Upama Yoga: Comparative Yoga Studies

Students may register for the complete program, or for one module at a time.

If you have special requirements, for instance health professionals interested in philosophy or existing RYT200s who would like to explore something not offered in their original program, you are encouraged to attend modules of particular interest. Please see our FAQ or contact us for details on how to prepare for these sections.

See our learning objectives for each module here.

Additional Pricing Info & Fees for Modular "Pay-as-you-go" students:

Early Bird per-module rates are valid up to one month before module starts. Any payments made within 30 days of module start date will be at regular price.

Due to the reading & practice requirements of the teacher training program, textbooks and monthly membership to Type A Yoga studio are both included with full program tuition.

For modular programs, textbooks and studio membership for required practice time will need to be purchased separately. Details regarding required textbooks specific to each module will be emailed following registration. For most modules, textbooks are an additional expense of $25-$100, up to $300 for the complete program. Membership for 14 months is up to $1100 extra for the entire program.

In addition to textbooks and any required practice hours, students taking teacher training on a modular self-paced basis will need to pay a $100 graduation fee at time of completion in order to receive their certificate for Yoga Alliance registration.

(220+ hrs and training in Kids Yoga, Restorative, and Prenatal)

2015-2016 program Early Bird (payment in full June 1st, 2015):$1750

Regular Registration (payments after 06/01/15): $2250

Includes: Textbooks, Instruction, Studio membership, Graduation Filing Fee

Please note these rates are for our 2015-2016 program only. Tuition may increase significantly for future dates.

Teacher Training Program (paid in full)

Flexible Options

Upama Yoga's program is divided into convenient modules. This allows students who need more flexibility in scheduling to enter and exit the program as budget and time allow. Students enrolled in the Full program receive a discount on the overall program and are eligible to attend all modular courses and electives without additional cost.

Students who require a payment plan may also register for modules individually. Be advised that the modules are designed to build upon prior sections and reinforce prior ideas. Students entering mid-program may find it especially challenging, and should consult with the program director.

Additional Requirements

This program is designed to supplement an existing physical practice. Students should have a significant, regular asana practice at time of application. For most students, this means attending classes more than once a week for well over a year, combined with a frequent home-based practice. In addition to in-class hours students will be required to complete observation, assisting, and personal practice hours. Students are also required to maintain a physical practice regularly under an appropriately qualified teacher at a location of their choice. Upama Yoga tuition includes a registered student pass for classes at our program's home studio location Type A Yoga, but required practice completed at other studio locations will be at student expense.

Continuing Support

Graduates expect a quality education that prepares them to be able to teach effectively, and we intend to provide one. If a student is unable to pass with satisfactory completion of course learning outcomes due to whatever circumstances, we will help that student retake the needed courses in a future session of the program* so that they may be confident in their ability to be a professional and knowledgeable yoga teacher.* Students concerned about potentially missing class hours should consult with the program director about potentially making up those hours with electives or makeup classes.

* Some limitations apply. If tuition has increased since initial course, student will be responsible for any additional tuition over the amount originally paid. For repeated classes, classes must be retaken within one year of original program. Classes taken after one year may be subject to review and approval by program director due to potential changes in course material. Re-entry students must discuss program requirements with program director before returning to classes.

(12.5 hours)

Regular: $100
EB discount: $75

In this module students are introduced to foundational concepts that support the entire program. We will begin with an introduction to the program as a whole and to each other. Students will get to know each others' respective perspectives and experience. Following our introductions, we will begin to learn fundamental concepts in the following:

  • Introduction to Functional Anatomy
  • Skeletal structure and bony landmarks
  • Muscle structure: fibers, insertion, principles of movement/kinesiology
  • Terminology of anatomical direction, relation, and movement
  • Intro to physiology and yoga philosophy
  • Introduction to Sanskrit (transliterated, pronunciation, visual exposure to Devanagari)

Ideas are presented using a variety of techniques, including experiential and tactile exercises. Terminology and concepts are presented with mnemonic tips and long-term relevance in mind, and students are prepared for what they need to know and why.

(35 hours)

Regular: $300

Discounted Rate:$250

In this module students continue using anatomical concepts and terms learned in Module 1. concepts that support the entire program. Students begin to learn muscular and skeletal anatomy in greater detail and applying these ideas to their existing asana practice. Students will cover:

  • Bony landmarks and major muscle insertion of axial and appendicular skeleton
  • Biomechanical principles for injury prevention and safety
  • Pelvic tilt and back safety in backbends, forward bends, twists
  • Safe alignment of the following structures in asana: knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, ankle, hips
  • Comparisons and Variations in asana mechanics based on tradition and style

Students will start viewing asana from an anatomical perspective. Using the earlier ideas of attachment points and muscle fiber directions, students will initially evaluate asana using principles of biomechanics and alignment.

