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28 Days 200-Hour Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training India

  • Abhijna School of Yoga and Meditation, Kurakkanni Temple Road, Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695141, India


Inspiring Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in India

Feed your desire for yoga knowledge during this 200-hour Ashtanga yoga course in a calmed, serene, and quite place at Kerala, India. Join Mahesh Chandra, director at the Abhijna School of Yoga and Meditation, to study and meditate Ashtanga primary series recognized by the Yoga Alliance. This program will give you the skills to work intelligently with new students who wish to learn the Ashtanga Vinyasa primary series and also with students who wish to deepen their practice.


  • Daily yoga classes
  • Study of pranayama and bandhas
  • Learn how to open and close mantras
  • Teaching practice and philosophy teachings
  • Learn the Sanskrit counting primary series
  • Ashtanga Vinyasa history lessons
  • 27 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Group sizes

The maximum participants in the group is 16.

  • 24 days with instruction
  • English, Spanish
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You will stay either in a private or a shared room with full bathroom facilities. Each room offers Wi-Fi connection, kitchen facilities, and fans.The facilities are moderate, designed to meet the basic requirements of a spiritual aspirant. The school provides housing accommodation to yoga students and yoga retreat participants alike.

During this training, you will study the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga style along with the Ujjayi breathing practice, the Sanskrit counting during the primary series, teaching practice and yoga diet, yoga philosophy and study of pranayama and Bandhas, and yogic anatomy.

The course includes an Ashtanga manual and one practice chart from the Abhijna School, tuition, and certification by the Abhijna School of Yoga and Meditation with the Yoga Alliance standards.


Teaching Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga

  • History of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga
  • Mysore style
  • The Vinyasa system
  • The opening and closing mantras
  • Ways of learning
  • Explanation
  • Demonstration
  • Adjustment
  • Existing injuries and health conditions
  • Pain

Teaching Ujjayi breathing

  • Why Ujjayi breathing is good for you in yogic and physical terms
  • Breath and the nervous system
  • Contraindications
  • Conscious control of the breathe
  • Slowing and deepening the breath
  • Directing the breath into the upper body
  • Adding the Ujjayi sound

Teaching the bandhas

  • The four bandhas
  • Moola bandha; how to teach and its benefits
  • Uddiyana bandha; how to teach and its benefits
  • Jalandhara bandha; how to teach and its benefits
  • Maha bandha; how to teach and its benefits

Teaching the dristi

  • The nine dristis
  • Benefits
  • Table of dristi and poses

Teaching points

  • What to say
  • General teaching points
  • Breath
  • Feet
  • Legs
  • Focus and dristi
  • Indicators
  • Asana teaching points

Teaching the primary series

  • Samasthiti
  • Surya namaskara A
  • Surya namaskara B
  • Standing postures
  • Padangushtasana
  • Padahastasana
  • Utthita trikonasana
  • Parivritta trikonasana
  • Utthita parshvakonasana
  • Parivritta parshvakonasana
  • Prasarita padottanasana A
  • Prasarita padottanasana B
  • Prasarita padottanasana C
  • Prasarita padottanasana D
  • Parshvottanasana
  • Utthita hasta padangushtasana
  • Ardha baddha padmottanasana
  • Utkatanasana
  • Virabhadrasana A and B
  • Sitting postures
  • Dandasana
  • Paschimattanasana
  • Purvatanasana
  • Ardha baddha padma aschimattanasana
  • Tiriangmukhaikapada paschimattanasana
  • Janu shirshasana A
  • Janu shirshasana B
  • Janu shirshasana C
  • Marichyasana A
  • Marichyasana B
  • Marichyasana C
  • Marichyasana D
  • Navasana
  • Bhujapidasana
  • Kurmasana
  • Supta kurmasana
  • Garbha pindasana
  • Kukkutasana
  • Baddha konasana
  • Upavishta konasana
  • Supta Konasana
  • Supta padangushtasana
  • Ubhaya padangushtasana
  • Urdhva mukha paschimattanasana
  • Setu bandhasana
  • Finishing postures
  • Urdhva dhanurasana
  • Paschimattanasana
  • Sarvangasana
  • Halasana
  • Karnapidasana
  • Urdhva padmasana
  • Pindasana
  • Matsyasana
  • Uttana padasana
  • Shirshasana
  • Baddha padmasana
  • Padmasana
  • Uth pluthi
  • Shavasana

