LEVEL II: Yoga Teacher Training
500-HR Yoga Alliance Certification | 1-29 August 2015 – Thailand
Take your career to the next level. Gain the cutting-edge teaching skills needed to live an abundant life as a yoga instructor for years to come.
Now Open for Applications
1 – 29 August, Thailand
Teach Less, Earn More & Make a HugeImpact with your Yoga Career…
If you’re a certified teacher (or soon-to-be), then I’d like to ask you some very important questions. I asked myself these questions when I felt burnout as a teacher many years ago and went looking for a solution.
I challenge you to ask yourself:
Are you still as excited and committed to your personal practice today as you were before you began teaching— and if not, why?
Do you have a clear plan for your “next step” as a teaching professional? You know you cannot teach drop-in classes forever, so what comes next?
Do you have a plan to grow your income so you can live a comfortable life as you get older? Are you able to buy a home, take time off, and stop living month-to-month?
Are there people in your life supportive of your growth, or do you feel alone in this journey?
Lastly, if your current work plan doesn’t change, how long will your lifestyle be sustainable until you burn out? Are there other options?
If you’re like most yoga teachers I work with, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in teaching that you lose touch with your personal practice. Many teachers get to a point where they’re not learning or practicing anything new. They begin feeling isolated, confused, and uninspired.
To make matters worse, many teachers hit an income ceiling where they’re unsure how to increase their earnings. They teach more and more classes—even though we all know there are physical limits.
If you can relate, I’d like to invite you to learn more about our 500hr Yoga Alliance Teacher Training Course. It’s specifically designed to take qualified teachers and turn them into successful yoga professionals. Our students walk away with the tools to earn a great living and impact their community on a local, national, and even international level.
Quick Links to Course Info
The 500hr Training Advantage
Everyone signs up for the Level II 500hr Yoga Teacher Training for different reasons, but everyone is ultimately looking for a deeper teaching life. Our students can intuitively feel that their teaching career is just getting started. They’re looking for a strong foundation to help take things to the next level: personally, professionally, and financially.
Here are the top benefits reported by graduates:
Fall in Love with Yoga Again (as a student)
All teachers battle with burnout and fatigue. This is overcome by relighting the fire of your own practice. During the course, you’ll be a full-time student again for an entire month. Everything you’ll learn is designed to advance your career and your practice. It’s like graduate school for yoga instructors with a peer group that matches your level and challenges you personally and professionally. Finally, you get to be the student again.
Become an “Authority Teacher”
When I hire yoga teachers today, the average instructor has literally twice the qualifications as applicants from just a few years back. Their level of training in anatomy, public speaking, adjustments, injury prevention and treatment, and even the business of yoga, has grown massively in recent years.
To put it simply, the yoga industry has matured. To be a leader in this fast-changing world, it’s vital to have a competitive advantage. The curriculum of this course is designed specially to give you the cutting-edge skills used by today’s top teachers.
Meet Like-Minded Colleagues & Friends
“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” During my first few years as a teacher, I was surrounded by great people- however, none had any career ambitions. I felt stuck and didn’t know where to go next.
As a growth-oriented person, I needed people around me with big goals. It was vital for me to surround myself with people who wanted to have a huge impact locally, nationally, and even internationally. As soon as I expanded my peer group to include people who were already on the path I wanted to be on, my impact and my income grew immediately. This course will provide the same for you.
Learn How to Teach Less & Earn More
If you plot the trajectory of any successful career teacher, you’ll find they teach less and earn more. Good teachers understand this simple fact: you cannot teach more to earn more. The opposite is actually true.
By focusing on growth and energy allocation, you’ll learn how to make your teaching more impactful. You’ll be able to leverage your authority skills to earn more and teach less- all while making a bigger impact than ever before.
Add Authority & Experience to Your Resume(CV)
Many yoga teachers have a long list of workshops and trainings on their resumes, but very few have hard-skills and quantifiable learning they can document and demonstrate. Absolute Yoga Academy 500hr graduates will receive a 500hr Yoga Alliance Certificate. In addition to the teaching certificate, our students earn two Yoga Tune Up® certifications (Core Immersion & Roll Model), .8 CECs for ACE, and a 500hr certification from Absolute Yoga (foundation training certificate). The yoga teaching market has become competitive, and your real-world skills gained here will give you a huge advantage.
What You’ll Learn
PHOTO: Michel adjusting a student in kapotasana
Physical Adjustments & Advanced Sequencing
with Michel Besnard & Roslyn Ying
When you ask students why they like their favorite class, the answer is usually one of two things: the teacher gives great adjustments, or there is a great “flow” to the class. As teachers, we know this. However, so often we get stuck in our own comfort zones. Understandably, we tend to teach what we’re most familiar with and only adjust students in postures that we’re most comfortable with.
