200 HOUR YOGA TREACHER TRAINING
Deepen your knowledge of the lineage based tradition, share your love of yoga,
learn the art of teaching
… and become a secret agent of
good in the world.
If you are reading this then you’re someone drawn to deepening your yoga practice, beyond simple poses or possibly even becoming a certified yoga teacher.
Finding the right fit isn’t always easy when it comes to classes, studios, instructor and yoga teacher trainings and so I thought I’d set down my ideas on yoga and our approach to teacher training to help you decide if our Denver based school is a good match.
You may have tried a home practice with online videos or DVDs, perhaps studied yoga in college, in a studio, or regularly with a teacher but realized that you were just learning the very surface of yoga.
Yoga has pulled you through hard times.
I’d guess that your love of yoga comes from somewhere.
Many students have shown up in our classes having faced some form of life adversity and yoga has proven to be a central pillar of their healing. There are five main types of struggles we tend to see. Perhaps you see yourself in one or more of them:
- A Traumatic Event: For some this was a difficult divorce, ending a significant relationship, or an accident. Something has changed their lives forever and they can’t go back to how it was before. Yoga has provided shelter, healing and renewed hope and they want to build on that foundation and perhaps teach others.
- Burned Out: Whether it’s being a social worker who is continually exposed to the plight of so many, a parent or caregiver (or just an over-giver) many people come to us depleted. The stress of “trying to keep it all together” has become too much. Maybe they are looking for a career change. They may also come to us in malaise or even depression. They are ready to fill their cup for a change (and not feel guilty about it).
- Wound Up: Others have come to us with unwanted anxiety, a stressful job, feeling trapped, questioning if they will ever “be enough”, or generally frustrated with life. Knowing how to regulate one’s emotions is a skill that can be developed with practice.
- Physical Situation: a persistent health issue, sports or dance related injury, body image concerns, or general bodily discomfort. While we won’t promise any miracles and we are here to support one in feeling greater ease and vitality in one’s own skin.
- Conscious Life Shift: Some have felt lost and without a compass. Others have overcome an addiction, a career change, a recent move or some other big life shift. The timing seems right and they are ready to mature spiritually and finally do that yoga teacher training that they have been waiting for.
Regardless of the issue, yoga has provided some refuge and strengthened them. They came ready to commit to learning all that they could.
Maybe that’s you.
If it is, and you’re considering our Denver based yoga training, here’s some of what we’ve learned over the years about who our programs are best suited for and who they aren’t.
These traits make for a good match:
You can read more about our point of view and philosophy here but we thought we might also share a few words about past ideal students and community members. Perhaps you might see yourself in them.
- You aren’t drawn to yoga as a fad, hell bent on nailing handstand or getting a ‘workout’. You don’t obsess about getting the best yoga pants.
- You want to teach yoga (formally or informally). You know that life can be impossibly overwhelming. People are confused, unable to manage their emotions, feel trapped within their lives, working stressful jobs, spiritually depleted to the point of numbness, have destructive coping mechanisms, isolated, and or scared. Yoga helped you to address all of that. You know it could help others as well.
- You are easy going, friendly, giving and supportive of one another not competitive with each other. You can get on board with a culture of ‘service’ and ‘support’ for one another
- You value being punctual, and starting class on time, out of respect for and in support of your peers instead of consistently disturbing class by showing up late. You participate in classes and workshops by asking questions and even challenging some of the ideas presented.
- You have a committed home practice (at least 15 minutes per day or are working towards that) and are dedicated to making the most of the classes attended.
- You are willing and able to complete assigned papers and readings.
- You are willing and eager to learn, transform and crave to know yourself more fully and be inwardly resourced when facing external challenges (e.g. relationships, the pace of modern life, or unexpected crises). You are okay with being stretched into new territory and some of the discomfort that goes along with that.
- You appreciate that there are many modern styles of postural yoga and have regard for the roots of the yoga tradition. You are drawn to study traditional, classic teachings and texts beyond common cliches such as “this practice is for you”. You want to know the bigger picture of yoga because you are dubious of what western yoga has become.
- You have a genuine interest and curiosity about yoga beyond simple asana. You recognize that asana is a means to a much greater end (i.e. stability, energy, equanimity, meditative awareness, and spiritual development).
- You have been doing yoga for 2-10 years
And we have a special place in
our hearts for people who:
- You are drawn to conversations and philosophies that have depth. You want to expand the lenses through which you see the world and yourself. You value wonder and mystery equally with “knowing things”.
- You can be open, honest and self-reflective and, in so doing, are willing to be vulnerable. Students who have done our trainings are aware of their own stuck places and found healing through the grace of yoga.
- You can be found at Natural Grocers (Vitamin Cottage), at the Tattered Cover bookstore, dancing, outside, and at meditation and yoga classes.
- You are dubious of excessive technology, inordinate materialism, and living in a culture that is consumed with anxiety and fear.
- You desire a richly supportive community of like-minded seekers.
- You care about the welfare of the underserved or underprivileged and possibly want to bring yoga to those communities. You are drawn to underground movements that do a lot of good although they don’t get much press.
