200 Hr Elemental Yoga Teacher Training



Your training has already begun...

It starts with this page! Once you finish reading it thoroughly, you will have already finished your first homework assignment. And, as expected of any sincere student, we welcome your questions. However, we ask that you first complete the assignment (of reading this page carefully) before you present your questions. Send them to



This program is about far more than 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 yogic disciplines and virtues into your life. Thus, what you begin here 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



In terms of the physical practice, whether vigorous or gentle, our training aims to meet and challenge each unique trinity of body, mind and spirit wherever it's at. No level of fitness, body type, or previous experience is necessary. The only prerequisite is a heart, a sincere desire for transformation, and to help others. (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 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 ones understanding and experience of Yoga from no matter what background they come from. Therefore, it had long been my intention to have this reflected in the name of the training. Thus, when I discovered in my Sanskrit studies that Vishwa is the Sanskrit word for Universe, I was very happy. Why? Because Vishwanath is the name of my first adept yoga teacher; "Masterji" Mysore Sivaram Vishwanath, and his influence is sprinkled throughout this course. Therefore, the name Vishwa Yoga supports my intentions to teach Universal Yoga; and also honors the name of this very dear teacher.

(*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.)


Having taught Vishwa Yoga since 2007, it was likely that the curriculum would evolve, which it did in 2012. However, the extent at which it evolved could have never been imagined prior to that year. It was after taking an Ayurvedic / Elemental Yoga Therapy training in India, that so many puzzles I had previously encountered in yogic lessons and lore were quickly solved. This training was based upon what Ayurveda refers to as the Panch Maha Bhuta (Five Great Elements), and it's principals can be seen all over India, as countless temples are dedicated to each element, and a myriad of yogic remedies are based upon how these elements work together. They have an amazing ability to heal and guide you, mentally, physically and spiritually in every aspect of life!  

About TEACHING YOGA Formally 

...Or Not:

There is a saying that probably comes from many people; which is probably why no one seems to know who said it first. Perhaps you may have even said it yourself: 

 If you want to learn something well... 

Teach It! 

Although "Practice Teaching" is a part of this training, many people come to our yoga training with no interest in actually teaching. They just do it to go deeper into the yogic path for themselves; which really should be the initial impetus for everyone. 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 as well. Therefore, at least 3 "practice teaches" are required of 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.


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 formally as a yoga teacher, or not. Rest assured, all feedback will come to you in a safe and supportive atmosphere.  

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 and techniques, 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 seeking for yoga can give to them. Therein we find the difference between being an Instructor and a teacher, the difference between cultivating and manifesting your own unique gifts (and to the audience you feel drawn towards) 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.    

The Vishwa StYle:

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

~ Bruce Lee

This training encourages students to look at many styles in order to find their own. I call this The Bruce Lee Approach. Though Bruce 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 anywhere before. His response was that true mastery implies that one has found the most honest expression of their own unique self; with all its influences and insights, but not limited by any of them either.    

For those who DO wish to teach formally...

Let's be honest! Being honest is actually another simple way of speaking to the deepest goals of yoga. 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 and experimenting and teaching...! However, with our training you will find that along the way to gaining experience in teaching you will primarily be acquiring an accelerated 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. 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. Therefore, our focus is not so much on how to master everything about yoga Now, or in 4 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.


Yoga 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.  

Required Classes (outside of formal training hours)

In addition to 12 formal training weekends, students are required to attend at least 24 classes (basically 2 classes per week) at either of our studios; or some other studio where the teacher is certified (but does not need to be registered with Yoga Alliance). 

If you take these classes at our studios (Lotus Yoga Temple  and/or  Panch Maha Yoga) the cost is covered by your yoga teacher training tuition; and can be started before the formal training weekends even begin! However, do not try to take the majority of these 25 classes before the training begins and then hardly take any classes at all after the training begins. Ideally, you should be taking what you learn from formal training weekends into as many classes as you can between the formal training weekends, so that you can practice and reinforce what you are learning as soon after a training module as possible. 

Mysore Practice: (This practice happens more often during our local trainings)

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 might possibly invent; meanwhile the teacher goes around making adjustments* and modifications and suggestions based upon each individuals mind-body uniqueness.  Students will also use the time to practice making adjustments on one another. As homework, and prior to coming, you are required to read "What is Mysore Style?" (also accessed from the Training Resources tab on the drop down menu). In brief, to practice on ones own can be a bit intimidating at first but once students get used to doing it in the group setting 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. Nevertheless, for teaching purposes, we feel that this is a very important part of training; as it is very important that a student be able to guide their own self for at least an hour or two before trying to guide others. 

The minimum Mysore classes to attend is 12, but this is not the optimum! Therefore, we offer Mysore classes year round. Nevertheless, it is most ideal that you complete most of the 12 during your training period. 

This practice is currently held on Sunday mornings at the Lotus Yoga Temple from 9:00am until 11:00 (and a day soon to be determined at our Panch Maha studio in the near future).  

Sacred Circle

Often a magical experience, students can see how deep our yoga practices can uniquley address each individualś unique life and life challenges. ~ It is also a peek into our advanced (300hr) yoga teacher training: Vishwa Ayurveda.  /// Sacred Circle is also held Sundays, following the Mysore practice. It would be ideal to attend this as often as possible (esp if you intend to tkae the advanced (300hr) Vishwa Ayurveda training, but we only require that you attend three times within the formal training months of this 200hr training.

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


Formal training hours will take place on the weekends at the Lotus Yoga Temple in Pleasant Ridge.

Need a Ride?

If you are in the Clifton / UC area and do not have transportation to the Lotus Yoga Temple for the formal training hours at the Lotus Yoga Temple in Pleasant Ridge (6125 Ridge Ave, 45213) we will provide a shuttle from the Panch Maha Yoga studio in Clifton. Or, if you live along the path to Pleasant Ridge, we can pick you up along the way.


    If you haven't already clicked on this link from the first paragraph on this page, be sure to click this link at some point.

That is the page that gives an actual view to our unique training content. 


Book requirements are listed under the various module descriptions in the Syllabus. (Also accessible from the drop down TT menu above). Some of them can be found for free online. Most of them can be found used, but in good shape, on for less than $70 total; but if you get all of the books new it will probably cost around $100, depending on what versions you get. 


...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 religionists  may want to be "forgiven," but have no interest in 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, such as medical doctors; for we all know people who pass tests, but still do not adequately have the skills or internal development to meet the task (..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. It is also possible to be suspended from the training (which again has only happened twice out of about 500 students who have gone on to graduate). However, we hope that if this were to happen the student would eventually be able to come back; for we will work with them as long as they are, properly, 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

What Now?

If you haven't already, please

View The Syllabus & Training Dates 

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 to:

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