200 Hour Teacher Training


200-Hour Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher Training

To receive more information about the next YTT program submit the form below.

Our goal is to create a warm and safe environment where you can advance your personal yoga practice, while learning to teach others the art of yoga. Our Yoga Teacher Training program is centered on three essential elements of yoga: ancient knowledge rooted in modern science; thoughtful and skilled teachers; and a strong community of support. After successfully completing the training, you may register with Yoga Alliance; the most consistently recognized national organization for certifying yoga instructors. Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga offers a complete teacher training every year designed to expand your knowledge, practice, and understanding of yoga. Attendance is required at all workshops for Yoga Alliance certification. Pilgrimage of the Heart recommends having at least 1 year of consistent practice (2-3 classes/week) in studio or at home before applying to our Teacher Training program. If you do not have this level of experience, please contact us to discuss your enrollment.
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SOLD OUT! - February-June 2017, 5-month program

        • February - June 2017
        • 9 Weekends: Each weekend workshop will be held on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays.

July 2017, 1-month program

        • July 5-August 2, 2017
        • Monday-Friday
        • Monday – Wednesday and Fridays: 9am-4:30pm; Thursdays: 11:30am-4:30pm
        • One month intensive.

        February-June 2018, 5-month program

          Free Information Sessions!

          Want to know more? Attend a FREE information session where you can meet the program administrators, look at training materials, and get all your teacher training questions answered.

          Info Sessions

        • Wednesday, March 8th at 7:45pm, North Park
        • Sunday, April 2nd at 9:30am, Normal Heights
        • Wednesday, May 3rd at 7:45pm, North Park
        • Sunday, June 4th at 9:30am, Normal Heights
        • Not practicing with Pilgrimage? Contact the program administrator by completing the form on this page and we'll give you a week of FREE yoga.

          Price: $2150 — $2400

                    • $2150 Paid in full by April 5, 2017
                    • $2300 Paid in full by June 5, 2017
                    • Full Price: $2400
          Our price includes all necessary books and materials.
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It is both a great honor and a great responsibility to run a yoga teacher training program. Here at Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga we take that responsibility very seriously. We do everything we can to ensure that your experience of learning to teach yoga is fulfilling and comprehensive. Our goal is to offer you the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to teach yoga.

Our program is also ideal if your main goal is to deepen your practice and understanding of yoga. Nearly half of those who take our training do so primarily to expand their knowledge and practice. Some graduates go on to teach, while others choose not to. The training is for you.

Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga’s 200-hour teacher training is certified by Yoga Alliance, the only nationally recognized purveyor of Yoga instructor certifications in the United States.


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Q: How much experience do I need before taking the program?

Q: What if I am not sure if I want to teach or not?

Q: What kinds of training do you offer?

Q: Do I have to be super flexible to teach yoga?

Q: How does the teacher training work?

Q: What is the mentorship progrm? No other programs offer that.

Q: Is there homework?

Q: It all sounds good. What is the next step?

Q: How much experience do I need before taking the program?


We recommend 12 months of regular yoga practice prior to beginning the teacher training. Regular practice would be considered either two studio classes a week (at Pilgrimage of the Heart or any studio of your choice) or a similar amount of practice on your own.

An Ancient Art

Yoga is an ancient art that has been passed on from person to person for thousands of years. In the modern world yoga has taken on another unique manifestation: it has become an extremely popular form of mind-body exercise. As of 2016 over 36.7 million Americans are now practicing yoga and another 20 million are thinking about trying yoga. This creates a wonderful opportunity for you to teach and share yoga with others.

The Western world is realizing not just the health benefits of yoga but also the mental and emotional benefits. In our teacher-training program we offer students the full range of yogic understanding so that you can play a significant role as a yoga teacher and practitioner in the years to come. You will learn all the components of yoga including yoga philosophy, breath control and meditation.

Q: What if I am not sure if I want to teach or not?


