Frequent Questions
Ananda Yoga® Teacher Training

Yoga-teacher training to empower

How can I know whether Ananda Yoga Teacher Training is right for me?

There are many styles and traditions of Hatha Yoga available today. If you want to teach, we suggest that you take a teacher training within a style or tradition that resonates with you as something that you want both to practice and to teach.

How to know whether Ananda Yoga fits that description? You need to check it out. Here are some ways:

  • Visit The Expanding Light if you can, so you can check it out in person.
  • Talk with us: call 800-346-5350 (or 530-478-7518) and ask to speak with one of our Ananda Yoga Teacher Training instructors.
  • Watch (and practice with) Ananda Yoga videos that are available through Ananda’s publishing department,
  • Take a class with an experienced, Ananda-certified instructor who teaches true Ananda Yoga. (Some teachers teach multiple styles, so be sure you know what you’re getting.)

The following background may help you as well: Ananda Yoga is classical approach to Hatha Yoga, viewing it as an inherently spiritual practice. Based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda, Ananda Yoga uses asana, pranayama, meditation, and yoga principles to direct one’s energy upward, for higher consciousness. It is not a fast-paced, “flow” yoga. Rather, it emphasizes the power of a slower-paced, inward practice—with brief pauses between active asanas—to raise awareness. We also use mental affirmations with the asanas to amplify the natural, consciousness-raising effect of each asana.

Although Ananda Yoga is not designed primarily as a physical workout, it does offer definite physical benefits. Yet it offers so much more than that: a deep feeling of centeredness, inner strength, energy, self-awareness, and above all, calm and expansive joy.

Yoga-teacher training to empower

Can I take this program in sections?

Yes! You can also take this program in 2 two-week segments. The entire training must be completed within 12 months. We recommend that you take the course in four consecutive weeks if possible, as your experience will be more profound, but we recognize that this is not always possible. Since the training builds on itself, the weeks must be taken in order.

How can I know that Ananda's Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) is a high-quality training?

Our Level 1 and Level 2 programs are registered with Yoga Alliance and 200 and 500 hours. Every Ananda graduate can register with the Alliance as “Registered Yoga Teacher.” We believe that, in time, this Registry will lead to more yoga teaching opportunities for you.

More important, Ananda's is the only training in the highly regarded yoga tradition of Paramhansa Yogananda. We've spent more than 25 years making our YTT into a first-rate expression of that tradition – a dynamic blend of professional training and personal growth.

If the literature and graduates' testimonials don't tell you enough, please call to talk with one of our program staff, or talk to a graduate near you.

What is “Yoga Alliance”?

It's a diverse group of yoga schools and teachers that has established voluntary national standards for yoga teacher training. Ananda helped found Yoga Alliance, and we've been closely involved in developing these standards.

Gyandev McCord, Director of Ananda Yoga, is a co-founder and director of Yoga Alliance, and is Head of the Alliance's Standards Committee.

Will I have to be able to do difficult yoga postures in order to be certified?

Ananda Yoga is about adapting the asana to the person, not forcing the person to do something inappropriate for his or her body. In this spirit, you need to be able to do the asanas covered in this course in ways that are appropriate for your own body and health conditions.

This may mean modifying some of the asanas, perhaps significantly in some cases, but only rarely does it mean not doing any version of the asana at all. However, you will need to know how to teach all the asanas covered in this course.

What are the requirements for certification?

To receive certification as a Level 1 Ananda Yoga Teacher, students must:

  1. Attend all required classes and activities: morning and afternoon classes 6 days per week, evening classes 3-4 nights per week, 1-2 classes on Sundays, and a number of additional guided practice sessions that are not shown individually on the sample schedule.
  2. Satisfactorily complete all reading assignments, written assignments on each of the first 2 weekends of the program, and a short in-class quiz at the end of the course.
  3. Demonstrate the skills and attitudes of an Ananda Yoga teacher. This includes satisfactory performance in the student teaching sessions.
  4. Agree to follow the Code of Ethics for Ananda Yoga Teachers.
  5. Pay all course fees in full.

