yoga teacher training focusing on diversity and inclusivity
Our trainees are prepared to lead students through both set sequences from major yoga traditions as well as creative sequences of their own. But what truly sets them apart is their ability to do so with trauma sensitivity and inclusivity.
Many of our trainees end up teaching at Yoga District, helping make Yoga District the highest rated yoga studio in the nation’s capital for years in the City Paper and the Washington Post. Our curriculum is designed and directed by a published yogi who established the George Washington University yoga teacher training program and contributed to the Harvard Karma Yoga Project teacher training. Read on to learn more.
Consistent Mentorship and Community
The same Yoga District faculty stick with the same group of trainees throughout each training. So there’s no need to worry about receiving a segmented, piecemeal training with an ever-changing group of fellow trainees and inconsistent faculty.
Nonprofit Mission = Affordable Yoga Teacher Training
Yoga District is a yoga-teacher owned and operated collective of studios with a nonprofit mission to keep yoga and mindfulness accessible and affordable. While our pockets aren’t deep, our hearts are big, our tuition is low, our payment plans are long, our work/study options are plentiful, and we will never let inability to pay stop us from trying to work something out with potential trainees. We believe that you have a right to access these teachings.
Why do the training?
Because you love yoga and want to share its gifts. Trainees have joined our training programs for a wide variety of reasons. Whether it’s to teach in studios, schools, corporate or outreach settings, or just to advance your own practice, Yoga District’s diverse program helps meet trainees’ needs in a supportive environment.
Diverse Yoga Styles
As the yoga teacher training school of the highest rated yoga studio collective in the nation’s capital, Yoga District’s yoga teacher training program features a variety of yoga traditions including Vinyasa Flow, Alignment, Power, Dharma, Ashtanga, Yin, Restorative, Prenatal, Chair Yoga, Youth, and Trauma-Sensitive Yoga. You’ll learn what makes these traditions different and what unites them. This will help guide you to the path in yoga most appropriate for you personally.
Freedom of Choice
Our dedication to diversity uniquely positions Yoga District graduates to teach a variety of yoga styles to a variety of communities, and to make informed decisions about the style(s) of yoga and student communities they choose to further dedicate themselves to, both during and beyond the training.
Teacher-Student Ratios Matter
Over the years, Yoga District held trainings for groups as small as four and as large as 35. Experience teaches that the best training size never tops 20. Trainees receive individual guidance and feedback throughout the training.
Diverse Student Communities
Yoga District’s teacher trainees learn how to share yoga with diverse communities. Learn to modify and amplify poses, customizing pace and cues to help your students explore yoga in the most supportive way possible. You’ll learn how to teach anywhere, from homeless shelters to gyms, from yoga studios to daycare centers, from corporate settings to hospitals. Our trainers and trainees are diverse and welcoming of all gender identities, sexual identities, ethnic identities, ages, racial identity, economic status, and more.
Yoga District’s down-to-earth teacher training faculty includes exceptional yoga teachers who have been practicing, teaching and living yoga for years. The faculty guides trainees to take hold of the teachings in a more academic yet hands-on, experiential format. This equips trainees with the skills needed to safely advance their own practice and sensitively share yoga with a variety of communities. Each training features a small group of experienced teachers who each lead portions of the curriculum, sharing their personal yoga teaching experience, philosophy and style. Students benefit from a wide range of expert skills, approaches, and techniques, as well as yoga styles, including Ashtanga, Therapeutic Yoga, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, Dharma, Vinyasa Flow, Power, Prana Flow, Prenatal, and Restorative. Among the many presenters, the faculty may include:
Jasmine Chehrazi led the George Washington University School of Public Health yoga teacher training program in addition to the Yoga District and Yoga Activist trauma-sensitive yoga teacher training programs. She is an invited presenter at the national conferences of the Yoga Service Council and the Yoga Alliance; an invited member of the Yoga Alliance Standards Committee Advisory Group and Advisory Board Member of the Yoga Service Council; and past consultant and trainer in the Harvard Karma Yoga Project. The Washington Post, Yoga Journal, and other media outlets interviewed Jasmine on everything from trends in commercial yoga to the Bhagavad Gita. Jasmine trained in a wide variety of yoga traditions including Power, Dharma, Bhakti Flow, and Sivananda. She is certified as a Yoga Alliance ERYT-500, IAYT Professional Yoga Therapist-500, and Dharma Yoga Teacher-800. Jasmine regularly reviews trainees’ writing assignments, she authored much of the Yoga District Training Manual, and her published article on best practices in yoga outreach is relied upon in trainings by the Give Back Yoga Foundation. Jasmine crafts the Yoga District training curriculum with care to ensure each of our training meets high standards. To learn more about Jasmine, check out her site or send an email to [email protected].
