Yoga Teacher Training – Frequently Asked Questions

Salt Spring Centre of Yoga

If you don’t find your answer here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Program Information
Does yoga teacher training only run in the summer?
Yes, we offer our Yoga Teacher Training Program only once each year, in the summer (note that it consists of two sessions).
How many students do you accept into this course?

Our maximum enrollment is 40 students.

Is the yoga taught in this course the same as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (sometimes referred to as power yoga or Mysore style) as taught by Pattabhi Jois?

No, this program is based on classical eight-limbed ashtanga and hatha yoga as taught by Baba Hari Dass. The style of asana taught in this training includes a broad range of postures with a variety of sequencing options and modifications, based on classical principles. Both flow and sustained postures as well as more vigorous and gentler sequences will be taught. The Sanskrit term “ashtanga” means “eight limbs”, all of which are addressed in this program.

Program Details
How do you address the individual needs within the larger group?
Offering this training since 2002, the following arrangements have proved to be very effective in supporting individuals within the larger group context:

  • For the morning asana classes, we offer 2 to 3 different classes simultaneously to accommodate the various levels, with teacher-spotters as needed.
  • The pranayama/meditation class is taught as one group by 2 main instructors with several teacher-spotters present to assist with individual needs/adjustments.
  • The afternoon asana clinics are taught by 2 main instructors with 2-3 teachers assisting. Each clinic includes student teaching exercises where you are practicing in pairs then progressing to groups of threes and fours, as your skills develop.
  • The August student-teaching practicums (both pranayama and asana segments) are done in small groups of 8-10 students with 1-2 mentors present.
  • Several times during each session, we gather together in small ‘check-in groups’ comprised of 6 students and 2 teacher-mentors. This provides the opportunity to have personal dialogues within a small group context.
  • This course has an experienced faculty of 20 instructors – with several instructors living on site during the entire program. The instructors welcome personal questions and will make time during breaks to provide feedback/assistance.

We also have a human resources counselor on faculty who is available to provide confidential support for personal needs. Between sessions and after the course has finished, the instructors continue to invite any questions you may have about the yoga practices, yoga theory, or teaching experiences.

What does the Anatomy section cover?

The anatomy component of YTT is a unit of 8 hours class time. The goal of this unit is to provide students with a conceptual understanding of how muscle, bone, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and other organs are involved in the practice of classical ashtanga and hatha yoga. While some concepts are covered at a basic level, others will be more developed as they apply to safety and quality while teaching the asana and pranayama practices.

We will explore specific asanas, related potential injuries, and grounding/stabilisation within a regional review of the anatomy. Given the limited time available we cannot cover all these topics in depth. This engaging presentation will include a PowerPoint presentation, handouts, reference material, and an interactive 3-D DVD anatomy program.

Can I tape the lectures?

Yes, you are most welcome to tape any of the talks if you can bring all your own equipment to do so. Being prepared to record the classes would be quite valuable especially for some of the, “yoga theory” classes that introduce sanskrit terms which will be new to everyone.

Admissions & Eligibility
I am not sure I want to be a teacher but want to deepen my practice – is YTT suitable for me?
Yes. Yoga teacher training is intended both for those who would like to take their practice to a deeper level, and for those who wish to become teachers. We find that increasing numbers of our YTT participants are taking the course without the intention to teach (though some change their minds after the program). With in-depth study of philosophy, anatomy, physiology, asana, pranayama and all other limbs of classical ashtanga yoga our YTT program is well-suited to deepening your practice. Learn more on our YTT page.
I have an injury which limits usage of my body. Am I still eligible to take this training and how will it affect my participation?

A pre-existing injury or physical limitation doesn’t preclude you from being eligible to take this training. Depending on the extent and nature of the injury, we would determine how that would affect your participation in the program. This can be discussed with the YTT Program Director, Andrea (250-537-2326), prior to submitting an application or after we’ve received your application, at the time of your telephone interview.

I am not very flexible or strong and/or I have physical limitations - will I still be able to teach yoga?

In this course, you will learn and practice the many ways to modify the postures to accommodate physical limitations for yourself as well as for others in a classroom setting.

What is the admission policy?

Admission to the program is conditional upon the following:

  • A minimum of one year’s experience in yoga practice is recommended.
  • Determination by the Program Director of The Salt Spring Centre of Yoga Teacher Training Program, that the prospective student is suitable to participate in the program, following a review of a written student application.
  • The student is in good health at the start of the program and is responsible for notifying the Program Director in a timely manner of any changes to his or her physical or mental health and of any changes or additions to prescribed medications or dietary requirements, prior to commencement of the program.
  • Program admission requirements may not be waived by the student nor The Salt Spring Centre of Yoga.

Fee & Materials Information
What is the payment plan for yoga teacher training?
Please visit our Yoga Teacher Training Fees page for details.
What kinds of publications and reading materials will I receive in this course?

Prior to beginning the program, an orientation package is sent out to those who have paid their deposit. The package includes an optional reading list and the following two publications:

1. The Ashtanga Yoga Primer 2. An Essay entitled “Binding Thoughts”

Both are by master yogi and author, Baba Hari Dass. These give a preview to the actual course content. Two internet links will also be e-mailed – basic anatomy visuals and an introduction to Ayurveda, by Dr. Vasant Lad.

At the start of the course each student receives an extensive manual with printed materials related to the curriculum content and a copy of the book “Silence Speaks” by Baba Hari Dass. During the course, each teacher also provides printed materials specific to the subject being taught. A CD or (e-files) of common Sanskrit terms as related to yoga, is also included provided.

No publications are required to be purchased for this course.

Are my YTT fees tax deductible?

SSCY is certified by the HRSDC as an educational institution. However, the ytt 200 program does not last 3 consecutive months or more, so it does not qualify under the LLP or Life-long Learning Program. Students may claim the fees paid to SSCY for purposes of tuition, education and textbook tax credits on their tax return. Students should check with their accountant or tax preparer for additional information.

Other Information
I have a severe peanut /nut allergy. Can you still accommodate me?
It would be next to impossible to control the kitchen environment enough to ensure that peanuts were not within your vicinity and that you were not exposed to nuts in any of our meals.

Based on a lacto vegetarian diet, we use a lot of nuts to supplement the protein needs of the guests. We serve granola that has walnuts and cashews in it, muffins that on occasion have nuts, as well as peanut and almond nut butters. For dinner, we may serve casseroles which contain cashews and/or almonds.

We believe that it is in our best interest and yours to say that, we are sorry we are unable to accommodate your needs safely.

Please contact the Program Director, Andrea, to discuss your situation directly: 604-279-5465 or aktabachnick@aol.com

Can I bring my own food?

It is not necessary to bring your own food as the meals and snacks we provide give ample nutrition. It is fine to bring personal snacks or treats that don’t need refrigeration, such as trail mix, cookies, power bars etc. (vegetarian origin please.)

Can I bring my children, husband, mother?

Although we can not accommodate family members during this program, we do offer an annual community yoga retreat in August that includes a kids’ program. Family and friends are welcome to visit the centre during the breaks in the program.

Can I bring my pet?

Sorry, we are not set up to accommodate animal companions.

Salt Spring Centre of Yoga
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