In day-to-day teaching life, it’s difficult to find time and space to work with other experienced teachers. This is vital in improving skill level as a teacher. It allows you to refine your adjustment skill in a multitude of postures. It also fosters sequence learning that is created intelligently- not just creatively.
You’ll practice, adjust, and work hands-on through dozens of postures and a variety of sequences. In turn, these can be adapted to fit public and private classes. You’ll be certified to teach in homes, gyms, fitness centers and traditional studios. You’ll design your own unique sequence here that you’ll teach to the rest of your peers within the course. You will be able to apply this sequence within your classes at home.
Core Immersion Training
with Louis Jackson
PHOTO: Yoga Tune Up® founder, Jill Miller, doing core work
Click “Play” to Hear from Louis…
These days, the average person spends most of the day sitting down. This leads to muscle imbalances throughout the body, but probably the biggest “trouble area” is the core. Weak and uncoordinated core muscles lead to bad posture, back problems, neck problems, and mood imbalances. Core integration demand has skyrocketed in the classroom. However, many teachers lack the knowledge to teach core effectively that go beyond the standard poses, like boat pose. Core training is not part of most classic yoga traditions, but it’s an essential aspect that is important for the modern teacher.
This module is an authorized Yoga Tune Up® course. Created by a Los Angeles based renowned trainer, Jill Miller, Yoga Tune Up® is a corrective exercise and yoga training program. Today, its approach to anatomy-based yoga and functional movement is regarded as one of the highest-level qualifications a teacher can have. We are extremely proud to offer this as part of Absolute Yoga’s curriculum.
By the end of this module, you’ll deeply understand the anatomy and physiology of the core. The postures, exercises, and sequences will allow you to teach stand-alone workshops in the Core Immersion style- or simply incorporate them into your daily class. Either way, your students will thank you as your effectiveness improves dramatically.
Roll Model: Myofascial Release
with Louis Jackson
PHOTO: student learning self-massage with Yoga Tune Up® balls
Massage is a wonderful complimentary practice to yoga. Many people view massages as an expensive indulgence for special occasions. Massages have incredible benefits to the body when received frequently. Realistically, the majority of people are not incorporating massages into a regular pattern. People love and want them, but are not practical in a monetary sense. The solution? Incorporate it within yoga!
The Roll Model Self-Myofascia Massage empowers students to release deep tissue tension and break up “stuck areas.” Developed by Jill Miller of Yoga Tune Up®, this method involves the use of specially designed massage balls (included in the course). Combined with corrective exercises, this practice works deep into the tissues surround the spine, the hips, the hamstrings, and more.
This module will certify you as a Roll Model teacher and enable you to lead private and group classes.
Anatomy Trains: Level I & II
with Michael Watson
PHOTO: Learn the anatomy on a deeper level than ever before
Click “Play” to Learn More About Michael Watson
Understanding human anatomy is essential to deepen your understanding of functional movements in yoga. In this module, you’ll follow Anatomy Trains Level I and II curriculum, which dive deep into structural and functional anatomy and analysis.
You’ll learn how to conduct a body reading, how to touch and safely manipulate soft tissues in your students, and how to use all of this knowledge to become a better yoga teacher.
Typical yoga anatomy tends to be very conceptual, focused on memorizing body parts and their names. In this module, the focus is on how all these systems work together (or not) and what you can do to help your students find structural integration..
Anatomy Trains is a unique map of the “anatomy of connection,” or the whole-body fascial and myofascial linkages. The Anatomy Trains concept joins individual muscles into functional complexes within fascial planes. Each muscle has a defined anatomy and “meaning” in human movement. In yoga asana classes, we’re constantly working on our soft tissues. As teachers, most of us lack this integrated anatomical training needed to understand what’s really going on beneath our skin. This module will take your understand, application, and teaching abilities to whole new level. .
Yoga for Back Care
with Deborah Wolk
PHOTO: Deborah working in small group, back care specialty classes
Click “Play” to Listen to a Short Interview w/Deborah
Back pain is one of the top four reasons people come to yoga. It’s estimated that as many as 80% of people will have a significant back problem at some point in their life. To make things even more challenging, surgery and pills are rarely helpful. People are left confused and in pain trying to figure out what to do. This is when they turn to yoga.
As a yoga teacher, knowing the spine is invaluable to help students heal their back. Scoliosis and back care specialist, Deborah Wolk, will dive deep into spinal anatomy, corrective exercise, and functional movement. You’ll dive deep into spinal anatomy, corrective exercises, and functional movement. During this module, you will be equipped with the knowledge to help you help your students get out of pain.
After completion, you’ll be qualified to lead both private and small group Yoga for Back Care classes. You’ll also have the expertise needed to safely and appropriately serve your students with scoliosis and chronic back pain.
