Become a yoga teacher and transform your life in the process.
Whether you feel inspired to share yoga with others as a teacher or to simply dive deeper into your own personal practice as a student, Asheville Community Yoga’s 250-hour teacher training program will be a transformative and supportive next step on your path.
Our 250-hour program encourages a beautiful balance between the self-discovery of exploring your body and self through personal practice, and the outward expression of explaining yoga postures and philosophy to others.
The training invites participants to connect more deeply inward to the self through an educated exploration of their own personal practice, while at the same time radiating outward with more purpose through the multidimensional paths of yoga.
Through the lenses of self-discovery and service as two of the most essential purposes of our yoga practice, this 250-hour program guides trainees to a place of clear understanding and expertise, from which the inner teacher and leader naturally emerge.
Informed equally by ancient texts and modern science, our 250-hour teacher training comprises asana, pranayama, meditation, bhakti yoga (devotion) and service. Through the dual lenses of the theory and practice of yoga, we will delve into methods for safely and effectively teaching asanas to a room of varying bodies, abilities and levels in styles ranging from gentle to vinyasa. You will gain an understanding of the anatomy and alignment of each pose and the techniques needed to skillfully help others benefit from yoga.
With a 4.9-out-of-5-stars rating on the Yoga Alliance website, Asheville Community Yoga’s graduates are adept at communicating to students not only the alignment and technique of yoga postures but also the heart and soul of the practice. Our graduates leave confident and empowered to teach a safe and effective class, and feel grounded in their own ability to seamlessly interweave instructions for the body and the breath with guidance for the mind and the spirit.
The experienced teachers guiding the program will support, encourage and uplift you as the coursework leads you deeper into your understanding of yoga and your exploration of Self. The training is designed to foster a safe, supportive environment which facilitates personal attention within a dynamic group process. With seven convenient weekend sessions spaced across five months, the program is structured to provide space between trainings for participants to fully integrate the information, apply the practices and digest the wisdom being shared.
Additionally, our program offers a thorough 250 hours of training, above and beyond the Yoga Alliance’s required and commonly accepted 200 hours. The faculty believe, and graduates confirm, that the additional 50 hours make the difference between carrying the knowledge solely in your head and truly integrating it, resulting in the ability to communicate and guide others as a clear and confident embodied teacher.
Due to the unique nature of these times during the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re asking that only those who are comfortable learning online apply. There is a possibility that we will be able to hold this training in-person at Asheville Community Yoga. However, if the case number does not improve in Buncombe County prior to our start date, we will move forward virtually. No refunds will be given if we have to move the program to an online format.
- April 23-25*
* Prama Institute Retreat Weekend: We will be on Prama grounds from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon.
Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm, 1:15-4:30pm
Sunday 8:00-am-12:00pm, 1:15-3:30pm
Asheville Community Yoga
250-Hour Teacher Training
c/o Amber Acheson
8 Brookdale Road
Asheville, NC 28804
Our teacher training is unique in that it offers a two-day retreat included in the already-reasonable price. We offer this special experience as an opportunity for you to strengthen bonds with your fellow students and dive deeper into the practice of yoga.
The retreat takes place at The Prama Institute, a nonprofit, holistic retreat center located on forested hilltops and grasslands surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains. It sits in Marshall, NC, near the French Broad River, about 25 minutes outside Asheville, NC.
The 6,000-square-foot dome structures are Prama’s most distinctive feature, including a 1,300-square-foot meeting space. The domes are designed according to the original Buckminster Fuller architectural specifications, featuring bamboo floors with in-floor passive solar heating. Gourmet vegetarian chefs produce three delicious meals each day of your stay, using as much locally produced and organic ingredients as possible. The retreat center is surrounded by more than 100 acres of forested hills and valleys.
At Asheville Community Yoga, we believe that diverse groups of people with different backgrounds and experiences make for a richer learning experience and open us to a broader understanding of the world we share. This broader understanding is an essential quality of a yoga teacher. To achieve this goal, we have tried our best to set up a tiered pricing system that hopefully makes this training accessible to a wide and diverse range of people.
Our three distinct tiers are…
$1995 / Community Rate: We have a limited number of discounted spaces for those in our community who represent marginalized populations. To take advantage of one of these discounted spaces, please apply by Nov. 15, 2021.
