Teacher Training &
Yoga Education Program

March to June, 2015


Fundamentals: 200 hours

The program will explore the essential skills necessary for a deep understanding of the practice of yoga; integrating personal practice, asana, philosophy, anatomy, meditation, pranayama and communication skills as the basic foundation of a holistic and well-rounded practice. In addition to these primary areas of study, secondary topics will include reading bodies, subtle anatomy, voice, chanting, and Sanskrit study. The program is designed for serious students who have a minimum of two years personal practice experience and who are looking to either deepen their understanding of the practice of yoga or to initiate the process of becoming a great teacher.

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 and the types of classes and teachers we believe in. 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? (Yoga Education Manager) directly for an immediate response.

Please click on any of the topics below to see more details.

Why choose Octopus Garden for your 200-hour training?

  • We offer the most extensive and rigorous teacher training of its kind in Canada, exceeding the highest standards of the Yoga Alliance.
  • The schedule is designed so students can continue to work full or part-time while enrolled in the program.
  • Renowned guest faculty – students will be studying with the best of the best.
  • 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.
  • We provide the guidance and encouragement to help find your own voice and to uncover what is alive in you when you practice.
  • Community building is one of our primary objectives. To that end, we try wherever possible to build and sustain a long-term commitment to our students and assist them in meeting their personal goals.
  • The Octopus Garden Yoga Education Program is accredited by the federal government. Official tuition income tax receipts will be issued upon completion of any of our registered teacher training programs.

YA-RYS-200 The Octopus Garden 200-Hour Fundamentals Program is accredited by Yoga Alliance. Successful graduates of this program can apply for RYT-200 status.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are books and materials included in the price of the training?

Required texts are the only additional cost, outside of tuition costs. We source through distributors offering the lowest cost possible and sell these books at a discounted rate.

When will I find out if I have been accepted into the program?

After your initial application has been received, you find out within a week if you have been accepted (via email).

How proficient in yoga do you have to be to do the program?

We ask that all students have a minimum of two years of practice. Students should have a general level of knowledge regarding asana (physical practice) including sun salutations and basic postures. A regular meditation practice is an asset but not required.

How is the learning structured (why 4 months; why monthly intensives; why Wednesdays)?

We structure the program over four months, with a weekend intensive each month (either full days Friday to Monday, or Friday evenings and full days Saturday and Sunday.) In addition to the weekend intensives, we hold sangha (group discussions and lessons) each Wednesday evening. The schedule is spaced this way to assist you with balancing your life, job, and other commitments with the program requirements. We provide space between each weekend intensive to allow for integration of the content and for you to explore aspects of your education on and off the mat. Lastly, we believe the process of learning and moving through the program is best accessed over time, where genuine connections can be established within the group.

How does this program compare to other 200 hour trainings?

We believe that a clear and thorough foundation of knowledge and a bigger context for which to apply the vastly rich tradition of yoga is the key to continuing the evolution of yoga. Because of the large number of 200-hour programs that currently focus on preparing students to teach so quickly, there is a rising bar of knowledge and expertise that is needed to keep up amongst the growing field of gifted yoga teachers internationally. The approach we’ve decide to take at Octopus Garden is to provide a deep foundation of all aspects of practice in the 200-hour program. By studying all the limbs of classical yoga in depth, conscious alignment, philosophy, biomechanics, and anatomy, the practice comes alive.

For those who wish to pursue teaching, the complete program of study is 500 hours. With the 200-Hour Fundamentals portion as the base, we move on to a thorough exploration of the art of teaching in the 300-Hour Effective Teaching program. We are proud to say that we care about the quality of teachers studying at Octopus Garden and the future of this evolving form we call yoga, so valuable in these changing and uncertain times.

How many students are enrolled in each Yoga Education training? What is the typical age range of the participants?

Sizes of our Yoga Education trainings range from 20-40 students. We maintain personal relationships with our students by creating opportunities for one-to-one contact between directors and students and also by assigning a peer mentor. Students range in age from early twenties to late sixties – everyone is welcome!

