Yoga School and Foundations Teacher Training
May 2022 - November 2022
Through our program, you'll immerse into practices and philosophies while learning how to guide foundational yoga classes. We emphasize critical engagement with the material and won’t be giving you scripts to memorize or pre-made class sequences. Instead, you'll engage with information, experiential exercises and group-work to encourage your curiosity and creativity.
This is an opportunity for you to slow down, tune in, deepen, and BE with yourself, your fellow trainees and the yoga practices, with integrity. Upon completion, you'll have the tools to integrate these practices into your daily life, work, and communities.
Ultimately, we hope you leave with more questions than answers, and with embodied resources to be with those questions.
300-hrs of training, spanning 7 months.
Applications due: April 2, 2022
May 1-20 (Warm Up)
Practice at least 3 times a week
Complete weekly assignments and reflection prompts
This regular practice will continue throughout the training
May 20 - November 21 (Deep Dive)
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings: 6:00am - 8:15am, Online
Monthly immersion weekends
Fridays 5:45pm - 8:00pm, Online
Sa / Su 8:00am - 12:00pm and 2:00pm - 6:00pm, In-person
Weekend immersion Dates:
May 20, 21, 22
June 10, 11, 12
July 8, 9, 10
August 12, 13, 14
September 9, 10, 11
October 7, 8, 9
November 10, 12, 13
There will likely be additional one-off workshops that we will highly encourage you to attend
We will provide teacher support for optional affinity space for Black and brown students
An immersive experience that fits within a 9 - 5 work schedule
Program cost: $3,500
If you are in the financial position to pay more, please opt to pay the sustainer rate of $3,750.
Additional sustainer funds go to our Community Practice Fund, which supports students who need financial assistance to participate in our programming.
Limited partial scholarships are available and prioritized for Black and brown students. Please reach out to discuss availability of equity pricing. Payment plans will also be available.
Explore the earth-based nature of yoga through outdoor learning
Online and in-person, outdoors
We'll adapt as the COVID-19 situation shifts. For now, we plan to hold M / W / F classes online and spend Sa / Su in person. Our outdoor in person practice will help keep us safer and offer an experiential opportunity to integrate the earth-based teachings and philosophies of yoga.
Up to date COVID-19 vaccination is required to participate.
Power dynamics in yoga and in our world
Central to our approach is contextualizing the material and practices within history, culture, and present-day realities. We resist the narrative of a pure ancient form of yoga and explore the historical power dynamics that have shaped the practices and philosophies. We carry that exploration into modern times and consider how cultural appropriation, colonialism, and white supremacy and other forms of supremacy and oppression show up in ourselves and these practices.
Yoga can be an antidote for the ways that systems of power play out in our bodies and minds.
Our teaching staff have decades of collective experience practicing, teaching, and training others in yoga and embodiment practices. We have a strong emphasis in anatomy- many of our staff are body workers and somatic practitioners with backgrounds in movement science, anatomical dissection, and study of the subtle body anatomy of yoga and Ayurveda.
Yoga Philosophy & History
Our curriculum has a strong philosophical component. This is a vast topic that holds a multiplicity of perspectives and lineages. The beauty is that yoga philosophy acknowledges that different people will resonate with different approaches and that this is okay. So we encourage getting multiple perspectives and learning how to engage critically with the material. With that said, our philosophy teachers are most influenced by Tantric and Bhakti lineages. We also have teaching staff with lived experience of yoga's ancestral lineages.
Rāja Yoga: Ethical Precepts, Āsana, Prānāyāma, Meditation
You will have the opportunity to turn your attention more fully to the practices of yoga and discover their nuances and transformational potential. Rather than focusing on breadth, our program focuses on depth, by offering foundational practices that can be savored, deepened, and expanded upon overtime with continuous practice.
Trauma-informed approach and restorative practices
You will receive an introduction to trauma informed approaches to yoga. You'll learn and practice how to be responsive and adaptable so that your offerings can be more relevant and accessible to different people at different times in their lives. Together, we'll explore tools to balance the nervous system and utilize restorative practices to counter every day stresses, wounding, and trauma.
Develop your ability to share these practices with others from a heart-centered, grounded, and skillful place. You will learn ways to structure classes, adapt practices, and use props to reach different types of learners and people with different needs. This training will prepare you to teach the foundational practices of yoga and level 1 classes. You'll get to practice these skills from day one!
Learn to share these practices from a
grounded and skillful place.
