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200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training
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Deepen your practice and fully prepare to teach yoga with confidence, creativity, and competence. Join Mark Stephens in this internationally-renowned training on the central coast of California!

Upcoming 2020-2021 Weekend Format Dates: STARTS SEPTEMBER 19, 2020. Weekend Dates are Sep 192-, Oct 17-18, Nov 14-15, Dec 19-20, Jan 9-10, Feb 13-14, Mar 13-14, Apr 10-11, May 8-9


Upcoming Intensive Format Dates:

  • Winter 2020 Session: January 13 - Februry 2, 2020

  • Summer 2020 Session: July 13 - August 2, 2020


What To Expect in This Training

This 200-hour yoga teacher training fully prepares you to begin teaching yoga with confidence and competence. Rather than limiting you to a single style or tradition, you will learn the foundational knowledge and skills for intelligently and creatively sharing the practice in diverse class settings and with different student intentions and conditions. Your practical experience in this training will help you to refine and advance your personal practice while conveying the essential insights for effectively and meaningfully teaching others.

In both program formats (Weekend & 21-Day), each day includes personal practice in conjunction with a sequence of topics designed to help ensure your progressive development as a teacher. As the primary focus is on learning to teach yoga, you will gradually learn to teach very simple to increasingly complex postures, with close guidance and helpful feedback each step of the way directly from Mark as well as from 300-hour advanced training students. This experiential process also results in learning how best to refine and advance your own yoga practice.

In this comprehensive and integrated training, you will learn to work with a variety of different student conditions. You will learn practical yoga anatomy in ways that directly inform postural alignment and the safe and creative ordering of postures in class sequences. You will learn how to clearly see, appreciate, and understand unique students in their personal practices, and how to guide them with appropriate and effective voice cues, visual demonstrations, and hands-on adjustments. You will learn how to design a variety of different types of classes and how to work with student injuries and other challenging conditions.

Upon graduation from this training, you will be prepared to teach yoga in informed, creative, and inspirational ways!

Experience You Can Trust

[[{"fid":"863","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"link_text":null,"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"1"}}]]Described by Yoga Journal as a “teacher’s teacher,” Mark’s highly acclaimed teacher training program is distinguished by its track record of producing outstanding graduates since 2002, many of whom are among the leading yoga teachers worldwide. His four best-selling comprehensive yoga textbooks – Teaching Yoga, Yoga Sequencing, Yoga Adjustments, and Yoga Therapy – are in multiple languages and the leading textbooks in teacher training programs globally. He is the “For Teacher’s” columnist for Yoga Journal China and Yoga Journal Germany, and his articles and interviews have appeared on NPR, Radio Deutschland, in Yoga Journal, Yoga International, The New York Times, L.A. Times, and multiple other media sources. Mark’s writings are widely regarded as works of thorough scholarship and noted for their breadth and depth while being highly accessible to readers of widely varying backgrounds. In 2000, Mark received Yoga Journal’s 1st Annual Karma Yoga Award for his pioneering work in founding and directing Yoga Inside Foundation, which starting in 1998 introduced yoga into over 300 prisons, inner city schools, shelters and treatment centers across North America, helping lay the foundation for practical yoga therapy and for teachers who wish to share yoga with any and everybody interested in a better life.

Mark’s prior background in education, including teaching in specialized secondary and university settings, curriculum development, and instructional methodology, lends to his trainings being considered state-of-the art.

Mark’s books are the leading and definitive texts in their respective subject areas:

  • Teaching Yoga is the #1 comprehensive textbook on the subject. (411 pages)
  • Yoga Sequencing is the #1 go-to source on designing yoga classes for different ages, conditions, and intentions. (528 pages)
  • Yoga Adjustments gives incomparably detailed guidance on how to guide students in the asanas (400 pages, 857 instructional photos & captions.)
  • Yoga Therapy is a 720-page tome covering the philosophy and history of yogic, ayurvedic, scientific and integrative medicine; human physiology; professional yoga therapy methods and practices; and specific techniques for working with over 50 common injuries and ailments found among yoga students.
  • Yoga for Better Sleep (2019).

