Teacher Training &
Yoga Education Program

April to July 2020


Advanced Teacher Training: 300 hours

The Octopus Garden Advanced Teacher Training is designed to foster inspired teaching, rooted in technical excellence. This 300 hour training will shine light on often overlooked aspects of the teaching practice that can make a good class great, and a great class feel like pure magic. Over the course of four months, from April to July 2020, you will enhance and explore your capacity as a teacher. With an integrated, well-informed, and open perspective, we tie together the insights and wisdom of many different traditions to create a cohesive and innovative approach.

Our highly esteemed program is open to certified yoga instructors who are deeply committed to the craft of teaching and are ready to lead students with renewed creativity and confidence. Participants can expect to: deepen their self-awareness and capacity for accurate self-assessment; deconstruct poor teaching habits; move past teaching ruts and plateaus; and uncover authentic teaching voices that speak powerfully to students. The end goal? A renewed energy and purpose and a greater capacity to change lives.

To enroll in the program, participants must have completed a recognized 200-hour teacher training program.

Info Session and Studio Tour

Contact education@octopusgardenyoga.com to schedule.

A Taste of Teacher Training Pass

We’ll be offering one week of unlimited classes FREE to anyone interested in learning more about our training program. Because all of our teaching staff have completed at least three hundred hours of training here, we think our drop-in classes are a wonderful representation of our yoga education program. Pick a week, set up your pass, and see if our studio is the right fit for you.

Have any questions about the program? Curious to learn more? to our Yoga Education Manager for an immediate response.

Why choose Octopus Garden for your 300-Hour Training?

  • Our Teacher Training programs have been the industry leader in Canada for the past 14 years
  • We exceed the highest standards set by the Yoga Alliance. 90% of our contact hours for the program are delivered by E-RYT500’s (highly experienced teacher trainers).
  • The program is well paced and crafted with intention. Maintain work/life balance with a manageable schedule over four months of alternating weekends and weekly evenings.
  • This training is led by YuMee Chung (E-RYT500) and Nicky Poole (E-RYT500) who bring decades of knowledge gathered through rigorous practice, dedicated training and international explorations. These teachers are renowned for their creative approach to teaching, seamlessly integrating the science and the soul of yoga. Learn about them here: @yoginicky @yumeechung
  • Learn from a carefully curated, stellar guest faculty on specialty topics
  • We foster long-term commitments to our students, and assist them in meeting their personal goals. Alumni of our Yoga Education Programs are offered a monthly membership package at a reduced rate so students can continue their practice and sustain their relationships with teachers, mentors, and the greater community.
  • Successful graduates of our program are invited to join our teaching schedule.
  • Our programs are accredited by the federal government. Official tuition income tax receipts will be issued upon completion of any of our registered teacher training programs.
  • Our programs are also accredited by the Yoga Alliance. Successful graduates of this program can apply for RYT-500 status.

YA-RYS-300 The Octopus Garden 300-Hour Advanced Teaching Program is accredited by Yoga Alliance. Successful graduates of this program can apply for RYT-500 status.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I find out if I have been accepted into the program?
After your initial application has been received and you have submitted your $50 application fee, you find out within a week if you have been accepted (via email).

What are the requirements for entry into the program?
We ask that all students have at least 200 hours of training from a recognized yoga education program, and a willingness for hard work that results in transformation.

How does this program compare to other 300-hour training programs?
The approach we’ve decided to take at Octopus Garden is to provide an extension and enhancement of your foundational knowledge established in a 200-hour program, through our 300-hour program. We are a mixed lineage studio, and focus on soulful, sophisticated vinyasa flow yoga. The contact hours of your training at Octopus Garden are all under the guidance of program directors Nicky Poole and YuMee Chung so supportive, long term relationships are built with the studio owners and directors of the program Our program also offers students regular opportunities to teach public classes on our schedule with guidance, support and feedback.

What if I miss a class?
Students can miss up to 10% of the core curriculum contact hours (27 hours) and still receive a certificate It is up to the students to catch up on notes from peers or record lectures with permission from the teacher. Any more than 27 classroom hours missed requires private lessons. These can be booked with the program directors, or teaching assistants.

Are books and materials included in the price of the training?
Electronic materials are provided for this program. The only required text you must purchase is The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle.