Can I continue to work while I complete this program? Is this program friendly to parents and other full-time caregivers?

The program is designed to be compatible with full- or part-time work or childcare. Weekend intensives are spread out so there is at most one per month, giving time and space to integrate the work and to keep balanced with other priorities. While the program is demanding and requires a substantial commitment, we in turn are committed to helping our students honour their practice both on and off the mat.

What if I miss a class?

Students can miss up to 5% of the scheduled in-class time (which includes both weekends and Wednesday nights) and still receive a certificate. We encourage all students to let us know in advance wherever possible if they will be missing time.

Do you offer scholarships or work-exchange programs?

We offer a partial scholarship to a deserving candidate to offset tuition for the 200-Hour program.

How much time should I expect to spend on homework?

We advise setting aside 1-2 hours a week to complete assigned readings, homework, presentation preparation, and review exams. This is in addition to regular hours of personal practice through classes offered at the studio.

Will I be qualified to teach yoga once I complete the 200-Hour Program?

The focus of our 200-hour training is deepening personal practice. We believe that the mark of an excellent teacher is a solid foundation of experience, and that only once this is established, can one find their true voice as a teacher. There is no rule about when one is ready to teach and many graduates of our 200-hour program have gone on to teach right away. We offer a 300-hour program with a focus on teaching skills to follow directly from the 200-hour program. We believe that a minimum of 500 hours of training gives students the confidence and skills they need to be effective teachers.

What if I want to teach at Octopus Garden?

All of our teachers are graduates of at least one of our yoga education trainings 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.

What You Will Learn

Techniques and Practice

Personal Practice

  • comprehensive and personalized practice plan rooted in a complete expression of yoga including Asana, Pranayama, Restorative, and Meditation
  • exploration of primary movements, where tension is held, body type, respiratory patterns, etc.

Asana – Practical

  • key principles of all poses
  • primary actions, effects, cautions of neutral spine and hip poses
  • primary actions, effects, cautions of hip flexion poses
  • primary actions, effects, cautions of hip and spine flexion poses
  • primary actions, effects, cautions of hip extension and rotation poses
  • exploration of classical, A, and B versions of Surya Namaskar
  • exploration of six primary movements of the hips
  • exploration of Tensegrity Repair sequence
  • exploration of The Five Tibetans

Pranayama – Practical

  • cycle of breath (puraka, antara kumbhaka, rechaka, bahya kumbhaka)
  • anatomy of breath and physical locations
  • anatomy of breath and energetic location (types of prana)
  • method, effects, and cautions of Ujayi Pranayama
  • method, effects, and cautions of Nadi Shodhana
  • method, effects, and cautions of Viloma
  • method, effects, and cautions of Kumbhaka
  • method, effects, and cautions of Kapalabhati
  • method, effects, and cautions of Bhastrika
  • exploration of bandhas

Kriyas – Practical

  • method, effects, and cautions of Jala Neti
  • method, effects, and cautions of Uddiyana Kriya
  • method, effects, and cautions of Agni Sara
  • method, effects, and cautions of Nauli
  • method, effects, and cautions of Kapalabhati
  • method, effects, and cautions of Bhastrika

Mantra – Practical

  • pronunciation, translation, effect of OM mantra
  • pronunciation, translation, effects of Lokah Samastah Suknino Bhavantu mantra
  • pronunciation, translation, effects of mantra for teachers
  • pronunciation, translation, effects of Ashtanga invocation
  • pronunciation, translation, effects of Gayatri mantra
  • pronunciation, translation, effects of Bij mantras

Restorative Yoga

  • basic elements
  • philosophical basis
  • effects and indications for at least six key restorative poses
  • stages of healing and healing reactions


  • principles of basic meditation sequence
  • beginning mindfulness
  • 13-week personal meditation practice with journalling



