Skip Sub-navigation

Kripalu School of Yoga

Yoga Teacher Training 500-Hour Certification

program dates | applications | scholarships | daily schedule

Curriculum

Content Hours | Textbooks and Materials

The Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training 500-Hour Certification builds on your technical skills and helps you deepen your approach to teaching. It then prepares you with advanced training to bring yoga to a wider range of students while strengthening your ability to work one-on-one with clients’ unique needs. This training also brings you deeper into understanding yogic philosophy and practice, while providing opportunities to learn and experience what it means to be a transformational yoga teacher. You will graduate a 500-hour certified Kripalu Yoga teacher with the advanced tools, knowledge, and confidence needed to excel in teaching and support your ongoing personal evolution.

As a student in the 500-hour Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training, you will review Kripalu’s foundational tools and techniques including

  • The three stages of Kripalu Yoga: posture focus, deepening awareness, and meditation in motion
  • Natural alignment principles
  • Pranayama
  • Meditation
  • Pratapana (movements that warm up and condition the body for sustaining poses)
  • Creative sequencing
  • Nonjudgmental awareness
  • Breath coordinated with movement
  • Micro-movements
  • Guided imagery
  • The koshas
  • Six movements of the spine
  • Knowledge of benefits and contraindications.

The 500-hour training also provides education in the following areas:

  • Advanced asanas and private instructional skills Learn alignment principles for advanced elements of practice, as well as techniques for safely guiding students in and out of more advanced poses. Develop the skills and confidence to provide effective private yoga sessions.
  • Posture assisting and experiential anatomy Practice giving more advanced posture assists and receiving feedback from peers and skilled facilitators. Learn anatomy principles through experiential posture clinics focused on the Kripalu methodology of cultivating internal awareness of body systems. Learn to have every student experience the anatomical benefits of a pose in a way that works for them through the use of props, adjustments, and gradient approaches to the pose.
  • Yogic philosophy and modern-day applications of ancient texts Explore the wisdom of classic texts such as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita and inquire into the meaning of these texts in your daily life. Expand your yoga practice off the mat by cultivating an awareness of yoga philosophy for inspired living and teaching.
  • Advanced pranayama and meditation techniques Delve deeply into the practice of classic pranayama and meditation techniques, and explore the Kripalu signature methodology of meditation in motion. Learn teaching tools to help your students access the power of meditation and prana flow.
  • Skills for working with special populations Craft classes and posture sequences that are authentic to your teaching style and adjusted to the level and needs of your students. Learn basic principles of posture modifications and class design for special-needs populations and apply principles and techniques of restorative yoga to your class planning.

The modules will take you deeper into your teaching by focusing on a variety of advanced concepts and practices. Each module provides a minimum of 75 hours of combined instruction and in-depth practice. These may be taken in any order and most students complete all four modules within two years.


Required Modules

Teaching Pranayama and Advanced Asana

The practice of breathwork awakens the life force and opens the door to profound meditation. Deepen your knowledge of pranayama, gain mastery in teaching asana, and explore the philosophy that gave birth to these techniques in a training designed to revitalize your physical and energetic bodies.

This module includes

  • Ayurvedic, yogic, and contemporary perspectives on prana and the physiology of subtle energy
  • Guided experiences that reveal how pranayama can be used to soothe and steady the mind
  • Practical anatomy and alignment principles for advanced asana
  • Contraindications and teaching tools to work safely with students
  • Opportunities to develop your skills and build confidence through one-on-one sessions and evaluated practice-teaches
  • A unique Kripalu teaching methodology that integrates modifications, variations, and hands-on assists.

Guiding Kripalu Meditation and Advanced Asana

Yoga teaches us that the pursuit of inner stillness is actually enhanced by periods of physical activity. As you sink into meditation, asana becomes a tool to embody higher awareness. Meditation and Advanced Asana provides you with the support, practice, and guidance needed to bring all facets of your being into the single focus of samyama.

Using a unique Kripalu teaching methodology that integrates modifications, variations, and hands-on assists, you learn how to make the benefits of meditation and advanced asana accessible to your students.

This module includes

  • Immersion into the core meditation techniques of the Kripalu tradition
  • An integrated practice of postures, pranayama, and relaxation to enhance meditation
  • Simple yet effective tools to access to the meditative states of dharana and dhyana
  • Insight into the broad spectrum of meditation approaches and their benefits
  • Discussion on how yoga and meditation can affect the healing, growth, and transformation processes.

Instructing Kripalu Yoga for Special Populations

How we take yoga out into the world and into our classes plays an important part in determining how successful we are as teachers. Yoga Therapeutics for Special Populations trains you to offer posture modifications that create a safe environment for students with special needs. It also helps you develop valuable skills for working one-on-one and for meeting individual students’ needs in a group setting.