What You Will Learn

The 200-hour training fully prepares you to teach yoga with confidence and inspiration that are rooted in competence and your own deepening practice. The comprehensive curriculum fully covers the fundamentals of yoga philosophy, teaching methods, specific techniques for working with a diverse array of students in all aspects of postural, breathing, and meditation practices, and myriad small matters that come into play in the art and science of teaching yoga. We begin with the question, “What is yoga?”  We then fully explore the interwoven threads of a holistic and integrated practice and how best to share it with others.

  • Asana Technique & Teaching Methods: The most extensive part of the course, here you will learn in detail how to teach each of over 75 basic yoga poses compassionately yet systematically, including their functional anatomy, alignment principles, energetic actions, risks, benefits, preparatory asanas, counterposes, variations, modifications, hands-on adjustments, and use of props. This part of the course covers the major families of asanas: Sun Salutations, Standing Poses, Backbends, Forward Bends, Twists, Arm Balances, Inversions, Core Refinement, and Hip Openers.

  • Practical Yoga History & Philosophy: A practical survey of yoga history and philosophy that distills the essential insights for teaching yoga. We look at the ancient-to-current threads of yoga and how they have developed and been intertwined over the ages, considering essentia lpassages from the Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, and Yoga Sutras as well as somatic theory and other 20th and 21st century sources that can inform how we practice and teach. We give close attention to ethics in teaching, including matters of emotional transference and projection, and how to ensure an emotionally and physically safe space for practicing and self-transformation.

  • Practical Yoga Anatomy: A hands-on introduction to functional anatomy, bio-mechanics, and the kinesiology of movement as applied to seeing students in the practice and guiding them in a meaningful, safe, and effective way. You will learn about the basic human skeletal structure; how different types of bones, joints, muscles and connective tissues optimally function in postural practices; the basics of human movement so you better understand transtions in and out of asanas; close study of the spine, hips, and shoulders as they relate to all seven families (and sub-families) as asanas.

  • Planning & Sequencing Classes: The art and science of sequencing families of asanas and crafting entire classes, including for different levels of students, different intentions, seasons, styles and other considerations. Here we also cover pacing, duration, tempo, and vibe for different levels and intentions of classes. 

  • Teaching Pranayama: Basic and intermediate pranayama techniques, including how, when, and whom to teach basic yoga breathing (ujayi pranayama) and more intermediate pranayama techniques (including kapalabhati, bastrika, sitali, viloma, kumbhaka, and nadi shodhana). 

  • Subtle Energy & Anatomy: Awareness and activation of subtle energy, including how to cultivate bandhas and the relationship between pranayama, bandhas, and the elements of yogic anatomy, including koshas, chakras, nadis, vayus, gunas, and doshas. 

  • Meditation Practices: In demystifying meditation, we explore how to bring meditation into yoga classes and everyday life in way that is simple, accessible, and sustainable. We explore several meditation techniques.

  • The Art of Seeing & Relating: An integral part of the course, here we learn to systematically observe, appreciate, and understand what is happening with different students in each of the 75 asanas, thereby developing the necessary skills for working individually with your students and giving appropriate verbal cues, hands-on adjustments, and use of props. 

  • Demonstrating & Cuing: Here we focus on when, where, and how to most effectively demonstrate yoga poses while giving the clearest, most understandable verbal and hands-on guidance to students. Qualities of voice, including language, tone, and audibility, are given close attention. 

  • Hands-On Adjustments:  We go deeply into the full range of hands-on adjustments, an essemntial skill for all yoga teachers. It begins with an in-depth consideration of the principles of tactile cues, and then looks at specific techniques for guiding students in over 50 poses. Here you will work with one another to learn, practice, and refine your ability to guide students.

  • Teaching Pre/Post-Natal Yoga:  Every public yoga teacher is a pre-natal yoga teacher if only because you will definitely have pregnant students in your yoga classes. Here we look closely at maternal anatomy and physiology, adaptation of the practice for each trimester of pregnancy, indications and contra-indications for various conditions, effective use props, emotional and psychological aspects of pre-natal experience, preparation for delivery, delivery, and post-partum reintegration through yoga.