- You recognize that we are a good-hearted and small business and some administrative details will feel more like a drive through a scenic country road than mainlining it on a speedy interstate.
- You continue to seek balance in your life between tending to your own needs and community support; receiving from and offering help to others.
From experience we’ve found that
the following kinds of people are not a good fit:
- People who are just in it for the certification and the cool clothing.
- Are really only interested in yoga postures and not the greater picture of the yoga tradition
- Tend to isolate themselves from and not interact with their peer group.
- Have no interest in personal development
- Are exceedingly dependent upon mobile devices and could not see themselves getting through a class or even a 10-minute break without logging in.
Greetings, my name is Derik Eselius.
I am the founding director of Axis Yoga Trainings. I was first introduced to yoga in 1991 while on a rogue trip to India just after highschool. I studied asana, learned yoga philosophy and meditated on the shores of the Ganges river.
A whole new world opened up inside of me, and the tone for my entire adult life was set. Over the ensuing decades, I studied with world-renowned asana and meditation teachers and completed multiple 200 and 300-hour trainings, and returned to India many times to deepen my study.
I received so much benefit and guidance from yoga that I naturally wanted to share it with others. In 2003, my wife and I started Axis Yoga Trainings here in Denver Colorado. I am committed to presenting yoga as a traditional and holistic system.
I’ve never ascribed to mainstream consumerism and ride my bike everywhere. Nor have I had many jobs that required shoes (I was a lifeguard before turning yoga teacher). I created Axis as a safe haven for a diversity of people who may prefer to practice outside of a conventional studio setting.
I believe that we each have a purpose. Life circumstances lead us to understand our role and temperament more fully. When we consciously live into our role we serve and receive the support of the greater welfare. All experience, whether “positive” or “negative” is an opportunity to develop our character.
Though it can be hard to recognize at times, I believe that the Universe is ultimately a safe and benevolent place. Developing a yoga practice that has depth aids in that process. It is also a sound foundation from which to teach.
“I’ve been teaching in Denver forever and have known Derik and Brenna for just as long. Axis is a rare gem in the city and teaches the true roots of yoga. I’m so appreciative of their love and dedication.”
– Tina Porter E-RYT 500
International teacher and conference presenter
Four Steps to Deepen Your Yoga Practice
And Become a Yoga Teacher With Depth:
Whether or not you ever work with us, it’s good to have a sense of how to go about deepening your own yoga practice as that is the basis for blossoming into yoga (which is the foundation for effective teaching). I believe that there are five fundamental steps that anyone serious about delving into yoga must engage in.
As of December 2015, there were 52,746 teachers registered with the Yoga Alliance, that number has only grown with yoga’s continued popularity. It will continue to grow. That means more and more teachers in every city. More classes to choose from. More competition and a more difficult time getting and keeping students.
Based on nearly 20 years as a professional yoga teacher I have found that the teachers who endure are the ones with depth.
So how do you become one of those? Four steps.
Step #1: Be Inquisitive & Expand Your Options
Mainstream yoga focuses on the postures.
However, the potential scope of yoga is far more encompassing.
I suggest expanding your options and be open to learning about other yogic modalities. They will add exponential depth to your practice. Personally, I feel drawn to yoga practice that is rooted in tradition and I offer my students a full scope of methodologies.
After some exploration into the deeper, often ignored world of yoga, you might realize that what you really want is to be an ayurvedic practitioner and help people with nutrition and lifestyle rather than teach asana classes. You may find that you really resonate with bhakti yoga (the yoga of devotion), or want to emphasize meditation in your personal practice. Yoga has so much more to offer beyond the poses.
There are many possible ways you could ‘do yoga’ in the world.
Step #2: Find and Learn From a Teacher You Resonate With
Not all teachers are equally knowledgeable or emphasize the same points. Some teachers will be much more impactful for you than others. An adept teacher will help you to see yourself in ways that you probably don’t perceive presently. You may begin to recognize when you become reactive, finally see the underlying emotions, and now have the tools to address the deeper issues. A knowledgeable teacher can save you years of trial, error, and heartache.
Yoga can be powerfully transformational. This process of transformation comes from both the student’s efforts, the depth of the teachings and the guidance they receive from their teachers. A student-teacher relationship is built upon mutual trust and respect.
A teacher is not necessarily a personal friend though they can be friendly. Their job is to hold space for yoga.
A teacher has positive regard for the student and guides them with patience and understanding. The sincere teacher does not try to convince the student, or make them “believers”. They are there to provide support, give direction when needed, and instruct by example.
They point out the territory, they show the student(s) how to recognize and overcome troublesome friction in their lives and how to live more fully. They offer practices to aid in the process.
In my view, teachers are ineffective when they operate out of self-interest, do not maintain their own practice or have insight into the things that they are teaching. When the teacher relies on giving platitudes to the students that they read in a book or offhandedly heard from somebody else, the presentation will lack potency, substance, and compassion.
I sometimes see teachers insincerely praise students. From my perspective, a teacher is there to help students discover their own capabilities rather than to artificially laud upon them. On their best days, the teacher is an embodiment of and an empty conduit for transmitting yoga. They translate and present complex, even bewildering teachings, in a way that the student can understand and grow into.