Teaching the Sanskrit count

  • Using the Sanskrit counting during the primary series


  • Types of adjustments
  • When to adjust
  • Who to adjust
  • Safety considerations

How to adjust

  • Foundation
  • Alignment
  • Breath
  • Touch
  • Adaptability

Teaching practice

  • Teaching in small groups
  • Teaching the entire group
  • Demonstration of postures to students giving the procedure to come in and out of the posture, benefits, and modifications
  • Teaching a one hour thirty minute class as a part of the final teaching practice

Yoga philosophy

  • Definition of yoga
  • Discipline of yoga
  • Witnessing the essence of yoga
  • Five modifications of the mind
  • Foundations of yoga
  • Practice-Abhyasa
  • Non-attachment vairagya
  • Eight limbs of yoga
  • Five yamas
  • Five niyamas
  • Asana
  • Pranayama
  • Pratyahara
  • Dharana
  • Dhyana
  • Samadhi

Study of pranayama (breathing exercises) and bandhas

  • The mechanics of breathing
  • Four aspects of pranayama
  • Introducing the practitioner to his natural breath
  • Abdominal breathing
  • Thoracic breathing
  • Clavicular breathing
  • Full yogic breath
  • Nadi shodhana
  • Bramhari
  • Bastrika
  • Kapalabhati
  • Sheetali and sheetkari
  • Ujjayi
  • Moola, uddiana, jalandhara, and maha bandha

The yogic diet

  • Food
  • Relationship between food and the emotions
  • Types of diet
  • Sattvic diet
  • Tamasic diet
  • Rajasic diet
  • Yoga and vegetarianism

Yogic anatomy

  • Study of the seven chakras
  • Study of seven layers and seven bodies
  • Kundalini and its importance
  • Definition of health
  • Relationship between mind, body, and health
  • The body
  • Tension and relaxation
  • Pain
  • Bodily functions
  • Attitude to illness
  • Health and enlightenment
  • Yogic management of disease applied
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Respiratory system
  • Endocrine system
  • Digestive system
  • Musculo-skeletal system

Recommended readings

  • "Ashtanga Yoga Practice Manual" by David Swenson
  • "Yoga Mala" by SRI K. Pattabi Jois
  • "Ashtanga Yoga and Meditation" by Jean Hall
  • "Dynamics of Hatha Yoga" by Carl Abbott
  • "Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha" by Bihar School of Yoga

Karma yoga program

During this teacher training, you will perform a Karma yoga program everyday. The duties include cleaning the common areas such as the kitchen, the dining hall, the living room, the common toilets, the halls, the patio, the outhouse toilet, the front lawn, the fridge, and the organic and non-organic trash disposal.

Those living outside the housing premises will also be assigned Karma yoga duties and should be present at Karma yoga check timings on Tuesday and Friday.


A minimum of six months of continuous yoga Asana practice on any style is a must. Preferred knowledge of the primary series is advised but not required.

Monday to Friday sample schedule

  • 06:00 - 08:00 Led Mysore
  • 08:00 - 10:30 Breakfast break
  • 10:30 - 12:00 Asana methodology
  • 12:00 - 15:00 Lunch break
  • 15:00 - 16:00 Vinyasa krama or Hatha asana sequencing
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Pranayama theory and practice
  • 17:00 - 17:15 Tea break
  • 17:15 - 18:30 Study of yoga sutras
  • 18:30 - 19:00 Meditation

On Saturday, you will enjoy asana practice from 06:00 to 08:00 and the rest of the day along with Sundays, will be yours to enjoy some free time.

  • Mahesh Chandra

    Mahesh is Abhijna School of Yoga's Director. His main style of teaching is Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. He is originally from Mysore, India, where he learned Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga from Sri. Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, direct disciple of Kirshnamacharya. He is a certified meditation trainer from Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune. Mahesh has been teaching Ashtanga Vinyasa, Hatha yoga, yoga therapy among other styles from the last 10 years & meditation from the last 14 years.

