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25 Days 200-hour Elemental Flow Yoga Teacher Training in Tzunuma, Guatemala

Casa Cobananda, Tzununa, Guatemala

Yoga Teacher Training Guatemala

Immerse yourself in the magic of the forest, release your inner stillness, and access the wisdom that resides deep in your heart and soul. Feel embraced by incredible natural beauty and the power of the elements, as you uncover the true teacher within. Come join and awaken the power of your spirit while living in a conscious eco-friendly community space tucked in the mountains of the incredible Lake Atitlan. Majestic mountain scenery and mystical lake serenity create a profound transformative energy deep within the soul. The simple living and nourishing environment of Casa Cobananda complement the studies as you learn how to take your yoga off the mat and into life.

Meet the instructors

C.J.
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Highlights

  • Daily yoga classes
  • Pranayama and meditation
  • Teaching methodology and practicums
  • Yoga Alliance syllabus and certification
  • 24 nights’ accommodation
  • Daily vegetarian meals

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Yoga styles


23 days with instruction
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Accommodation

Cobananda is the home of Coby and Ananda, two of Kula Collective's co-founders. It is an eco-friendly and nourishing space, filled with all comforts of home, including healing herbs, tropical fruits and warm smiles. Cobananda is located in Tzununa, in the western highlands of Guatemala.

Enjoy the stillness and beauty of mountains supporting you in your process of expansion. Lake Atitlán has incredible views of the volcanoes of San Pedro, Toliman and Atitlán. Offering a grounding retreat space with delicious vegetarian meals, daily yoga and meditation, a large temazcal and sacred ceremony and community areas.

Program

This teacher training program is the opportunity for you to immerse yourself in the magic of the forest as you uncover your true teacher, embracing incredible natural beauty and the power of the elements, allowing you to access the deep wisdom within.

This program has been carefully designed to incorporate 200 intensive hours using the Kula Collective signature structure of the Andean cross, allowing a transformative journey through the lower, middle, and upper worlds of the high Andean tradition. Each of the worlds has a different focus - knowledge and wisdom, work and service, and love and beauty.

This course will provide you with a holistic foundation of yoga including a brief introduction to the history and traditional paths and the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga before moving into a focus in anatomy and exploration of asana through the Kula basic flow and its asana analysis.

Once you feel confident with the Kula basic flow, you will begin to deepen your understanding of the self, through study of yoga philosophy, cleansing, and ceremony.

You will learn teaching methodology in order to enable you to create balanced and holistic classes to a variety of levels as you explore the Kula signature sequences and then creatively sequence your own classes.

Curriculum

Kula Collective’s yoga teacher training is a holistic program based on the understanding that to understand yoga you must first understand the self - body, mind, and spirit.

The chakana, or Andean cross, acts as the guide and foundational structure for the course, encompassing a lower world, middle world, and upper world that each focuses on different types of movement, diet, and meditation. The levels allow you to move up through the layers of your self-understanding, to reveal the wise and light-filled beings that you are.

Kula Collective brings to life the ancient teachings of yoga through accessible spiritual lessons, a solid foundation in yogic philosophy, and a daily yoga practice called the Kula flow.

Kula flow

The Kula flow is a slow Vinyasa-based sequence with an emphasis on mindfulness, breath, meditation, and alignment.

The Kula flow is has roots in Ashtanga, Sivananda, Kundalini, Hatha, and Iyengar. The intention of the flow is to give you an opportunity to access the stillness of the mind, preparing the body for meditation which is the foundation of yoga.

During this training, you will dive deep into the four traditional paths of yoga.

  • Bhakti or the way of the heart. It’s where you will experience love and devotion through prayer, ceremony, singing, and chanting.
  • Jnana or the way of knowledge. It’s where you will experience self-inquiry through the art of living with intention and contemplation of your very oneness.
  • Karma or the way of action. It’s the selfless service to the one, how you can gracefully and mindfully serve the whole.
  • Raja or the royal path of meditative absorption. It’s where you explore the work of Patanjali's Ashtanga (eight limbs) philosophy.