How many students are enrolled in each Yoga Education training? What is the typical age range of the participants?
The class size ranges from 20-30 students. Students range in age from early twenties to seventies – everyone is welcome!

Do you offer scholarships?
We offer two partial scholarships to our 300 hour training. These two scholarships are for students who have been invested in the Octopus Garden community for a year, can demonstrate financial need, and who have a clear idea of the communities they wish to serve after graduation. Inquiries can be made to education@octopusgardenyoga.com.

How much time should I expect to spend on homework?
We advise setting aside 3 hours a week to complete assigned readings, homework, presentation preparation, and review exams. In addition, you will be expected to complete six written reflections of classes you attend over the course.

Will I be qualified to teach yoga once I complete the 300-Hour Program?
The focus of our 300-hour training is to foster your ability to be an effective teacher. There is no rule about when one is ready to teach and many graduates of our 300-hour program have gone on to teach right away. We offer the 300-hour program with a focus on teaching skills to follow directly from our 200-hour Fundamentals Program.

What if I want to teach at Octopus Garden?
All of our teachers are graduates of at least one of our yoga education training programs and all of our teachers have at least 500-hours of teacher training. If you are interested in teaching at Octopus Garden, the first step is building a relationship with us through practice and shared study.


  • taking the seat of the teacher and fearless teaching
  • effective cueing and harmonious flow
  • word selection, and the poetry of yoga
  • tone and inflection, authentic voice, and vocal training
  • creative and effective theming, intention and story-telling
  • organic sequencing: peak poses, asana Rx, and how to close the circle
  • vinyasa krama and the art of keeping time
  • the yoga of sound: yoga playlists, chanting and harmonium 101
  • impeccable demos: mirror demos, smart staging and powerful postural presence
  • teaching stand-out studio auditions
  • self-care rituals and developing a soulful sadhana
  • artful hands on assists
  • applied anatomy and biomechanics
  • the history of yoga
  • deeper explorations of yoga philosophy, chanting, sanskrit and meditation

Schedule for 2020

Weekend Intensives: All weekends are Fridays 5 – 9pm, Saturdays and Sundays 9 – 6pm:
1. April 17 – 19
2. May 1 – 3
3. May 15 – 17
4. May 29 – 31
5. June 12 – 14
6. June 26 – 28
7. July 10 – 12
8. July 24 – 26
9. July 31 – August 2

All Wednesdays are 5:30 – 9pm
1. April 15
2. April 22
3. April 29
4. May 6
5. May 13
6. May 20
7. May 27
8. June 3
9. June 10
10. June 17
11. June 24
12. July 1
13. July 8
14. July 15
15. July 22
16. July 29

Weekends are the time for curated modules on the technical aspects of teaching; applied anatomy, pranayama, meditation, chanting, and philosophy; and teaching practicums (where you instruct public classes in a structured supportive environment and receive practical feedback). Wednesday evenings include self practice, and cozy, interactive lectures on a variety of fascinating subjects not covered in 200-hour programs.


Principal Faculty


YuMee Chung (Program Co-Director, E-RYT 500) is a former securities lawyer who left a busy practice to engage more deeply with life. Almost two decades later, she is a yoga instructor who leads international retreats and teaches those who feel similarly called to follow the yogic path, both as practitioners and as teachers. She has a warm, face-forward teaching style that brings her subject matter to life while honouring its immense profundity and poetic depth. YuMee is a self-proclaimed yoga nerd who loves nothing more than exploring the dynamic weave between tradition, cutting-edge insights into human movement, and what it means to live an examined life in the here and now.


Nicky Poole (Program Co-Director, E-RYT 500, RPYT, RCYT) has been enmeshed in the study and practice of yoga since 1999. She founded the first yoga studio in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2004, and has been based in Canada since 2009. Nicky has a broad range of interests in yoga including: the visual and material history of yoga, Prana Flow yoga, Pre and Post Natal yoga, Kalarippayat martial arts, Axis Syllabus, movement as meditation, and mentoring and supporting new teachers! You can learn more about Nicky at www.nickypoole.com and follow her @yoginicky

Lisa Messina

Lisa Messina offers a heart-centered, holistic approach to realizing the greatest expression of yourself. Her practice draws from a range of complementary disciplines and techniques integrating ancient traditions with body-based therapy and movement informed by progressive research. Lisa’s teaching is designed to help you move through life optimally and joyfully. She offers a safe space for exploration and holds sacred space for you to uncover self-limiting beliefs, to shift emotional and physical patterns, and to expand your ability to approach life with openness and wonder. She is certified at the highest level of yoga teaching and teacher training, she is also a certified pilates teacher, and a Functional Mobility Specialist under FRS. Lisa is in her 5th year of studies in Relational Somatic Psychotherapy currently studying with her teachers at The Ryzio Institute.