  • Ellie Ruales

    Co-director of Abhijna School of yoga, Ellie Ruales, started her journey in 2001 at Omega Institute of Holistic Studies where she had her first contact with yoga, meditation and Ayurveda. She is a versatile yoga teacher who holds a 200H ERYT and RPYT and is trained in yoga therapy, Hatha yoga, pre-natal yoga, as well as yoga for children at Abhijna School of Yoga. Her teachings in both, english and spanish, are true to the traditions of Hatha yoga with a Iyengar and Bihar's approach.

  • Victoria Leader

    Victoria is a certified yoga teacher from Bristol City Yoga, United Kingdom and Abhijna School of Yoga, Kerala. She has trained in the styles of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga and she teaches both primary and intermediate series, Hatha yoga and Vinyasa flow. She began to teach yoga in 2013 and has taught in England, India, and Canada where she currently resides. Her strong asana practice has led her to currently work with Reno Muenz of The Dharma Temple in Vancouver.

  • Constanza Fernandez

    Since 2010, when Constanza began her path on yoga, she wanted to transmit and combine the discipline of yoga along with her professional work as a photographer and journalist. In 2013, she received the Kundalini Research Institute certification for training instructors in Kundalini yoga level one and created Yoga Maitencillo; a yoga school located in Chile where in addition to regular classes of Kundalini yoga and meditation, she also offers various events like kirtans and concerts.

This teacher training will take place at the Abhijna School of Yoga and Meditation, at Varkala, Kerala, India. The yoga shala is nestled between coconut and banana plantations in virgin surroundings at the greenest part of India. Varkala is a coastal town and municipality in Thiruvananthapuram district situated in the Indian state of Kerala. Varkala is located 50 kilometers north-west of Thiruvananthapuram, and 37 kilometers south-west of Kollam city.

Varkala is a well-known tourist destination, the town has excellent telecommunication facilities, an average-rated water supply system, fire station, several post offices, and a police station. The town boasts of government-run modern medicine, Ayurveda, and nature cure hospitals in addition to over 10 private hospitals, clinics, and some dental clinics. The government-run nature cure hospital is also functioning near the Papanasam cliff.

Nearby places

  • Cochin International Airport (COK) - 4.5 hours
  • Papanasam beach - 10 minutes
  • School housing - 5 minutes
  • Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) - 60 minutes
  • Boating nearby
  • Shopping
  • Spa nearby
  • Swimming nearby
  • Beach nearby
  • CafĂ©
  • Dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Yoga shala
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Library nearby

This teacher training offers daily meals for an additional cost. You can take food at the Abhijna Cafe where you will be served Ayurvedic Indian vegetarian food. You will also be provided a kitchen to cook your own food. The breakfast, lunch or dinner are provided from Monday to Saturday for 175 USD per month per person.

The following dietary requirements are served and/or catered for:

  • Ayurvedic
  • Vegetarian
  • Other dietary requirements on request
(If you have special dietary requirements its a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation)

Visit Anjengo fort

Anjengo fort is near Varkala, it is a place of historic importance as well as a beautiful natural setting. The historic significance tagged to Anjengo comes through foreign powers like the Portuguese, the Dutch, and finally the English East India Company. In the year 1684, the English East India Company chose Anjengo to establish their first trade settlement in Kerala.

At Anjengo, one can find the remnants of the old English fort, which was targeted several times by other foreign powers who were at that time fighting each other to get a firm footing in Kerala. The beautiful Muthalapuzhi lake is situated in Anjengo.

Visit Janardana Swami temple

The Janardana Swami temple is a very important Vaishnavite shrine and attracts thousands of pilgrims. The temple is about 2000 years old. Facing the temple is the Papasnanam beach where devotees take a bath in the belief that the sacred waters will wash away their sins. A large bell washed up from the wreck of a Dutch merchant vessel is kept on display at the temple.