The student then gets to apply the methods and reflect on the teachings.
“In the beginning an aspirant seeks some support from outside. That support comes from a teacher. When the aspirant starts meditating honestly, then their own Self is revealed in form of a guru or teacher.”
Step #3: Be A Dedicated Student
We believe that effective teaching is rooted in being a dedicated student. Teaching then becomes an organic extension of your committed practice.
To say it another way: if you aren’t a dedicated student you have no chance of becoming a teacher with depth. Your personal practice is the foundation for the house of your teaching.
Of course this same line of thought also pertains to your personal relationship with yoga. If you practice on a daily basis your mind and body will seamlessly adapt to the higher version of yourself. It will happen naturally.
Regularity is the key. Practicing a little each day, or on a regularly scheduled occasion is more effective than “stop and go.” Consistent practice builds momentum over time and eventually takes on a life of its own.
Developing a personal practice is a little bit like growing a tree, at first you have to be very diligent to make sure it gets enough water, nutrients and sunlight. You may also have to put some kind of barrier around it to prevent it from getting stepped on or eaten by insects. Eventually the tree comes into its own, is able to fend for itself, provides shade, fruit and intrinsic beauty.
Being a dedicated yoga student entails both regular practice and natural curiosity. As you learn and apply new methods and self reflect on their effect, you discover how to shape your experience of life towards one of less fear and towards more joy.
I suggest that students build a dedicated practice and find joy in it as well.
What does being a student look like in our program?
Enter the Unknown
Some, if not much, of the content in this program may be new to you. It might seem foreign and unfamiliar. It is a little like traveling to a foreign country where you may not have a grasp the language or the food is different. The experience of travel is always revealing and can show you a world entirely outside of your known reality.
You can also look at the yoga training as an experiment in which the outcome is not entirely certain, though you have a hunch that it will lead you to a better place. Yoga practice is unique in that you are both the subject and the object of your study.
You are not standing there doing tests on something in a petri dish. You are both what’s in the petri dish and the scientist. You are the canvas and the painter. The program will support you in integrating the pieces of the program into the grand experiment of your life.
This program is challenging at times. There will be days when you joyfully anticipate class and other days when you may feel challenged and don’t want to go. Apply yourself to the process to get the most out of it, and know that you will most likely not understand or integrate all of the content. Dedication will help you make the most of this opportunity
The classroom thrives when people ask questions fully participate. Your participation contributes to the welfare of the greater class atmosphere. The program happens over an extended period of time and the cumulative effect of everyone’s participation is quite powerful.
Learn the Craft of Teaching
Being a confident teacher is not a given. As with learning any craft, at first, it can be awkward and unfamiliar. Inevitable questions arise such as: Where do I position myself in the room? How do I demonstrate? How do I find my voice? What happens when many different skill levels show up in the same class? And many other questions.
It can take months or even years of personal practice and teaching on a regular basis before all the components of teaching come together into one unified whole. One gradually learns the best places to position themselves in the room, how to bring inflection into their voice, and how to see the postures with great insight.
You will also become masterful at designing classes that meet the unique needs of the students. You might even accumulate a stash of jokes to let loose at the perfect moment!
Step #4: Create a Strong, Deep, Personal Practice
Dedication is an attitude. Your personal practice is the laboratory in which to apply the attitude.
Like any craft, the more time you spend with it the further you progress. If you want to master the violin, you need to practice. If you want to get better at painting, then practice. The same applies to yoga. The only way to receive the benefit is by regular practice.
How Do I Develop a Home Practice?
In an age of unprecedented amounts of distractions, it’s no wonder that so many people struggle with having a regular practice.
So how do you get started? Ideally you receive instruction from a qualified teacher who gives a specific method and guidance based on your particular psychological constitution. Pranayama (breathing practices) is a vital component of getting the mind to be less rebellious and able to focus. The fellowship of fellow practitioners is also very supportive.
Though less ideal, people also turn to meditation apps such as Headspace, and Rod Stryker’s Sanctuary for instruction. There are plenty of online resources for asana practice as well. The most important part is to get started. In order for the practices to work, you have to do them. Postponing or just thinking about doing them will not have the same effect.
A regular home meditation and/or asana practice marks the transition from being a yoga student to becoming a yogi. A yogi is someone who recognizes their limitations and has taken ownership of their evolution. They see the value of regular practice and make it a priority.
Doing 10-15 minutes of meditation a day is an excellent start. Practicing asana for 20 minutes is also beneficial. Ideally one can dedicate a half hour or more on a daily basis. It does not have to be all or nothing.
“I’ve known Derik for many years through our mutual study with Yogarupa Rod Stryker, and have had the opportunity to teach in his teacher training program. Derik has been a pillar of traditional yoga in the Denver community for many years. I would definitely recommend his program. “
–Jeremy Wolf E-RYT 500
Nationally recognized yoga nidra expert and city-wide yoga teacher trainer
Perhaps you’re thinking…
“Okay. A yoga teacher training is a big commitment
but I think I’m finally ready to make this a priority.”
