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27 Days 200-hour Costa Rica Yoga Teacher Training

  • El Sabanero Eco Lodge, Cana Fistula District 3, Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Ocotal, Costa Rica

Yoga Teacher Training Costa Rica

On this intensive yoga teacher training, you will take your yoga practice to the next level, relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings, learn how to teach yoga, and have the opportunity to enjoy local activities on your three days off. Practice yoga either on the indoor or outdoor yoga shala situated on a hillside in Cañafistula near Tamarindo, overlooking the Cañafistula valley with beautiful views.

Highlights

  • Daily yoga and meditation sessions
  • Two theory classes or workshops daily
  • Developing your inversion practice with Dan Morgan
  • A copy of The Art of Teaching Manual and course notes
  • Full and unlimited use of the lodge facilities
  • Three delicious vegetarian meals per day
  • 26 nights accommodation
  • 26 days with instruction
  • English
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The accommodation options are on private, double, and triple room basis. El Sabanero Eco Lodge is a small hotel currently with only 10 individual chalets or cabinas and a maximum capacity of 25 persons. It has an indoor and outdoor yoga shala and also it is located close to four of the most popular and beautiful beaches in the area, Playa Avellanas, Playa Negra, Playa Junquillal, and Tamarindo.

There is a beautiful infinity pool overlooking the Cañafistula valley, daily maid service, and three delicious vegetarian and chef prepared meals per day. The eco lodge chalets are built out of teak trees grown in the area.

Each of the chalets comes with a standard queen size bed, bathroom with shower, air conditioning, a writing desk and chair, wall safe, and a small refrigerator. Each has its own veranda with two rocking chairs and a table. The surrounding tropical gardens add privacy and peace to each unit.

During this training you can expect to develop your asana practice and your understanding of your body through anatomy and alignment studies, develop your individual teaching voice as an expression of your true self and learn how to teach yoga and share the gifts it has to offer safely and confidently, learn how to teach Vinyasa style yoga, delve into the depths of subtle anatomy, and learn healing meditations, myofascial release, and energy balancing work.

You will also be able to learn the gift of meditation, create a deeper spiritual understanding in a life-connecting, non-dogmatic way, learn Ayurveda and the holistic aspects of the practice, learn how diet can help your practice, health, and life, learn the business side of yoga and how to operate as a teacher ethically and effectively.

You can also expect to work hard with the support of a group that wishes to evolve through the path of yoga like yourself. You will be challenged to journey deeper within and to move beyond your self-limiting beliefs and stories that hold you back from moving forward with your intentions and dreams.

This is a physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually demanding experience. It is both intense and wonderful. Expect to bend, sweat, ache, collapse, stand up, strengthen, open, cry, and giggle. Expect also to move deeper into a relationship with the core nature of who you are, to connect with your authentic self, and to learn how to spread the teachings of yoga from that place.

The training is registered with Yoga Professionals, also known as Yoga Alliance United Kingdom and Yoga Alliance United States of America. Graduates of this program can therefore register with either body at a 200-hour level. If at some point you wanted to continue your studies, you will be able to do it with an American or European training school.

Yoga Alliance US and UK are the most recognized yoga registration body in the world. This certification will qualify you to teach yoga anywhere in the world. During this training, you will put a lot of focus on preparing trainees for the classroom. The style of yoga to be taught is Vinyasa, which means breath synchronized movement.

There is also a strong anatomical and alignment focus to the work, so students can also adapt their teachers to teach alignment-based Hatha yoga. Some students like to change the name to flow yoga or Power yoga, etc. These are also forms of Vinyasa. There is an Ashtanga influence on the training but this is not an Ashtanga Vinyasa training and even though many of the students are also Ashtanga practitioners and go on to teach Ashtanga yoga, the certificate you will receive upon graduation does not qualify you to teach Ashtanga Vinyasa.

Many people confuse Vinyasa with Ashtanga Vinyasa. Ashtanga Vinyasa is a style of yoga that is a part of the Krishna Macharya lineage which originated in Mysore, India. Vinyasa is a more general term meaning breath synchronized movement. The style of asana on the training works with some Ashtanga poses and principles like Bandha, Ujjaji breath, and creating internal heart to detox and open the body.

Students also study the original Ashtanga yoga using Patanjali’s yoga sutras, but the asana on this training does not limit itself to Ashtanga sequences and even though Green Yoga Lotus salutes Patanjali’s sutras, the Vinyasa style is more western in approach and teachers are encouraged to work intuitively and creatively when sequencing their classes.

