200-Hour Foundational Nosara Yoga Teacher Training

Directed by Amba Stapleton and Don Stapleton, Ph. D., Co-founders and Co-directors of Nosara Yoga Institute

"You get to arrive as a work in progress."

Don Stapleton

The 200-Hour Nosara Yoga Teacher Training provides an in-depth exploration of the fundamentals of Hatha Yoga practices. Taught in a non-authoritarian environment, this training guides you step-by-step through the process of discovering your own unique expression and style of yoga, supporting you as you come to know the teacher already within you. In this month-long yoga teacher training immersion, you will:

  • Deepen your yoga practice and discover how to continue developing your practice for lifelong learning
  • Learn exceptional teaching skills and business practices that will support you as you begin a successful yoga teaching career and vocation
  • Develop balanced and healthy lifestyle habits that you can continue upon returning home
  • Learn community-building skills that will help you create a sangha (or sacred community) once at home, and establish lifelong friendships that will help you sustain your practice throughout a lifetime

Our Unique Vinyasa Flows

During your 200-Hour yoga teacher training, you will learn two distinct but complementary styles of yoga: the Nosara Yoga Vinyasa and Self-Awakening Yoga Therapeutics.

Self-Awakening Yoga Therapeutics Flow®: Created by Don Stapleton, Ph. D., this practice was born from his studies in creativity and human development, his personal dedication to yoga practice and his ongoing inquiry into the foundations of movement throughout the developmental cycle—beginning in utero and continuing through adulthood. You’ll explore the movements presented in his book that facilitate health and fitness, while also introducing yoga as a creative learning process and an expansion of consciousness. Self-Awakening Yoga unlocks the body’s natural intelligence by stimulating the primal impulse to move towards balance and healing. Practitioners can recover freedom of movement, release emotional trauma, and unleash their full spiritual and physical potential to re-balance and integrate the whole self.

Nosara Yoga Vinyasa Flow®: Created by Amba Stapleton out of her love of strong physical exercise, sweating and the movement of life force (or prana). This dynamic sequence of hatha yoga postures is linked together through rhythm and breath, and inspired by passionate music, creating a shift in brain wave patterns that lead to a shift in consciousness.

What Will I Experience During the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training?

Asana Technique: At the heart of every yoga posture is the ability to stand on one’s own two feet. With this understanding we study the Standing Mountain Pose (Tadasana) in-depth, covering both Eastern and Western alignment principles. Expanding upon this foundation, we then explore the 36 postures that make up the Nosara Yoga Vinyasa®.

Movement Inquiries: These therapeutic movements that comprise the core of Self-Awakening Yoga Therapeutics, are a gift from the natural wisdom of your body. They can assist both beginners and advanced practitioners to move beyond the boundaries of classical yoga postures, and facilitate a direct experience of prana, or energy.

Pranayama & Bandhas: We will study and practice the seven most powerful pranayama techniques that have the potential to create a shift in consciousness when integrated into a well-balanced yoga practice. The bandhas (or energetic locks) will also be explored, as a tool to support and align the body during posture practice in the most efficient and relaxed way possible.

Two Vinyasa Practices: You will learn both a vigorous vinyasa, and a therapeutic vinyasa flow. From this balanced foundation, you will learn how to design your own vinyasa practices, creating a teaching style that is unique to you, while supporting the diverse needs of your students.

Chanting: Drawn from his 40 years of personal practice, Don leads simple chants inspired by the Bija Mantras—basic syllables that make up the elements of speech and sound. The repetition of these “seed” sounds helps the mind focus, and calms and tones the nervous system. A powerful component of a multidimensional yoga practice, chanting is often reported by our students to be one of their favorite aspects of this training—even by those who previously avoided singing.

Meditation: All Nosara Yoga classes end with a 10-minute meditation combined with pranayama. As you develop through your personal meditation practice, you will be able to draw from your own inspiration to provide meditation experiences for your students.