If that’s you, I’d like to invite you to check out our 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training.
WHEN: Spring and Fall
WHERE: 3250 E. Sixth Ave. Central Denver
Six Reasons to Do a Teacher Training…
No matter who you do it with, a yoga teacher training costs a lot of money, time and asks a lot of you emotionally and spiritually. There are plenty of reasons not to ever do one. But I believe there are also many strong reasons to do one if you want to deepen your practice (and certainly if you want to become a teacher).
Reason #1: Bye-bye Sporadic Practice.
You’ve read my thoughts about the importance of having a consistent personal practice. I believe that the most potent way to develop one is to do a teacher training. It gives so much support. It gives a reason bigger than “you” to do it.
Maybe you had a real streak in your practice at one time and faintly remember the magic. I’ve spoken with so many people who think that what they need is to improve on their downward facing dog and develop a positive attitude, when what they really need is a steadfast container and safe environment in which to be guided into practices that unravel years of accumulated tension and start to re-vision how they see themselves and the world in which they live.
Reason #2: Exponential Momentum.
A 60 minutes asana class will only take you so far. The content of classes more or less repeats itself week after week vs. a teacher training that builds sequentially and continuously; like a staircase taking you to the top floor balcony where you can see the entire landscape of yoga and your life.
Dedicated attention from a knowledgeable teacher and a committed circle of peers will exponentially increase your growth. You will receive the support of the class and give support in turn.
Reason #3: Who You Become.
One of the biggest benefits of doing a teacher training can be who you become. You learn how to manage your mind, eliminate distractions and chart a new path of greater peace and fulfillment. You don’t just read about these things, you do them for 3.5 months. Yoga teacher training will put yoga at the forefront of your life. Practicing yoga on a consistent basis for 3.5 months will forever change how you see yourself and how you relate to the world.
Reason #4: Become More Self Reliant.
After 3.5 months, you might find that you have become the source of your own happiness, rather than projecting your sense of worth onto objects or individuals. You might find that you are now living in greater alignment with your values.
Reason #5: Live a Life of Service.
Contrary to a lot of motivational hype, you are not defined by your achievements. However large or small your song may be, you are here to live into your unique destiny, no more or no less. If you bring the spirit of yoga to whatever do: as a parent, as a boss or employee, as a student, as a minister or a school teacher you might just find that, without knowing it, you have become a secret agent of good in the world.
Reason #6: Find and Live Your Dharma.
Living a dharmic life is a far greater measurement of our success at yoga than how long we can hold warrior III. The word dharma means ‘greater law or order’, it is what gives a particular thing its unique qualities. The dharma of a pumpkin seed is to become a pumpkin, and the dharma of a swallow is to build nests from mud and migrate thousands of miles each year without getting lost.
Because of our capacity for higher reasoning and reflection, human dharma is more dynamic and complicated. Every thought, word, and action can express our highest dharma, or not.
Overstimulation, harboring resentment, fantasizing or neglecting one’s responsibilities undermine your ability to live in alignment with higher dharmic virtues.
Yoga helps us to discover and live into our unique dharma. Yoga allows us to get still and quiet enough to hear the voice of our conscience and make peace with shortcomings. Following the path of dharma gradually leads one down the path of greater fulfillment and meaningful contribution – something everyone wants at their core.
I was looking for a change in life path when I found Axis. The teacher’s, the community and the content helped me to revision myself and launched me into being a successful teacher. Thank you Axis! I definitely recommend!”
– Brian Roy-Garland PT, E-RYT 500
Lead Anatomy Instructor for Kindness YTTs.
What might a day in the life of the
training look and feel like?
I thought I’d tell you what an average day of this training might look like:
It’s 12:50 on Saturday afternoon, imagine entering the heavy front door of our historic 1900’s brick building and walking up a flight of stairs; yoga mat tucked under your arm. You gather a blanket and block out of the prop closet and find your space in the studio. You take a few minutes to stretch out in a restorative pose then converse with your friends.
Just before 1:00, the teacher enters and the din of voices and laughter begins to settle. After a few silent moments class starts with the sound of “OM” followed by 5 minutes of silent meditation. Derik announces the schedule.
“Today we will begin with a talk on sequencing principles followed by workshoping Vrikshasana (Tree) and Krounchasana (Heron pose). After that, I will introduce a new pranayama (breathing method), we will spend about 20-25 minutes in meditation.”
You smile inside as you recall how asana (the poses) and pranayama (the breathing) naturally lend themselves to deeper states of meditation. Meditation had previously seemed impossible, now it’s revelatory.
Derik continues; “Then we will do a student teaching exercises for finding and expressing your voice. Finally, we will get into pairs to check in on your ayurvedic experiments.”
The sequencing presentation is spot on and you are finally able to make sense of why some classes feel so much better than others. You now understand how to use asana in a systematic way for specific purposes. After a 10 minute break, Derik invites everyone to get back to the mat.
“Please come to the front of your mat for our Vrikshasana and Krounchasana workshop” The two hour session flies by as does the half hour of pranayama and meditation. Everyone reviews the hand drawn sequence on the whiteboard to discuss how the class was put together. More lightbulbs go off. Time for another break.