Decades of collective experience
Our faculty is made up of teachers with decades of rich experience. Collectively, our teachers have experience in various lineages of yoga, advanced human anatomy, bodywork and. massage, Āyurveda, community organizing, environmental and racial justice advocacy, public health, somatic psychology and trauma resolution, therapy, and acupuncture. We bring wisdom from years of teaching experience and the passion, curiosity, and receptivity of a beginner's mind. As perennial learners, we value the exchange of teaching and learning with and from each other as a vital way to build a more liberated world.
Topics: Holding ritual nature-based space, connecting with ancestral support, unpacking the history of yoga, and examining appropriation, colonialism, and brahminical supremacy. Learn more about Tara...
Topics: Mindfulness meditation techniques, cultivation of the heart of the student/teacher, exploring "beingness" with self and others. Learn more about Jeevan....
Topics: Introducing yoga philosophy, yogic texts, Sanskrit pronunciation, and the anatomy of the energetic body. Learn more about Khushi...
Topics: Restorative practices, pranayama and Āyurveda. Learn more about Danielle...
Topics: Applying real-world contexts and themes into yoga practices. Supporting students as they practice teaching. Learn more about Danielle...
Topics: Anatomy and the science of movement . Learn more about Monica...
Topics: Experiential anatomy with complimentary movement practices such as strength-based and functional movement. Learn more about Britt...
Topics: Exploring the ins and outs of teaching methodology and asana lab. Learn more about Zeyah...
“I chose to study at The Bhakti Yoga Movement Center because of the specific elements around trauma-informed teaching as well as equity and racial justice. It was important to me that I had access to teachers of color and that the studio had more than a surface level commitment to equity and inclusion. As a Black woman tired of spaces where white fragility is more important than my life, I would not deal with a teacher training drowning in spiritual bypassing.
Reflecting back on my learning journey, I can’t imagine going through a different teacher training here in Portland. The teachers are knowledgeable, humble, and invested in students’ growth. It is definitely a time commitment; it means working hard and developing a more comprehensive understanding of what yoga has been and could be. I continue to take classes and workshops at The Bhakti Yoga Movement Center because I feel part of the community. Nothing is perfect, annnd I know that The Bhakti Yoga Movement Center’s teachers will continue to trudge through the messiness of injustice to unlearn and counter the appropriation and exclusion in westernized yoga practices — that means the world to me. ”
— Danielle Jones
Frequently asked questions
If your question isn't answered here, please reach out!
Entering this program is a huge commitment and investment - we encourage you to ask questions, meet with faculty, and get to know our Center as you make this decision.
What are the program pre-requisites?
We require students to have been practicing yoga for at least one year OR at least weekly for 6+ months. Yoga in this context is not limited to yoga asana (the postural form of yoga) - your yoga practice could be meditation, yoga asana, and/or pranayama. If you don't have this experience and still feel called to apply, please reach out to us directly to explain why you feel an exception should be made. We also require that all applicants have thoroughly reviewed the program information here on our website, are able to attend ALL online and in-person classes, and have lived experience of and/or study or critical engagement with critical race theory and dynamics of power and oppression.
How much does the program cost?
$3,500 is the true cost of the program. The sustainer rate is $3,750 - this supports us to provide access to our programming for folks who can't afford it. Please pay the sustainer rate if you're able!
Do you have program scholarships?
Yes. We have limited scholarships prioritized for Black and brown students. Please reach out to inquire about equity pricing! We also have payment plans available.
Will I earn a certificate at the end of the program?
Yes! So long as you meet our attendance requirements and the program is paid in full. Additionally, you must demonstrate competence in the material through homework assignments, class engagement, and a final project and practicum, you will earn a certificate of completion. This certificate will state that you've completed our 300-hr yoga school and teacher training and are able to guide foundational yoga classes according to our standards.
Is it okay if I have to miss some of the training?
You are expected to attend the entire training. If you know you will be unable to attend any of the scheduled classes, please indicate that on your application so we can determine if you are still eligible for the program. We have a strict attendance policy which allows for limited absences if due to emergency or serious illness. Some sessions, especially the weekend immersions, cannot be made up until the following year (if offered again) and in some cases these can be made up through paid one-on-ones with our staff.
Is this training physically vigorous?
Not compared to many of the trainings out there. We value slowing down and practicing mindful movement with lots of adaptations and use of props. With that said, this immersive program will require that you practice a lot and it will be physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging. By the nature of the program you will learn what a sustainable daily practice looks like for you and learn from your fellow trainees about how that might look differently for others. If you have specific access requests or needs, please reach out!
I'm new to yoga and LOVE it! Can I take your program?