Drew Hume

Drew Hume is passionate about quality education. A significant portion of his time is spent in the digestion and organization of information into curricula so that understanding and retention are maximized. There are many topics he loves to share, including but not limited to the biology of touch, the manual forms of Thai massage, anatomy & physiology, pain science and therapeutics. In everything he teaches, there’s no such thing as a silly question – so bring all your questions along with you. There’s always more to be learned, and as well as an avid educator, he also considers himself primarily a student trying to absorb as much information as possible to extract the greatest therapeutic value. This is also something he hopes to share with you during our time together!


$4950.00 (+HST) if paid in full ($5402.00 if paid in instalments)

Tuition includes:

  • Unlimited drop-in classes for the duration of the program (details below)
  • Octopus Garden 300-Hour Training Manual
  • 10% discount off props, retail items, and most workshops for the duration of the program

Payment Options:

A $500 (+HST) non-refundable deposit will be required upon acceptance of your application.

The remaining balance may be paid:

  • In full — one payment of $4450 (+HST) BEFORE April 1st
  • In installments — four payments of $1,225.50 (+HST) each, due upon registration, May 1st, June 1st, and July 1st 2020.

Membership Details:

Your tuition includes a membership to the studio. Membership will activate on once you pay your non-refundable $500 deposit. All memberships will expire on July 31st 2020, regardless of the date on which the membership began.

Refund Policy

  • A full refund minus deposit will be issued if notice to cancel is received at least one month before the start date. There will be no refunds or transfers after 30 days prior to the start date. Please note: These refund policies apply to both payment options, either tuition in full or by instalments.

Alumni Share Their Experience

Having only intended to deepen my own personal practice (mission accomplished!), I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find myself developing and teaching a high school credit course “Yoga for Teens: Exploring Paths to Wellness” in a public high school. As an experienced teacher, I found the 300 has brought many new dimensions to my teaching – on and off the mat. I continue to explore the eight arms of Hatha practice, both personally, and with the young yogis with whom I love to teach and learn.   – MA

The 300 hours led me to find my passion – teaching at-risk youth from a trauma-sensitive perspective. One of the most important lessons I learned was to cultivate a beginner’s mind and the fact that teachers must never stop learning. My students remind me of this each class as we collectively and courageously learn about using movement and breath to heal ourselves.   – KH

The advanced teacher training is all that an education should be — it teaches you how to learn. It takes everything you think you know and everything you think you want to know and reduces it to the size of a pinhead, and then says: “Now, learn the landscape of the pincushion.” It turns you upside down, shakes out all the shiny desires you’ve been hoarding in your pockets, and says: “Dream bigger.”   –  (excerpt from Handstands blog article)

The 300-hour Advanced Teacher Training Program was a rich, challenging and intense experience. After having taught yoga for a few years, I was hungry for more material and the opportunity to dialogue with other teachers. The 300-hour program is well rounded and I appreciated the skill and commitment of the core teachers. The learning community that was established was diverse in age and experience. My fellow students were supportive as I was encouraged to take risks with my teaching. The experience allowed me to deepen my understanding of yoga and to look closely at the way that I teach. My teaching practice has definitely changed, as have I as an individual, as a result of the program. I found the course texts to be extremely valuable and continue to refer to them frequently. I remain connected to and grateful for the Octopus Garden yoga community and their faith in me.   – LM

After completing the 200-hour program I knew I wanted to teach but I lacked confidence. The 300-hour seemed like the next step. I took the leap and have never looked back. Octopus Garden’s 300-hour Advanced Teacher Training gave me the tools to teach with a strong knowledge of alignment, anatomy, yoga philosophy, and the ability to read the students in front if me. I am proud to say I have become a full-time yoga teacher. Thanks OG!   – DG

Insightful, inspirational,highly organized, hands on, fun learning. A great time with yogis and yoginis.   – TC

Apply Now

Please email education@octopusgardenyoga.com for an application or click here Apply to the Fundamentals Program