Blythe Kladney is certified as an ERYT200, and she is trained in a variety of yoga traditions including Power, Rocket, and Progressive Ashtanga. Blythe also trained with her friend, teacher, and mentor Mike Graglia for over five years prior to teaching. Under Mike’s guidance, Blythe was able to learn when to allow students to push farther, the power of hands-on assists, and when to give them the space to let go of the physical practice. Blythe’s classes are fun, fast, and upbeat so students can explore all aspects of their yoga practice. Blythe believes yoga offers students the opportunity to choose to put themselves into superficial stressful situations so that they can find the breath, the joy, and the love, even when the practice has them tired, sweaty, upside-down and experiencing stress. Through this practice, students can work to train their bodies and minds to react in loving ways when faced with stressful situations on and off the mat. Blythe keeps the room warmer (80-85°F) so that muscles have a safer space to become strong and flexible. Students can expect heavier hands-on assists that are inspired by Thai Massage practices. As a dancer at heart, music will be played and no incense will be burned in class.
Aparna Sadananda understands yoga as a journey of well-being through body-positivity, inspiration and lots of fun and smiles. She is a curious yogi who perceives life as a confluence of science and art, the logical with the creative/intuitive. This reflects in her teaching style which combines alignment-based, breath guided movements with meditative, static holds of asanas. Aparna trained in Hatha yoga with Yoga District and engaged further studies in yoga nidra, Ayurveda, restorative yoga, prenatal yoga and yoga philosophy. Her training presentations with Yoga District regularly include yoga history, yoga philosophy, and restorative yoga. She is known for being extremely thorough and she is recognized by all as a most enthusiastic teacher trainer who ensures options for all present are both provided and meaningful.
Denesia Rodgers, nominated “best yoga teacher in DC” by the Washington City Paper, is a mom of two, wife, and has an immense love for yoga. Denesia’s yoga journey began in 2013 when she was looking for healing and strength to combat her life long struggle with scoliosis. She completed her Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) through Yoga District and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) at the 200-hour level through Yoga Alliance. Denesia has a strong desire to bring the practice of yoga to various communities of people since yoga has been a huge part of her path to healing. Denesia’s teaching offerings are based on foundational, alignment, breathing, and relaxation. Her classes are based in the vinyasa flow tradition, with a focus on the breath, alignment, strength building, and accessibility. Denesia leads training modules on prenatal yoga, postnatal yoga, and more.
Andrea DiRaddo, nominated “best yoga teacher in DC” by the Washington City Paper, is an ERYT-200 who leads creative yoga classes at Yoga District weekly. She relies on her training as a Yoga Therapist through the University of Maryland, as well as her training Power Vinyasa Yoga, Rocket Yoga, and Pilates Mat 1. Andrea previously served as programming director at Yoga District. She applies her unique combination of experience to sequence playful classes with a focus on strength, alignment, and personal creativity. Andrea honors adaptive yoga practices and integrates alignment education seamlessly into her flowing cues. In teacher training, Andrea works to impart these cuing and sequencing skills to training participants. In her former role as programming director at Yoga District, Andrea regularly helped Yoga District teachers analyze student feedback to remind them of relevant best practices in teaching. Trainees often take Andrea’s classes during the training, after which they benefit from in depth Q&A with Andrea about everything from her sequencing choices to classroom management.
Jess Gioe is an E-RYT 200 who has led students through 2000+ hours of practice since receiving her certification from Yoga District years ago. She enjoys leading pose study presentations in the Yoga District teacher training, focusing on alignment, adaptations and variation that help make the practice meaningful to each participant. Jess brings her love for a variety of traditions including rocket vinyasa, prana flow, and mindfulness meditation to her classes. She strives to create an experience that is meditative yet playful, welcoming yet disciplined, and challenging yet restoring. Jess has served as a lead trainer in Yoga District’s teacher training for years, and is fiercely devoted to each teacher training participant’s learning journey.
