FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • While this course does not provide one-on-one time with Mark, it does incorporate live group engagement with Mark and other course participants (totaling 5 hours of live engagement). During the live sessions, you can directly ask Mark questions and he'll address your questions to the group. There will also be an online forum where you can engage with Mark, his assistants and other participants.   

  • The course is about 15 hours of pre-recorded video content, including lectures and 3 yoga classes to practice at home. If you want to watch all the lecture content in one weekend, that's totally fine to do. However, there are 3 live group sessions with Mark, which are scheduled for January 7, 21 & 31, that you are required to attend live or watch the video replays of the sessions. Because the sessions are live, you obviously cannot complete them ahead of time and the replays will not be available until after each session has concluded. Otherwise, you are free to consume the video content of the course at your own pace.  

  • The course is a 3-week course running from January 7 to January 31, 2021 and is designed to be completed in three weeks. However, you have until March 31, 2021 (three months) to complete the course, pass the final exam and receive your certificate of completion.   

  • I understand that you're busy, which is exactly why the Asana Academy is online, because it's convenient. You don't have to travel or block out an entire weekend for a workshop, and there's no lengthy time commitment. Train with me at your own pace, according to your own schedule and from the convenience of your own home.

    Each monthly training is only an hour, but packed with detailed information, so you can easily fit in ongoing learning. You can customize your experience and spend as much or as little time has you have available any given month. 

  • Our members live all over the world, and for many English is a difficult language. These members supplement the training provided in the Asana Academy with my books, which are available in several languages. They also slow down the video speed so they can take it all in at a more comfortable pace. 

  • Each month you’ll receive: a new in-depth training video, a live Q&A session with me (plus the replay) and a ready-to-use class sequence. You’ll also have access to my growing library of digital teacher resources. 

  • You can access the Academy content using your phone, tablet or laptop. Once you become a member, you'll receive instructions for logging in. The content itself is hosted on a platform called Kajabi, and you can login from the link in the upper right corner of my website or simply click the following: https://markstephensyoga.mykajabi.com/login.

  • No, you can join anytime and you’ll have instant and unlimited access not only to the current month’s training content, but to all the prior months (yes, even content released before you become a member). 

  • We do not remove the training content from previous months, so you can take as long as you need to watch the videos and you can revisit past videos as often as you wish. As long as you are a member, you’ll have unlimited access to all the Academy content, including all the content that was released before you became a member. 

  • Yes. The Asana Academy is a subscription-based service, which means that your plan renews every month or year (depending on the term you choose). You can cancel your subscription at any time during your plan term to cancel the auto-renewal of your subscription.

  • No problem! You’ll have the opportunity to submit your questions beforehand and each month you’ll receive a recording of the session to reference at any time.

  • Santa Cruz is a major tourist destination on California’s central coast and the home to a major university (University of California at Santa Cruz) as well as Cabrillo College, Five Branches University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Twin Lakes College of Massage, and a number of other institutes and centers of learning and alternative health. We have a large rental housing market, youth hostels, many rooms to rent, vacation rentals, as well as hotels and motels.

  • Yes. First and foremost, we will ensure that you receive every opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge to become an excellent yoga teacher. Second, you will receive two hours of dedicated guidance from Mark in assessing the best options for your immediate career development, starting with an assessment of your current preparation, interests, connections, and most promising options. Third, you will receive thorough guidance in how to navigate the business and profession of yoga, covering everything from crafting yoga yoga resume, getting early teaching experience, developing relationships with studios and other yoga venues, getting insurance, negotiating compensation, and ways of sustaining yourself in the world as a yoga teacher.

  • You can always contact Mark directly to discuss whatever questions or concerns you may have. Once the course is underway, we do a lot to foster connections among participants, giving you built–in mutual support system. We also connect you with scores of past participants who have completed this program. In addition, Mark will be meeting with you individually to mentor you at different times throughout the program, including after you have completed your certification and you are entering the world of teaching yoga.

  • You can take up to 1 year to complete the 200–hour program and up to 2 years to complete the +300/500–hour program.

  • Yes. It must be from a credible teacher training program.

  • Yes. We honor other credible 200-hour certifications in satisfaction of the prequiresite for the +300/500-Hour training.

  • Yes, we are a Registered Yoga School (RYS) with three authorizations from Yoga Alliance: RYS 200, RYS 300, RYS 500). Once you successfully complete the certification exam, you will receive your certificate (Certified Yoga Teacher, CYT), which you can submit to Yoga Alliance to become a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200, RYT 300, RYT 500).

