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Vishwa Yoga

200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training

Detailed Overview

(Required Reading!)

Your training begins here!

It starts with this page! Once you thoroughly finish reading it, you will have already finished your first required homework assignment. And, as expected of any sincere student, we welcome your questions. However, we ask that you first complete this assignment before you send any questions you may have to:

Furthermore, we suggest you jot down any questions you may have as you go thru this reading assignment. 

( The purpose of this is manifold, not just to reveal if you have done the assignment. ;)



This program is not just a posture practice. Our mission is to initiate students into a much fuller spectrum of yoga. Thus, we do not give a disproportionate emphasis upon the practice of postures. Instead, we strive to give you an understanding of yoga that makes the most of any yogic practice. Whether it be asana (postures), meditation, pranayama (breath control) or cultivating other disciplines and virtues into your life, what you begin in this training has the potential to be with you in every aspect of your life hereafter.

This teacher training has been more profound than I could have ever imagined.

Will is the special kind of educator that doesn't just teach, he enables and empowers.

I have gained the skills to feel confident as a yoga teacher but at the same time the heart of this training was much deeper.

It opened up space for exploration, surrender, connection, and limitless growth.

Perhaps the most important part is that I know this training has no real end,

it has only opened a door, leading to another door, another, and then another, forever.

I will be living this training for the rest of my life." ~Ethan


Choosing a yoga school should not be taken lightly. Where you choose to go can impact your life as much as a university or religious community. But the quality can range from being complete scams that just want to take your money (i.e. Trump University) to highly overrated institutions that make you feel like you're not good enough to get in (i.e. Harvard). They can also leave you financially indebted (i.e. most any university these days) or ethically indoctrinated to them (i.e. Bikram). 

The main criteria for Vishwa Yoga training is sincerity. And though we like to stay financially solvent, we do not charge as much as we think we can possibly get (as so many businesses models today strive to do), but what we feel is a fair investment for what is given. Also, we aim to meet and challenge each unique trinity of body, mind and spirit - wherever it's at. No level of fitness, body type, intellectual or spiritual background, or previous experience is necessary. Having a sincere desire for transformation -coupled with an openness to trust in the process- will take care of the rest.  (Notwithstanding, persons with certain mental or physical challenges may be beyond our capacity to accommodate.) 

Words cannot express how...Vishwa Yoga Training has truly transformed my path and my life!..  ~Joanna

What is Yoga?

Not long ago, most people in the west thought that yoga was mainly just stretching, and maybe some breathing and meditation practices. Today, most realize that yoga is much more than that, but still there isn't much more than postures being taught in a typical modern training. Our training, however, strives to make it clear that yoga has no limitations and that, in fact, everything in life can be approached as yoga. As the great yogi, Sri Aurobindo, said:

All of life is yoga!

Or at least it can be if we go about life yogically, which is to say religiously.

I won't go into the details here, but as an extension of this required homework, I would like you to read the blog article: What is yoga? But for now, you should know that Yoga is, essentially, the Sanskrit word for Religion.

The word Religion comes from two Latin words: Re - to bind back  &  Legio - to make whole.

The word Yoga can be traced forward to the Latin: Yoke, which means to make that which is separate into one.

Re is also a Latin word that means to return to source.

In other words, the best definition of yoga comes from the exact definition of religion:

To bind back to Source and make whole.

This is also what leads to balance and harmony; which are also definitions of yoga.

"The School for Unlearning"

(CYS Slogan)

To achieve greater harmony (yoga) one may well need to unlearn for as long as they have learned.

You may have been told that yoga is not a religion, but this is hard to reconcile if you flip the script and say that religion (true religion) is not yoga. The truth is that religion is the Latin word for yoga and yoga is the Sanskrit word for religion. Thus, yoga is not a Religion, yoga IS religion! Religion is not a Yoga, religion IS yoga!* Again, this is elaborated upon in the blog article, but for now the main point to be extrapolated here is that yoga is any practice(s) or way of life that brings harmony; which is to say the same for any true religious practice. And, just as there are endless forms of religion in the world (though many in name only) there are also endless forms of yoga in the world; that is to say, many ways to achieve wholeness and harmony. 

*Some older English translations of Hindu scriptures, such as the Bhagavad-Gita, use the word religion in place of the word yoga. 

What is Vishwa Yoga?

Vishwa is a Sanskrit word that can mean both Universe or World, and this training demonstrates how spiritual wisdom from around the world enhances one's understanding and experience of Yoga from no matter what yogic / religious background they come from. 