The Kula flow is a philosophical journey through the eight limbs of yoga inspired by the teachings of the ancient sage Patanjali. Sutra literally means to thread, so you will experience this weaving of these important concepts throughout the class, leaving you with a better sense of yourself.

  • Yamas - social ethics and guidelines (external)
  • Niyamas - observances (internal)
  • Asana - to sit comfortably with the self
  • Pranayama - to let the breath flow with intention and ease
  • Dharana - concentration
  • Dhyana - meditation
  • Samadhi - transcendence

The Kula flow provides an experience to look inward and fulfill your soul’s purpose. It encourages you to find contentment in the present moment. When in the flow, you recognize that there is nowhere you need to be, there is nowhere you need to go.

Everyday, the teachings will flow through four arts:

The art of teaching

At this 200-hour teacher training, the focus is on giving you the best foundational understanding of yoga possible in the time available. In asana, this means the emphasis on the correct alignment, muscular engagement, and breathing.

You will be introduced to Kula flow, a dynamic, slow Vinyasa sequence that is highly adaptable and contains many of the building blocks you will need to make your own sequences. Students in your class will benefit from this extra focus on anatomical alignment within asana, as well as the step-by-step guide to physical and energetic Thai massage-based adjustments.

Through this art of teaching, you will:

  • Learn to teach the signature Kula flow, complete with the full anatomic and energetic cues, physical, verbal and energetic adjustments, and modifications for all levels of practice
  • Become familiar with the form, teaching methodology, benefits, and cautions of principal asanas (postures), pranayamas (breathing techniques), and kriyas (cleansing techniques)
  • Explore teaching as an art - how to keep the energy flow within a class, how to create a grounded and inspired space for teaching and learning, how to weave your intention and your unique presence into your class, and how to share yoga off the mat
  • Learn to create various class-styles, from the beginner, intermediate, to specialized yoga, integrating your own style into tradition techniques
  • Receive a foundational education in anatomy specific to yoga, including functional alignment, benefits, and contraindications of the practice as well as learning modifications for age and common injuries or conditions
  • Become familiar with the subtle yogic anatomy and the chakras, as well as the systems of the Peruvian shamanic tradition
  • Receive a foundation in the history of yoga and the four traditional paths as well as Ashtanga philosophy (the eight-fold path) and related practices and topics to broaden your knowledge and understanding of conscious living
  • Teach two full classes and many mini-sequences throughout the training and receive loving and specific feedback from the trainers and your peers

The art of healing

This 200-hour yoga teacher training will give you the opportunity for deep self-healing through personal discovery practices, group exercises, intentional discussion, and sacred ceremony.

The training also offers a wide selection of teachings on complementary health practices, including but not limited to Ayurveda, nutrition, massage, Thai massage, energetic healing, tai chi, chakra cleansing, herbal healing, and the yogic diet.

The art of healing component of the curriculum allows you to reveal your wisest self and to unveil your true calling as a healing practitioner and as sharer of an ancient wellness practice. Through this component, you will:

  • Have the time and space to dive into your own personal healing, guided by experienced facilitators and supported by a safe, energetic container
  • Be guided through a wheel of transformation as you cycle through the three levels of the Peruvian Chakana
  • Take part in the sacred ceremony, calling in the energies of the four cardinal directions as you hold full and new moon ceremonies, ceremonies of release and of manifestation, cacao ceremonies, and ceremonies of healing, asking the elements of the earth for support as you transform
  • Abandon yourself to the healing power of sound, through traditional kirtan circles and native medicine song and ceremony chants from around the world
  • Become familiar with the subtle yogic anatomy and the chakras as well as the systems of the Peruvian shamanic traditions
  • Receive the introduction to many different healing modalities and lifestyle practices, including but not limited to Ayurveda, nutrition, massage, Thai massage, energetic healing, tai chi, chakra cleansing, herbal healing, and the yogic diet
  • Step into your role as a healing practitioner and sharer of this ancient wellness practice

The art of living

As you come together in the group training, you will explore the art to living well through examining both your own understanding of the art of living and that of the ancient sages.