There are daily teaching methodology classes. You will start teaching one person one pose then graduate to teaching small groups of three. Then finally, you will teach the whole class. You will also have a teaching assessment before the end of the training where you have to sequence your own 90-minute class.

You will choose the tone of the class, whether you want it to be upbeat and strengthening, or mellow and relaxing. You can add music, poetry quotes, etc. The main thing is to make it your own as much as possible around the specific guidelines you will be given.

You will teach half the class on the day of your assessment but you would not know which part of the class you will be teaching until just before you teach, so you have to prepare to teach the whole class. This is done to give the trainee the experience of creating, sequencing, pacing, instructing, adjusting, and refining a class before they leave the course.

In addition, Green Lotus Yoga will invite some of the locals to your teaching classes to give you the experience of teaching the public. Lots of people have done the training as self-development. Some have also started it for themselves and ended up teaching. However, even if you do not intend on teaching, you will have to partake in the teaching exercises.

Even if you do not teach yoga, these exercises will teach you so much, it will force you to really know your stuff, to study a bit deeper, and to learn how to project your voice in front of a group. One student, who was also lecturer in a university, said that the training helped her teaching.

There are four open book assessments for the anatomy. You will also do circles where you will be asked questions randomly about alignment to make sure everyone completely understands the principles. Only one person out of over 250 has failed the course because they could not complete this section.

It is not a very difficult section but it is a very important section and Green Lotus Yoga believes that even though yoga is ultimately a spiritual practice, teachers have to know the anatomy and alignment basics, so as not to hurt their students and to be able to guide them forward safely.

There are home tasks on Ayurveda and subtle anatomy. Philosophy is not assessed, but there may be exercises for off time study. You will also be assessed on teaching a class, so far everyone has passed this section. The asana is assessed continually. There is a level of graduation that students work towards.

If a student cannot attain the level of graduation and it is seen that they have worked hard during the training and progress to the best of their ability, the student can still pass this section, if they understand exactly why they cannot do the pose and tell their trainer their practice plan in working to this pose.

The trainer will also help them with this and explain to them which body part they need to strengthen and release over a longer time period. The student must show that they understand this information and demonstrate that they are working in the correct direction.

The graduation level you want to achieve is a good standing practice, capacity to do a two-hour practice, Ardha Padmasana or half lotus forward bend, Navasana or boat pose, Urdhva Dhanurasana or wheel, and Sirsasana or headstand with no wall. The morning asana classes also incorporate asanas that are more advanced than the graduation level.

These asanas are taught in stages and students work on their own level. You will have time to study in the evenings and on your days off. Students often like to group study to make it more interesting and fun and have the support of your group. You will also be given non-contact hours to practice adjustments, etc.

On an intensive, there are three Saturdays off to rest and avail of local activities. Students are usually in their late twenties who seem to be very confident, adventurous, into travel, healthy living, vegan and vegetarian food, and generally pretty cool. However, this is not the only type. Some are less outgoing and are undergoing a deeper healing process.

Green Lotus Yoga also welcomes older people. This can help ground the group and the group will welcome the maturity to keep the balance. It is advised that you have two years of practice before embarking on a teacher training. This is enough time to give students a firm foundation for the work involved on a training and also gives people a basis to reach the level expected for graduation.

Sometimes people achieve this foundation after a year or so of practice, there are always exceptions but as a general rule, Green lotus Yoga recommends two years.

Curriculum

Anatomy

The yoga anatomy taught on 200-hour trainings primarily uses bio-mechanics as a foundation for practice. Bio-mechanics inform people exactly which muscles are contracted and released in different asanas, which muscles are the agonists or the primary movers, the antagonists or the muscles released, and the synergists or the assisting muscles of the primary mover.

This can really offer yoga students a lot of insight as to how the body works in relation to asana and allows for safety, ease, and intelligence in practice. Myo-fascial anatomy trains outline the muscle chains in the body and explains how they are connected in relation to movement.

Anatomy teaches how the body moves from an interconnected perspective and assists greatly in students developing their practice. The trains are addressed in more detail on the 300-hour, but a foundation for them is given on the 200-hour. The anatomy allows students to dive into a deeper relationship with their bodies on and off the mat.

Students find when they know exactly which muscles to strengthen and release on the mat and why, they find more confidence to diver deeper into the practice. These classes will also equip you to understand what is happening in other people’s bodies, not just your own.