$2495 / Sustainer Rate: This rate pays for you and allows for Asheville Community Yoga to run operations in a way that is truly sustainable. Those registering at this level may be eligible for a partial scholarship. See details below.
$2895 / Supporter Rate: This is an opportunity for those who have more access to resources to pay it forward and support others on their Yoga journey.
Achieving accessibility for all is dependent on leveraging privilege in our community. If you can afford a price point above $1995, please consider paying more for the benefit of all.
In addition, when considering your price point, please note that the price of the Prama Retreat weekend is $300/person (paid to Prama by Asheville Community Yoga on your behalf). This amount is already included in each price reflected above, not an additional fee.
Payment plans are available for every pricing option. A $100 payment plan fee will be added to your final balance. The earlier you apply, the longer you’ll have to pay on your plan.
Refund Policy: We understand that life happens and unforeseen circumstances come up. If life throws you a curve ball and you need to withdraw from the program prior to June 1st, 2020 all but $100 will be refunded. If you need to withdraw after June 1st and prior July 1st, 2020 the $500 deposit is non-refundable. After July 1st, 2020, no money paid towards the deposit or tuition will be refunded.
Asheville Community Yoga is dedicated to making all of our programs available to as many people as possible. We gave more than $23,000 in scholarship assistance in 2019! Our scholarship program has made a yoga teacher training accessible to more than 100 people over the past five years, people who otherwise would not have had the financial means to make their dreams of completing a yoga teacher training come true!!! Most of our partial scholarships provide $200-$400 in assistance. The remaining tuition balance can be paid over time with a payment plan. The earlier you apply the longer your payment plan will be, making each monthly payment lower. We advise those who are interested in applying to do so early!
These scholarships will be awarded to those who demonstrate financial need, a calling to go deeper in their own practice, or a desire to teach yoga to any of the following groups: seniors, the lesser able, underprivileged youth, veterans, prison populations, pregnant women, people with mental illness and people in recovery.
Applicants must write a one-to-two-page essay stating why they want to take the training, why there is a need for them to receive financial aid and what they will do with their knowledge once they have completed the training. Scholarship savings cannot be combined with any other discounts. Please email the essay to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requests will only be reviewed once the full training application has been submitted along with the $100 scholarship deposit. The application, deposit and scholarship request are all due by Nov. 15th, 2020.
If you represent an underserved or marginalized population and need more financial assistance, please see the information below regarding our Ambassador Program.
Do You Need Financial Support for your Teacher Training?
Consider using Dharma Fund to raise money for your training. Dharma Fund provides a network which brings together like-minded people and communities. Through the Dharma Fund community, projects and project leaders have access to a wide web of support, exposure, resources, knowledge and an opportunity to present themselves and their projects to the world.
Visit www.DharmaFund.net to start your own campaign!
Asheville Community Yoga always seeks to further grow and diversify our teacher roster and community! We are looking for leaders who are grounded in themselves and embrace an identity that is socialized as “underrepresented or marginalized.” We are looking for a team of leaders with diverse perspectives and different social positions to bring more unity into our community. We would like to welcome the LGBTQ+ population, People of Color, Seniors, the Differently Abled, Non-native English Speakers, Curvy Bodies, ASL speakers, Native Americans, first responders other emergency workers, and anyone else who represents a diverse perspective. Our goal is to be proactive in our desire to enrich and diversify our community. Here at Asheville Community Yoga, we celebrate difference in all of its forms!
The Ambassador Program is a centerpiece of Asheville Community Yoga’s programming and is one fundamental way we strive to achieve our mission of keeping yoga accessible. The program invites more diversity and unity into our teaching roster and student base and helps us achieve a more inclusive space where all can feel supported and served.
The program achieves this goal by providing one fully paid spot in the program to an individual who represents a demographic that has been “underrepresented” by our society at large. In exchange for the fully paid spot in the training, recipients must be able to demonstrate:
- They represent an underserved population.
- They have a true desire to learn about yoga and are willing to incorporate the teachings and practices into their everyday lives.
- They are willing to share the knowledge and wisdom they gain with others by offering 1volunteer class/week at Asheville Community Yoga for a duration of two full years.
- They are able to attend every weekend of the program, no exceptions.