Through the study of the yoga sutras, modern yoga’s foundational text, as well as the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads, you better come to understand the true nature of the self and your place in the world.

Through the discussion of the art of living, you will:

  • Experience the true sense of community. You will be encouraged to share from the heart, experience as a whole, and make new friends with the same passion for truth as you
  • Become the spiritual being you truly are, through learning how to take your yoga off the mat and into life
  • Live a spiritual intention every day, weaving your inner practice into your outer world
  • Explore the key themes for integrating yoga into daily life, experiencing them through practice and self-study and discussing as a group
  • Study and discuss the yoga sutras of Patanjali, aphorisms giving insight into profound yogic practices and contemplations, as well as their life-transforming benefits
  • Study the select sections of other great yogic texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads

The art of practice

This 200-hour yoga teacher training places an emphasis on the experiential face of yoga by living your practice as a group - beginning and ending each day with a form of meditation and daily connection to your asana and pranayama.

Each morning, you will wake in silence to meditate as the sun rises, flowing into your internal experience of pranayama and the Kula flow - the unique sequence. As you continue to expand through your teaching, you creatively work with this flow and feel what it is to open up your boundaries as you are guided into deepening your personal practice through meditation, pranayama, and asana.

You will follow the yogic, vegetarian diet, which purifies your practice from the inside out. You will eat your meals with reverence and you open and close your space with Om, the universal sound. You meditate as you breathe, walk, dance, and laugh your way through your experience and you allow your practice to be a ceremony each time.

Through this art of practicing and embodying yoga, you will:

  • Build your practice with daily meditation, pranayama, and asana in a beautiful location
  • Cleanse your body as you live the yogic diet, filling your body and soul with the high-prana, Sattvic (pure) food, and observe the space that is created in all aspects of your being as a result
  • See your poses improve through the one-on-one guidance and hands-on adjustments to help you get the most of your practice
  • Learn how to deepen your practice through mudras, bandhas, and understanding of yogic anatomy and alignment
  • Experience a wide selection of meditation and pranayama techniques, both traditional and modern
  • Learn how to reintegrate your practice into your daily life
  • Discover the depths that lie within you through your own true connection to spirit

Syllabus

Techniques

Asana, pranayama, and kriya techniques will be taught and practiced. You will practice teaching them to your peers. There will be time to develop your own asanas, learn about the benefits, checkpoints, and contraindications, as well as to teach and assist your peers during the group teaching sessions. Group teaching means that you as a group form a circle and each participant demonstrates and teaches one asana while the others either perform the technique or assist their peers.

Asanas

A variety of asanas will be taught including gentle beginner and intermediate variations. You will be taught how to enter and exit a pose, how to use the breath in the asana, checkpoints for alignment, benefits and contraindications for the asana, and how to assist your students in the pose.

Categories of asana include standing and balancing asanas, forward bends, back bends, side bends, twisting poses, crouching and seated poses, poses on the abdomen, poses on the back, inverted poses, and meditation poses.

You will also learn how to adapt the techniques for specific ages, levels, some ailments, and in the case of pregnancy. You will learn warm-up techniques and relaxation poses including the importance of deep breathing in relaxation to prevent muscle fatigue and the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles.

Pranayama

You will learn the form, benefits, and contraindications of the various pranayama techniques, as well as when to incorporate them into the class and how to introduce pranayama techniques.

The techniques include abdominal breathing, the three-part breath, ujjai pranayama, brahmari pranayama, anuloma viloma, and kapalabhati pranayama. You will learn how to perform these pranayamas with the bandhas and with relatively short breath retention (kumbhaka) when appropriate.

Bandhas

In order to perform the retention in breathing techniques, it is necessary to teach and learn mula bandha, jalandhara bandha, and uddiyana bandha. The latter is instrumental to kriyas such as nauli. The purpose of the bandhas will be discussed in its relation to the uniting of prana and apana to channel them into the shushumna nadi.