  • definition, principles, and skills of observation of effects of poses in students
  • definition, principles, and skills in communication
  • definition, principles, and skills in demonstrating
  • definition, principles, and skills in adjusting students
  • definition, principles, and skills in listening to students
  • definition, principles, and skills in creating (sequences, environment, practice space)
  • definition, principles, and skills in connecting and establishing rapport
  • introduction to doshas and constitutional assessments

Asana – Theory

  • practical adjustments – energy, breath, constraints, boundaries
  • basic elements of sequencing
  • reading bodies – balance, symmetry, respiration, tension, relationship to gravity…
  • poses as diagnostic tools to assess ROM
  • postural assessment
  • assessing readiness for “goal poses” using marker poses
  • alignment cues and sequence notes for neutral spine and hip poses
  • alignment cues and sequence notes for hip flexion poses
  • alignment cues and sequence notes for hip and spine flexion poses
  • alignment cues and sequence notes for hip extension and rotation poses

Pranayama – Theory

  • method, effects, and cautions of Ujayi pranayama
  • method, effects, and cautions of Nadi Shodhana
  • method, effects, and cautions of Viloma
  • method, effects, and cautions of Kumbhaka
  • method, effects, and cautions of Kapalabhati
  • method, effects, and cautions of Bhastrika
  • 13-week personal pranayama practice with journalling

Restorative Yoga – Theory

  • teaching checklist – presence. authenticity, safety, acceptance
  • postural checklist
  • sequencing, cautions, and modifications for at least six key restorative poses

Anatomy and Physiology

  • definition of kosha model and application to practice
  • overview of anatomical and physiological terms
  • functional anatomy – understanding muscle groups by function
  • key muscles, benefits, and cautions of neutral spine and hip poses
  • key muscles, benefits, and cautions of hip flexion poses
  • key muscles, benefits, and cautions of hip and spine flexion poses
  • key muscles, benefits, and cautions of hip extension and rotation poses
  • location, sense, gland, element, colour, mantra, purpose, orientation, life issue, universal principle, emotional spectrum, and needs of each chakra

Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle, and Ethics


  • historical overview of the evolution of yoga
  • introduction, translation, and chanting of key sutras in Samadhi-padah and Sadhana-padah of Patanjali
  • chanting (mantra and yoga sutra)
  • Sanskrit names of poses


  • translation and explication of each Yama and Niyama
  • application of each Yama and Niyama to asana, meditation, and all aspects of life off mat
  • Octopus Garden code of conduct
  • Yoga Alliance code of conduct


  • ATTUNE model of self-acceptance and building trust in relationships with others
  • RAIN model to mindfully transform difficult emotions
  • overview of Ayurveda, the naturopathic medicine of yoga
  • components, process, and practice of non-violent communication (NVC)

Schedule for 2016

Four weekends in March, April, May, June
March 4th – 6th (Friday 5:00-9:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:00am-6:00pm)
April 1st – 4th (Friday to Monday 9:00am-5:30pm)
May 6th – 9th (Friday to Monday 9:00am-5:30pm)
June 3rd – 5th (Friday 5:00-9:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:00am-6:00pm)

Every Wednesday from March 9th – June 1st, 7:30-9:00pm (totals 13 Wednesdays)

Typical Weekend-Intensive Format

  • 9:00am to 9:30am – Group check-in, centering and building intention for the day
  • 9:30am to 1:00pm – Asana (physical practice and techniques of postures) and relevant anatomy/physiology presentation
  • 1:00pm to 2:00pm – Lunch
  • 2:00pm to 3:00pm – Philosophy/Sanskrit/Pranayama/Restorative
  • 3:00pm to 6:00pm – Meditation/Ethics/Teaching Methodology/Yoga theory and therapeutics/Guest lecturer



Pat Harada Linfoot is the co-owner of Octopus Garden Holistic Yoga Centre and the director of this program. She has been teachings classes, workshops, and retreats, and mentoring and training teachers for more than eighteen years. Pat is inspired by the rich, collaborative process of mentoring – of working together to develop a teacher’s unique voice and fullest expression of potential. Her most recent certification was the Nalanda Certificate Program in Contemplative Psychotherapy with Miles Neale.