This module includes

  • Advanced skills for working with private clients
  • Anatomy of the circulatory and lymphatic systems
  • Ayurvedic lifestyle tools
  • Principles for teaching special populations, such as pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic health conditions.

Elective Modules (Choose One)

Leading Kripalu Vinyasa

Deepen your teaching and increase your appeal to students who want more challenge in their practice, while also learning to offer vinyasa to students of different experience levels. Learn to create innovative sequences and establish powerful philosophical themes that support your students both on and off the mat.

Using the koshas, coordination of breath and movement, and witness consciousness as a framework, you examine vigorous asana and Kripalu vinyasa flow through a compassionate lens. During this module, you

  • Explore how the Kripalu methodology can be applied to vinyasa flow
  • Learn how to lead Kripalu Vinyasa for gentle, moderate, and vigorous classes
  • Use advanced asana as a gateway to meditation in motion
  • Learn energetic alignment principles
  • Explore modifications making this practice available to students with different abilities
  • Dive into yoga philosophy that allows you to live flow on and off the mat.

Integrating Ayurveda into Yoga Teaching

This course deepens your knowledge of the relationship between yoga and Ayurveda, with classes focused on cultivating prana (life force), agni (inner fire), and ojas (vigor). While here, you participate in daily sadhanas, carve silent time for self-study, and integrate your skills in insightful supervised practicums.

You also

  • Explore the relation between panchamayakosha and the eight limbs of yoga as they relate to Ayurveda
  • Learn key postures, breathing practices, and meditation techniques for balancing psychophysical constitutions (doshas)
  • Experience the different movements of prana, including prana, udana, samana, apana, and vyana
  • Cultivate useful Ayurvedic tools to adjust yoga class sequencing and personalize private sessions sessions that are based on the season, time of day, season of life, and basic doshic imbalances.
  • Content Hours

    The Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training 500-hour provides a minimum of 300 hours of training (in addition to your 200-hour certification), designed to deepen your practice, teaching skills, and repertoire. The curriculum is comprised of four 9-day modules, each offering a minimum of 75 hours, which together will deliver a comprehensive, advanced training in Kripalu Yoga.

    At the completion of the 500-hour certification, hours completed will include

    Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training 200-Hour Certification*
    Techniques: Instruction in Yoga Asana, Pranayama, and Meditation100 hours
    Teaching Methodology30 hours
    Anatomy and Physiology20 hours
    Philosophy/Ethics/Lifestyle30 hours
    Practicum15 hours
    Other5 hours
    Total200 hours


    Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training 500-Hour Certification**
    Techniques: Instruction in Yoga Asana, Pranayama, and Meditation 100 hours
    Teaching Methodology 60 hours
    Anatomy and Physiology 40 hours
    Philosophy/Ethics/Lifestyle 60 hours
    Practicum 40 hours
    Total300 hours

    *If you have taken your 200-hour teacher training somewhere other than Kripalu, your content hour breakdown for that training may vary from the one listed above.

    **Content hours reflect the combined total content hours for all four modules that make up the Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training 500-hour.

    Textbook and Materials

    On the first day of training, students receive a complimentary Kripalu 500-hour yoga teacher manual. Students will also be reading and referencing the following texts during the training. The required texts are listed below.

    All Courses

    • Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat, by Richard Faulds (Bantam Books)

    Teaching Pranayama and Advanced Asana

    Guiding Meditation and Advanced Asana

    • Meditation for Dummies, by Stephan Bodian
    • Meditative Yoga Flow CD, by Larissa Hall Carlson
    • Energy Awareness Meditation CD, by Sudhir Jonathan Foust

    Instructing Kripalu Yoga for Special Populations

    • Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing, by Timothy McCall
    • Ayurveda: A Practical Guide; Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing, by Vasant Lad
    • Additional Suggested Reading
      • Yoga and Ayurveda: Self-Healing and Self-Realization, by David Frawley
      • Ayurveda: A Life in Balance, by Maya Tiwari

    Leading Kripalu Vinyasa

    • More information coming soon.

    Integrating Ayurveda into Yoga Teaching

    • More information coming soon.

    Textbooks and materials can be purchased through the Kripalu Shop.



    Graduates of Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training are in great demand for their in-depth knowledge, clear instruction, ability to teach to all levels, and ability to guide students to the experience of self-awareness that is the true essence of yoga. Kripalu Yoga teachers range in age from their 20s to their 80s and can be found teaching in community yoga studios; in urban and rural areas; in schools, prisons, and hospitals; and at workplaces from the United Nations to Cirque du Soleil. Because Kripalu supports individual inquiry and expression and helps teachers find the yoga that is unique to them, the places you find our teachers are as varied as the teachers themselves.