Kriyas

You will learn types of kriyas, their benefits, primarily for their own practice, and later how to introduce the kriya to a class. The types include jal neti, jal kapalabhati, agni sara, and tratak.

Meditation

In the theory section, the goal and paths of yoga will be discussed, thereby leading to the concept and techniques of meditation. Guided meditation will be explored, including creative visualization, meditation using yantra, mantra, ideation, ishta chakra, and the withdrawal of the senses from external objects. You will be guided in choosing a mantra for meditation.

Mantra

You will explore the idea of mantra as a mystical energy encased in a sound structure in relation to both saguna (nama) mantras and nirguna mantras such as Om. You will learn to chant and present yogic mantras for the beginning and the ending of yoga classes (such as the shanti mantra or the jyothi mantra). Bija mantras for purifying the chakras will also be explored including the timing and procedure for using these mantras in meditation.

Transformational experiences

During the transformational experiences program, you will delve into the practice of both nama and abstract kirtan, as well as Vedic mantras such as the gayatri mantra, the mahamrityunjaya (healing) mantra, the shanti mantra, the loving-kindness mantra, and the akhanda mantra. Transformational experiences will also include some rituals, sharing, healing circles, and creative movement.

Philosophy, lifestyle, and ethics

This section will introduce yoga psychology and philosophy through the discussions on Patanjali’s yoga sutras, chapters one and two. The trainers will present sutras and also use pairwork and group work discussions to give you the opportunity to explore how these sutras relate to your practice and how you live your lives.

Patanjali’s eight-fold path is the climax of the chapter two and the trainers will offer concrete examples of how to implement yamas and niyamas in your daily lives. You will have the opportunity to discuss your understanding and experience with these yogic guidelines.

You will also be guided to see the interrelationship of all of the ten principles, as well as the interrelationship of the different paths of yoga. The paths (bhakti, karma, raja, and jnana) will also be introduced in both a philosophical and practical light.

Lifestyle

There will be a presentation and comparison of yogic and Ayurvedic concepts of nutrition as well as those of daily cleansing ritual, self-massage, and other practices.

Ethics

As a natural extension to the ten principles (yamas and niyamas) as well as the discussions on teaching methodology, you will flow into a discussion of professionalism and ethics in the teaching profession in general and the yoga profession in particular.

Kula Collective will present the statement of professional standards and discuss as a group the importance of having and maintaining codes of professional standards.

Teaching methodology

Practical teaching methodology includes how to demonstrate, observe, cue, and assist students. This will be integrated with the techniques class. You will also model the importance of language used to describe entry and maintaining and exiting poses.

The theoretical discussions of methodology (pedagogy) aim to explore how to become a transformational facilitator or a teacher rather than just an instructor. This includes such topics including the art of sequencing, creating a safe space, establishing a student-centered class, managing group dynamics, language and cuing, the ethics of assisting, and creating a yogic environment for learning. You will also discuss qualities that will be instrumental to you as a teacher.

Anatomy and physiology

In the 20 hours of anatomy and physiology class, you will be learning both about the physical system and the subtle body. In physical anatomy class, you will learn anatomy and how it relates to yoga. The subjects will include the study of the skeleton, muscles and joints, the cardio-vascular system, the respiratory system and the endocrine system, and how they are benefited by yoga.

In the subtle anatomy class, you will explore the yogic teaching regarding the three bodies, the physical body, the astral body, and the causal body, as well as the five corresponding sheaths, and the yogic techniques that purify each sheath.

The concept of nadis and chakras will also be explored. The shape, location, associated glands, and characteristics of each chakra will be explored. This subject will be complemented by the practical meditation sessions and chanting sessions which will explore meditating and chanting to purify the chakras. It will also complement the discussion of the ida, pingala, and shushumna nadis that is intrinsic to any discussion of pranayama and the bandhas.

Practicum

In the first half of the program, you will be gradually introduced to teaching by teaching your peers each pose or mini sequence in the techniques class. This will progress towards teaching one pose or mini sequence to the whole group ‘group teaching’.