If one's religion is true, if it is valid, then what others have to say will not threaten,

but only strengthen what one already believes.

~Dr Daniel Rutledge                                         

Krishna seems to back up what Dr. Rutledge says in the quote above. In Hinduism's most revered scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, He says, "In whatever way one approaches me, I will strengthen him in that way."(4:11) And this is a conclusion that many, such as Dr. Rutledge, came to after having been exposed to spiritual wisdom outside of their own culture and circles. And, in fact, if they have an open and unbiased heart, they come to find that their overall faith (whatever it is) is strengthened by the faith that others have as well; as they also find that all forms of true religion (all forms of true yoga) have more in harmony than in difference; and (far be it from divisiveness) there is far more to gain in unity than indifference.


Therefore, it had long been my intention to have this reflected in the name of this training. Thus, when I discovered in my Sanskrit studies that Vishwa is the Sanskrit word for Universe, I was very happy. But not just because it reflects my intentions to teach universal yoga, but also because Vishwanath is the name of my first adept yoga teacher, "Masterji" M.S. Vishwanath, and his influence is sprinkled throughout this course. (*Masterji is a term of endearment for a master yoga teacher, but he was not called a guru himself because his own guru, Patabhi Jois, was still alive at the time.)

The Vishwa StYle:

"Where there is a way ~ there is a limitation."

~ Bruce Lee

This training encourages students to look at many theories, traditions, philosophies and styles in order to cultivate the best expression of their own. I call this The Bruce Lee Approach. Though Lee had many essential foundations, in the end he said they were all limiting. His goal was to move beyond the styles. Therefore, when other martial artists would watch him spar they were always perplexed because they could not figure out what style he was using. They saw pieces from many styles and they also saw many things they had never seen anyone else doing. His response was that true mastery implies that one has found 'the most honest expression of oneself' with all its unique inner and outer influences and insights, but not limited by any of them either.    

The Panch Maha Bhuta (Five Great Elements)

Though Lee combined all of his training and experiences to conjure up his own unique style he, nevertheless, learned many styles along the way. Those styles were the foundation of his own unique expression of those styles and his wide spectrum of mastery over them. This is largely because he did not do what most eternal novices do. He did not just choose one style and invest all of his time and energies into one style. But, by practicing many styles, each complemented and improved upon the other, making him lucidly creative and effective with whatever situation he encountered.

Similarly, there are many styles of yoga. Actually, no! There are endless styles of yoga. But you do not need to learn them all to manifest your own masterful expression of them all. You only need to learn Five! Not five styles, but five principles. These principles are: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space; and within these principles all styles (past, present and future) are derived. Perhaps this makes no sense to you now but, no worries! That's what the training is for.  ~ After the training, everything you understand in this world will be more balanced and complete as you are enabled to experience it through the lenses of these Five Great Elements. 

About TEACHING YOGA Formally 

...Or Not: 

Although "Practice Teaching" is a part of this training, many people come to our yoga training with no interest in actually teaching. They simply do it to go deeper into the yogic path as they have seen and experienced enough to know that it is a very good and worthy thing to do for oneself' and the world; which really should be the initial impetus for anyone who wants to teach anyway. So please do not think that our training is only designed for those who want to teach. Our primary goal is about you, as a yogi, on the yogic path to transformation. However we do not see teaching as something only to give to others, but a way to sharpen ones own skills and personal development. 

 If you want to learn something well... 

Teach It! 

Therefore, at least 3 "practice teaches" are required of our students before graduating. Furthermore, we find that when trainees know they have to do a "practice teach" they tend to retain the information and skills considerably better than if they take up the training as a casual learner. And, as one student put it, "Preparing and doing the practice teach brought the whole training together." 


Nervous? Don't be. A practice teach should not be considered as a test or a performance. It is simply an opportunity to sharpen and ground your abilities, to "get your feet wet", and experiment with how you will give your yogic gifts to the world; whether as a formal teacher, or not. Rest assured, all feedback will come to you in a safe and supportive atmosphere. In fact, creating a safe and supportive atmosphere is a huge part of the training.

It often happens that during or shortly after a practice teach has been completed that a student begins to open up to the reality that they " do " have certain gifts to share with the world. And as we often repeat to our students: "There is only one person who can share your gifts with the world!"  But, frankly, there are many other trainings wherein this is not the case. You are instructed to perform only a certain set of yoga postures or practices and they must be done according to an ambiguous standard -that usually will not work for a large percentage of diverse body-mind types out there. Therein we find the difference between being an Instructor and a teacher, the difference between cultivating and manifesting your own unique gifts -and to a diverse student body- or administering a rote routine for a specific population. In other words, not learning how to cultivate and share your own unique gifts is very limiting to both your own scope and to other scopes of people that yoga could be reaching.    