Yoga Philosophy: The study of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras creates the philosophical framework of our 200-Hour training. In particular, the first four verses guide our inquiry into the process of learning through our own yoga practice, and shed light on what it means to be a yogi in the 21st century.

Conscious Communication: As a yoga educator, you are modeling awareness in everything you say and do. By bringing consciousness into your self-expression and communication, you will gain the skillfulness required to partner with each of your students in their unique journey towards self-discovery.

Satsanga: Every Friday night during the month, we gather together for Satsanga. “Sat,” means, “the truth that awakens from within”. “Sanga” is, “to be in the company of.” Together, Satsanga describes the practice of being in the company of individuals willing to share the journey of self-discovery. During this time, we share the stories of our personal learning as it occurs throughout this training. Satsanga is a great way to check in with each other and create community. It is a tool you may find useful to share in your own yoga community when you return home.

Practice Teach: Practice teaching begins on day one of this training. Our teaching methodology provides small, digestible steps along the way, culminating in a 90-minute teaching experience with your fellow students at the end of the month. Any of our previous graduates will attest that this experience was enjoyable, powerful, and fun. Feel free to contact one of our graduates through our Find a Teacher page to ask then directly about their experience.

Course Syllabus

Techniques 105 Hours:

  • Interdisciplinary focus on asanas and flows from different styles & traditions
  • Extended practice times
  • 36 Postures with hands-on assists for deepening awareness
  • Nosara Yoga Vinyasa
  • Self-Awakening Yoga Vinyasa
  • Variations and modifications on asanas for different skill base
  • 7 Pranayamas
  • Energetic effects of mantras & mudras
  • Integrating 3 Bandhas into practice
  • 30 conditioning movements
  • Incorporating 9 relaxations & 6 meditations into teaching
  • 300-Page Manual

Stapleton Teaching Methodology 23 Hours:
  • Methodology for creating experiential learning environments
  • Focus on design and delivery skills for various styles of classes
  • Precision and clarity in languaging
  • Sequencing flows for varying effects, fitness levels
  • Incorporating hands-on assists & modifications
  • Choreographing elements of timing, use of music and voice to create experiences
  • Designing for mixed level classes
  • Designing 8 Week Courses for Beg. & Int. Levels of Classes
  • Designing techniques classes in coordination with flow classes
  • Nurturing creativity in the learning process
  • How to teach new posture to beginners
  • Leading Vs. Teaching
  • Finding Personal Style in Content & Delivery
  • Assessing Individual Needs
  • Facilitating effective communications
Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology 22 Hours:
  • Physiological and energetic effects of asanas, pranayama, meditation and relaxation
  • Benefits & Contraindications for all techniques
  • Effects of structural alignment on overall health
  • Postural Alignment from 5 Yoga Systems
  • Muscle Physiology
  • Physiology of stress
  • Avoiding common injuries in yogic practices
  • Using props and variations to individualize practices
  • Body-Mind Prana relationship
Philosophy, Psychology & Lifestyle 22 Hours:
  • Philosophical foundations comparing 5 Yoga Systems
  • Body-Mind-Prana Relationship
  • Principles of self-development in Western systems of Feldenkrais, Alexander & Somatics
  • Teaching as a spiritual practice
  • Psychology of Creativity in adult learning
  • Introduction to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
  • Selected Sanskrit: Asanas, practices, mantras, etc.
  • Unfolding Individuals thru the Teacher-Student Relationship
  • Yogic model of Self
  • Yamas and Niyamas as an ethical basis in teacher-student relationship
Practicum 17 Hours:
  • Design & teach one 90 minute Nosara Yoga Class
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Design 8-session course in style of choice
  • Practice teaching exercises in small groups
  • Co-mentoring & self-evaluations
Professional Practices 11 Hours:
  • Practicalities for marketing private and group Interdisciplinary classes
  • Yoga Alliance Registry
  • Insurance and Liabilities
  • Website listing on Nosara Yoga Institute registry
  • Continuing education & Building community
  • Membership in Teacher Organizations