Many yoga teachers attempt to use traditional yoga poses to help with their student’s back problems. As effective as this may seem, Yoga for Back Care takes it to the next level. As a Yoga for Back Care teacher, you’ll be able to inform your yoga teaching with the highly-acclaimed work of Deborah Wolk. Deborah’s entire teaching career has focused and specialized on treating back issues to see real results.
Inversions 101: How to Practice & Teach
with Rob Lucas
PHOTO: Rob Lucas demonstrates inversions
Yoga students love inversions, and for a good reason. They’re fun, challenging, and have wonderful health benefits- including strength, circulation, and self-confidence. While many teachers demonstrate inversions well, very few instructors teach them in an effective way to help students see their own results.
In this module, Rob Lucas will share with you his method for teaching and training inversions. He’s a handstand whiz, but more importantly, an excellent teacher. He understands the learning process and how to teach safely as you share these challenging poses with your students.
Whether you’re a beginner, or advanced in inversions- this module will give you the confidence to appropriately teach in group classes, privately, or in workshop settings.
Modern Yoga Nutrition
with Lucas Rockwood
PHOTO: learn how food, hormones, yoga and metabolism work together
Click “Play” to Learn More…
The “old school” yoga diet consists of coffee, wheat, rice, beans, and dairy products. When you’re 23 years old and practicing 2-3 hours per day, you may be able to get away with it. However, it’s not a sustainable diet for longevity as you age. Traditional yoga diet can lead to diabetes, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, mood disorders, and other medical issues.
With food and nutrition, there are no “one size fits all” solutions. Some people do great on a vegetarian diet, others do horribly. Instead of focusing on dogma, we’ll focus on the best of modern scientific principles to uncover the simple guiding principles your students can use to achieve their health goals more easily.
Today’s yoga students are concerned about their health and weight- and rightly so. Most people are suffering from some type of food-related problem- such as a weight issue, a skin problem, or a mood disorder. As yoga teachers, we’re not dietitians, but we can provide students with simple tools to get them back on track. The old paradigm of “eat less and exercise more” has proven to be a total failure. More and more yoga students are finding amazing results when they combine yoga practice with intelligent dietary practices.
In this module, you’ll learn the cutting-edge metabolic and endocrine science behind yoga. You’ll understand why yoga aids in weight loss and how simple food choices are essential to healthy living. You will learn diet-agnostic eating tips for the long term that focus on the hormonal impact of food, rather than the total number of calories.
Business of Yoga
with Lucas Rockwood
Click “Play” to Hear from Lucas…
Have you ever heard the saying, “Do what you love and the money will follow?” This is absolutely true. However, without long term goals in the yoga world, the money is usually very small and hardly enough to live on. I know because for the first two years of my teaching career, this was how I lived. I practiced yoga for half the day, and didn’t give much thought to my bank account or my career. I was 25 at the time, and I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. As I got older, I wanted to turn my passion in a life-long profession. To do this, I needed to learn how the business of yoga worked.
Yoga is now a 29 USD billion industry, and yet most yoga teachers are barely able to support themselves. Teachers like you and I built this industry, and very few of us are in charge as business leaders. As a teacher-turned-entrepreneur myself, I find this totally unacceptable. One of my main goals is to train teachers to become business leaders. I envision a future where the people running the show in our industry are teachers like you and me, not venture capitalists or opportunistic investors.
In this module, you’ll learn how to truly be successful in the yoga business. We will give you the foundation to build it quickly, with or without a physical location or funding. You’ll learn how to allocate your time to build a business, be fully focused for your students and clients, and be present as a service provider.
I started out as a quintessential yoga bum. Today, I’ve built a number of very successful yoga businesses from the ground up. I know what it’s like to be broke and burnt out. Conversely, I understand what it takesto turn things around. Just like anything worth doing, the business of yoga is challenging- but it’s also learnable. This knowledge is the gateway for transformation in your life, your career, and families’ life.
By the end of this module, you’ll identify at least 2 new streams of revenue for yourself, new ways to increase your income, and you’ll also learn two “cash injection” strategies. These are fast and simple ways you can earn more at a quicker rate.
After completing this module, graduates have gone on to start their own teacher training programs, manufacture their own yoga products, create online yoga businesses, and open their own studios. Many graduates with smaller short-term goals simply use the strategies we cover to earn 50-150% more without changing much at all except for their approach to business and teaching.
Women’s Yoga (pregnancy & menstruation)
with Roslyn Ying
PHOTO: student learning pranayama breath work
When it comes to women’s issues and yoga, most of the popular yoga advice was established hundreds of years ago by men. There are some basic misunderstandings that need to be corrected. In this module, you’ll learn the truth about menstruation and yoga, how to adjust, adapt and modify if needed, and effective sequences to better serve your students. You’ll also have a deep understanding and response behind these common questions:
- Is it ok to practice if I’m menstruating?
- Can I do inversions while menstruating?
- What about yoga while pregnant? What type of yoga?
- What are the key contraindicated postures for pregnancy?
