras, habits and trauma. We will take a look at Vikalpas and the five reasons why beliefs can be so powerful. We will look at subconscious beliefs and how we can reprogram and transform limiting beliefs. Students will learn how to teach several different styles of meditation, including guided visualizations, metta meditations (loving kindness), yoga nidra, mindfulness meditations and body scan meditations. Students will practice teach a session including asana, pranayama and meditation.
Year-Long Study: The Vijnanamaya Kosha (The Wisdom Body)
The Vijnanamaya Kosha is the Wisdom Body. “This is the path of the intellect in which you are advised to study spiritual truths, contemplate them deeply, and finally incorporate them into the very core of your personality.” - Linda Jonsen
Studies have shown that a regular study of the philosophy of yoga can be more beneficial than an asana practice alone in improving mental health. 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Trainers will do an in-depth study of Pantajali’s yoga sutras. Students will spend each week contemplating on a specific sutra or aspect of yoga philosophy, and join in a practice and discussion revolving around each Sutra.
You will also be paired with a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training student over the course of the year, and have an opportunity to mentor them. This can look like: attending their practice teaching sessions and helping them integrate course material.
This will take place each week over the course of 2022 for both online YTT and Live Bali YTT students.
Final Project: Anadamaya Kosha (The Bliss Body)
The anadamaya kosha is the bliss body. This is the moment in which all other aspects of the self dissolve, and we’re left with a feeling of joy, wholeness, oneness, integration, or bliss. The final project of the course will be to draw upon and integrate everything learned to create a program that can serve and benefit your community in the realm of yoga and mental health. This could involve a workshop series, a sequence of classes on a specific subject, a podcast, or any kind of creative project that you are passionate about to showcase what you learned. This project can be created and offered for the Mindful Life Practice Community, or it can be created and offered separately, for whatever community you are part of.
2022 Training Dates:
January 22 - December 17, 2022
Complete Course in Online Zoom Format
Early Bird Discount (if paid in full by December 22, 2021): $3100
Deposit Required to Save Spot: $500
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Live in Bali
June 26 - July 16, 2022
Modules 1-3 Live in Bali Format
*Yoga Sutra Study on Zoom throughout 2022, and final project completed after the time in bali.*
Cost: Double Room starting at $4850
Early Bird Discount (If paid in full before February 26, 2022): $4350
Deposit Required to Save Spot: $500
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Zoom 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training
Our Zoom 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training format is our most flexible option. It is ideal for those who can't get away from home for a large duration of time and want to complete their Yoga Teacher Training over an extended period of time. Alex will only offer this program once in 2022, so if you want to join, don't miss out!
Dates: January 22nd - December 17, 2022.
Lectures: Students join one lecture group, every two weeks.
Lecture Group A: Every other Sunday, from 7am-9am Bali Time (WITA)
Lecture Group B: Every other Tuesday, from 7pm-9pm Toronto time (EST)
Lecture Group C: Every other Saturday, from 10am-12pm UK time.
Yoga Sutra Study/Asana Practice: students join one sutra study/asana practice every week.
Sutra Study/Asana Group A: Sundays at 7:00 pm Bali time (11:00 am UK)
Sutra Study/Asana Group B: Mondays at 6:30 pm Toronto time (6:30 am Bali time)
Sutra Study/Asana Group C: Thursdays at 7:00am Toronto time (4pm Abu Dhabi time, 8:00pm Bali time)
Participants will be expected to join at least one live Sutra Study class a week. They also must complete extra practice hours and homework assignments outside of class hours.
Bonus: Free Annual Mindful Life Practice Membership for all of 2022 (value: $1200
Get a free membership to our online zoom community for the entire course duration. Get access to our live daily yoga classes on Zoom, as well as our on-demand library of thousands of classes with teachers all over the world.
Teacher Training Classes
Teacher training classes occur every other week, at 7:00 am Bali time and 7:00pm Bali time, rotating. Sessions will be recorded and participants are only expected to attend sessions that work for their timezone. Check the schedule below to see what works for you (visible in your local time).
Sutra Study/Asana Practice
Sutra Study/Asana Practice occurs three times a week. Students are expected to attend one class per week that works for their timezone.
Class Schedule - Visible in Your Local Time
Dec 11 - Dec 17