Ayurveda

This training gives the basics of Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga that is concerned with health and well being. You will learn your dosha or constitution and your guna or the energetic frame that you embody most and how they relate to each other. You will also learn how to balance your doshas and gunas through practices and apply the fundamentals of Ayurveda to your teaching.

Diet

On longer trainings, groups are invited to do Saucha Sadhana, a 10-day cleanse which gives recipes for juices, smoothies, raw, and cooked soups according to your individual dosha. There are also handouts on raw vegan living. On shorter trainings, there will be just a short talk on diet in relation to dosha and adding in more raw vegan foods into your diet. Students will also be invited into the Saucha Sadhana portal and be given handouts on raw vegan eating if desired.

Myofascial release work

Fascia is the tissue in the body that wraps around the organs, muscles, and bones, connecting them into one, which we call the body. Myofascial release work releases adhesions in the fascia. Adhesions are when two or more muscles group together and think they are one muscle. There should be space in between the muscles so that they can glide over each other.

When this does not happen, they get stuck, reduce mobility, prevent movement, and sometimes create pain and weakness. Another reason why myofascial work is so important is that it hydrates the fascia. No matter how much water you drink, if your fascia is not receiving blood supply, it will dehydrate and create stiffness.

Modern anatomy is also starting to acknowledge the connection between fascia and emotional memory, believing that fascia holds your tension patterns, trauma, and emotions, literally issues are in the tissues. During fascia release work, many students report on emotional openings and release. This helps students move beyond the blocks toward inner peace and well being.

Philosophy

The philosophy integrates elements from the spiritual systems Vedanta, Advaita Vedanta, Samkhya, and Tantra to overcome the battle of the mind and body, create resources for people on their life path, create deeper substance in relationships, journey deeper into life’s mysteries, and help unlock the flow of kundalini or divine evolutionary energy to connect people with their power, freedom, and true nature.

Pranic healing energy work and meditations

  • A collection of traditional pranayamas to cleanse the pranic body
  • Heart-based meditations
  • Kundalini meditations
  • The five sheaths and healing trauma
  • The five sheaths meditation
  • Witness-based meditations

The following practices may be used depending on the needs of the group and time

  • Cellular DNA healing meditation
  • Dynamic meditations
  • Kundalini trance dance
  • Open heart and sufi heart meditations
  • The five sheaths and healing trauma

Teaching skills

This training places a lot of emphasis on preparing new teachers to teach level one and two classes. After asana, teaching skills is the second most important subject. Teachers will learn a foundation series and then adapt it playfully, within specific guidelines, as an expression of their unique voice.

Teachers will prepare a class, including breath work, asana, music playlist if used, and shavasana and teach it to the group as a teaching exercise. The focus of these classes is decided by the trainee, teachers may teach a relaxing beginners class or an upbeat level two core class.

Teachers will also learn about the common issues that arise in the classroom and how to address them, whether they be physical ailments like slipped disc or high blood pressure, or boundary issues like people arriving late, not paying, etc. Teachers will also be shown how to dip their teaching into level three poses and after graduation, teachers will have the freedom to teach to the level they can practice comfortably.

The Art of Teaching Yoga Manual

This is a manual for yoga teachers and trainees. This 169-page book offers clear and concise details outlining yoga instruction, alignment details, common weaknesses teachers need to look out for in the classroom, adjustments, and more on a variety of asanas from beginners to advanced.

There is also a large section on teaching skills covering topics such as the importance of observation and demonstration, sequencing, structuring, pacing, and principles of Vinyasa. This manual is used on all of Green Lotus Yoga teacher trainings. It is also becoming popular with teachers who have trained in other schools who wish to deepen their knowledge in all aspects of teaching yoga.

Many students say it has become their bible for class planning and reference. This is a must for teachers and trainees who would like to expand their knowledge of yoga and gain more confidence in their teaching skills. The Art of Teaching Training Manual is supplied to you and is part of your training fee.

Vinyasa

The asana to be taught on this teacher training course is physically challenging, creative, alignment-orientated, and fun. In the classroom, Carol likes to play with a series of Vinyasa threads like sequences of postures and links with the breath, that she has developed over the years and adapt them to the needs of her group to help move students deeper into practice, safely and with awareness.