Most yoga communities consist of 75-80% women. It’s incredibly important that teachers are educated in women’s health issues and can teach accordingly.
Ayurveda 101: Understanding Your Dosha
with Roslyn Ying
Have you ever noticed that two people doing the exact same yoga practice will get different results? One student will bulk up with muscle, the other will lose weight quickly—and the same happens with food. Two students eating the same foods will have completely different reactions. These body-specific responses have to do with your dosha, or personal constitution as defined by the ancient Indian system of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga and something you could spend a lifetime studying. As yoga teachers, some of the most profound learning comes by understanding the basics of body constitution. Different bodies simply react differently to certain foods, yoga styles, oils, and lifestyles. With this fundamental understanding, you can better serve your students and speak more to their individual needs.
During this module, you’ll learn to identify vata, pitta, and kapha in your students and the basics of sattvic practice and eating.
Integration & Practicum
with Michel Besnard & Roslyn Ying
This final module is designed to integrate everything learned. In this session, you’ll practice effective teaching, precision adjusting, review lessons learned, and get real-time feedback from both your trainers and your peers.
Public Speaking Coaching (virtual module)
with Akash Karia
Your voice is the most powerful tool you have as a teacher, yet most of us have never had any formal voice training. What do you do with your hands while speak? Are your feet planted or are you up on your tip toes? Do you vary your voice or do you speak in robotic “yoga speak?”
In this virtual module, long-time trainer, Akash Karia, will share his award-winning speaking skills with you. You then get the opportunity to submit a sample of you teaching for Akash himself to provide feedback on.
It can be nerve-racking to take an honest look at your own speaking skills, but the payoff outweighs the initial comfort. Your students will notice right away when you make the easy changes that are so necessary to bring students to the next level.
Yoga Photo Session
with Guest Photographer
Yoga is such a visual medium. Every yoga teacher needs high-quality photos to use on social media, websites, and promotional materials. However, most teachers don’t have good photos! The course photographer will work with you to produce 2-3 excellent, professional photos. These photos are print and web/ready that can be used in your marketing and promotional materials for years to come.
Photo sessions will be group, private and semi-private during the last week of the course. You will own your images 100% royalty free, no attribution or use permissions required. They are yours to keep and use freely.
This will be one of the more intense months of yoga study you’ve ever experienced, but it’s also a lot of fun and immensely rewarding. Thailand is absolutely breathtaking, and the food and weather are fantastic. It’s incredibly conducive to returning as a student and focusing the mind and heart on growth.
The daily schedule varies, but your typical day looks like this:
- 07:00-09:30 Practice
- 09:30-11:00 Breakfast Break
- 11:00-13:30 Workshop I
- 13:30-15:00 Lunch Break
- 15:00-17:30 Workshop II
- 17:30-18:30 Afternoon Practice
- 19:00-20:00 Dinner
The Morning Yoga Practice – Personal practice is an essential part of any teacher’s life. During the course, there will be led and self-practice sessions in the morning with Michel Besnard (Course Director) and Roslyn Ying (Teaching Assistant).
Michel teaches traditional Ashtanga-Vinyasa style yoga informed by the alignment and precision of his formal Iyengar studies. Some students will come to the course from an Ashtanga background, but most come from other styles of yoga (Hot Yoga, Flow Yoga, or classic Hatha Yoga).
Whatever your background is, you will find the self-practice style of yoga taught by Michel to be fun, challenging, and extremely personalized. Those students who are ready will be introduced to intermediate and advanced asanas. Those who are still learning will work within their abilities and will be given practices that are appropriate.
NOTE: You do not need to have an advanced yoga practice to join this course. It is recommend that you familiarize yourself with the Ashtanga primary series and ideally memorize the sequence, as it will be referenced throughout the course in other modules as well.
The Workshops – Depending on which guest teachers are present, your workshop sessions will vary from week-to-week. Sessions are taught in lecture and hands-on practice styles. You’ll be taught as student first, and then as a teacher. This way, the learning is internalized and can be shared.
This practice is more free-form and varies day-to-day. Some days you’ll have restorative class, or work on pranayama and meditation. Other days are peer-led classes where trainees teach each other the sequences they’ve designed to get real-time feedback in a support environment.
The Core Course Training Modules Schedule (subject to change):
- Adjustments & Advanced Practices
- Core Immersion
- Roll Method
- Foundation Training
- Inversions 101
- Business of Yoga
- Modern Yoga Nutrition
- Women’s Yoga
- Ayurveda 101: Basics of Doshas
- Integration & Practicum
Michel Besnard and Roslyn Ying teach and direct the course from start to finish. All other faculty are present for their modules specifically.