Our training offers you the opportunity to both deepen your knowledge and practice and learn to teach. Half of those who are in our programs do so only to deepen their practice. Yoga is a journey of transformation and you will experience that transformation during our training.

Your Unique Goals

There is no “right” reason for practicing yoga. Each individual that embarks on the path of yoga does so for his or her own unique reason. At our studio we honor and respect all the reasons and motivations that inspire people towards yoga. We hold forth the same attitude when it comes to our teacher training. Whether you primarily wish to deepen your practice or want to become a full-time yoga teacher our program is designed to help you reach your unique goals.

Our program will prepare you to teach all styles of yoga. You will learn the fundamentals of yoga, which you can then apply to teaching all styles of yoga including traditional hatha yoga, gentle yoga, power yoga, vinyasa flow, and hot yoga. We also feature a special workshop where you explore the fundamentals of teaching yoga to children, prenatal yoga and yoga for seniors.

Best of all: from all that you learn you will be able to create your own unique yoga style and flow. You will learn the principles of pose/counter pose, the principles to sequence a yoga class, and the emotional benefits of the various poses.

Q: What kinds of training do you offer?


We currently offer two trainings per year. Every spring we offer a 5-month training. In July, we offer a one month intensive. Our training is certified by Yoga Alliance, the most respected certification program in the world.

Q: Do I have to be super flexible to teach yoga?


No, but you do need to care about people and to want to help them learn and grow. Flexibility is only one aspect of yoga.

In our training you will learn to guide people into postures through verbal cues and the demonstration of the postures. If there are postures or variations of the postures that you cannot do you can verbally cue your students into those postures. To effectively guide others in yoga you do need to know the basics of anatomy, which you will learn in our training.

Our Studio is Alive!

Another wonderful element of our teacher-training program is the fact that you are training and learning in the environment of a thriving yoga studio. Each week hundreds of individuals come to Pilgrimage of the Heart to learn and practice yoga. It is in this inspiring and uplifting environment that our teacher training is held. You will see the positive effect of yoga in the lives of our studio members and this will help you learn how to offer yoga to others.

Principles of our Program

Our program is built on three principles: (1) the study of ancient knowledge rooted in modern science; (2) highly qualified teachers offering you outstanding instruction and guidance; and (3) a strong community of support.

Through this program, you will receive training in the fundamentals of Yoga philosophy, Yoga postures (asana), anatomy, breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation. You will learn to teach over 40 postures.

Q: How does the teacher training work?


The backbone of our program consists of 24 workshops, homework, scripts for learning to teach over 40 postures, developing your own practice of yoga, learning breath control and meditation, observing during studio classes, assisting in studio classes, taking classes, and working with your mentor. Five months of studio membership and all textbooks are included in your tuition.

Q: What is the mentorship program? No other programs offer that.


This is one of the unique elements of our program. You will spend 8 hours in Spring, and 3 hours in Summer (you and your mentor can decide on how to divide up the time) working one-on-one with a mentor of your choice. You will choose your mentor from the participating teachers on our staff. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions, work on your teaching skills, and discuss spiritual philosophy or anything else that you wish to explore with the help of your mentor. This reflects the ancient mode of teaching through which the wisdom of Yoga was passed on through one-on-one exchanges.

Q: Is there homework?


Yoga is an art and science that has evolved over thousands of years and involves plumbing the heights and depths of human consciousness. The more you read, study and practice the more you will be able to know and teach the essence of Yoga to others. Our program involves homework assignments that include reading, journaling and study questions. The more time and energy you put into your study, the more you will get out of the program and the more confident you will be as a teacher.

Q: It all sounds good. What is the next step?


If you have never been to our studio please come in and try some classes! We have a great special: 2 weeks of unlimited yoga for $25.

Attend a Free Information Session! During this session the Program Director and the Program Coordinator will answer any questions you have and offer you information that will help you decide if this is the best program for your needs. Click here for upcoming Information Session dates.