You grab some green tea and some fruit from the tea cart and sit next to Josh. Josh seems to have a knack for yoga philosophy and helps to explain some of the finer points of a recent “Yoga Psychology” presentation. He clarifies many points but you will still have to check the online ‘Student Folder’ to look over the presenter’s notes.
The familiar sound of tingsha bells lets everyone know that break is over and that it’s time to get in groups and do student teaching exercises. Like meditation, student teaching is coming along nicely.
The five hour day is nearly done and it’s time to get in pairs and share how your ayurvedic experiments are going. You team up with Josh to report on the changes you’ve experienced since giving up sugar, developing a home practice and implementing a routine for better sleep.
These three simple changes have been profound. Josh shares his experience and you listen attentively. The gentle sounds of tingshas ring again and you find your seat. After a few moments of silence, at 6pm class closes with the sound of “OM.”
After a few sweet “goodbyes” to your classmates you lightly trot back down the stairs, out the heavy door and back to your car or bike. When you get home, your make yourself a cup of tea and settle into a growing sense of accomplishment for everything you learned that day. You look forward to your nighttime routine, getting some deep sleep and another full day of yoga the next day.
Selecting an Ideal YTT:
Six Sample Questions To Ask To
See If a Teacher Training is Right For You.
Again, a Yoga Teacher Training is a big investment of time and money.
Ours or anyones.
It’s vital that you pick the right one for you. Ours might or might not be right for you. How to choose the right one? Here is a condensed list of possible questions to ask any yoga training. To receive the full list sign up for our Free Guide.
Assessment Question #1: What are the qualifications of the teachers? How long have they studied and under whom? What is the philosophy or tradition is the training rooted in (if at all)?
Teachers come with varying degrees of knowledge. Some simple make stuff up (think goat or bar yoga) while others are steeped in tradition. Many teacher trainers are relatively new to the practices while others have studied their whole lives.
The way I see it, teacher trainers ought to be a dedicated student for at least a decade before they offer a YTT. As a rule of thumb, a teacher ought to have 10 times the knowledge as those whom they teach.
Another important question: Where did the training study and under whom?
If you read trainers’ bios they may reference a long list of everyone they studied with. It’s questionable how much time they may have spent with any one of these teachers. Maybe it was just a one time workshop?
I think that depth is more important than breadth.
It is better to dig one deep well than many shallow ones that never strike water. I suggest that students and teachers have no more than two primary influences and studied with those influences for a decade or longer.
Axis teachers are primarily linked through their study with Baba Hari Dass, an adept and lifelong yoga master. Yogarupa Rod Stryker’s teachings are foundational to the program as well. I believe that teachers who have a direct relationship with the mother-land of yoga bring greater integrity to the practices.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the culture that has brought forth these practices. To me, that looks like referencing historic texts, teachers, and philosophies that are rooted in history and tradition.
Assessment Question #2: How many teachers are present? Is it a hodge-podge arrangement or is there some shared background amongst the teachers?
Many trainings have five or more teachers with a range of experience and backgrounds. As a result, the message is diffused and the methodologies are inconsistent. Students will still get the benefit but they will unknowingly miss out on the power of a singular thread of teachings. When taught as an integrated system, the power of yoga practice is much greater than the sum of its parts. If you just want to know about asana, having a singular thread of teaching is less important.
If you want to study yoga as a synergistic blend of asana, pranayama, meditation, and traditional theory having fewer influences is more important.
Imagine that yoga practice is like a flower. Each petal represents a different aspect of the practice, together the individual petals have a combined magic effect. Some programs have just a few petals (asana and student teaching) others have a number of petals but they are disjointed, meaning there is no common or integrated shape or heritage to the program. It’s a more “grab bag” approach with an amalgamation of teachers who have studied at various places.
Patchy Content of Many Yoga Teacher Trainings
Axis’ Rooted and Integrated Curriculum
I’d advise having no more than three teachers who have studied under a similar master. I suggest that the teachers have worked together for 5 years or more to hone their message and understanding of one another’s content.
Assessment Question #3: How does the program progress from beginning to end, how is it designed? What content do you go over?
The answer to this question is very significant – it is the difference between feeling lost and finding your life’s path. It is important that you can assimilate the information you study. If the people who designed the program are still learning the ropes, you could wind up wasting time doubling back and missing out a seamless presentation where one topic builds intelligently on the next.
Some programs take the McDonald’s approach and offer many, many homogenized yoga teacher trainings a year. It’s a business. On the upside, the program will be predictable. They may even have a brochure. On the downside, the presenters may be hemmed in by too many rules and you lose out on the magic of yoga. It may still be a good experience but not live up to its full potential.
A cohesive and integrated training consists of three components:
- The actual content of the training. Most interviewing students zoom in on this part. It’s important and there is more you should know.
- The quality of the teacher’s knowledge and their ability to present effectively.
- The overall architecture of the program (how all the individual topics fit into the whole).
We take all of these components into consideration to deliver a cohesive and integrated training. The architecture supports the students in gradually assimilating the content and the teachers deliver the content in a way that fosters the student’s growth.