Visit Kappil lake

Kappil lake is about four kilometers north of Varkala town. This serene estuary meanders through dense coconut groves before merging into the Arabian sea. The bridge over the lake is quite a vantage point to view the backwater stretching white and grey to the distant blue horizon. Boating is another great way to browse this tranquil waterway.

Visit Sarkara Devi temple

The Sarkara Devi Temple is a famous old temple situated near Varkala at Chirayinkeezhu. The temple is famous for the kaliyoot festival on the Malayalam month of kumbham. Also, the Sree Saraswathy Temple located in Venkulam, Edava, is a VidyaDevi temple famous for Navarathri Sangeetholsavam and Vijayadesami Vidyarambam.

Visit Sivagiri Mutt

Sivagiri Mutt is a famous ashram in Varkala founded by the philosopher and social reformer Sree Narayana Guru. Sree Narayana Guru's tomb is also located there. The Samadhi, the final resting place of the Guru, attracts thousands of devotees every year during the Sivagiri pilgrimage days 30 December to 1 January.

The Sivagiri Mutt, built in 1904, is situated at the top of the Sivagiri hill near Varkala. The Sivagiri Mutt is also the headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham, an organization of his disciples and saints, established by the Guru to propagate his concept of 'One Caste, One Religion, One God'.

Visit Varkala beach

Varkala beach or Papanasam beach is perfect for sun-bathing and swimming. It is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kerala. The evening views of the sunset are worth lingering over.

The cliff has a long stretch of small shops which goes on for over a kilometer. Sections of Varkala beach are used by Indians to scatter the ashes of their cremated dead relatives into the sea.

Visit Varkala tunnel

The Varkala tunnel is a popular tourist highlight. It is a 924 feet long tunnel built in 1867 by T. Mahadeva Rao the dewan of Travancore and took 14 years to complete. Varkala Lighthouse is another tourist highlight in the vicinity.

There are numerous water spouts and spas on the sides of Varkala's cliffs where you can receive body treatments for an additional cost.

  • 27 nights accommodation
  • All materials mentioned in the itinerary
  • Daily yoga classes
  • Full yoga program
  • Tuition
  • Yoga Alliance certificate upon completion
  • Additional activities
  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Daily meals
  • Spa services
  • Transportation

Arrival by plane

Please book your flight to arrive at Trivandrum International Airport (TRV). You can take a pre-paid taxi service from the airport to Varkala.

  • Review by Clare Bateson from Ireland
    9 out of 10

    "The yoga teacher training concentrated on essentials. It covered all aspects of yoga other than Asanas, like philosophy, anatomy, Ayurveda, dietetics, and nutrition. I am very fortunate to have taken the teacher training with Mahesh."

    Abhijna School of Yoga and Meditation website, edited

  • Review by Tom Hoppel from Hungary
    9 out of 10

    "Mahesh is a great teacher with a broad fund of knowledge on all subjects related to yoga. He is a lot of fun to be around and has a good sense of humor. His mediations and Asana classes are always well thought out."

    Abhijna School of Yoga and Meditation website, edited

  • Review by Heather Kemp from London
    9 out of 10

    "I trained with Mahesh for two months and thanks to his keen awareness and passion for teaching, my practice and knowledge of yoga greatly improved. Not only is he a talented teacher but also a kind and caring individual."

    Abhijna School of Yoga and Meditation website, edited

  • Review by A traveler from London
    9 out of 10

    "I spent ten days training with Mahesh and I wish I was still there now. His comprehensive teaching means that I can confidently correct myself and know that I am looking after my body. I also loved doing the radical meditations he practices. Mahesh is a true yogi with an open mind and heart. "

    Abhijna School of Yoga and Meditation website, edited

  • Review by A traveler from Colombia
    9 out of 10

    "I had taken other teacher training in India before which came up short in anatomy, yoga philosophy, adjustments and nutrition."

    "I was fortunate to have found someone who could explain in such wonderful way what yoga is really about. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras seemed so confusing to me until I took the yoga philosophy classes with Mahesh. I learned how to be in touch with the students and how and when to adjust them while performing an Asana. "

    Abhijna School of Yoga and Meditation website, edited