YuMee Chung (Padmani) is a former securities lawyer who left a busy practice to engage more deeply with life. More than a decade later, she is an Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher who also offers classes in the Yoga Tune Up method. Lauded in Yoga Journal as one of the teachers to watch in the Jivamukti Yoga lineage, YuMee is on the faculty of a number of yoga teacher training programs and she leads international workshops and retreats.


Morgan Cowie first became fascinated with the yogic tradition in her philosophy undergrad more than a decade ago. Since then, she’s been studying the art and science of this powerful tradition. She began her serious asana, pranayama and meditation study with Pat Harada Linfoot, JP Tamblyn-Sabo and Scott Davis and continues to dive deep in her teaching and training, including speciality areas like restorative, pre- and post-natal and rope wall.


Scott Davis is a renowned yoga teacher and doctor of oriental medicine who approaches yoga as an evolving form and health maintenance system. In addition to his ongoing classes as co-owner and director of Octopus Garden Yoga Centre, Scott holds dozens of specialized workshops, international retreats, and operates a full time clinical practice of oriental medicine.


Jesse Enright has studied and practiced under senior instructors in India, Australia, Canada, and the U.S. He was a full-time instructor at the Downward Dog Yoga Centre for five years and completed their teacher training and apprenticeship program in 2000. Jesse has completed additional teacher training programs in Vijnana Yoga with Gioia Irwin and Yoga Therapeutics with Doug Keller, trained in Craniosacral Therapy and is certified in the Muscle, Balance, and Function system of biomechanical re-education. He has developed extensive curriculum and taught alignment and anatomy for teacher training programs since 2003.


Lisa Messina has been actively pursuing the art of movement since the day she could walk. Her passion for movement started at the age of 2 in her very first ballet class. She continued on to a professional career in the performing arts for seven years. She has been studying since 2003 under the guidance of Miriane Taylor, Ron Reid, Diane Bruni, David Robson, JP Tamblyn-Sabo, Scott Davis, and Pat Harada Linfoot. She has also studied in depth with well known teachers in the U.S. and in India.

Guest Faculty

Guest faculty may include:


Kathrin Brunner is both a skilled yoga teacher and a talented holistic nutrionist. In addition to her training at Octopus Garden (300 hour Advanced Teacher Training and 40 hour Restorative Training), Kathrin completed her studies in Applied Holistic Nutrition and currently works as a practitioner in Octopus Garden’s wellness clinic.


Lisa Freeman first discovered yoga by chance one crisp winter day on a stroll down Roncesvalles Avenue. After one class she was hooked and has never looked back. She is a talented yoga teacher and a Practice Lead at the Law Society of Upper Canada. As such, she has a unique and informed perspective on the ethics of teaching and practicing yoga.


Hali Schwartz has been deeply immersed in the world of yoga since she was a small child. It was then that her mother met an Indian guru from the Himalayas who was teaching in Canada and thus began what would be a life long journey into the heart of the yoga practice. In 1988, Hali visited India for the first time and has been studying at the International Meditation Institute (I.M.I) – returning every year since. It was there where she was introduced to both hatha and restorative yoga, Sanskrit, the various Indian scriptures, yoga history, religion and philosophy. Hali also leads International yoga retreats to various destinations in Europe and India.


$2900 + tax + materials. Tuition includes unlimited drop-in classes for the duration of the program. Alumni of past 200-Hour programs at Octopus Garden are eligible for a 50% discount.