Classic theory, meditation, pranayama, regular asana practice, student teaching and integration exercises from the through-line of our program. A typical class will have most of these components. We also provide supplemental teachings on ayurveda, spiritual practice, subtle body, lifestyle, group work, and experiments.
The general progression of our program moves from predominantly teacher-driven classes for the first 10-12 weeks then gradually transitions towards students taking a stronger leadership role in the classroom. At week 15, the culmination of the program, the students present their final 1.5-hour-long practicum in which they are entirely in charge.
We support students at every step to be entirely prepared for their final presentation. Along the way, students systematically developed a home practice and lived into many other aspects of yoga including a yogic lifestyle and regular meditation practice.
Asana has always been integral to our program. We recognize that most of the world relates to yoga through the postures and students in our training become proficient at doing and teaching them. At the same time, there are many other considerations to consider when designed a yoga teacher training.
The pace of the 3.5 month long is designed to give you an immersion experience and support you to integrate the experience into the rest of your life. I would be leary of trainings extol that their program will radically change your life. This kind of change tends to be impulsive and does not stick in the long term.
We want you to assimilate the teachings through time so that they become woven into your being and lifestyle at a sustainable pace. The training builds continuously, like stair steps, each topic builds in successive order over time.
Each topic we present starts with the broadest picture, progresses towards greater detail, and culminates in an embodied exercise. Here are three examples of how Axis structures its yoga philosophy, ayurveda and asana curriculum
Yoga Psychology – As with all of our units, Yoga Psychology starts by examining the broadest picture possible and progresses towards a more detailed understanding and culminates in an embodied exercise.
- The Source of Awareness – Why is awareness such a crucial aspect of yoga practice and how can be we “Wake Up”? The study of Samkhya Yoga is central to this unit and forms the backbone of many yogic philosophies.
- Components of Our Mind – Learn the four components of mind and how yoga practice develops the highest aspects of mind.
- Intro. to Yoga Sutras – Study this ancient text and learn the ultimate aim of yoga. (Surprise, it’s not handstand). Learn 10 distinct ways to apply yoga to every circumstance.
- Mental Pain and the Path of Freedom – Why do we suffer and how can we become free? Gain a roadmap for navigating the pitfalls of your own thinking and how to orient towards greater freedom.
- Meditation Experiment – Meditation is a cornerstone of yoga practice and cultivates personal insight and peace of mind. Put theory into practice and be guided to start a personal meditation practice.
Ayurveda – This unit starts with a basic and applicable understanding of ayurveda and gradually moves towards integrating dietary and lifestyle changes into your life.
Ayurved course progression:
- Introduction to Ayurveda -Learn the foundational tenants of ayurveda and how it overlaps with yoga.
- Your Unique Constitution – Take a constitutional quiz and receive expert guidance to determine your unique temperament. Understanding one’s constitution is central to developing an intelligent, custom yoga practice.
- Treatment of Protocols – Discover how apply diet and lifestyle to affect optimal health.
- Asana and Ayurveda – Learn how to use the asanas to deliberately affect your constitution and bring greater balance to body and mind.
- Ayurvedic Experiment – Receive seasoned guidance and peer support to integrate ayurvedic principles into your everyday life.
- Experiment Check-In – Receive further guidance and feedback to integrate ayurveda into your life.
- Experiment Presentation – Celebrate your life changes with your peer with an off-site ayurvedic potluck. Report your experience life changes amongst your peers and hear about their healing journey.
Asana – Axis features an in-depth asana curriculum comprised of both posture workshops and experiential sessions. We emphasize both the correct form of the posed and more importantly its proper function. You can find out more about our particular asana philosophy here.
Assessment Question #4: In percentages, how much time is dedicated to which subjects?
The correct answer to this question begins with self-assessment. What are you looking for in a program? Are you interested in meditation or do you just want to know about the poses? Interview studios with the knowledge of what you want from your investment. Enroll in the program that is the best reflection of what you are seeking at this stage of your yogic evolution.
At Axis, we strike a balance between having an in-depth experience as a yogi and becoming a yoga teacher. We believe that effective teaching is rooted in being a dedicated student.
Here are the estimated percentages of time spent
on the main topics of our program.
Assessment Question #5: Will I be ready to teach?
Some people enroll in a training because they know they want to teach and others just want to deepen their practice. Some schools emphasize teaching more than others. If you are not sure about teaching you can still deepen your practice. Just know that you may spend time practicing things that seem less relevant to you.
For many, learning how to teach is a new skill and there will be a (sometimes awkward) learning curve. Realistically, a 200-hour training will show you the basics and give you enough confidence to share yoga with others.
Effective teaching comes from a blend of systematic understanding, personal insight and your own dedication to being a yoga student. We provide the support and structure to become established in all of these areas. You will also learn to prescribe practices to suit the needs of an individual student.
Axis graduates have gone on to teach in a wide variety of settings, most of which are outside of the studio setting. Examples include: working with the homeless, at recreation centers, working with seniors, in jails, hospitals, social work settings, in corporate environments, studios and many other places. We also have a dedicated session with Yoga for the People to help you get started.