Meet Your Teachers
Listen to Audio Interviews w/the Teachers of the
Level II, 500hr Yoga Teacher Training
4-Week Course in August – Thailand
Absolute Yoga Academy’s 500hr Level II course is designed for existing teachers to take their practice to the next level. This is the most intense and diverse course of its kind, and we’re humbled by the quality and caliber of teachers who are on the team. A partial list of teachers is below along with a short audio interview so you can “meet” them before the course. Enjoy…
NOTE: click “play” to under the teacher’s bios to learn more about their background and teaching.
Michel Besnard (Course Director)
Originally from France, Michel has become one of the most sought-after teachers in Asia since he opened YOGASANA, the very first Ashtanga Yoga studio and training center in Hong Kong. He aims to help discover the balance and openness that yoga can provide, and he’ll also teach you how to enjoy the process. Michel is immersed in the tradition of yoga with 30 years of study with world-renowned teachers.
With an extensive background in bodywork and postural alignment, Michel is an advanced Reiki practitioner and a certified Advanced Postural Integrator. Truly a teacher’s teacher, he has trained instructors in 10 different countries and is accredited by IYTA (International Yoga Teacher Association) and Yoga Alliance at the 500-hour level trainer level (highest possible). Michel brings the depth of knowledge and years of experience to the classroom.
Roslyn Ying (course assistant, guest faculty)
Roslyn started her yoga journey studying in the Iyengar tradition with renowned teachers Faeq Biria, Peter Scott, Birjoo Metha and Shirley Daventry. Later, Roslyn’s interest in Ashtanga grew and she studied with Nancy Gilgoff, Chunk Miller, Maty Ezraty, and Richard Freeman.
Her interests in yoga philosophy and Ayurveda led her to undergo formal study with Carlos Pomeda. For Roslyn, the yoga journey is both physical and emotional. She believes that yoga challenges you to walk out of your comfort zone; and when you do, life unfolds in ways you would never imagine.
Louis Jackson (Core Immersion & Roll Model)
Building on 18 years of personal practice, Louis is a modern Hatha Yogi who weds tradition with layman’s kinesiology to mine the jewels of this ancient craft. To him, the advanced yogi is one who practices being aware of where they’re unaware; until there are no more blind spots and all that is left, is —.
As a Certified Yoga Tune Up® Teacher and Trainer, he instructs in the spirit of the pre-modern sage Patanjali (“all future pains can and should be avoided”) and Fitness Guru Kelly Starrett (“All human beings should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves”). In Louis’ playful laboratory, become a Samonaut: one who “navigates the inner space of human form, exploring the infinite worlds within in order to divine the self.”
In addition to Yoga Tune Up® creator Jill Miller, Louis stands on the shoulders of three other giants: Senior Iyengar Master Ben Thomas; Hatha adept and scholar Anirudha Shastri; and acknowledged Shadow Yoga Instructor Mark Horner.
Click “Play” to Learn About Louis Modules
Michael Watson (Anatomy Trains)
Michael’s journey of self-discovery has led him around the world, teaching and sharing his passion for anatomy and alternative modalities of exercise and therapy.
Beyond yoga, Pilates and KMI teaching certifications, Michael leads advanced training programs, retreats and clinics worldwide. He has worked with athletes with disabilities at the Paralympic level of training and continues to develop ideas that bring an integrated approach to health, movement and wellness. As a certified teacher of Yoga, Pilates, functional anatomy and with a degree in Sports science, Michael brings an in depth awareness to his clients based on a strong understanding of anatomy, the body and its function.
Deborah Wolk (Yoga for Back Care)
Deborah Wolk has been teaching students with scoliosis and other back conditions since 2000. She was the co-founder and co-director of the successful Yoga Union Center for Backcare and Scoliosis. She is also a founding member and manager of Samamkāya Yoga Back Care and Scoliosis Collective in New York City.
With scoliosis herself, Deborah has both the personal and professional experience to help students transform through yoga.
Click “Play” to Learn About Deborah’s Work
Lucas Rockwood (Business & Nutrition)
Lucas is the founder and Managing Director of Absolute Yoga Academy, YOGABODY Naturals, and YOGABODY Fitness. He has formal yoga training background in Hot Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Gravity Yoga, and Yoga Trapeze.
Lucas has learned and practiced from some of the most influential yoga teachers to date. His experience combined with his expertise in the industry provides an invaluable resource for all his students. With arguably the most impactful teacher training available and over 2000 certified teachers (and counting), Lucas’ mission is to evolve teachers to professionals.
Click “Play” to Learn about the Business Module
Click “Play” to Learn about the Nutrition Module
Rob Lucas (Inversions)
Rob Lucas began practicing ashtanga vinyasa yoga in 1997, and since that time he has trained with amazing teachers all over the world
As a teacher he believes that his job is to distill the years of daily experience to their essence and pass that on to students in three forms: how to practice, what to practice, and why to practice. Rob’s particular style and focus is on relaxed control within the practice: developing the ability to move smoothly and with control. In asana practice, as in life, the spaces between events are as important as the events themselves. Rob specializes in teaching balance and control- in both on the hands and the feet.
