You need to have an established regular Hatha Yoga asana practice (3 days per week) for 6 months prior to the program. If you have other qualifications which makes this program suitable and would like for us to consider, please explain on the application form. Without an established personal practice, it would be premature to consider teaching. Although the program’s asanas are not overly demanding, you will be doing a lot of them and combined with a full schedule, it’s important to be prepared physically.

This is a professional-level online training, therefore you need to be an organized self-starter and able to make the time commitment outlined below. You need to be very comfortable with computers or mobile devices. Although not difficult, the course is delivered through an online platform and you will be participating in a virtual learning experience (zoom webinars, online discussion forums, creating and submitting video clips, etc).

The course begins on Sunday, January 9th at 9:00-10:30 am PT, and concludes on Sunday, May 29th at 11:30 am PT.

All live classes will be held entirely on weekends: 3 Saturdays each month (9 AM-12 PM and 2-5:30 PM PST) and 2 Sundays each month (9 AM-12 PM PST). This allows for one full weekend off each month from live classes, however there will be assignments to complete.

You’re expected to participate online throughout the week at times convenient for you and you’re required to attend at least one live class (ideally the full-day on Saturday) each scheduled weekend. This means you’ll need to make time for approximately 9-12 hours of each week for which includes live and pre-recorded classes, self quizzes, video assignments, reading, practice time and participation in discussion forums.

For those who are unable to complete the training all-at-once, which is what we recommend, you have the option to split the course into two segments (part 1 & 2). Part 1 would be from January 9 to March 27, 2022, and Part 2 could either be completed in person at The Expanding Light Retreat within one year (e.g., Oct 23-Nov 6, 2022). or online the following year, April and May of 2023 (exact dates TBD). Contact Melody Hansen (melody@expandinglighr.org), the program director, for questions regarding splitting the course and/or hybrid options.

All live classes will be held entirely on weekends: 3 Saturdays each month (9 AM-12 PM and 2-5:30 PM PST) and 2 Sundays each month (9 AM-12 PM PST). This allows for one full weekend off each month from live classes, however there will be assignments to complete.

You’re expected to participate online throughout the week at times convenient for you as well as attend live classes. This means you’ll need to make time for approximately 9-12 hours of each week which includes live and pre-recorded classes, self quizzes, video assignments, reading, practice time and participation in discussion forums.

Live Class Times:
Saturday 9:00 am – 12:00/12:30 pm PST   
Saturday 2:00 – 5:30 pm PST 
Sunday 9:00 am – 12:00/12:30 pm PST

Live Class Dates for those splitting the course:
January 9 (Introductory Webinar – 9:00 to 10:30 AM PST)
January 15, 16, 22, 29, 30
February 5, 12, 13, 19, 26, 27
March 5, 12, 13, 19, 26*, 27*
*Required Classes – See more schedule details here.

The program cost is $3350 USD. If you complete the registration one month prior to the course start date, you will receive the Early Bird Rate of $2995 and receive the Early Bird Benefits*.

Submit your application online and within 7-10 days you will receive notification of approval or request for more information. The notification of approval will include a link with instructions on how to register and enroll (make payment) in the program to reserve your space. After enrolling, you will receive a welcome email with a link to access the course web page and begin the pre-course assignments.

Everyone moves through the course together, week by week, and you’ll have assignments due each week. That’s the only way to have extensive, quality interactions with classmates and build a dynamic learning community.

Yes, you are expected to attend live classes on Saturdays (9 AM-12 PM and 2-5:30 PM PST) and Sundays (9 AM-12 PM PST). These are interactive sessions where you receive training and guidance from instructors, practice teaching what you’re learning with your classmates and experience being part of our supportive community.

We realize it may not be possible to attend all live classes therefore, you may watch the recorded version and complete the competency self-quiz before the next scheduled weekend. In order to receive your certificate of completion, you will be required to attend 75% of the live classes and watch all recorded versions of those missed.

To be considered for certification, you must attend all mandatory classes (32.5 hours) for their entire duration, plus at least 65 hours of the other live classes. If you miss any of the other live classes, you will need to watch the video recordings and take a quiz, but watching those videos does not count toward the 64 hours. Apply now and plan ahead to receive mandatory class dates from your instructor. Your live attendance and participation is the key to success!