We realize that yoga studios often fall short when it comes to representing the diverse nature of our shared reality. We understand that attending a yoga class is often a vulnerable experience and those feelings of vulnerability are often compounded when you’re not understood by those around you. We believe that age, gender, body size, skin color, nor physical abilities and socioeconomics should not impact a person’s ability to learn about yoga.
We introduced the Ambassador Program as the “Diverse Perspectives Scholarship” for the first time in 2017 and our intentions for the program have taken root and flourished! Over the past few years we have increased our accessibility to underrepresented communities by offering a weekly Yoga en Español class. We have Seniors and Prenatal classes 5 days/ week and Chair Yoga 2 days/week. We have a class specifically for veterans, another for those who live in big/curvy bodies, and another for those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community. We have teachers who represent a vast variety of colors, sizes, ages and genders.
We believe that by broadening our leadership perspectives we can create a more inclusive, culturally aware, and diverse environment which will support individuals as well as the collective and we want you to be a part of it! If you identify as an individual who represents an underrepresented group and wish to become a yoga teacher, we welcome you to apply to the Ambassador Program!
To apply, please email Amber (email@example.com) and let us know how your diverse perspective can make our classes more accessible. Please share as much about yourself and the calling you hear to teach yoga. Are you ready, willing, and excited to share your passion for yoga; not only here at the studio but also in your everyday life? Then we welcome you to apply and help us create a more unified and diversified community and world.
Thank you for your support of Asheville Community Yoga and for your willingness to help us achieve our mission!!! We are in this together!
UPDATE: Our Ambassador Program recipient has already been selected for the Winter/Spring 2021 program.
Informed by both modern science and ancient texts, the Asheville Community Yoga 250-hour teacher training comprises asana, pranayama, meditation and kirtan. Through the dual lenses of theory and practice, we will delve into methods for safely and effectively teaching asanas to a room of different bodies, abilities and levels in styles ranging from gentle to vinyasa. Providing the tools to explore yourself and educate others, our program fosters an insightful examination and clear articulation of the art and science of yoga through traditional and evidence-based perspectives.
- Surya namaskaras
- Sun salutations A & B
- Vinyasa flow
- Physical cues
- Energetic cues
- Class structure
- Bhav (the vibe)
- Cultivating a home practice
- Daily asana
- Daily pranayama
- Daily meditation
- Pranayama (breathing technique)
- Restorative yoga
- Yoga nidra (relaxation technique)
- Chakra theory and practice
- Self care
- Yogic nutrition
- Yoga history
- Vedic path
- Tantric path
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
- The eight-limbed path
- Yamas and niyamas
- Yoga ethics
- Who is a yoga teacher?
- Why teach yoga?
- Honoring teacher/student relationships/boundaries
- Class labels and studio policies
- The Bhagavad Gita
- The Spirit of Devotion (Bhakti Yoga)
- The Spirit of Service (Karma Yoga)
- Service project
- The Business of Yoga
- Branding and marketing
- Yoga Alliance
- Student teaching
Techniques, Training and Practice
Total Hours: 120
Asana: Through discussion, active demonstration, and use of the trainee handbook, we will identify alignment and cuing for stable and safe movement and posture within the following categories.
Tadasana (mountain pose: the foundation)
Downward facing dog and transitions to and from (“Vinyasa Flow”)
We will identify how key muscle groups affect flexibility and strength in these poses. Conversation will focus on how to cue based on the energetic effects of these postures and the risk factors inherent to practicing them incorrectly.
Pranayama: The training will include multiple pranayama modules where students will gain a first hand experience of the physical, mental, emotional and sometimes spiritual effects that can occur when pranic flow is controlled and manipulated.
Meditation: Students will be encouraged to cultivate a daily meditation practice and will be guided through various techniques used for meditation including mantras and visualizations.
Restorative yoga/yoga nidra: A discussion and practice on the deeply rooted physical, mental and emotional impacts of restorative yoga and yogic sleep.
