Teach Yoga

500-hour certification

guided by Eliot Acuña

PLEASE NOTE: Centre Yoga is no longer taking any new students for the Teach Yoga Program.

Programs are currently being refined and renewed and changes will be posted in due time. Thank you for your interest.


Centre Yoga’s Teach Yoga Program provides a 500-hour certification. The in-depth program is accomplished in a minimum of two years and maximum of three years. This includes the required first 250 hours of the program called Deepen your Practice and Refine your Understanding.

What it involves

Once you have completed the 250 hours of Deepen your Practice and Refine your Understanding, you will be eligible to begin the 250-hour Teach Yoga phase.

The Teach Yoga program is mainly focused on the practical aspects of teaching, giving the aspiring teachers lots of opportunity to practice teaching in a supportive environment.

You will notice that while the Deepen and Refine Program focuses on deepening and refining personal practice, the Teach Yoga Program focuses on learning how to be the best possible guide for someone else’s practice. Teaching yoga demands an upleveling of the teacher’s commitment and discipline to personal practice and to learn how to articulate the teachings.

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Personal practice (minimum 54 hours)

Aspiring teachers are required to continue to nurture their personal practice by coming to at least one public yoga asana class a week. They will choose the practice level convenient for their bodies and their life schedules. Eligible classes are with Eliot or other Centre Yoga certified teachers. These classes include āsana and once-a-month pranayama.

Teachers are also requested to have a daily personal practice at home.

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Retreat (minimum 12 hours)

Retreats are opportunities to bathe and replenish in the depth of our being and devoting a few days solely to practice.  As authentic teachers of yoga it is necessary to cultivate deep knowledge of the self and be anchored in that knowledge.  This is easiest accomplished by spending time on retreat, where that is the sole purpose. Aspiring teachers are asked to commit to participating in at least one retreat of a minimum of 3 days and two nights.

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meditation (daily practice)

Of utmost importance, as the pillar around which all other yoga practices evolve, is meditation. The only way to sustain teaching in the highest and most authentic way is to connect to and be nourished by your true self daily.  Aspiring teachers are asked to commit to their daily meditation practice. 

Teach Yoga Program is focused on teaching teachers how to teach yoga āsana and first stages of pranayama. It is not about teaching teachers to teach meditation.

Anatomy & Physiology (minimum 58 hours)

Aspiring teachers will be given monthly readings, study, workshop-based learning and assignments related to body parts and systems, body mobility and correct alignment for asana. These studies will be incorporated directly into the process of articulating proper alignment, how to support each student individually according to needs, and how to link movement and action.  Anatomical principles are also studied within the context of the subtler understandings of reality according to the Tantric tradition. This knowledge provides aspiring teachers with material to theme a class in a more wholistic way.

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Teaching Methodology (minimum 56 hours)

Centre Yoga’s Teach Yoga Program is meant for people who want to teach. Once started on the path to teach yoga, aspiring teachers are invited to join the Council of Teachers, which meets once a month. During these meetings teachers share about what is working for them as teachers, what they have discovered in the refinement of their understanding in anatomy, instruction, and teaching methodology. They also converse on how to deal effectively with challenging situations.

As soon as they begin the Teach Yoga Program, aspiring teachers will observe classes of various levels every week with the purpose of learning through observation.  Within the context of class observation, aspiring teachers will be asked to teach specific āsana, beginning with one and then gradually adding more āsana to the program as the aspiring teacher builds confidence and refines his or her teaching skills. Eventually, the aspiring teacher will be teaching complete 90-minute classes, beginning with basic yoga, then as they hone their skills and gain confidence they will teach level one and then level 2 classes.   These teaching opportunities will be observed and evaluated by the main teacher.

yoga texts study

Centre Yoga offers a once-a-month Sunday afternoon yoga text study. Aspiring teachers are required to continue to come to theses sessions and to become very familiar with the texts studied.

They are encouraged to contemplate the teachings of yoga and how they relate to their daily lives.  Aspiring teachers will be supported in learning how to articulate teachings in a clear and understandable way in order to convey the subtler meanings of yoga to students.

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Lifestyle (20 hours)

The phrase is “do as you teach”, “or walk the talk”.  Teaching yoga authentically requires that a teacher articulate from a place of personal experience.  Light on Life, by BKS Iyengar is a beautifully structured book that will serve teachers in their own lives and give them inspiration to incorporate various levels of subtlety into their classes.