  • First, complete all the required hours. Second, take and pass the take–home certification exam. That's it!

  • This depends primarily on you.

    For the 200-Hour Certification, you can take the Certification Exam immediately following completion of either the 21-Day Intensive or the 9-Month training.

    For the +300/500-Hour Certification, you can take the Certification Exam as soon as you completed the 300 hours. 

  • This varies depending upon your level of commitment to your studies and your reading skills. Every week (and in preparation for the first sessions) you will receive a reading assignment. The amount of time this reading takes will depend on the assignment and you. Most of the readings are done in advance of the course and within the first three weeks.
  • What is the difference between the 200–, 300–, and 500–hour programs?

    Completion of the 200–Hour program confers the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Certificate. This is the basic teaching certificate that is recognized by Yoga Alliance and signifies that you are prepared to teach yoga. This qualifies you to register with Yoga Alliance as a RYT-200.

    Completion of the 500–Hour program confers the Advanced Yoga Teacher Certificate. This is the advanced teaching certificate that is recognized by Yoga Alliance and signifies that you are prepared to teach yoga with the deeper knowledge and skills developed through more extensive studies. This qualifies you to register with Yoga Alliance as a RYT–500.

    The +300–Hour program is for participants who already have a 200–Hour certificate and wish to have a 500–Hour certification.

  • Just like in all public yoga classes where we appreciate and work with the diverse students who are there, in the yoga teacher training we take diversity as a strength as it gives us the opportunity to learn how to work with a variety of student abilities and conditions.

  • This program recognizes and respects that people come to yoga and to the teaching path from a vast array of backgrounds and with widely varying intentions and conditions. Yoga is neither a competitive not a comparative practice, but rather a practice of personal self-transformation. As such, this program welcomes all levels of students. While our focus is on making you the best teacher you can be, our process starts from where you are and supports you in taking your practice, skills, and knowledge to a deeper level. We strongly encourage you to have at least one year of regular yoga practice prior to entering the program. If you have any concerns about this, please discuss it with Mark.

  • Mark’s books are among several resources we tap into throughout the trainings, and the trainings go far beyond what is contained in the books. The books convey the open-minded and exploratory attitude that Mark brings to the trainings and that he encourages among all participants, and they set a standard for comprehensive professional development as a highly competent yoga teacher.

  • As soon as your application is accepted you will receive a formal welcome letter that includes the reading list for the program. You are strongly encouraged to complete some of the readings prior to starting the course. You are also strongly encouraged to stay in your yoga practice, stay as healthy as can be, and invite your friends and family to be supportive of your commitment to doing this program.

  • Complete and submit the application as soon as you are inspired to enter our program. We will immediately begin giving you support in the form of guidance, mentoring, and sharing program resources with you.

  • This program prepares you to teach yoga, not a style or system, but yoga. Our graduates are now teaching everything from Ashtanga to Gentle Yoga, Anusara to Pre-Natal, Power Vinyasa to Acro, Yoga Therapy to Relax Deeply. Approximately half of our graduates describe their classes as “vinyasa flow.”

  • This is an eclectic program that draws upon and integrates the best elements several different yoga styles and lineages. Rather than training you to duplicate a specific system or style, we offer you an environment and resources to develop a solid foundation in the art and science of teaching yoga in a way that is designed for the student(s) in front of you in a class. We focus on learning to understand what is happening with the real students in front of you so that you can give them appropriate guidance. In doing so, we draw from multiple styles, including Ashtanga Vinyasa, Iyengar, Anusara, Yoga Therapy, Tantra and various innovative flow styles as well as yoga philosophy, traditional concepts of yoga energetics, and functional anatomy, bio-mechanics, and kinesiology.

    As you explore this and other yoga teacher training programs, bear in mind that ALL forms of physical yoga, regardless of style, brand or lineage – are Hatha Yoga; Hatha is the umbrella over all the physical yogas, from Ashtanga and Bikram to Power and Svaroopa.

    This program encourages you to explore yoga in all its richness with the most open mind possible. Our approach is non–dogmatic, non-sectarian, and is not in any way part of a religion. We encourage you to think, to feel, to be creative, and to contribute to the ongoing creative evolution of yoga.

    If you are looking for a purist approach that treats yoga as a religion or tells you exactly how to do everything, this program is not for you!