We normally offer trainings three times a year. In addition to the training dates and hours for each training, additional time commitments for homework and off-site assignments are required before graduation. For more information on homework and assignments, please review our curriculum description. Please note that all dates, times and requirements are subject to change. Graduation will be considered once all assignments are complete and approved, rather than date of last lecture.
Hybrid 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training*
September 26 – November 13, 2022
Weekdays (online): 6:15am-8:15am
Weekends (in-person @ 1910 14th St NW): 8am-6pm
Yoga District’s Washington DC yoga teacher trainings are held at Yoga District studios, usually at our 1910 14th St NW location which is near the U Street Metro Station. Some training lectures and discussions are also held online through Zoom.
Many trainees and students comment on Yoga District’s community-vibe that’s focused on learning and sharing in a non-competitive environment. While focusing on acceptance, the Yoga District teacher training helps trainees move beyond comfort and discomfort, challenging themselves to make transformational progress in their practice, personal development, and teaching.
Essential to our mission to make yoga’s teachings accessible to all is the ability of our graduates to immediately share yoga with any community of their choosing. That Yoga District hires mostly graduates from its training and has been voted best yoga studio in DC for years speaks to the quality of our program and our dedication to it.
Yoga District’s transformational yoga teacher training is made affordable by our nonprofit mission to make yoga and mindfulness accessible to all.
Super Early Bird Enrollment:$2200
Both acceptance and full payment at least 6 months before first lecture date.
Early Bird Enrollment: $2700
Both acceptance and full payment at least 6 weeks before first lecture date.
Regular Enrollment: $3200
Acceptance by the first lecture date and full payment within the 6 weeks before the first lecture date or thereafter according to an agreed upon payment plan.
Read on below to learn about payment plans, partial and full scholarships available for qualified applicants. Total program tuition includes our 300+ page training manual but does not include the cost of other textbooks. Accommodations and meals are not included. We can only accept credit card payments. No refunds are available for any reason but a credit (excluding the non-refundable $275 deposit and a 5% credit card processing fee) to your Yoga District account is available for cancellations made at least six weeks before the first lecture date. You can apply such a tuition credit toward classes with Yoga District or to a later training session–we offer training sessions regularly, so no worries! Please note that all dates, times and requirements are subject to change. Graduation will be considered once all assignments are complete, rather than date of last lecture.
Payment plans are available to all of those in need. We accept payment plans and work out their terms on a case-by-case basis. Those who commit to a payment plan must enroll in monthly automatic bill pay using a credit card. All payments must be made according to the agreed upon payment schedule, even if the participant has to leave the training for any reason. To apply for a payment plan, please send a statement of need together with a proposal of payments to [email protected].
Full and partial scholarships are awarded based on need, inclusivity, dedication, and demonstrated excellence. If you’re interested in applying, please fill out the Yoga Activist teacher training scholarship application. Filling out this form in no way guarantees that Yoga District nor Yoga Activist is granting the applicant a full or partial scholarship. Once you’ve submitted the scholarship application please do not inquire about the status of your application with Yoga Activist- instead you can email [email protected]. We give particular preference to those who are committed to sharing yoga with trauma survivors and/or communities that demonstrate extreme need.
Tuition is just $1900 for our DC-based (non-retreat) 200-hour yoga teacher trainings for work-study participants. Payment plans are available for all those with demonstrated need. Work-study participants volunteer at Yoga District for approximately 3-4 hours per week, including at least 3 months after the completion of the training. Work-study trainees must demonstrate excellent performance in their work-study duties in order to receive the discounted tuition price. On a case-by-case basis, Yoga District may accept work-study volunteers for shorter-term positions requiring more hours per week. Please email [email protected] to inquire about work study availability.