Yoga’s tradition of Ayurveda conveys valuable applied teachings to support a healthy lifestyle. The program presents two required books on the science of Ayurveda to give teachers general knowledge on the subject.  This program is not about teaching Ayurveda to others.

ethics (15 hours)

Yoga is skill in action, says Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.  Centre Yoga’s Teach Yoga Program emphasizes the importance of the role of the teacher and using it honorably and respectfully.  It applies the highest ethical considerations and values the importance of leading a viable, self-supportive and lineage respectful yoga teaching business that serves the teacher, the students and the community at large.

Karma Yoga (20 hours)

Learning about selfless service and incorporating it naturally into our daily lives increasingly nourishes and uplifts our lives as conscious micro-cosmic beings part of this macrocosmic web of life.  Seva, or selfless service, can be carried out in many ways and it will take on a different direction for every individual.  How this will happen for each aspiring teacher will be discussed with Eliot.

Teaching Assessments (minimum of 13 to 15 hours)

After a period of observing several basic yoga classes, apprentice teachers will be asked to prepare to teach and proceed to teach one asana to the group during any given class. The number of asana to be taught publicly will increase gradually as the apprentice teacher develops skill and confidence.  The main teacher will be present and observe the apprentice teacher in order to give useful feedback and support. 

Once the apprentice teacher has reached a level of competence that allows for more responsibility, he or she will be given the opportunity to teach full 90-minute basic yoga classes.  Readiness will always be discussed between Eliot and the apprentice.  After a reasonable period of teaching basics, the teacher will then progress to teach level 1 and then level 2 classes.

Take-home assignment (9 hours)

During the last 30 days of the program, the apprentice teacher will be asked to complete a two-part written assignment. Part One of the assignment is a personal contemplation. Part Two of the assignment is related to teaching.  Each person is given a slightly different assignment topic according to the knowledge to be developed. The topics are chosen after evaluating the apprentice’s progression.


General Book list

(All the books from the Deepen and Refine Program are incorporated into the Teach Yoga program. Also, other books or handouts may be added during the program)

1. Yogabody, Anatomy, Kinesiology & Asana, by Judith Lasater

2. The Key Muscles of Yoga, by Ray Long

3. The Key Poses of Yoga, by Ray Long

4. Free subscription to the Daily Bandha, by Ray Long

5. The Anatomy Coloring Book, by Wynn Kapit and Lawrence M. Elson

6. Light on Life, by BKS Iyengar

7. Ayurveda, The Science of Self-Healing, by Dr. Vasant Lad

8. Prakriti, Your Ayurvedic Constitution, by Dr. Robert E. Svoboda

9. Teaching Yoga, Exploring the teacher-student relationship, by Donna Farhi

10. Pratyabhijñā-hṛdayam (The Splendor of Recognition), by Swāmi Śāntānanda

11. The Stanzas on Vibration, by Mark Dyczkowski

12. Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra, translation and commentary by Jaideva Singh

13.Śiva Sūtra, translation and commentary by Swami Lakshmanjoo

14. Hindu Myths, by Wendy Doniger

Hours, tuition and payment options

Two-part process

Teach Yoga Program meets the requirements for a 500-hour yoga-teacher certification with Canadian Yoga Alliance.

The process has two main parts. To fulfill the 500-hour certification requirement, students must first complete the 250-hour Deepen your Practice and Refine your Understanding Program. Then students are entitled to enroll in the second phase of the Program called Teach Yoga.



Class time runs from mid-September to end of June of any given year.  Aspiring teachers are required to complete the 500 hours that include the Deepen & Refine Program and Teach Yoga Program within a maximum of three calendar years.



This tuition specifically covers the Teach Yoga Phase of the two-fold program. It does not include the tuition for the Deepen & Refine Program (please read the information on Deepen your Practice and Refine your Understanding Program for details)

$2000.00 (taxes included)

Full tuition for Teach Yoga Program must be paid in total by completion date of the program.

Tuition does not include books.  Books will be approximately $300.

(special payment plans can be arranged on an individual basis)



Completion of the 250 hours of Deepen your Practice and Refine your Understanding Program.


To register

1. Complete the application form

2. Once accepted, complete and sign registration form

3. Provide $500 non-reimbursable deposit

4. In case the student cancels his or her participation in the program, his or her participation hours to the date of cancellation will be calculated and deducted from any reimbursement made. The $500 deposit is non-reimbursable.

To register

1. Complete the application form

2. Once accepted, complete and sign registration form

3. Provide $500 non-reimbursable deposit

In case the student cancels his or her participation in the program, his or her participation hours to the date of cancellation will be calculated and deducted from any reimbursement made. The $500 deposit is non-reimbursable.