  • Working with Student Injuries & Special Conditions:  Students come to classes with a variety of conditions, including acute and chronic injuries, disease, and other conditions that need to be considered in guiding their practice. We will consider several of the most common conditions: joint issues (ankles, knees, hips, sacro-iliac, spinal, shoulders, elbows, wrists), scoliosis, osteopororis and students undergoing chemotherapy.

  • Making Yoga Meaningful:  Why do you do yoga? What are the core values at the heart of your practice? How can you best be true to your values while holding space for othersand their values in your classes? How might you best create space in class and provide guidance to students in making their yoga experience more meaningfulin the fullness of their lives?

  • Class Observation: Buy observing experienced teachers in the act of leading live classes, you will further refine your insights into what different students are likely experiencing in their yoga practices, thereby expanding your own skills in leading classes. 

  • Practice Teaching: From the very beginning of this course, you will work with other participants to teach classes, starting with working one-on-one and gradually developing the confidence and skill to lead larger and larger classes. Each practice teaching session includes extensive feedback and discussion of teaching techniques and methods. 

  • Lifestyle & Ethics: How we live our larger lives off the mat, including personal yoga practice, nutrition, sleep, relations with family and friends, and being in community are essential aspects of deepening our yoga and sharing it with dignity and integrity.

  • The Profession & Business of Yoga: This covers the role of the teacher, getting yourself established as a professional yoga teacher, and being successful in teaching yoga as your source of livelihood.

How You Will Learn

The 200-hour training is based on experiential learning – learning by doing. We work as a close group with mutually supportive interaction in every aspect of the training. Lectures, group discussions, PowerPoint presentations, the interactive Asana Lab, daily practices, progressive practice teaching, journaling, and reading are all integral components of the learning experience.

This training appreciates, respects, and supports different learning styles, utilizing instructional methods that effectively engage verbal, visual, auditory, tactile and kinematic learners. Everyone is appropriately engaged in developing the essential skills and knowledge for highly competent and confident teaching. You will also receive extensive mentoring with experienced teachers who participating as part of their advanced teacher training with Mark.

Reading List & Learning Resources

 Asana & Anatomy Workbook

The Asana & Anatomy Workbook provides a place to record your detailed notes on these topics. It contains separate worksheets for every asana covered in the training, plus worksheets for taking notes during the PowerPoint anatomy presentations. Both are proven resources for reinforcing your learning.

Mark Stephens Yoga Textbooks
Mark’s books synthesize a vast range of ancient-to-contemporary yoga texts and yoga-related books and articles in plain and accessible language (actually, 9 different languages). With over 1000 unique bibliographic entries, they are also a guide to deeper exploration of any topics that interest you.

Three More Key Books

  1. Ganga White is a legendary American yoga teacher whose wonderful little book, Yoga Beyond Belief: Insights to Awaken and Deepen Your Practice, contains precious gems to just what his subtitle says.
  2. JoAnn Staugaard-Jones' Concise Book of Yoga Anatomy addresses the basics of functional yoga anatomy and provides excellent illustrations.
  3. TKV Desikachar, The Heart of Yoga, a contemporary text with a traditional perspective, it also contains a clear translation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Supplemental and Suggested Readings

There are literally thousands of yoga books and articles written from ancient times to the present. Mark will refer to many of these during the training. If you’re interested in going further in your reading, please ask Mark for suggestions regarding any topic.

Certification Exam

Upon completion of the 200-hour training, you are eligible to take the Certification Exam. Students in the 9-month weekend program must not miss more than one weekend, and in the 21-day program not more than 3 days, to be eligible for certification (any missed hours must be made up). The overall course prepares you to successfully complete the certification exam.

Upon completion of the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Certification, you are qualifed to apply to Yoga Alliance for membership in its registry of yoga teachers as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200).


This training is open to serious students of yoga who want to deep their practice and/or teach, and to health, fitness, and education professionals who wish to bring yoga into their work.

QUESTIONS? CALL 888-594-YOGA OR EMAIL markATmarkstephensyogaDOTcom