Certification is based on the faculty’s subjective assessment of the student’s readiness to teach. The training will definitely keep you busy, but those who prepare adequately and make a sincere effort during the program usually receive certification.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Can I teach as soon as I graduate?

Yes, most graduates do. In AYTT, you’ll learn to teach about 40 asanas and pranayama techniques, as well as how to combine those practices into safe, effective, enjoyable yoga classes for beginning students.

How do I prepare for the training?

There are two components to your preparation:

  1. Required: Maintain a regular asana practice (at least 3–4 days per week) for at least 6 months prior to the program (If you have other qualifications that might make this program suitable for you, you can explain on your application form). Without this, it would be premature to consider teaching. Besides, although the program's asanas are not overly demanding, you'll be doing a lot of them. That, plus a full overall schedule, means that it's important to be prepared physically.
  2. Strongly recommended: Read parts of The Art and Science of Raja Yoga (formerly 14 Steps to Higher Awareness) by Swami Kriyananda. Note: Even if you're unable to complete the pre-program reading, you're still welcome to attend, but the training will be much easier and beneficial for you if you do this reading in advance.

    We also recommend that you arrive well rested. Ananda Yoga Teacher Training is a powerful experience, and it will be much deeper if you don't spend the first few days recovering from what you did before.

Should I make any special travel plans?

You must arrive for the opening session at 7:30 pm on the first day of the program. Plan to depart after lunch (12:30 pm) on the last day. Better still, arrive early for a day or two of Personal Retreat to get rested and completely ready for the experience (this is especially important for those traveling a long distance).

Also, please consider a day or two of Personal Retreat after the program. It's a perfect way to begin to “digest” the transforming experience of the training, and it will smooth your transition back to your usual lifestyle. Many students have wished they'd planned ahead for this, since airline reservations often cannot be changed without extra cost.

I follow a different spiritual path than that of Ananda [or no path at all]. Does that make a difference in whether or not I should attend AYTT?

Not at all. We sincerely respect all spiritual paths, and we welcome anyone who gives that same respect to our tradition, whatever his or her path may be. Of course, you should realize that AYTT takes place in the context of Ananda's spiritual tradition, which emphasizes the time-honored approach of yoga as a tool for the Divine Quest.

Participation involves practicing a variety of yoga techniques associated with Ananda's tradition, such as meditation and chanting as well as asana and pranayama.

What is the refund policy for this program?

If you cancel or reschedule at least 21 days before your scheduled arrival, $200 of your deposit remains as a credit for one year, and $100 is forfeited. If you cancel or reschedule with shorter notice, the entire deposit is forfeited.

If you cancel after arrival, the cost of room and board for 2 nights will be forfeited and you will receive a refund on the remainder of your tuition and room and board, upon return of the program manual.

Is continuing education required in order to keep my certification valid?

We do not require continuing education, but we do feel it's vital for every yoga teacher to keep growing in his or her understanding of yoga practice and teaching, and we provide a wide variety of continuing education programs to facilitate this.

Does Ananda offer Advanced Yoga Teacher Training?

Yes. Ananda's Level 2 AYTT is registered at 500 hours with Yoga Alliance. It consists of 300 hours of training beyond Level 1, offered in a modular format, with modules lasting from 2 to 12 days.

Modules include Advanced Pranayama, The Essence of the Yoga Sutras, Meditation Teacher Training, The Bhagavad Gita, and the AYTT Assistantship (where you'll be “junior staff” for part of a Level 1 AYTT and receive personalized training in how to assist your students), as well as Therapeutic Yoga, Yoga to Awaken the Chakras, Experience the Higher Teachings of Yoga, Yoga of the Heart (Cardiac and Cancer Teacher Training), and many more.


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200-hour certification in one month

Yes, you can split the course into 2 two-week segments

Next Training:

  • Jul 2 – 30, 2023

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Registered Yoga School for 200 and 300 hours

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