Books, cc fees, and refunds
Total program tuition includes our 300+ page training manual. Other required texts (Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras, Yoga Adjustments, Yoga Teacher’s Toolbox, and Yoga Anatomy), accommodations and meals are not included. We can not accept cash payments –credit only. No refunds are available. A full tuition credit (excluding the non-refundable $275 deposit and a 5% credit card processing fee) to your Yoga District account is available for cancellations made at least six weeks before the first lecture date. Please note we don’t offer refunds but we do offer account credits should you be unable to attend a training you’ve paid for.
How to Join the Training
- Complete the application below and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Have one reference directly send a statement of reference to email@example.com, with your name clearly in the subject line. Preferred references include yoga teachers you’ve practiced with regularly, as well as any other references that can describe your ability to follow through and your dedication to yoga and/or mindfulness traditions.
- Pay the $275 deposit via the Trainings tab on our secure payment site. The non-refundable deposit will be applied toward the total program tuition. Once you create / log into your account on our secure payment site, please select the appropriate “teacher training” item from the menu. On the secure payment site you also have the option to pay your entire tuition online.
Once the application, references, and deposit are received, you’ll receive a decision by email from Yoga District within a few business days*. You must complete all application steps and sign the training contract to be considered fully enrolled in the training. If the applicant does not complete all required steps, their spot in the training is not guaranteed.
Please note that the purpose of this application and our request for reference letters is to confirm that you are dedicated to yoga and this teacher training, and that you will be able to sufficiently dedicate your time to the teacher training program for successful graduation and subsequent teaching opportunities. We do not require any particular “level” of practice of mobility to join the training.
Application for 200 Hour Training
Training session you are applying for (indicate season and year):
- How long and how often have you physically practiced yoga? Please mention and explain any gaps in your practice, e.g., if you practiced for one year then stopped then started again.
- Which studios, places, teachers, or mentors have you practiced with?
- What types of yoga have you practiced?
- Which yoga tradition do you prefer, if any?
- Which yoga teachers/classes/experiences have been most important/ influential to you and why?
- Do you have a home practice? If so, please describe.
- If you have not had a committed yoga practice of 2 years or more, please explain how you feel you may have gained comparable experience during the course of your practice.
- Have you ever taught another person any yoga postures or anything about yoga, whether formally or informally?
- Please describe how your lifestyle reflects philosophical teachings of yoga, or how you might like your lifestyle to do so in the future.
- Have you discussed becoming a yoga teacher with a member of our staff?
- Aside from Yoga Alliance certification to teach yoga at the 200-hour level, what do you hope to gain from the teacher training program at Yoga District, and what do you hope to share after being certified as a RYT-200?
- What would you like to see included or focused on during the course of the teacher training at Yoga District?
- Please describe any volunteer work you do, describing the communities you work with.
- Which communities (studio, corporate, trauma-survivor, outreach, academic, youth, etc.) are you particularly interested in sharing yoga with and why?
- Optional: How did you learn of the teacher training at Yoga District?
- Is there anything about your background, identity, sexual preference, history, sensitivities or heritage you would like to share? Please also feel free to let us know if you have a preference regarding gender pronouns. We are also happy to honor any requests for privacy.
- Why do you practice yoga?
- Please submit a side-view image of yourself practicing the following postures along with your application:
-Adho Mukha Svanasana
*We are not looking for perfection but rather for your expression of each posture.
- There are required books not included in your tuition which you must have with you during every training lecture and gathering. Please confirm that you intend to purchase the following books prior to training: The Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Anatomy, IYT Teacher Toolbox,
- Please submit a headshot for inclusion in the training workbook.
- Please confirm you understand that in addition to the training lecture dates noted on this site that we also require you to complete homework assignments before considering you for formal certification. Please also confirm you understand that you must complete any make-up assignments for sessions you missed, and/or you must attend lectures on the subjects you miss during a later training before we can consider you for formal certification. Please also confirm that you understand that all online zoom-based training lessons require you to have your screen shared to demonstrate you are actively participating if you want those lessons to count toward your certification.
- If you do not intend to obtain formal certification to teach then you do not need to make up any sessions but we would be happy to assist you in doing so. Whether or not you seek certification we strive to create a learning environment in which all are inspired to participate to their fullest ability, so any unnecessary absences or breaks are avoided so as to not create a disruptive situation for all others in the training environment. Please confirm you understand and will make every effort to attend sessions scheduled.