Assessment Question #6: Can I speak with graduates to find out what their experience was like? Will I be able to teach at the end of the program?
The closest you may get to talking to a graduate may be by reading online reviews, which can be helpful. Ideally, you can speak to an actual graduate and learn first hand about their experience. Some trainings off an introductory “open house”. Individual trainings should be able to tell you about teaching opportunities.
Graduation Night Group Photo
Axis has many reviews on Google and the Yoga Alliance, and some on Yelp. We can also arrange for you to speak with a graduate first hand. We offer monthly Pay What You Can workshops and Information Sessions where you can take a class, meet grads, and get your questions answered. Derik is also available to talk in person or over the phone. You can contact us here.
Perhaps you are sensing that Axis could be a good fit.
If so, I invite you to complete an application.
Need more information? Read on….
Five Main Benefits You Will Get From
This Yoga Teacher Training:
Benefit #1: Get an experience of the synergistic power of a holistic yoga practice.
- Workshop the heck out of the poses and have dedicated time for ‘experiential’ asana practice as well.
- See yoga through the eyes of its original, seminal texts
- Learn how to put asana, pranayama, and meditation together in a way that has a distinct effect and towards a specific end (such as calming or energizing).
- Discover that you actually can meditate and watch it blossom into the ways that you think and see the world around you
- Get a nearly 200 page manual with pranayama exercises, meditations, detailed asana instruction, teaching principles and more.
Benefit #2: Have Your Personal Health and Wellbeing Deeply Enriched:
- Remove the weight of decades of accumulated stress and unconscious fear
- Learn about ancient yogic philosophical principles and how they apply to modern life without compromising their integrity (we did not make this stuff up)
- Reevaluate your priorities, and spend more time doing the things that matter rather engaging in mindless distractions
- Get a rare opportunity to receive dedicated support in retooling your diet and lifestyle
- Feel healthy, grow spiritually
Benefit #3: Find a Deep and Beautiful New Community:
- Enjoy a culture that is welcoming and supportive of whatever your background
- Meaningful conversation and sincere sharing
- Laugh in ways that they may have long since forgotten
Benefit #4: Be Guided by a Small Group of Seasoned Teachers
- Class size is limited to just 24 participants for an optimal blend of classroom chemistry and individual attention
- Our small and tightly knit staff will deliver a singular coherent message (many programs have a plethora of teachers with incongruent perspectives, leaving students to piece mix-matched information together).
- Get veteran advice that will shift the trajectory of your practice into new territory, small adjustments could save you years of trial and error
- Get access to an online ‘Student Folder’ loaded with powerpoint presentations, study guides, recommended books, sequences, content assimilation exercises and more.
- Call or consult with our teachers on off-hours should the need arise
Benefit #5: Become a Yoga Teacher With Depth:
- Receive your 200 hour Yoga Alliance approved teaching certification
- Learn how to get started with a panel of experts who are already in the field
- Be introduced to people doing great work in the community and need teachers
- Axis grads have gone on to teach in: businesses, refugee populations, mental health agencies, community/rec centers, seniors, people in recovery, hospitals, the military, board members for a yoga-related nonprofit, become studio owners, teach in studios, classes for people of color, trauma-sensitive classes, sheriff’s department, athletic clubs and more.
Our curriculum builds exponentially as does your embodied understanding of yoga.
The training is as enriching as it is challenging. It is a journey of self-discovery and developing a professional skill. You will apply what you learn in this program for years to come: asana, philosophy, meditation, a newly rooted home practice, lifelong friendships, and continue to live into being a yogi.
If any of this resonates I invite you to submit an application and possibly become one of a select 24 students who steep themselves in yoga and step into a new horizon.
“Derik and Brenna are a gift to Denver and hold space for genuine yoga practice. They approach the practice with reverence, respect, and connection to lineage. I recommend their trainings to anyone seeking both depth and accessibility in yoga practice.”
– Beth Sanchez E-RYT 500
Long-time Denver YTT instructor and 14th generation Coloradan.
Join fellow seekers on a journey of
embodied yoga practice and self discovery en route to
becoming a certified yoga teacher.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What style of yoga do you teach?
Our asana segments come from Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga is a much larger system (beyond the poses) and is the genesis of all forms of asana we see today, from power to restorative. Hatha can be applied in a variety of ways from flowing to more stationary approaches. Hatha also includes breathing methods, meditation, postures, theory, and lifestyle.
How much class time can I miss?
Ideally you can attend every session, however, we recognize that obligations come up, trips happen and sometimes people get sick. Axis’ yoga teacher training has 12 bonus hours built into it and. You can miss up to 12 hours of class time and still receive your certificate. We also offer up to 5 hours of extra credit opportunities. In theory, you could miss up to 17 hours of class time, do some extra credit, and still receive your certificate.
Will I be ready to teach?
Some people enroll in a training because they know they want to teach and others just want to deepen their practice, the training will accommodate both. You will have the necessary skills to teach.
