As research reveals the importance of mind-body awareness to cope with the stress
of modern life, practices like Soma Yoga are growing in popularity.
The Evolution of Yoga Teacher Training
Why do your 200 Hour Teacher Training with us?
Lead instructors, Bobbie Ellis and Karin Weinstein have over 50 years of combined experience.
Learn through embodied practical experience enriched with research-based principles of somatics, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and mindfulness.
Deepen your own practice so you can teach with authenticity, creativity and insight.
Receive essential knowledge, guidance, support and resources to teach Soma yoga with confidence.
Understand how to teach yoga in a way that honors its roots and respects the individual as well as cultural, spiritual, and physical diversity.
Yoga Alliance approved since 1998.
What is Soma Yoga?
Soma Yoga is a practice that is informed by your own intuition along with traditional practices that include yoga postures (asana), breathing (pranayama) and meditation. Supported by the fluid intelligence practice known as Continuum, Soma Yoga offers the practitioner access to innovative depth and dimensions in embodiment. In the processes of a Soma Yoga practice, yoga postures are seen as open inquiries in an on-going creative process rather than dogmatic practice in which we mold our bodies into prescribed shapes. This way of practicing offers us a gateway through which we can access our own inherent bodily wisdom.
In our fast-paced modern culture, there is a deep calling to come home to our own inner knowing. This inner knowing can only be found in the quiet moments of our own attention. The exploration of yoga postures utilizing breath, sound, vibration, sensation, fluid movement and meditation offers multiple points of entry through which we can become more deeply embodied and reconnected to the wisdom within.
This level of practice cannot be found anywhere but inside yourself. We believe that once you harness this way of being, sharing it with others becomes inevitable.
Listen to Bobbie talk about Soma Yoga
Beyond the Basics - What You Will Learn
The most current research-based theory on meditation and mindfulness. Modern research on mindfulness supports what meditators have long known - presence matters. We’ll investigate the origin of mindfulness practices and the importance of mindfulness on the mat as an instructor, as a student and as a human surfing the waves of life.
Anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. The number of research studies on yoga has increased seven-fold since the year 2000. In addition to yoga-specific research, current studies on tissue biomechanics, strength and stretching have given us a greater understanding of what yoga can - and can’t - do. Discover how skeletal anatomy can vary and the impact this can have on an individual’s asana practice. You’ll gain a new understanding of the true resilience and adaptability of the human body.
How to find your unique voice and teach with authenticity. We aren’t out to create clones. Instead, we create an atmosphere that cultivates the teacher within. At the very beginning of this training you will be encouraged to explore the gifts that you already bring to teaching soma yoga. In our intensives you will be offered ways to describe and “cue” posture, breath, meditation and explorations. Opportunities to practice teach help to lay groundwork for accessing the teacher within. In practice teaching you will explore your own ways of expression using cues imbued with your own gifts and talents so that your teaching style is authentic with your own unique voice.
The role of the nervous system in yoga, stretching and muscular tension. Often people find their way to yoga to gain flexibility or to ease sensations of muscular tightness or tension. Gain insight into how the nervous system influences sensations of muscular tension particularly when there is perceived weakness, vulnerability or unfamiliarity. Consider how much flexibility we really need and understand why more stretching isn’t necessarily the right approach.
To recognize the inherent resilience and adaptability of the human body. If there is one thing exercise science has demonstrated consistently, it is that the human body is amazingly resilient and adaptable. We’ll study principles guiding tissue adaptation so we can reduce fear and empower our students to trust themselves and their bodies more deeply.
Energetic anatomy and how to awaken the chakras. Learn basic sequences in posture, sound, breath, and physical, mental and emotional balancing for the seven main chakras along the midline of the body. Experiment with sensing the chakras so that you can teach from a place of creative access. There are multiple meanings for the word chakra: winding river, a cycle of years, a snake, a circular flight of birds, potters wheel, prayer wheel, astronomical circle like a zodiac. They are also associated with geometric designs, animals, acoustic resonance, blooming flowers.