What Students Are Saying…
“A Teacher Who Really Transforms His Students”
Whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced student, Michel’s devoted study, practice, knowledge, love of teaching, and endless capacity to give makes him completely capable to transform his students.
I apprenticed with Michel for almost two years and practiced with him for almost five. Now, as a teacher, I constantly find myself drawing upon many things Michel taught me, and I continue to seek-out his trusted guidance.
Juile Choi (Yoga Teacher, USA)
“I Had High Expectations & The Training Exceeded Them All”
The Teacher Training with Michel Besnard and his team was one of the best experiences of my life. I had high expectation and the training exceeded them all. I found Michel to be an extremely knowledgeable teacher whose passion for yoga inspired me tremendously, who taught me to think outside of the box and try different approaches to postures I had done many times before.
Above all, I felt completely safe in his classes as he would take into account every student’s individual strengths and weaknesses, and always stressed the importance of respecting ort body limits. It was a very inspiring and at the same time very enjoyable month. Thanks to Michel and the other lecturers for the wonderful experience.
Michaela Tippel (Huang, Taiwan)
“Yoga is About The Journey, Not the Destination”
Very insightful course that has given me the confidence to go out and teach yoga classes, knowing I have received fantastic training from an outstanding teacher. Michel is a kind and compassionate teacher, who ensured we all tested our boundaries and discovered our own potential.
The phrase that now sticks in my mind is ‘Yoga is about the journey, not the destination.’ Thanks to Michel and the team for the wonderful experience.
Joanna Van der Marwe (UK)
“I Feel My Practice has Shifted.”
You have no idea how just being in the presence of you and Roslyn, and having this amazing opportunity to have been under your guidance and support. I feel my practice has shifted.
For this I thank you and Roslyn so sincerely. You both have filled my heart with so much happiness since the very first day I saw you and practiced my first Mysore class with you, and my heart has not stopped singing since.
Phoeve (Shanghai, China)
“Michel is an Extraordinary Teacher”
The one month that I spent in Koh Samui doing the teacher training with Michel Besnard was the most challenging, enriching, uplifting feat that I have done in my life as a committed yoga student.
The content of the training was expansive and well presented by brilliant, energetic faculty. This training gave my asana practice the extra push that I so badly needed and I came out of it alive and super strong!
Michel is an extraordinary teacher and his candor, charm and decades of yoga experience, as well as his generosity to share what he knows, makes him connect more easily with his students. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to deepen their yoga practice.
Christina Ong (Hong Kong)
“What I Have Gained in this Course is Priceless…”
The most rewarding and challenging experience was practicing Ashtanga Yoga every single day. I have a strong practice now and my passion for yoga is much greater than before. I really enjoyed meeting people from all around the world and forming relationships. The teachers are great and the course is a lot of fun. What I have gained in this course is priceless and I don’t think I would have got this experience elsewhere. I highly recommend it.
Monique Gharios (Australia)
“I Felt Myself Become Stronger & Stronger”
It was very intensive. Practicing Ashtanga Yoga every day was physically challenging but as the course progressed, I felt myself become stronger and stronger. I am now thinking of changing my practice to Ashtanga. The group classes and teaching each other was the most fun part. In some classes I laughed so much that I cried.
Olga Pavlova (Lebanon)
“I Have Learned so Much & Gained a Lot of Confidence…”
I am really grateful to have been part of this course. I have learned so much and gained a lot of confidence… I am now sure that I can go on to become a great teacher. The teachers were understanding and compassionate. They push you to your limits but I always felt safe in their hands.
Derika Levin (South Africa)
“Completely Blown Away…”
I expected the 500-hour advanced teacher training to be challenging and I expected the teachers to be highly efficient and knowledgeable but I was still completely blown away by the quality of all the teachers. Michel and Roslyn gave me not only the inspiration and example of what I wish to achieve and become, but they did so in a way that only testifies the quality of their great character.
They are both incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about yoga, yet humble. They teach in a way that allows and fully accepts the natural limitations of each body while giving your maximum every day. But they teach much more than that, I came home with deeper understanding of anatomy, alignment, philosophy, business and public speaking but most importantly to me, I came home to a better understanding of myself and others and with close examples of what makes a great human being and amazing yoga teacher.
Catarina Lino (Portugal)
“Helped Me Gain Knowledge!”
I wanted to learn a lot more about woman’s yoga, advanced anatomy and yoga philosophy. This course helped me gain knowledge in these fields. For anyone considering joining the course, come with an open mind and you will definitely learn a lot. Your yoga practice will improve and you will gain so much knowledge and benefits that can be passed on to your students.