Coursework that takes place during the week is self-directed learning and can be completed at times that are convenient for you. You are free to do this coursework at whatever times of day suit your schedule. We do expect you to log in and complete your weekly video assignments, quizzes, and reading assignments before live class, be ready to apply what you’ve learned and discuss any questions you may have.

a) Required: develop a regular Hatha Yoga practice.

b) Required: Purchase The Art and Science of Raja Yoga by Swami Kriyananda, and get started on the pre-course reading assignments. 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.

c) We also recommend that you begin the process of setting up your “online studio” such as something as simple as a corner of your room with a yoga mat, props, good lighting and a stand for mobile device/laptop. More details with recommendations will be covered in the pre-course assignment and orientation.

d) Mark your calendar: The course web page will open for enrollees 2 weeks prior to the start date of the course, and we will send a notice to enrolled students at that time. Take this opportunity to complete the pre-course assignments and familiarize yourself with the site.

e) Save the date: The course officially begins with a Zoom webinar on Sunday, January 9th (9:00 AM PST). This will be an opportunity to meet your instructors and introduce yourself to your classmates. We will review the requirements for certification, course guidelines and respond to any questions.

Yes, you’ll have lots of interaction! In fact, many of the assignments require it: discussion forums, live Q&A, webinar breakout groups for practice teaching with group coaching, one-to-one practice teaching scheduled on your own time and team-teaching projects. Plentiful interaction is a best practice in online learning and this course is structured entirely around best practices. You’ll love being part of the supportive learning community that forms.

Absolutely! One of the highlights of this professional training program is having instructors spend quality time giving you personalized feedback both in live sessions and in writing. We will be closely watching your progress within the course so that you can take the appropriate steps you need—as an individual—to become a confident, knowledgeable, and conscientious yoga instructor.

You’ll need a device (desktop, laptop or ipad) to access the course web page on a regular basis. Although it is possible, we don’t recommend completing assignments from a mobile phone because it doesn’t allow for an ideal user experience. For live webinar classes, you’ll need a device with a camera such as a laptop with a built-in camera, a webcam that you can attach to your computer, an ipad, or a mobile phone with a built-in camera so that you can be seen by your instructors and classmates.

When filming yourself for special assignments, your device will need to have enough space to record a maximum of 30 minutes. You will also need to upload recordings to a video platform provided within the course or YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox, Google Drive. If you’re concerned about some of the technological elements of the course, or if you’ve never done an online course, used Zoom, or made a video and posted it online, you can still be successful in this course!

The course web page is easy to use, intuitive and offers many “how to” instructions to help you. The pre-course assignment includes a special video “tour of the course”. These days, everyone knows someone who can help them with such basic technological tasks as making videos and uploading them to the web. If you think you will need such help, we recommend that you find a helper early in the course, rather than waiting until an assignment is due. All in all, please know that many “tech-challenged” people have done very well in all of our online courses.

Yes. This course takes place within the tradition of Paramhansa Yogananda and his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda. Participants should be open to learning and teaching this approach to yoga postures and yoga philosophy. Those who come from a different tradition—or no tradition at all—should register as far in advance as possible in order to learn and practice those techniques before the course begins; we will send those links to you before the course web page opens. Then your course experience will unfold much more naturally, and your teaching and personal practice will benefit much more. Please note: We do not ask that you discontinue your current yoga practices if they are different; we simply ask that you do the practices that are required for this program.

More FAQs

You will extensively study and practice a broad spectrum of educational materials presented in our core curriculum covering 4 main categories:

Techniques, Training, Practice

  • 30 Hatha Yoga asanas each with an uplifting affirmation, including how to draw their physical, energetic, and spiritual benefits
  • Asana mechanics and variations, safety cautions, and modifications (how to adapt asanas for student limitations)
  • Classical pranayama (yogic breathing techniques) and working with the subtle body (energy centers)
  • Ananda Meditation, including concentration techniques, chanting, and how to sit comfortably

Yoga Anatomy & Physiology

  • Anatomical movement, planes of movement, and anatomical terminology for yoga teachers
  • Muscles, bones, fascia, and postural points of alignment
  • Nervous system and other bodily systems (digestive, endocrine, immune, circulatory, and more)

Yoga Humanities

  • Study of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, The Bhagavad Gita, and Ashtanga Yoga (8-limbs)
  • Working directly with the body’s subtle energy, including the chakras and kundalini
  • Increasing energy and magnetism as a yoga teacher
  • Yoga lifestyle, including yogic diet and simple living