Tuition includes:

  • Unlimited drop-in classes for the duration of the program
  • Private consult with program director to set goals
  • Octopus Garden 200-Hour Training Manual
  • 10% discount off props, therapist treatments and most workshops for duration of the program

Payment Options:

A $500 (+HST) non-refundable deposit will be required upon acceptance of your application. If you pay your deposit before December 15th, you will receive a 3-month pass to Octopus Garden so you can enjoy your practice prior to starting the program.

The remaining balance may be paid:

  • In full — one payment of $2400 (+HST) due March 1, 2016.
  • In installments — four payments: $334 (HST) ($834-$500 deposit) on March 1st, and then $834 (HST) on April 1, May 1, and June 1, 2016

Full tuition payment or the first instalment must be received by March 1, 2016. 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

Listen to what alumni have to say about the 200-Hour Teacher Training program:

p{font-style:italic;}.The teaching training program and practicing intensively with the community at Octopus Garden throughout the year prior was instrumental in bringing my practice to the next level. As I began delving deeper into my own practice, I learned to trust the honesty of my body’s wisdom and intuition. I found deeper awareness of my body’s special intelligence, and felt more grounded in my self than ever. I have also now deeply accepted that our wounds can blossom into our gifts, and learned to respect this process.%{font-style:normal}  – EH%

The Octopus Garden Teacher training program not only transformed my practice, but it gave me amazing (continuing) insight into the anatomical and energetic workings of the body and a deeply joyful renewal of spirit. This is a life-changing program, probably the most valuable and inspirational 200 hours I ever spent!   – EH

The 200-hour program gave me the tools I needed to begin the journey towards becoming a teacher. Covering an inspiring range of subjects, from anatomy to philosophy, this training challenged me to explore unfamiliar perspectives and re-think my own. It also helped me uncover new depths in my personal practice, enhancing my capacity for self-expression and helping me to find my place within a unique and supportive community.   – AB

The 200-hour teacher training opened up my life in remarkable and permanent ways. It was an essential step to deepening and enriching my relationships with myself, others, and the world around me.   – MC

The 200-hour teacher training helped me tremendously in deepening my own practice and understanding yoga at a much more personal and deeper level – this includes the philosophy of yoga as well as my asana practice. Although it was intense I loved every minute and was sad to see the program finish. I was exposed to so many new ideas and I was able to understand how to take yoga off my mat and into my life.   – RM

There is a yoga quote that was given to me a long time ago by B.K.S Iyengar: “Body is the bow, asana is the arrow, and the soul is the target" I understand this completely now and will cherish it that much more because of the program. Much Gratitude.   – AM

The Fundamentals program is wonderful. If you are not certain you want to teach, but really want to deepen your practice and immerse yourself in learning, it is the perfect option. Octopus Garden is a warm and welcoming community of people who will support you on your journey- whatever path you choose to take!   – JK

The course acted as a mirror reflecting the four immeasurables (Equanimity, Loving-kindness, Appreciative Joy, and Compassion) within each of us. The teachers and students brought passion and breathed light into our shared environment which become a blissful space to interact and open up.   – UG

The training was what I hoped it would be and more. Scott and Pat are amazing teachers and inspiring leaders. Jesse is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic! The whole package was smart and intuitive. The guest speakers were wonderful. The journey was worthwhile and highly recommended. I feel more in touch with myself and my community. The path(s) that have opened up to me are optimistic and plentiful. I will continue to grow from the seeds this training planted in my heart for years to come.   – LZ

The 200-hour program changed my practice on and off the mat. I am so grateful to have been a part of Octopus Garden’s teacher training. There was a beautiful balance of asana to meditation to pranayama to philosophy. My original intention for the program was to deepen my practice. During the course of the five months, I found that so-called easy poses became more challenging (in a good way!), and that poses that I had thought to be challenging before were now possible. An incredible feeling. I also learned that every pose looks different on each body. Meditation became a daily practice, and yoga is infusing its way into my every day life. Thank you Pat and Scott!   – RK

And please read this blog article, written by Kate Vincent, a recent graduate from the program.

Apply to the Fundamentals Program