Alvin Tsang (Hong Kong)
Facilities, Tuition & Details
The course is conducted at the award-winning Absolute Sanctuary, a purpose built yoga training facility with stunning sea views. The resort is located on a quiet hillside over-looking the Gulf of Thailand. The cool evening breezes are spectacular. Rooms are very private and comfortable—ideal for yoga students who need a place to study and escape.
- Two huge yoga studios (60 person capacity) including sea and jungle views, natural light, mirrored walls, custom heaters and air conditioning.
- Award-winning health food restaurant, The Love Kitchen
- Convenient location, but still secluded with sea views and complete silence
- Rooms with cable TV, air-con, hot showers, towels/soap provided
- Showers, lockers, changing rooms
- 3+ star level of accommodation
- Full spa
- Steam room
- Juice bar
NOTE: This resort was designed specifically for Absolute Yoga Academy’s course. It is an ideal training facility. Click to Learn more.
- 3 healthy meals served each day, buffet style
- Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options available each meal
- Food is simple, clean and homemade, designed to keep you in great shape during the course
- Group menu might include: fruits, homemade breads, burritos, stir fries, rice, noodles, Italian, Thai, American, and Mexican food
- Additional food, snacks, and beverages can be purchased at any time from The Love Kitchen (discount applies)
NOTE: Because meals are served buffet style for the entire group, we cannot accommodate special dietary requests. With that in mind, if you have a strict dietary need, please get in touch so we can discuss options.
About the 500-Hour Certification
Yoga Alliance is the largest accreditation board for yoga teacher trainings in the world. This course is accredited at the highest level, 500 hours. Absolute Yoga Academy 500hr graduates will receive a 500hr certification from Absolute Yoga, a Foundation Training certificate, two Yoga Tune Up® certifications (Core Immersion & Roll Model), and can receive .8 CECs for ACE.
The 500-hour certificate means you have complete 300 hours of advanced training in addition to your level I, 200hr course (200hrs + 300hrs = 500hr certificate). If you are not a Yoga Alliance 200 teacher, but are teaching professionally or have a different certification, please contact us—you may still qualify for the course. Learn More About Our Yoga Alliance Registration
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: If I just recently finished a 200-hour teacher training course, can I attend this course now?
A: Yes, this course is for yoga teachers at all points in their career. We always have attendees who have been teaching for many years and some who are just starting out.
Q: If I have a certificate from Bikram Yoga or The British Wheel, does that count?
A: If you are certified by a non-Yoga Alliance course or if you’ve simply been teaching for years without a formal certificate, you are welcome apply for the course. In some cases, you might not qualify for the Yoga Alliance certification, but would still qualify for all the other certifications. Contact us with your particular situation. About our Yoga Alliance Registration
Q: How do we study 500-hours in just one month?
A: It’s a 500-hour certification which means this course is 300 hours. Your 200-hour certificate + 300 more hours = 500 hours certification.
Q: I’m very excited about this course, but I’m not sure if I’m advanced enough—will I be good enough?
A: Yoga is a lifelong path and you’ll always be learning and growing as you go. The best time to do more training is when you are most excited to do so. Your energy and passion can take you further than anything.
Q: How many students are you accepting?
A: The course will take a maximum of 40 students. We want to keep the student-to- teacher ratio low so you get plenty of personalized attention, and also so you can get to know your fellow trainees very well. Smaller groups, we’ve found, are more cohesive and supportive for study.
Q: Are all the students from Asia?
A: No, at a typical Absolute Yoga course we have students from 15-20 countries. We have students from all over the world, and everyone comes together to practice and grow as a group. It’s really amazing.
Q: I’ve never been to Thailand before. Is it safe?
A: Thailand is a beautiful, friendly, peaceful country that everyone loves. The food is great, the weather is warm, and it’s very inexpensive. We will drive you to-and-from the airport and take care of all the details. Thailand is one of the easiest travel destinations in the world.
Q: Why Thailand?
A: The climate and the culture of Thailand are so conducive to the study of yoga that Absolute Yoga built Absolute Sanctuary as a dedicated training center for all our courses.
The big advantage of having our dedicated training facility is that everything is designed for yoga, it’s systematized, and you don’t have to think about anything except your studies. We make the food, we have laundry service, there’s a lovely pool, and a steam room. It’s so much easier to focus when you’re well taken care of.
Investing in your education is one of the smartest things you can do, as you are truly investing in yourself. This course will pay for itself many times over (possibly within the first 12 months). Professional training of this caliber increases your earning power as a teacher, and your future salary will reflect that. Because we’re located in Thailand, we’re able to offer very high quality accommodation, food, and resort facilities for 30-50% less than what you would pay elsewhere.
4,795 USD 4,295 USD*
*Save 500 USD, Early Discount if Paid in Full Before 15 May 2015
Room & Food: 2,995 USD
7,790 USD 7,290 USD Save 500 USD, w/Early Discount*
See exchange rates: www.xe.com
Cost includes shared room, three meals daily, tuition, airport transfer to hotel and all course materials. There are no other costs except your personal spending/shopping money which for most students is very small.