Total Hours: 50
Through discussion, active demonstration, and use of the trainee handbook, we will explore ways to keep a class safe, effective and engaging. The following modules will be explored:
Finding your voice
Trusting your inner teacher
Anatomy and Physiology
Total Hours: 20
We will cover a general overview of all major systems of the body including the:
- Skeletal system
- Muscular system
- Digestive system
- Endocrine system
- Fascial system
- Cardiovascular system
- Nervous system
- Lymphatic system
In addition, within each of the above mentioned asana modules, we will identify key muscles groups and joints affected by the postures. We will also identify where and when the following movements occur within the poses:
Flexion and extension
Abduction and adduction
Medial and lateral rotation
Pronation and supination
We will also cover subtle anatomy which includes:
Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics
Total Hours: 50
Through class discussion and journaling practices, we will dive into the heart of yoga, exploring what it means to live our yoga on and off the mat. These modules will explore:
- The Yoga Sutras
- The 8 Limbed Path
- The Yamas and Niyamas
- The Upanishads
- The Bhagavad Gita
- Bhakti Yoga (Devotion)
- Karma Yoga (Service)
Total Hours: 10
Students will demonstrate their growing ability to guide others through a safe and effective yoga class. They will demonstrate their knowledge of alignment, sequencing, verbal cuing, and modifications, as well as their ability to create a peaceful atmosphere and hold space for others to explore the body, mind and spirit connection.
Any translation of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
The Concise Book of Yoga Anatomy by Jo Ann Staugaard-Jones
Teaching Yoga by Donna Farhi
The Yoga of Breath: A Step-By-Step Guide to Pranayama by Richard Rosen
The Bhagavad Gita translated by Stephen Mitchell
Back Care Basics by Mary Pullig Schatz
30 Essential Poses by Judith Lasater
Relax and Renew by Judith Hanson Lasater
Yoga: Mind, Body, Spirit by Donna Farhi
The Breathing Book by Donna Farhi
Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater
Yogabody by Judith Lasater
Requirements for Graduation
Attendance each day
Fulfilling reading and writing requirements
Attending yoga classes
Student teaching at least five classes
Observing at least five classes
Research paper or equivalent research project
Teaching a class to the group at the end of the course
Michael has been in the practicing school of yoga for almost 30 years. He began teaching yoga in 2003 and has been dedicated to serving others in the area of Yoga & relationship work. Igniting passion & demonstrating love are Michael’s two favorite subjects.
Michael is the founder & executive director of Asheville Community Yoga. He was rated in the top 3 yoga teachers in WNC for four years in a row, winning the “Best Yoga Teacher in WNC” Mountain Express award in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Asheville Community Yoga won the “Best Yoga Studio” award in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Michael is also the director of the Asheville Community Yoga Teacher Training Programs. Michael invites you to discover the depth of your integrity and your capacity to serve from the heart.
Kelly Gilmore is a dedicated, down to earth student and teacher of yoga, a massage therapist, a voice for animals and lover of nature. She began her studies 12 years ago with a certification in Vinyasa Flow Yoga from White Lotus Foundation. Soon after Kelly was introduced to Anusara Yoga and completed a 200RYT with Sarajoy Marsh in 2005. Around the same time, she moved to WNC and enrolled in the Asheville School of Massage and Yoga. Having several trainings in therapeutic yoga, clinical massage and her 500 RYT in Yoga Therapy with Subtle Yoga, she embraces the opportunity to serve the community and share from her life experiences on and off the mat.
Amber considers herself a humble student of life. She strives to open herself to life’s lessons, embracing every opportunity to learn and experience something new with a soft and gentle heart. Amber has been dedicated to the path of yoga since 2009. In 2010 she had the opportunity to travel extensively through Southeast Asia, China, Nepal and Northern India practicing and studying the art/science of yoga. While in India she completed her 200RYT. Amber graduated from Subtle Yoga’s Therapeutic Yoga 500RYT in the spring of 2013. Amber serves as Asheville Community Yoga’s Teacher Training Director.
Wendy found yoga early in life and has the had the honor of studying many different disciplines of yoga including Hatha, Vinyasa Flow, Yin, Therapeutic, Restorative, Prenatal and Kid’s Yoga. Her earliest influences were Erich Schiffmann, Seane Corn, Doug Keller, and Paul Grilley. Sharing Yoga as a practice of compassionate, heart-opening, soul healing, mindful movement that transcends the mat in a studio, Wendy encourages her students to incorporate yoga into every part of their lives. Often playful, always heartfelt, her classes create an environment of acceptance and unconditional love of self and others. Having been a part of Asheville Community Yoga in the very beginning, she is grateful to be back and serves as Fundraising Director and Teacher Liaison.