In the second half of the course, you will each teach two classes to a peer. Each class will be 90 minutes long. You will get 15 minutes of feedback from your peers and from the trainer.

The first round will be a set Kula flow sequence, the second round will be a beginners or intermediate level class where you are required to create and sequence your own class holistically around a theme of your choice.

All highlights

  • Live in a Permaculture Food Forest
  • Eat delicious vegetarian meals and fresh teas sourced from our own organic gardens and local producers
  • Explore the beautiful forest gardens, waterfalls and natural abundance
  • Experience the powerful heart-medicine, cacao, in its home land
  • Experience conscious off-the-grid living and live in eco-cabins
  • Practice yoga in beautiful natural indoor and outdoor spaces surrounded by forest and with stunning views of nature

Training schedule

The program is a 25-day course, using the chakana as the foundational structure. This means the course is separated into lower, middle, and upper worlds. The lower world represents the physical, the middle world reflects the mental and emotional, and the upper world involves the energetic or spiritual realm, leading you on a true journey from the head to the heart. Uncover and let go of the layers and step into a more awakened state of being to sit in the seat of your soul.

You will spend eight days in each world, broken down into two half-cycles of three days, with a half-day on day four to apply these practices to modern day living, and a full day off on day eight to live your spiritual practice.

For full school days you will follow the detailed schedule below. On half days, you will open with a morning's rest, restorative Yin class and a workshop to deepen your understanding of the chakras associated with the world you are working in, with the rest of this day free. You will meet the group for evening gathering every other day.

The training will consist of 25 days, 18 full training days, three half days, and two full days off, plus opening and closing on the first and last days.

Example of Kula Daily Schedule

  • 06:00 - 08:30 Meditation and Yoga Asana class (Art of Practice)
  • 08:30 - 10:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 - 11:30 Philosophy Discussion (Art of Living)
  • 11:30 - 13:00 Special Topic, Anatomy or Ethics Discussion (Art of Living/Healing)
  • 13:00 - 13:30 Lunch
  • 13:30 - 15:00 Personal sadhana
  • 15:00 - 16:00 Techniques class (Art of Teaching)
  • 16:15 - 18:00 Techniques or Practicum (Art or Teaching)
  • 18:00 - 19:00 Dinner
  • 19:30 - 20:30 Kirtan, sharing and meditation (Art of Healing) {every other day}
  • 20:30 - 21:30 Studying or journaling in Silence
  • Every fourth day of the eighth-day cycle is a half day, and every eighth-day a full day of Self Sadhana
  • Please take notice it will vary depending on location and facilitators

Instructors

C.J. Ananda

Retreat location

This teacher training program will be held in a small Mayan village of Tzunuma, near Lake Atitlan in the western highlands of Guatemala. It has become a Mecca for international travelers attracted by its beauty, tranquility, and diverse options for spiritual exploration and therapy.

This Yoga Retreat is vegetarian-friendly

Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats

Food

During the training course, you will be served three meals per day. The food served during the training course is sourced from the organic gardens and local producers.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Organic
  • Yogic
  • Ayurvedic
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Hold ceremony in a large temazcal, a space kept sacred for healing and transformation
  • Help local charitable organizations with their work in our Kula Karma program
  • Swim, SUP or kayak in the beautiful Lake Atitlan
  • Shop for beautiful textiles and handicrafts in local indigenous villages
  • Many holistic health courses available in the community before and after your training, including massage and probiotic foods

What's included

  • 3 daily vegetarian meals
  • 24 nights’ accommodation
  • Daily yoga and asana practices
  • Yoga Alliance syllabus and certifications

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at La Aurora International Airport (GUA).

Arrival by shuttle

Private shuttles are highly recommended and can be arranged for a direct service from Guatemala City to San Marcos La Laguna for a cost of 110 USD.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 60 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
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Location
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25 days / 24 nights
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Availability

Arrival: Monday April 6, 2020
Departure: Thursday April 30, 2020

Early bird discount

The prices below include an early bird discount of 300 USD per person.

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