Tuition Bonuses: all trainees are given the following free bonuses.
- FREE Yoga Mat – traveling with a mat can be a hassle, so we’ll give you a new Absolute Yoga mat that is yours to keep.
- 20 USD Spa Girt Certificate – the resort has a lovely spa with excellent massage and beauty treatments. All students will be given a 20 USD gift certificate to be used during their stay.
- 20% Graduate Discount – as an Absolute Yoga Academy graduate, you’re entitled to 20% off any Absolute course for the next 2 years.
- FREE Alumni Week Refresher – as a graduate, you can return to the last week of any course you’ve graduated from to reconnect with your teachers, practice, and spend a lovely week in Thailand. Tuition is free of charge for graduates, you simply pay your travel and room/board expenses.
Return on Investment: With any investment like this, the important question to ask is how much it will be worth to you in the future? How will a course like this advance your personal, professional, and financial future? We have dozens of graduates who have opened multiple yoga studios, started their own training programs, taught and toured internationally, and other incredible accomplishments. We also have many teachers who go back home as an authority teacher and find better job opportunities.
Is this Course Tax Deductible? Upon request, you can receive an official tax invoice. In most tax jurisdictions, you can write off this as a “professional training” expense on your taxes. Be sure to check with a local accountant, but in many cases, this can mean the course can cost significantly less once tax savings are factored in.
Now Accepting Applications…
When I hit my own teaching plateau years ago, I went searching for advanced training. What I learned in my 200-hour course was exactly what I’d need to begin teaching, but to take things to next level and truly build a career. I needed a much deeper knowledge base.
So I ran off to India…
I figured the best place to become a career yoga teacher was at yoga’s source- in India. I saved up and spent 3 months practicing and studying in yoga’s birthplace. All my teachers before me had done the same, so I figured this was the best choice for me too—but what I found was quite different.
My India travels and study experiences were amazing, and I’ll return many times in the future, I’m sure. However, I didn’t find what I needed career-wise. What I found was wonderful people and unforgettable travel experiences. Unfortunately, it lacked the east-meets-west balance, classic yoga informed by modern anatomy, physiology, and wellness. This is the world in which I live in and work- probably the same world you work in as well.
On a fundamental level, my teaching was good. I was effective and could lead classes of all type and sizes. However, beyond that I was at a loss. What do my students really want and need on a deeper level? How can I add more value both in and outside of the yoga room? And if I want to turn this job into a career and even a calling—what comes next?
Those were the philosophical questions, but on a very practical level I needed to learn anatomy on a much deeper level than before. I needed to understand functional movement and exercise physiology at a level that went way beyond the typical 200hr course.
Next, I needed to expand my teaching offerings. On the schedule, my classes had many different names. In reality, they were mostly the same. I was teaching the same class over and over, and I didn’t have the depth of knowledge needed to keep my long time students excited and challenged.
On a business level, it was even worse. I had it stuck in my head that money was evil and yoga should not be about money— and yet there I was trying to make a living as a yoga teacher. First, I needed to understand that my work was a valuable service with real world value. I needed to tools to learn exactly how the business end works on a day-to-day basis.
How does pricing work? How can I create products and productized services? How can I offer higher-end and more in-depth experiences? Ultimately, how can I open and manage my own studios?
As they say, if you can’t find what you want in the world, then go out and make it yourself. That’s exactly what I did. This Level II, 500-hour course is over 7 years in the making, and I’m so proud of what we’ve created.
So how do you know if this course is right for you?
I encourage you to look inside and listen to your heart. In almost all cases, deep down, you know what you truly want and need. If you know you need growth and inspiration in order to take the next step, stop missing your opportunity- apply today.
There is nothing like this offered anywhere in the world, and you can only imagine how difficult it was to get this many talented teachers together at one time.
Opportunity presents itself at strange times (sometimes very inconvenient times), but my experience has been that the most rewarding times in my life was when I took advantage of the opportunities I truly wanted. Anything is possible. Rearrange your schedule, get someone to cover your classes, sublet your apartment—do whatever it takes.
This course could be the start of the next big move in your yoga life. I hope to see you in Thailand!
Absolute Yoga Academy
Take the Next Step…
We’re now accepting applications for the August course. Requirements for application include:
- Must be a certified yoga teacher or experienced teacher
- Complete the online application
- Email us a recommendation note
- Send a photo (non-yoga is fine)
NOTE: The recommendation can be from an employer, yoga teacher, colleague, or a personal reference and can be sent via email. More than anything, we want to hear that you are sincerely interested in joining the course and that you’d be a positive participant.
TIMELINE: Applications are typically processed within 5-7 days.
Level II, 500hr Yoga Teacher Training
1-29 August 2015 | Koh Samui, Thailand
You can contact us at any time with questions.