How to work with a wide variety of skill levels in one class. What do you do when you have a brand new student and someone who has been practicing yoga for decades in the same “all-levels” class? You’ll learn how to guide a yoga practice offering options that meet each student exactly where they are. Understand how to incorporate variations while maintaining a sense of flow in your class.
Gain new reference points and perspective on what it means to be in a body for greater ease in yoga and in life. How often do we just want to be truly ourselves? To feel comfortable in our own skin, and have access to a deep sense of inner knowing. Training in Soma Yoga invites students to be in an inquiry with themselves, to examine their lives and look within to live life authentically. Through the practices of Soma Yoga and the skills you will attain give tools you to live from your own values and take time to find out what they are or to continue to deepen those you have already.
How to prevent yoga-related injuries by guiding students to change their habitual tempo and listen from within. Teaching from a place of inquiry and discovery in yoga guides students to change habitual patterns and find what feels like better alignment without any force or strain. Learn to listen from the sensory way the body “speaks” and encourage your students to do the same.
How to recognize and dispel common yoga myths and misconceptions. In this yoga teacher training we will encourage you to ask questions and think critically. Are yoga postures only safe when aligned a particular way? Are twists “detoxifying”? Does aligning your knee over your ankle prevent injury? We’ll consider some traditionally held beliefs about the practice of yoga and whether there is research to support or dispute these ideas.
The importance of play and self discovery as your greatest guides in teaching yoga. Play has no focus or goal. It is engaging in an activity purely for the joy it brings in the moment. Through exploring movement in breathing and asana or postures and even meditation with a sense of play, research has shown deeper learning takes place. As adults we don't often play for a sense of well-being and yet it is one of the most important resources for learning that we have had since we were kids. When you were learning to roll over, lift your head, sit up and eventually walk, you were in relationship to the elements of gravity and space. No one gave you cues to learn these skills, as a baby you learned through your senses.
Fun and interesting ways to utilize props to support and enhance a yoga class. We have to remember the body has soft curves and is not straight anywhere. Not only will we find unique ways to use blocks, bolsters, blankets, and straps we will explore ways to utilize balls of different diameters and textures to enhance support and offer tactile feedback, as well as performing self-massage and fascial release techniques.
An introduction to guidance for touch in a yoga class. Soma Yoga basic level ytt introduces you to gentle “touch stones” that are mostly auditory and kinesthetic instead of “assisting” a student into a deeper place with your hands which can put you and the student in jeopardy, instead invite them with words, guidance and demonstrating many levels of possibility with the backdrop of inquiry in the classroom, students learn for themselves for greater self awareness and self reliance.
Ways to create practices that are radial rather than just forward and backward or side to side. Create innovative sequences that initiate a 360-degree radial sense of oneself through the movement of spiraling and undulation. Explore spherical language and allow for time in class to be experiential so that students have opportunities for discovery rather than fixated just on a goal. This way of teaching opens us - and our students - up to new possibilities.
How to apply yoga philosophy and expand the 8 Limbs of Yoga to the modern world on and off the mat. Understand how to honor ancient wisdom as well as apply it to the modern world to reflect where we are now as a culture. The practice of yoga is an art and a science dedicated to creating union between body, mind and spirit. Its objective is to assist the practitioner in using the breath and body to foster an awareness of oneself as an individual being intimately connected to the unified whole of creation.
How the fluid nature of the body can inform and evolve yoga practices. There are layers of untapped possibilities and resources for fluid movement in yoga practice. You will learn ways to decompress the body and decrease habitual patterning from stress, posture, mental constructs, cultural demands and breathing patterns to more fully reinhabit yourself. This unique way of being and guiding practice “gives the reins” back to the practitioner allowing their body and its fluid wisdom to be the greatest teacher. Instead of a set of fixed rules to follow, we offer a container (asana) with suggested explorations that lead one to a deeply personal asana practice and greater freedom. Teaching this way leads to greater agency in a culture of followers. Soma Yoga is not for the faint of heart as it requires bravery and patience to open to the evolution of the body.