For those who DO wish to teach formally...

Let's be honest! Enlightenment itself has been described as deep and complete self-honesty. And so, to be honest, becoming a good teacher will not come from this or any course in only a few months time. Becoming a good yoga teacher will come from doing lots and lots of yoga yourself as well as doing lots of teaching to others, and experimenting, and teaching, and more and continued study, experimenting, and more teaching...! However, with our training you will find that along the way to gaining experience in teaching you will primarily be rooting into a very fertile soil that gives you an accelerated path into a continuum of never-ending wisdom. ~Therefore, we do not waste too much time with that which will come naturally over time, and best through time, but rather we strive to work on building that strong, deep and wide foundation. Learning how to learn is our method. Sincerely Aspiring to a yogic life of deep self honesty and expression is how we master it!

You can lecture and discuss with a child on how to be an adult, but what good will it do them until they have had the proper time to grow? A mid-life crisis is merely information for someone in their mid-20's. Similarly the grass will grow with water and fertilizer, but hurriedly pulling up upon it will do nothing but make it become or feel uprooted. Or as Sri Rajneesh has said, If you go in a hurry you will never truly arrive. The same is with yoga. Lessons will be there, but the skills that bring those lessons to life will come through successively deepening life experiences (aka challenges). Therefore, our focus is not so much on how to master everything about yoga Now, in several months, a year, or however long it takes you to complete one of our trainings! Instead we aim to give you a strong, deep and wide foundation from which you can gather and uphold an eternal treasury of precious wisdom. To dig your hands and hearts into this treasure like a plant roots into the soil, to abundantly blossom and be fruitful.

Teacher Certification

'The best way to appreciate something is to give it away.' ~Unknown


Hopefully by now it is clear, that holistic transformation is our ultimate purpose but, in case you are wondering, our training also surpasses the requirements for you to register with Yoga Alliance, and thus be recognized as an RYT 200 (Registered Yoga Teacher) (Or an RYT 500 for those doing our 300 hour track; meaning that they have previously already completed a 200 hour training). 

Required Hours

Again, 200 hours of training are required to receive a certificate that can be registered with Yoga Alliance. However, registering with YA is completely optional; and nowadays most people who do register with YA stop renewing their registration after about a year or two of paying the annual dues. If you are not sure if you would like to register your certificate, you can read more about Yoga Alliance Here. Nevertheless, we will be granting you a 200 hour Vishwa Yoga certificate whether you want to register it with YA or not.

      Or, if  you have already completed a 200 hour training in the past then (although there is still some good information on this page for you) you mainly want to be reading about our 300 hour training Here. -Or perhaps go ahead and read about our 300hr training because it is the most logical deeper step that also works in perfect complement to this 200 hour training.  It also takes place in Bali, Indonesia! Wherein after our training in India, some students may opt (after a 2 week break) to take the (remarkably cheap) flight over to Bali so as to keep their training going; and thus go ahead and attain the RYT 500 designation for having completed both trainings.  

Mysore Style Practice:

Students are required to attend a minimum of 25 Mysore Style classes. This is a semi-personal practice time within a group setting. Students will work on classic yoga postures as well as explore and experiment with other practices they have learned or invent; meanwhile the teacher goes around making adjustments, modifications and suggestions based upon each individuals uniqueness.  At some point, students will also use the time to practice making adjustments on one another.

As more initial homework, and prior to coming to a Mysore Style class, you are required to read "What is Mysore Style?" (which can also be accessed from the Training Resources tab on the drop down menu). However, to describe briefly here, let's just say that to practice on one's own can be a bit intimidating at first, but once students get used to it, it becomes their favorite part of the asana side of training. In fact, graduates often express that it is actually kind of hard to go back to "being led" in a class setting. Ultimately, for teaching purposes, we feel that a steady Mysore practice (which leads to a steady personal practice) is a most essential aspect of your training in asana.

 It is very important that a student be able to guide their own self for at least two hours

before trying to guide others for an hour.

Note: Mysore Style classes occur on Sunday mornings throughout the year (usually from 9:30 - 11:30) but if enough students request it, we can have it on an additional day of the week as well. 