If you decide that this program is the right fit for you, you can call the studio at 619-640-4438, send an email to [email protected] or stop by the front desk to schedule an appointment with our Program Coordinator to get the application process started."

As a wise philosopher once said: “The longest journey begins with the first step.” We look forward to serving you along your journey in becoming a Yoga instructor.

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Yoga Teacher Graduates

Program Requirements

              • Spring, 5-Month Program
              • 24 Yoga Teacher Training Workshops.
              • 10 Meditation classes. Classes offered on Monday evenings, Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings. Weekend workshops also available.
              • 8 Hours of one-on-one mentorship meetings.
              • Assistant teaching: assisting a teacher and offering adjustments to yoga students during class.
              • Public yoga classes: participating, observing and taking notes during and after each class.
              • Daily asana practice to solidify your own commitment to yoga.

Program Highlights

              • Yoga Alliance certification.
              • Five months unlimited yoga at Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga Studio.
              • Mentorship Program designed in line with traditional Indian yoga instruction. Trainees work one-on-one with the yoga teacher of their choice.
              • Skill-building to teach and adjust 40 postures.
              • Skill-building to teach meditation, breathing techniques, and chanting.
              • Hands-on adjustments in yoga studio classes. (Not available for the July 2017 intensive training)


Nikole Fortier

Yoga Asanas & Teaching Skills & Anatomy

Nikole has a 200 hour certification from UCSD training with Arturo Galvez in the Iyengar & Astanga traditions, and recently completed a 100 hour interdisciplinary flow certification from Yoga One with Amy Caldwell & Diana Beardsley. She’s been blessed to have studied with many amazing teachers, and often credits her students for teaching her most. In her classes, she likes to incorporate chanting, pranayama, Sanskrit, philosophy, still and moving meditation through asanas with emphasis on the breath so that students can experience the spectrum of transformational yoga expressions. Foremost, she encourages students to practice loving kindness, truth, peace and acceptance on the mat as these qualities invariably translate into life.


Lauren McLaren

Program Administrator & Finding Your Voice

Lauren began her yoga training in the Caribbean and studied with teachers there, in Canada, and in the US. A teacher at heart, she returned to her calling and began teaching yoga in 2009 after completing her first teacher training with Aura Wellness Center in Rhode Island. Always seeking to expand her knowledge and training, she completed her second 200-hour program with Deva Parnell at Discovery Yoga Center in St. Augustine, Florida. Kripalu inspired, her teaching style is grounded in honoring the body and its innate wisdom. She brings dedication, compassion and a sense of lightheartedness to all of her classes, but what drives and inspires her most is a profound believe in the transformative power of the practice both on and off the mat.


Sujantra McKeever

Philosophy & Meditation

Sujantra was born in San Francisco in 1962 and moved to San Diego in 1980 to attend UCSD. He is the founder and owner of the Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga Studio. He first became interested in hatha yoga as a young boy and used his practice of asanas (the yoga postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques) as a stepping stone into the “inner aspects” of yoga: concentration, meditation and contemplation.

Sujantra has authored five books on eastern philosophy, success motivation and meditation. Two of his books were used by major universities to teach wellness, stress reduction and comparative religion. Over the past 20 years, he has delivered over one thousand lectures on meditation and yoga in over 25 countries.

Sujantra opened the Pilgrimage of the Heart studio in 2006. In each of his yoga classes, Sujantra offers the complete yoga experience by teaching all eight aspects of yoga and exploring the relevance of this ancient art in our modern lives. He teaches Beginning / Gentle Yoga; Yoga for Children and Hatha Levels I and II, which includes Sun Salutations, shoulder stand and headstand. He encourages students to practice both at home and at the studio.

Sujantra has studied meditation with spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy since 1980. Sujantra is an ACE certified Group Fitness Instructor.