  • Jul. 24-26: Module 2 Pelvis, Hips & Spine
  • Aug. 21-22: Module 2 Legs, Knees, Ankles
  • Sep. 18-20: Module 2 Shoulders, Neck, Arms
  • Oct. 23: Module 2 Review (*24th & 25th: Restorative & Prenatal Electives, priced separately)

(27.5 hours)

2015 Flash Sale price (November Only):$75

Module 3 shifts attention away from the physical practice and begins to look at the history of yoga philosophy. While some instructors love to point out the thousands of years yoga has existed, some don't examine or comprehend how the practice changes, sometimes drastically, over time and place. Modern students often get conflicting information about the "true meaning" of yoga as a result of these shifting perspectives from Brahminical, Vedic, Vedantic, Classical, Medieval, and Modern practices. Students will also examine contributions to yoga philosophy from Buddhist and Jain sources. Students will also examine hatha and raja yoga practices in addition to asana, including pranayama, mantra, kirtan, bandhas, chakras, and energetics. Students will cover:

  • Comparative history and philosophy of asana
  • Textual analysis of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, including comparison of various translations, and redacted sutras
  • Comparison of secular, Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu perspectives on yoga over time
  • Cultural sensitivity and Orientalism in the Modern Yoga Community
  • Western Yoga and Modern Postural Yoga in the 20th and 21st centuries
  • Comparative Pranayama practices, kriyas, bandhas
  • Comparison of historical, stylistic, and recent changes to asana practice
  • Dualism and Non-Dualism
  • Key historical texts related to yogic thought, including assorted Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Yoga Sutras, and Dhammapada
  • Cultural significance of sound in yoga community, and variations in music from Vedic mantra to modern Kirtan and Yoga MCs
  • Comparative styles of meditation

Philosophy is interwoven with practices, allowing students key "breaks" between abstract concepts and historical context. Students learn what cultural factors led to changes and schisms in practices while learning to practice and teach pranayama (breathing practices), bandhas(energetic locks), and more. Students will also learn about the high level of precision and accuracy required by proper Vedic chanting, and will learn to practice the less strict form of Sutra chanting. Students will also learn a variety of cultural perspectives regarding mantra assignment and recitation.

  • Nov. 20-22
  • Dec. 11-13

(35 hours)

2016 Regular: $300
2015 discount: $250

Module 4 begins to integrate the earlier foundation of anatomy with the deeper comprehension of energetic and philosophical practices learned in Module 3. Students review earlier mechanical principles and begin to look at the intangible aspects of a yoga practice, including the energetic aspects of breath (prana) and locks (bandha). Students will also shift focus away from anatomy and start examining poses from categories based on energetic response, philosophical themes, or stances and flow. Students will cover:

  • Specific actions and physiological response in backbends, forward bends, and twists
  • What to look for in preparing students for more challenging practices including arm balances and inversions
  • Comparative asana practice, examining different perspectives from different traditions in Modern Postural Yoga
  • Review of mechanics based on pose stance and safety factors in sequencing
  • Examining poses at different student experience levels and when to teach what
  • Debating conflicting data on contraindications, sequencing, and asana instruction based on tradition
  • Introduction to sequencing theory and practice
  • Common injuries and modifications for a variety of student types including plus-sized, beginning, therapeutic, and older students

(25 hours)

2016 Regular:$250
2015 discount:$200

Module 5 continues with the methodology of sequencing and relates it to teaching theory. Students begin to shift away from the practice of yoga and toward education. We will compare a variety of teaching theories from fields including developmental theory, learning styles, sociological factors, brain-based learning, and more. After understanding the field of education from a general perspective, we will discuss the structure and flow of a yoga class as opportunity for exploration and effective education. Students will cover:

  • Historical comparison of behaviorist, humanist, constructivist, cognitivist, and social learning teaching theories
  • Comparison and criticism of learning theories, including Bloom's taxonomy and domains, Kolb's Experiential Learning Model, and Gardner's Multiple Learning Styles
  • Examination of recent scientific developments in neurological teaching theories
  • Creating engaging, student-centered yoga classes by balancing flexibility and responsiveness in the moment with long-term direction and thematic structure
  • Philosophy, history, and roles of the yoga teacher
  • Yoga instruction techniques including use of props, physical assisting, and verbal instruction
  • Using yoga instruction techniques in order to create differentiated, experiential educational opportunities for a variety of learning styles
  • Examining our own educational histories and perspectives and how that influences our teaching
  • Developing an informed, confident, authentic teaching voice
  • Developing observational, assisting, and verbal instruction skills
  • Aspects of Raja and Hatha yoga philosophies as practical teaching tools for the Modern Postural Yoga class
  • Intro to Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda

(25 hours)

2016 Regular: $250
2015 discount:$200

Modular program students wishing to apply to Yoga Alliance for Registered Status must pay an additional $100 graduation fee.

Module 6 integrates all of the prior sections and begins to examine the occupation and issues facing 21st century yoga professionals. Students continue practicing their teaching techniques and finding their own authentic teaching voice while learning about the pragmatic and business matters of yoga teaching. Students will cover:

  • Career options, employment and state licensing laws
  • Professional organizations and registration
  • Ethics and professionalism
  • Liability and Insurance
  • Current controversies in the yoga community
  • Marketing Yogicly
  • Classroom management and handling challenging teaching situations
  • Culminating Experience presentation in student-chosen area of interest


Regular (per each 5 hr set) $75 2015 discount: $50


(No textbook requirement)

Students interested in gaining a specialty or making up missed anatomy or practice hours can take electives in addition to their program. Specialties include exposure to Restorative Yoga, Kids Yoga, and Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga (5 hours each). (As noted in FAQ, plus-sized yoga will be addressed as part of regular yoga instruction. The regular course also includes classes in Yoga Therapy, Ayurveda, and yoga for injuries.)

  • Restorative Yoga training: October 24th, 1-7pm
  • Prenatal Yoga training: October 25, 1-7pm
  • Kids Yoga Training: August 2016 TBD

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