Carol also teaches technique classes where poses are broken down bio-mechanically and brings the yoga anatomy off the page. She always allows mixed levels in her group by offering various expressions of the poses and encouraging students to work at their own level. The initial focus is creating a solid foundation for practice and deeper awareness of the body anatomy and alignment.

When the group clicks with the foundation, the practice will take off into more advanced work and students will be encouraged to work at their own ability.

Required books

  • Anatomy and Asana by Susi Hately Aldous
  • The Art of Teacher Training Manual
  • The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi (a book on yoga sutras)
  • Yoga and Ayurveda by David Frawley

Recommended books

You will not use these books in class but they are great for home reading. It is not necessary to bring them at the training if you buy them.

Student-teacher relationship

  • Teaching Yoga by Donna Fahri

Anatomical and therapeutic

  • The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga by Ray Long, MD, FRCSC
  • The Key Poses of Hatha Yoga by Ray Long, MD, FRCSC
  • The Knees by Susi Hately Aldous
  • The Sacro Iliac Joints by Suis Hately Aldous
  • The Psoas Book by Liz Koch
  • The Shoulder Girdle by Susi Hately Aldous
  • Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health B.K.S Iyengar

Ashtanga

  • Astanga Yoga As It Is by Mathew Sweeney
  • Ashtanga Yoga, The Practice Manual by David Swenson

Iyengar

  • Yoga: The Iyengar Way

Spiritual

  • A Path with A Heart by Jack Kornfield
  • Practical Yoga Psychology by Dr. Rishi Vivekananda

Sample daily schedule

  • 07:00 Meditation, breath work, and asana
  • 09:30 Juice, fruit salad, or teas
  • 10:30 Theory class (anatomy, philosophy, etc.), oral meditation, breath work, and myofascial release work
  • 12:00 Brunch
  • 14:00 Theory class (anatomy, philosophy etc.)
  • 15:30 Tea, fruit, or cookies
  • 16:00 Asana class or teaching methodology class
  • 17:30 Rest or jump in the sea, etc.
  • 19:00 Dinner

All Saturdays will be your days off.

  • Carol Murphy

    Carol loves exploring yoga asana, anatomy, Ayurveda, and everything to do with philosophy. She also loves vegan cooking and meditation. She started Green Lotus Yoga teacher training school in 2007. Since then, she has graduated over 200 teachers from her training throughout Ireland and abroad. Most of Carol's work is in Ireland, but she has also taught yoga in London, California, India, South Africa, Morocco, and Spain. She likes to teach Vinyasa style yoga as mindful, strengthening, slow, deep, breath-centered movement, creating various forms, and threads to keep things alive.

  • Dan Morgan

    Yoga Alliance USA (Yoga)

    Dan's journey in yoga began with the combined interests of developing a healthy body, but also a healthy mind. This interest developed from a young age, spanning across a multitude of disciplines including rock climbing, gymnastics, calisthenics, mixed martial arts, meditation, and music. Initially, these activities were practiced individually, but he then found his true passion in the study, and practice of yoga as a lifestyle - both on and off the mat. Having studied yoga for six years, he qualified as a yoga teacher at the Marianne Wells Yoga School (Yoga Alliance).

The teacher training will be held at the El Sabanero Eco Lodge, Ocotal, Costa Rica. The eco lodge is located on a hillside in Cañafistula near Tamarindo and overlooks the Cañafistula valley with beautiful views.

Nearby places

  • Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) - 1 hour
  • Dormant volcano - 1 hour
  • Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) - 3.5 hours

Three delicious vegetarian meals per day are included in the retreat and will be prepared by the El Sabanero Eco Lodge chef, Donald Guzman.

Green Lotus Yoga can help in organizing various activities like zip lining, horseback riding, snorkeling, sunset cruise tours, surfing, Buena Vista mega combo, rafting tours, and Catamaran sunset tours. The eco lodge also offers a very popular combination tour to a dormant volcano where you can enjoy a hot volcanic mud bath, hot springs, and other activities.

  • 3 vegetarian meals daily
  • 26 nights accommodation
  • All yoga and meditation sessions
  • Art of teaching manual
  • Class notes and curriculum
  • Tuition fee
  • Yoga Alliance certification upon completion of the course
  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Reading materials

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) or Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO). Transfers from and to Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) and Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) are available upon request. Round trip transfers from Liberia are 70 USD per person with a minimum of two people.

Round trip transfers from San Jose are more expensive and costs 200 USD per person based on a minimum of two people. If there are more people arriving at the same time the price can get cheaper.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 27% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.