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Courtney Yezzi

Program Assistant

For this opportunity to offer guidance on the path of yoga, I am filled with gratitude. From this space of gratitude, I would like to give three thanks. To my shining spirit and the shining spirts of others who I will meet on this path. May our hearts beat joyfully together as we journey forward. To my family for offering constant encouragement as I found yoga and throughout all my life transitions that come from inward listening. To my teachers with lights that shine so brightly I can see and feel them when I close my eyes. Thank you.

I promise to offer what I authentically am today and with each day moving forward to grow, as we all grow, with many blessings.


Kayma Englund

Program Assistant

Kayma has fostered deep interest in the teachings of yoga and subtle energy from a young age. With signs too clear to ignore that this was her calling she has devoted over 1,000 hours of organized training around the globe to study these ancient teachings to help make sense of this multidimensional human experience. This ongoing, fascinating journey has brought Kayma to Southern California where she is passionate about holding an intelligent, supportive space for individuals to connect with themselves and the beauty that lies in each moment. When not teaching Yoga she can be found playing in her garden, working with crystals, riding bikes and making art. She welcomes you to class with an open mind and open heart! From her roots to the present Kayma has completed 200-hr Yoga Alliance certified training with the Arhanta Yoga Vedanta Ashram in Northern India, 300-hr YA and International Association of Yoga Therapists certified training in Costa Rica, Intensive Thai Massage Training at The White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, and 1, 11 and Master Level Reiki trainings with A Flight Above Venus in New York City.


Lena Schmidt

Special Populations: Prenatal

With a background in gymnastics and dance, Lena finds the physicality of yoga to be a delightful and challenging way to move the body without competition. The spiritual aspects of yoga have aided Lena in the never-ending search for peace, calm, and positivity within and she is passionate about sharing these tools with others.

Lena is intentional about taking yoga off the mat and loves finding the bridges between the heart and mind, the individual and community, mindfulness and expression. To complement the creative practice of yoga, Lena holds degrees in ethnic studies and women’s studies and is dedicated to making the joyfulness of yoga accessible to all people. Lena offers a hatha/vinyasa class that includes strong asana, pranayama, and a philosophical theme woven throughout.


Alyssa Runyan

Business of Yoga

Alyssa’s journey on the path of yoga began long before she rolled out a yoga mat. The awareness she cultivated from her vipassana meditation practice helped her realize the transformative power of yoga from her very first class. After completing her first 200 hour teacher training in 2010, she began teaching immediately. It didn’t take long before she knew that teaching yoga was her passion; following her instincts and relying on faith she quit her job as an animal nurse to teach yoga full time. Her trust in the universe paid off; she now balances teaching yoga, managing a studio, and continuing her own education as a teacher and a student. From beginning hatha to advanced vinyasa, Alyssa enjoys working with yogis of all levels in a myriad of styles. Her teaching demands a strong cultivation of awareness, while weaving in meaningful spiritual themes which are very pertinent to everyday western life. She is currently immersed in a year-long Anusara training and is delighted to incorporate these teachings into her classes. She believes yoga is a path to revealing our divine nature, one mindful breath at a time.

"I am teaching at The Scripps Research Institute. It is for the employees there to unwind during their lunch break. I can imagine that they work in a stressful environment so I am happy to provide a space where they can connect back to themselves and return to work feeling a bit lighter. I also teach at If I Was A Bird Yoga in Carmel Valley. Teaching to kids has been really enjoyable because it brings out the carefree and playful part of yoga rarely seen in adult yoga. I am also on the sub list for Ride On. It is a spin studio that expanded to offer yoga as well. I have not yet taught a class there but am looking forward to it. Despite not having taught there yet, the yoga coordinator, Daniela Kent, has been doing workshops there that are free for the teachers. I am grateful to be apart of a place where I can continue my education post-YTT." -Kathleen Thai, YTT Graduate 2015

"This program has completely changed my life. I feel renewed sense of Love and Lightness in my life." -MM