Outside Training Classes (OTC)

These classes are outside of formal workshop training hours, but should not at all be considered outside of your training. Students are required to attend a minimum of 25 OTC within 12 months of training; and add a dozen more if it takes them more than a year to do the training; but preferably much more. Keep in mind that during one's yoga training they are most likely to do the most yoga they will ever do in their life! Don't let yourself get by with just the minimum. Go for the maximum!


Book requirements are listed under the various module descriptions in the Syllabus/Schedule. Some of them can be found for free online. Most of them can be found used, but in good shape. Personally, I no longer use Amazon as they are a very corrupt company but, however you find the books, it should be possible for less than $70. Also, although it would be nice to get the books all at once, because this training is spread out so you can go at your own pace, you need not buy all the books at once. but as they become relevant to the upcoming Training Modules.


...should be at least skimmed over across the timeline of the training. However, in depth reading is not expected. After skimming over the books to get a general idea of what is in them it is then preferable to just read only a few lines from each book at a time  ~ and really understand and apply them ~ rather than to completely read every book before the training ends only to result in some shallow or vague "comprehension." It is suggested that you get the books on a kindle or e-reader of some type if you are going on the Vishwa Yoga Journey (rather than taking this training locally). But either way, not all of the books need to come with you as most of them can be read before or after the journey; especially those books that relate to some homework that takes place after the journey.  


We reserve the right to NOT grant a teaching certificate to students who have simply "completed" the work. It has been very rare (I think just twice out of about 500+ graduates since 2007) but sometimes students just don't get it. They want a certificate and yet lack respect for the teachings behind the certificate; or they simply do not seem to care to implement them.  For example, some may say they hope to be "forgiven," but have no interest in actually changing offensive behaviors. Trying but failing is one thing. It is forgivable. But not trying at all is quite another. Thus CYS cannot faithfully endorse a student as a true Yogacharya (Teacher / Exemplar of Yoga) just for paying a fee and going thru the motions. 

If you're like me, you might also wish the same for many other professions (i.e. medical doctors) for we all know people who pass tests, but still do not adequately have the skills or internal development to meet the tasks (..though the opposite holds true quite often as well). Therefore, in this training, we feel it is our responsibility to let you know that it is possible to not be certified -even after turning in all homework and doing all assignments on time.. It is also possible to be suspended from the training (which again has only happened maybe thrice, out of about 500+ students who have graduated). However, we hope that if this were to happen again the student would eventually be able to come back; for we will work with them as long as they are, properly, sincerely, willing to work with us!


Have you taken yoga classes for years?  

Do you enjoy the practice, yet sense there's something more to be grasped, released or discovered within?

Yoga Teacher Training with Will is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to widen and deepen your individual yoga practice,

while strengthening you to share it with others. Conveniently scheduled to integrate into your work week,

and priced so that a year from now you won't miss the tuition you spent,

this training is a rare gem - not to be missed!  

From ayurveda to zen, you will find out more than before;

this experience can instill in every student a renewed capacity for a lifetime of yoga learning on many levels.  

Is it time for you to go back to school?  Reflect and choose your adventures wisely this year.

Prepare to be blessed! ~Leslie Laird

Tuition / Investment

This is a revolving program which has a monthly payment plan built into it. You only make a total of 12 monthly payments of $149 each (totaling $1788) but have up to 2 years to complete the training (although we recommend you complete it in 1 year). But because I am already repeating a lot of things that are already detailed on this page, I am just going to ask you to go to this page

An Extra Important Note!

This is a revolving program and, therefore, has many scheduling advantages therein ~ but within reason. For example, it's a wacky world and who knows what the future holds. Thus, if you take more than 24 months to complete all of the training modules, CYS can no longer be obligated to continue offering the training modules beyond 24 months. Furthermore, and although we would still hope to continue offering the modules endlessly, it is not in the students best training interest to take more than 24 months to complete the training. Thus, it is advisable not to miss any training modules even once and, therefore, complete the training in about 1 year. This is for the best continuity of your own training as well as to avoid the possibility of not see a training module come around for a 3rd time. Nevertheless, let's say that somehow something freakish happens and you miss the same training module (or 2, but not more than 2) for a second time -and- this training format is discontinued. 

~ In this case we can come up with some "homework" equivalent to help you finish your training.

What Now?

Make sure you have clicked through all the various links to have fully reviewed all aspects of the training.

These are listed in the body of this page above, but here they are again for your convenience:

Quick Course Overview Syllabus/Schedule. What is Mysore Style? ~ Tuition / Investment

Please thoroughly review all of the above links!


Next, if it looks like this training is a good fit for you, then cut and paste The Application into an email, fill it out thoroughly, and send it to:

You can also send any questions you may have to the same email.


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