If you really want to teach at a particular studio you should do their program as they will give preference to their graduates. Axis is better suited for those who want to teach in the community, in their work place, with specific populations or anywhere else yoga may be needed. We provide some resources and connections to get you started and it will take some leg work on your end to get started, regardless of whose program you take.
How do I get started teaching and how soon should I expect to make money as a teacher?
Yoga is an ever-expanding industry. You can find yoga in prisons and preschools, in corporate boardrooms and refugee centers, in professional sports teams and physical rehabilitation centers. Yoga can be adapted to every environment. To get started, people often combine their particular passion or profession with yoga practice. How about bilingual yoga? Yoga for artists anyone? Yoga for school teachers or social workers?
Some people enter the program with a clear idea of where they want to teach upon graduation, they may even have a gig lined up. Others will have to spend more time looking around for an opportunity. Good ways to get started include; get on sublists, introduce yourself to teachers and studio owners personally, have your certification and insurance ready to go. There are lots of volunteer opportunities out there. Most importantly, get started right after graduation (don’t wait!) even with friends in your living room or at the park.
Examples of where Axis students have gone on to teach: working with the homeless, at recreation centers, working with seniors, in jails, hospitals, social work settings, hospice, in corporate environments, their place of employment, studios and many other places.
We will also introduce you to a panel of Axis graduates and studio owners who will give you their perspective on getting started. We also have a dedicated session with Yoga for the People to help you get started.
Some Axis graduates have gone on to teach full time professionally however they are the minority. Full-Time teachers invariable went on to increase their education and or specialize in a certain area. I would caution people against expecting that this to be an immediate sole means of livelihood. I would be dubious of a training that told you otherwise.
Book? What other materials will I need?
We have a wealth of props and mats that you can use. You will also need a notepad and to purchase some books. I suggest using thriftbooks.com. The total estimated cost for books is $40-50
- The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Vasant Lad
- The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V Desikachar – Read before the start of the training
- Meditation and Its Practice by Swami Rama
- Bhagavad Gita, a new translation by Stephen Mitchell
- Ashtanga Yoga Primer by Baba Hari Dass
“Axis does an incredible job of peeling back all the layers of yoga and revealing the deeper practice, on and off of the mat.”
– Sam Mattai E-RYT 500
International Teacher, Former The River Yoga Studio manager and Axis Grad.
FALL CALENDAR – 2019
Sept. (3,7,8) (10,14,*15) (17,21,22) (24,28,29)
Oct. (1,5,6) (8,12,–) (15,19,*20) (22,26,27) (29)
Nov. (2,3) (5,9,10) (12,16,*17) (19, –, –) (26,30)
Dec. (1) (3,7,8) (10,14,15)
Breaks: Oct. 13, Nov. 23, 24
*Day Long: Sept. 15, Oct. 20, Nov. 17 (8am-6pm)
SPRING CALENDAR – 2020
Feb. (4,8,9) (11,15,16) (18,22,*23) (25,29,)
Mar. (1) (3,7,8) (10,14,15) (–,21,*22) (24,28,29) (31)
April (4,5) (7,–,–) (14,18,19) (21,25,*26) (28)
May (5,9,10) (12,16,17)(19,23,24)
Breaks: March 17, April 20, 21
*Day Long Program (8am-6pm): Feb. 24, Mar. 24, April 28
A BIT ABOUT OUR PRICING:
Axis was one of the very first yoga teacher training programs in Denver. Since 2003, we’ve painstakingly groomed the curriculum into the gem-like destination that it is today.
Throughout that time we have placed a premium on quality and accessibility. Some studios charge $3,000 for their 200-hour trainings with additional hidden costs.
We are committed to making our program both accessible and sustainable through our Pay What You Can events and affordable Yoga Teacher Trainings.
We also offer a payment plan. After submitting your deposit, the cost of the program is dived into 4 installments, one for each month the training is in session. The cost of the payment plan is $100.
- Join a private facebook group with class members to help organize assignments and field trips.
- Access to teachers outside of class through text and email
- Discounts on Dr. Brenna Hatami’s naturopathic services – she is a lead instructor in the training.
- Attend free extra credit events such as the pre-training blessing ceremony, field trip to a local temple and musical events.
- Gain access to the “Online Student Folder”, loaded with exercises, assignments overhead projector presentations, study guides, and a sequence library.
AXIS YOGA TEACHER TRAINING IS GUARENTEED.
Participating in a Yoga Teacher Training is a big investment of time and money. You may feel like some sense of risk in going with a school like Axis that does not offer daily classes and chooses to focus on more advanced programs instead. You won’t have as many chances to check us out at a regular class. We get it.
So I am willing to take some of that sense of risk off of you and onto myself. If for whatever reason you decide to withdraw from the program within the first two weeks, we will refund your tuition minus the $245 deposit.
If you are eager to learn traditional yoga practice and to share it with others, click the Enroll Now below and submit your application today.
We will review your application within two days and give you a personal follow up call informing you of your status.
P.S. We only conduct this twice a year. Demand is high and our prices are scheduled to increase the next training. Yoga teacher training is an investment that will serve you throughout the remainder of your life, I promise. Is now the time?