"I feel that the curriculum at Pilgrimage is an excellent training for a future yoga teacher of for a student who really wants to learn about the yoga he'll never learn in a class setting. Above the training itself, I think the community Pilgrimage has established makes it so special. Because of the compassion and friendliness at the front desk and the teachers, any individual could walk through the doors and feel special, unique, and individual." -Anonymous

"This program is unique in that it encourages students to truly live, and truly live, breathe, and experience yoga, both on and off our yoga mats. I love that this program integrates all aspects of yoga: philosophy, meditation, asana, anatomy, and pranayama. Exploring and connecting each of these themes has helped me to develop mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I feel prepared ans inspired to continue to seek and learn, as this program has helped me to cultivate a strong foundation for my yoga practice as both a student and a teacher. Nikole, Sujantra, and Courtney are phenomenal teachers who sincerely care for and love their students. Their support and guidance throughout the program has helped me to discover and embrace the light in others, and within myself. This has been an incredible journey, and I feel truly blessed to have had this opportunity to learn from so many genuine people." -KB

"Thank you for such a beautiful experience at PoH TT. My time in the training was unimaginably transformative and I am so blessed to have had such incredible teacher and receive support from all the instructors and staff at the studio." -DL

"I especially loved the sense of community-seeing the same faces at meditations, kirtan, asana practice and just around the neighborhood. I loved the willingness of all staff to support teacher trainees by answering questions and helping out. I especially liked that everyone learned my name and remembered who I was, which made me feel like I belonged. Overall, I felt like everyone here was supporting my experience and cheering me along the way." -CB

"One of the best aspects of Teacher Training at PoH was the sincerity of the program. It was designed to create an authentic yoga teacher and not a mass-produced robot-teacher. My teachers were honest, precise, knowledgeable, ans deeply interested in my growth as a student." -Anonymous

"It was very nice to feel fully supported throughout the program by the entire staff at PoH and by my fellow would be teachers. I think that was one of the biggest strengths of the program for me, and it comes from Pilgrimage having wonderful people on their staff that understand how to create a supportive and caring learning environment. Thank You!" -Anonymous

"As we come to the close of our teacher training, it is bittersweet. I arrived in San Diego with zero friends, much confusion about my path in life, and mixed emotions about where I was in life. The TT has given me confidence in myself that had been missing for a while. It was the first time in a long time, that I was doing something for me, for my spirit, for my journey." -Anonymous

“I feel that the quality, personal support and sincerity exhibited by the teachers, as well as the staff at Pilgrimage of the Heart stands out in my mind as a model of Teacher Training.” ~EJ

“I have learned SO MUCH and have been inspired and supported beyond what I ever could have imagined by all of my teachers and fellow students in this program.” ~NS

“I think what I liked best were all the amazing teachers and people I’ve met. They all just overflow with love, joy, acceptance and sincerity. I have never felt so at home” ~JD

“Sujantra is a knowledgeable, kind soul, and I enjoyed getting to know him while learning philosophy. The philosophy workshops were very interesting, as they help provide personal growth, and encourage thought on a deep level.” ~AJ

“Thank you to all teachers and staff at Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga Studio for a great experience-- Infinite Gratitude.” ~CM

“ This program has been amazing. I really appreciate the heart-centered approach the studio has in teaching yoga; that is what drew me there in the first place. I felt like this program helped us integrate this heart-centered philosophy into our own yoga teaching styles.” ~LM

“Thank you all so much for all of your help, all of your lessons and all of your love. I am so very grateful. Namaste.” ~LM

“I loved all of the people involved in this Teacher Training. You provide a caring, safe environment in which we were encouraged to explore and to learn. I felt comfortable asking questions knowing that everyone is very knowledgeable, experienced and helpful." ~RL

“I am thrilled that I got to have this experience at my home studio. In case it isn’t clear, I love this place and I love you guys.” ~K

Congratulations to the Graduates of our Teacher Training Program!

At the completion of each teacher training, our graduates have the opportunity to lead a donation class at the studio. Be on the look out for these classes!

Yoga Teacher Graduates