Lauren embodies an inherent compassion for every student and her ongoing desire to learn, grow and share yoga inspires us all! Lauren received her 200HR YTT at Asheville Community Yoga. Since her graduation, she has gone on to study, apprentice & complete her 300HR YTT with Himalayan Yoga Master, Yogrishi Vishveketu, and has received certifications in Yin Yoga, Trauma Informed Yoga, Yoga for PTSD & TBI, and Thai Yoga Bodywork. Lauren serves as Asheville Community Yoga’s Operations Director and she serves in the teacher training as an assistant to lead teachers.
Kristin “Luna” Ray
“Filled with a devotion at once fresh and electrifying, Kristin Luna Ray solidly ranks amongst chant music’s most luminous rising stars.” -Yoga Journal
Kristin “Luna” Ray is a singer-songwriter, chant artist, workshop leader, and advocate for wellness and spiritual growth.
Over the last decade, she has traveled extensively throughout the world sharing music through performance, workshops, Live Music and Yoga, and kirtans (call and response chanting). Luna teaches about Bhakti (devotional) yoga and leads kirtans for our trainings.
Ramesh Bjonnes was born in Norway and lived for nearly three years in India and Nepal learning directly from the masters of Tantric yoga. Bjonnes is co-founder of the Prama Institute (www.pramainstitute.org), a holistic retreat center outside Asheville, NC. He has written extensively on Tantra, yoga, culture and sustainability, and his articles have appeared in books and numerous magazines and newspapers in Europe and the US. He wrote the books, Sacred Body, Sacred Spirit: A Personal Guide to the Wisdom of Yoga and Tantra and Tantra: The Yoga of Love and Awakening. He lives in an eco-village near Marshall, Madison County. Ramesh teaches the Yoga Sutras and meditation modules in our trainings.
“The training gave me the confidence to take the seat of the teacher. I left knowing I could keep students safe and share in a meaningful way what yoga means to me. It was empowering to know that I had a place in the big wide world of yoga. The training changed my life by providing me with answers and resources to the deep down feeling I already had that yoga was more than a physical practice. It also surrounded me with a community of like minded people who will always be my teachers.” -JB
“In the teacher training at Asheville Community Yoga, I finally found my true self and a real community. All the knowledge and skills I learned in training were extremely beneficial for my mental state, while my spirit was also transformed through the center I found within myself. The teacher training taught me to always be aware of my breath in life, for it will steady my thoughts and emotions and always be there to guide me.” -KA
“This has been the most important education of my life. I have learned so much about myself and the process of removing the veils that cloak our true nature. We can change the world with yoga!” -SM
“I was skeptical when our teachers told us that when we left, we wouldn’t be the same. Still, they encouraged us to give everything we had as an offering, to let it go, leave nothing behind. And, I decided to do just that. You get from it most certainly what you put in. There are so many opportunities to open up, let go and be humbled.” -RM
“This weekend was absolutely amazing, uplifting, wondrous and down right breathtaking. I feel so fully loved and accepted for who I am. It is pretty rare these days to have such strong connections with this many people, but after what we have all just experienced, I am convinced that this group will only continue to stay in each other’s lives.” -GH
“When I decided to enroll in the yoga teacher training program at Asheville Community Yoga, my intention was to deepen my practice and possibly teach yoga (if all went well with the training). What I was not anticipating was to experience such a profound sense of love and acceptance of myself. … I am extremely grateful for connections made with the instructors, special guests and especially with my cohort of yoga teacher trainees who I now consider part of my extended family. I am so thankful for having committed myself to the gift of this experience. I now look forward to sharing this practice of love with others.” -JW
Find your home away from home during your training. We have a comprehensive list of local hotels, B&Bs, folks associated with Asheville Community Yoga renting rooms or homes, as well as campsites that may work for you. Check them out here.
For those who have read through all of the above and are feeling like the training is something you’d like to do in the future but may need a little more time and experience to familiarize yourself with Yoga and build a stronger foundation, consider our Yoga Immersion Program. Many use the Immersion Program as a stepping stone for our 250 Hour Yoga Teacher Training and those who have feel they gained more from the Training by taking the Immersion prior. Discounts are available towards our Yoga Teacher Training for all who complete the Immersion Program first.
If you feel called to offer something more in this life, whether by extending your practice to teach others or simply expanding your presence in relationships with others, this training will help you uncover your potential and connect with the greatness that’s already within you.