We're so happy that you are inspired and want to learn more! We suggest practicing for a year before applying to yoga school. If you're newer to yoga and have been practicing consistently for at least 6 months (1 time or more per week), then you are welcome to apply and we can help assess if this is a good time to start the program or if you would be better served by waiting until next year.
I identify as Black, brown, Indigenous, Native, and/or POC - how will this training center and provide support to people from BIPOC communities in a mixed space?
As much of our teaching team identifies with one or more of these identities, we have lived and personal experience with asking ourselves and our teaching programs' these questions. We will use our own experiences and relationships with each other to shape the content so that acknowledgement of power dynamics is built into the fabric of the program. That said, we know that in any group dynamic, harm will likely occur. We will pay special attention to harm and repair within our group and will also provide optional affinity space for students from BIPOC communities, held by teachers who hold these identities.
I'm confused - doesn't yoga teach that "we're all one" - why so much emphasis on identity (ie, race, sexuality, gender, and so on....). Isn't that anti-yoga?
It's an all too common tendency to appropriate soundbites from yoga philosophy in order to ignore and collude with systematic oppression. This is called spiritual bypassing... in other words, using spirituality to evade engaging with real world problems and power dynamics. On a related point, spiritual bypassing is also used to evade our own personal struggles, needs and boundaries. Yoga at its very core is about liberation, so we embrace it full heartedly as an invitation and a resource to engage with the personal and collective conditions that cause suffering and to resist and dismantle systems of supremacy.
I have access needs - will you be able to accommodate?
Our center is ADA accessible with doorways large enough to accommodate most wheelchairs. With that said, many of our in-person classes will be held outdoors in natural settings - most likely in fields, forests, and parks. Terrain may be rough and uneven with narrow pathways. Once we reserve our outdoor education locations we can share more details. We will do our best to arrange for sound amplification when outdoors If you have specific access needs related to physical space, please let us know as soon as possible so we can try to accommodate. Much of the learning will be online so this is something to consider if you are sensitive to screens. If you have access requests not referenced here, please reach out!
When will I know if I'm accepted to the program?
All applicants will be notified of their status by early April. Early applicants may be accepted sooner so apply early!
Is your program registered with Yoga Alliance?
Former owner and BYMC founder, Lisa Mae Osborne, made the decision to divest from the Yoga Alliance (YA) entirely after a decade of being registered with them. We align with her decision and this is why: YA was created primarily by white people in the West who are self appointed leaders at YA and claim to be authorities in yoga. Historically, the standards they’ve set for yoga teacher trainings have clearly aligned with a cherry-picked and white-washed version of yoga. YA then uses these faulty standards to make money off of teachers and schools by suggesting that they are not qualified unless they pay for a YA certification. Disgustingly, this includes South Asian teachers and schools in South Asia. This is an example of neocolonialsm, capitalism, and metaregulation at work.
After much critique and divestment by many yoga schools and yoga teachers, YA has displayed an effort to critically examine their practices and have worked with some high integrity people through the process. While things seem to be improving in some regards, many of the underlying issues are not resolved. Until we feel that involving ourselves with YA is ethical, we will continue to work outside of their system, while providing education that not only meets, but surpasses their standards.
How does divestment from YA impact me?
Many yoga studios in the West want to know that you have a 200-hr teacher training certificate, which you will - actually, it will be a 300-hr certificate, once you complete our program. However, you will not be a Yoga Alliance certified teacher. We are happy to provide information about how our program meets Yoga Alliance standards if you attempt to work at a studio that requests YA certification. Know that there are plenty of ways to share these practices with your communities - one-on-one private lessons, at your place of work, in schools, at organizations, businesses, and other establishments, and in studios and yoga centers - without a YA certification. Having a YA certification has no bearing on the legality of your ability to teach or your ability to get liability insurance, for example, or anything else.
Spaces are limited - accepting applications on a rolling bases.
Review this webpage thoroughly to determine if this training is right for you
Submit your application and $25 application fee.
You may be invited for a follow-up conversation.
You've been practicing yoga* for at least one year OR at least weekly for 6+ months
*this could include yoga asana, meditation, and/or pranayama
*if you have been practicing yoga for less time and still feel called to apply, please reach out to us directly to explain why you feel an exception should be made
You've thoroughly reviewed the program information and FAQs on our website
You're able to attend ALL online and in-person classes
You have lived experience of and/or study or critical engagement with critical race theory and dynamics of power and oppression
If you have access needs for this application, please reach out to us: email@example.com