- It is essential for the well being of all that individuals avoid joining the training if physical or psychological issues create a risk to the health and safety of a participant or others in the program. Please share any such issue(s) that would affect or limit your participation. At our sole discretion and for health and safety reasons, we reserve the right to ask to be provided with a statement from a qualified healthcare professional confirming whether a training participant is able to participate in the training in a safe and non-disruptive manner or detailing any limitations. Please confirm you understand and agree.
Joining a Yoga District teacher training means you’ll be joining a growing community of yogis who understand concepts that govern a wide variety of yoga traditions. Our curriculum features a variety of different styles of yoga to celebrate their similarity and diversity. Teachers specializing in different yoga styles and teachers bringing yoga to various communities (trauma survivors, outreach settings, corporate settings, studio settings, private settings, etc.) lecture and lead trainees in practice. The program embraces a holistic approach to yoga teaching, philosophy, and lifestyle. Given the diversity of instruction presented, trainees may pair with faculty mentors to help them focus on the yoga tradition that best suits their personal style and strengths.
Homework, Lectures, and Special Projects
Trainees attend all training days scheduled for their teacher training session and any absences must be arranged with make-up plans assigned. The training lecture period features hours dedicated to asana, pranayama, teaching, philosophy, professional development, assisting techniques, and meditation. As described in our teacher training overview, a variety of yoga styles are studied so that graduates can teach a wide variety of class levels in a wide variety of styles in diverse settings.
Trainees will also benefit from consultations and lectures with teacher training faculty members and/or Yoga District Senior Instructors to learn about sequencing choices and teaching methodology. Trainees receive personal constructive feedback on their practice teaching during the training.
Before the start of training, except in the case of last-minute registrants, trainees are required to complete several pre-training assignments and be prepared to discuss as a group. At the end of training, participants are asked to complete homework before they are considered for certification.
Trainees must complete the following assignments before graduating from the 200 hour certification program: (*Any post-training expenses are not included in training tuition)
- Successfully complete written and practice-based assignments and exams, including 15-30 days of daily yoga, breathing, and meditation practices according to methods learned during training lecture hours.
- Teach at least three community yoga classes with related reporting and writing assignments.
- Complete reading of all required texts.
Please submit all post-training homework via email at [email protected]. After approval of your completed post and pre-training assignments, we will issue you a certificate from our Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School, which you can upload to the Yoga Alliance website if you wish to register with them. After paying Yoga Alliance a processing fee, they will process your certification and mail you a Yoga Alliance certificate confirming that you are registered at the 200 hour level. You could then present our training graduation certificate and/or the Yoga Alliance certificate to hiring organizations. To maintain your Yoga Alliance accreditation, you can review their continuing education requirements on their website. Please note that all dates, times and requirements are subject to change. Graduation will be considered once all assignments are complete, rather than date of last lecture.
We hire our own teacher training graduates because we stand by our training. Others do too, including The World Bank, George Washington University, IMF, City Fitness, Congressional Quarterly, Core Power Yoga, Flow Yoga Center, Yoga Heights, Be Here Now Yoga, Department of Justice, Epic Yoga, Kennedy Center, Mind the Mat Yoga, Mint Gym, National Zoo, NPR, Past Tense, Stroga, Vida Gym, World Bank, and The White House.
Hear what our teacher training graduates had to say about their training:
“This certification as a whole was the best learning experience of my life and I am so grateful for it.”
“I appreciated that everything started and ended on time. Really well organized. This helped a lot, because even though it was a whole lot of information, I’m not confused or overwhelmed. I’m confident I can teach anyone.”
“It has been a great program. You did an amazing job teaching and leading the program. I can see the transformation in so many people in the class.”
“The extensive program has been an amazing experience and it gave me the skills I need to successfully teach yoga and its philosophies. In addition, coming from a business background, I think the course taught many valuable skill sets that people in or looking to be in managerial and leadership roles will find very useful to help them grow in their career.”
“I feel capable of teaching yoga to diverse audiences in many different communities. How would I evaluate this training session? Excellent!”
“I loved, loved, loved being exposed to different teachers, different teaching styles and different methods.”