Professional Essentials

  • How to plan a class: structure and sequence, teach yoga postures in groups, one-on-one, and to students of all walks of life (accessible yoga)
  • Practice several hands-on adjustments to assist students in the asanas
  • Find ways to address students’ needs on all levels – physical, mental & spiritual
  • Learn the latest tips and tools for business, marketing, and online teaching
Yes, the course page and all of its materials will be made available even after the course closes.
You will have time with your instructors in every live class for Q&A on the subjects and materials covered. Other questions can be submitted to the “Ask The Instructors” forum where everyone will benefit from reading your question and learning the response.
Ideally you should have a yoga mat, 1 belt/strap, 2-3 blankets (Mexican are ideal), and 1 block for the asana classes. If you need suggestions for where to purchase these props, please indicate this in your application form and we can provide you with some helpful resources.
We offer technical support for using the website that hosts this course. Technical support for using Zoom, and other online services will be limited. You’ll receive written instructions for how to make videos and post them within the course webpage.
You will post it on YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, Dropbox, or a similar service. Again, if you don’t already know how to do that, you probably have a friend who can help you with the process. And don’t worry about the privacy of your video: you can post your video in such a way that the general public will not be able to see it.
We realize that emergencies or illness can arise. We will work with you to try to find a solution—and the more advance notice we receive, the more likely it is that we can find a solution. But please realize that, because all the students move through the course together, we can do only so much to accommodate late assignments, even for emergencies or illness.

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:

  • Contact Melody Hansen, Program Director at melody@expandinglight.org, to schedule a time to talk
  • Schedule a private yoga or counseling session with one of our staff instructors through the Ananda Well BEing Services: ONLINE Coaching & Counseling
  • Watch our YouTube Channel: Ananda School of Yoga and Meditation (and practice with) Ananda Yoga videos that are available through Ananda’s publishing department, CrystalClarity.com
  • 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.

Ananda Yoga is a 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.

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.

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.

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

  1. Attend 75% live classes including the mandatory live classes, and watch recordings of classes ans complete activities: 2-3 times per week, and complete a number of assignments and additional guided practice sessions that are not shown individually on the sample schedule. (Expect approximately 9-12 hours of coursework each week.)
  2. Satisfactorily complete all reading assignments, self-quizzes, written assignments and discussion forums throughout the course and by their due date within each unit of the course.
  3. Demonstrate the skills and attitudes of an Ananda Yoga teacher. This includes satisfactory performance in the student teaching sessions: safe, clear, and complete teaching skills.
  4. Satisfactorily complete the final quiz on 31 asana names (in English and Sanskrit) and their Ananda Yoga affirmations.
  5. Agree to follow the Code of Ethics for Ananda Yoga Teachers.
  6. 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 Melody Hansen, course director: melody@expandinglight.org.


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.
Absolutely. Your instructors will make themselves available to you by phone or email to stay connected and answer questions as you go out and teach Ananda Yoga. You will also receive a periodic newsletter as well as have opportunities for online Q&A and other resources, and individual mentoring (extra cost). Ananda also offers a wide variety of other learning experiences — both online and in person — that will benefit your practice, your teaching, and your understanding of practical spiritual living.
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.
Refund Policy: If you cancel 14 days or more before the start of the program, your payment will be refunded, less a $150 processing fee. If you cancel within 14 days of the start of the program, then 50% of your payment will be refunded, and the remainder will be forfeited. If you cancel more than 14 days after the start of the program, the full program cost will be forfeited.
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.
As in any high-quality online training, you need to be organized, responsible, and a self-starter. You need to devote an average of 9-12 hours to coursework every week. You also need to be comfortable with the technology aspects of the course, such as website navigation, online written discussions, and making and uploading videos. Though not difficult, those activities are central to the course. If this online course doesn’t feel like a good fit for you, Ananda also offers an in-person Ananda Yoga Teacher Training at The Expanding Light Retreat in California. Visit www.expandinglight.org for more information.
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 worldwide, is a co-founder and director of Yoga Alliance, and served a head of the Alliance’s Standards Committee. He will be one of your main philosophy instructors in this program.

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, each with their own unique schedule and format. Modules include Advanced Pranayama, The Essence of the Yoga Sutras, Online Meditation Teacher Training, The Bhagavad Gita, and the Online AYTT Assistantship.

Yes, and we recommend it! We open the course web page about 2 weeks prior to the scheduled start date of the course, and we send a notice to enrolled students at that time.
You’ll also receive pre-course reading assignments once you’ve been approved for the course.