“Sixteen hours of class for thirteen weekends sounded nothing less than terrifying when I was trying to decide if it was the “right” time to sign up for Yoga District’s Extended Teacher Training. I am so thankful I took the plunge and set my fear of “losing my weekends” aside. There never would have been a “right” time! I am grateful for every single weekend of teacher training, and it has truly caused a shift in how I live my life and how I see the world. I think the greatest strength of the program is its teachers. Jasmine and all of the guest teachers we learned from are deeply inspiring, humble, and generous in their dedication to sharing their diverse experiences and knowledge of yoga.”
“Before training, I was highly skeptical that I would feel ready to start teaching anyone by the end of training. To my surprise, as a result of all the practice teaching embedded in training, and the thoughtful feedback from highly-experienced teachers, I do feel ready! I have a lot left to learn, but teacher training has inspired in me the passion to start sharing these teachings and the confidence to just start where I am.”
“Your passion seeps through everything you say and do and it was quite encouraging to have you be the leader of the program. The way [the teachers] meticulously went through each pose was thoughtful and accurately necessary.”
“I just feel so grateful for your teachings and guidance… it meant so much to me.”
“Skills training equipped me with:
- Confidence to teach through practice teaching and getting feedback on Dharma 1 and Power class I taught, and through inspiring words of teachers about their experiences
- Understanding alignment
- Understanding concepts of modification
- Understanding the importance of making students feel comfortable, meeting their specific needs
- Basic understanding of yogic philosophy, much easier to read books now because I have that base line understanding and I can absorb a lot more than before
- How to give precise cues and be conscious of the energetic effect of your cues
- So many things…. I think you guys know you share SO MUCH during this training.
It never felt like time was being wasted. This training has been so RICH! That seems like the best word to describe it. I wish I could have a video recording of every session so I could go back and relive it, and absorb more, because it was so rich that I am sure I missed a lot! There was always, always something to learn. I always felt engaged. Before training, I couldn’t imagine that you’d be able to fill 16 hours per weekend for 13 weeks with engaging material. I figured there would be lots of “fluff” to meet the requirements for the 200-hour certification. (I know, kind of cynical of me, but I have been to so many trainings on other subjects that are filled with fluff). But it was the opposite! I left every weekend wanting to stay and learn more. I am amazed and intrigued and deeply grateful. Thank you.”
“I want to let you know how much this yoga teacher training has helped me. I am more aware and intentional of my actions. I have been kinder to myself and more considerate to others. And I am physically stronger too. I am biking and running faster and looking forward to the start of my triathlon racing season in a few weeks.”
“…this was a thoughtful, supportive and inspiring training program that allows you to reflect, grow and share.”
“I loved the intensive, and seriously miss 7am breathing and meditating and chanting, who’d a thunk?
Other things that were great:
- meeting/ interacting with/ practicing with different teachers, hearing their journeys
- workshops on pregnancy, kids, restorative, etc — so clear and simple
- an overall theme, “so clear and simple” — you never talked down to us, you always treated us as colleagues, and i am blown away by how SMART and PASSIONATE and DOWN TO EARTH everyone involved with Yoga District is. guess that’s why i adore it. you’ve created something amazing and rare.
- same goes for studying Sutras and Gita — clear, simple, encouraging of dialogue and free thought. loved it.”
“I came into the training hoping to learn how to teach yoga to the homeless. Now that I teach at a family homeless shelter, kids yoga, and at a yoga studio in my area I see how different my life is now. I am different and my whole world is different. Thank you.”
“I really appreciated the yoga for trauma section of the training. I think that it will inform my teaching style and relates well to my desire to teach gentle yoga. I believe many of the modifying ideas could be applied to gentle yoga as well. In addition, people come to all levels of yoga classes for a range of personal reasons and it important to be informed about modifications and sensitive.”
Please have these texts in hand by the first lesson date:
- Bhagavad Gita; the original Sanskrit text with English translation by Christopher Isherwood
- Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff
- Integrative Yoga Therapy Teachers’ Toolbox
- Yoga Adjustments by Mark Stephens
- Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Alistair Shearer
Ready to try it out?
Try a few different classes with us. You'll find the teachers and classes that motivate you to be your best.