Soul School: 200 Hour Teacher Training
Begins January 2024 (Dates TBA)
Applications Are Now Being Accepted On A Rolling Basis For Next Year’s
Soul School Teacher Training Program
Apply To Soul School Here
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Soul School is our one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary teacher training program — held in a new in-person and online format. Soul School is facilitated by Seán Johnson, founder of Wild Lotus Yoga and Mitchel Bleier, founder of The Yoga Teacher’s Lab. The program offers depth, fun, community, and an opportunity to transform your life through committed practice in yoga and teaching. Soul School is designed for dedicated yoga students who wish to enhance their connection to yoga and spirituality, aspiring yoga teachers, as well as current teachers who are seeking to bring more depth to their practice and teaching through continued study.
Soul School creates an opportunity for trainees to deepen their spiritual path through self-exploration and build a strong foundation for teaching yoga in a soulful, imaginative, and integrative way. We will explore the connections between yoga, art, mythology, poetry, music, and philosophy with a strong emphasis on Bhakti, Tantra, and Vinyasa yoga.
The first half of the training is called “Ignite Your Soul” and includes spiritual practice, self-exploration, meditation; pranayama; mantra and chanting; exploration of yoga & social justice; harmonium; play; mythology; poetry; yoga’s history including Veda, Buddhism, Bhakti, and Tantra; anatomy and kinesiology; and study in the alignment and forms of over 60 asanas. The second half of the training is called “Share Your Passion” and includes practice and study in: Teaching Skills, Art of Teaching, Language, Constructing and Sequencing Classes, Adjustments, Sanskrit for Yoga Teachers, and more.
Graduates who fulfill all requirements of the program will receive a certificate and be eligible to register at the 200 hour level as a yoga teacher with The Yoga Alliance, the national education and support organization for yoga in the United States.
Yoga is meant to be a holistic practice that is richly integrated into our home and lifestyle. Along with our in-person community gatherings, the online, at home dimension of Soul School is an opportunity to dig deeper into our practice from home, to support our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical well being so that we can be of even greater service to others.
Soul School Structure
We have re-imagined Soul School, now entering it’s 14th year, to emphasize it’s beauty as both an inspiring in-person community learning experience — and an immersive online training. Over a seven month period, we will gather together in person in New Orleans for three in-depth weekends scheduled at the beginning, middle, and end of the program. Between our in-person gatherings, we’ll meet regularly from the comfort of our homes on ZOOM. Our ZOOM sessions will be held in manageable and engaging doses (not marathons) which will include meditation, chanting, storytelling, dharma talks, small break-out groups to connect more deeply to your peers, and guest adjunct faculty to offer fresh perspectives. To connect more deeply to the community of your peers, we’ll also have monthly satsangs and small group meetings. You’ll have access to over 100 pre-recorded lessons and workshops you can practice with independently and return to again and again on your own time and can utilize as a lifetime resource library. This format will also help make Soul School accessible to both locals in the New Orleans region as well as folks who wish to participate from out of town.
During our online curriculum sessions, we’ll be joined by some special friends– inspiring visiting adjunct teachers including renowned Sanskrit teacher Dr. Anuradha Choudry, who will be joining us from Bangolore, India; Michelle Cassandra Johnson– yoga teacher, anti-racism trainer, licensed clinical social worker and author of “Skill In Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice To Create A Just World,” and “Finding Refuge: Heart Work For Collective Grief,”; and longtime meditation teacher and researcher Dr. Lorin Roche, author of The Radiance Sutras and Meditation Made Easy joining us from Los Angeles. And Seán’s ensemble The Wild Lotus Band (Alvin Young, Gwendolyn, Colman & Narada Wise) will be joining us for our middle in-person bhakti-themed weekend in New Orleans.
During the second half of the program, we’ll be putting more emphasis on the art and skill of teaching an inspiring and accessible yoga class in your own unique voice. You’ll work in small groups to co-create classes and receive supportive feedback and coaching from Seán and Mitchel. Homework between our meetings will be designed to help nurture, inspire, and empower your spiritual practice and development as a teacher. Assignments will include engaging with specific videos; reading in manageable amounts; journaling assignments, meditation practice; participating in yoga classes, and more. The second half of the program’s homework will focus more on practicing and cultivating yoga teaching skills.
During our final weekend together in New Orleans, we’ll conclude the Soul School community journey with a closing ritual and celebration.The finale of Soul School is a final individual project to integrate and crystalize the experience, where you design and teach your own full length class, drawing inspiration from the training.
To get a deeper feel for the approach to yoga that Soul School inspires, we highly recommend that you take in-person or online classes with Seán and Mitchel. Other Soul School graduates who teach at Wild Lotus are: AC, Andra, Annelise, Celeste, Dena, Farah Naz, Katie, Kina, Lauren Best-Shapiro, Lauren Sloan, Leo, Lori, Rebecca, Vera, and Zach.
Some of the many gifts of Soul School as a Hybrid In-Person + Online Teacher Training Program
1st Half Of Program: “Ignite Your Soul”
The first half of the program is focused on creating a supportive container for you to deepen your own life and yoga practice. This includes the opening in-depth immersion in New Orleans, spiritual practice, self-exploration, meditation; pranayama; mantra and chanting; harmonium; play; mythology; poetry; yoga’s history: Veda, Buddhism, Bhakti, and Tantra; anatomy and kinesiology; and study in the alignment and forms of over 60 asanas.
2nd Half of the Training: “Share Your Passion”
The second half of Soul School focuses on teaching skills, and how to create skillful, inspiring yoga classes in your own authentic voice (rather than memorizing a script or copying a pre-set routine) and practice and study in: Teaching Skills, Art of Teaching, Language and Voice, Centering, Constructing and Sequencing Classes, Adjustments, Sanskrit for Yoga Teachers, Music for Yoga, Teaching Beginners and more.
By the time you finish Soul School, if you dedicate yourself to practicing and completing all the teaching assignments, you will be well-prepared to teach yoga classes.
The Resource Video Library: Pause, Rewind, Review, Retain
Most of us need to hear something multiple times before we truly understand it and feel comfortable teaching it. With the curriculum covered in our resource video library, you can literally pause, rewind, and review. The content gets to sink in at your pace and at your preference to contemplate. Students love being able to re-watch videos, especially denser ones like all the poses, anatomy, mythic stories, or Sanskrit. The library also become a lifetime resource. We’d do anything to re-take or re-listen to all the incredible lectures from our teachers so many years ago. Instead, we reconstruct from memory and notes as best as we can, but with this training, you have these resources for your reference always. Re-watching and learning new things every time you return to the dozens (and dozens) of audios and videos. Once you graduate, you keep access to all this material. It’s here for you, indefinitely.
In its hybrid in-person and online form, Soul School is now available for participants around the country to experience! We are also thrilled to include four adjunct teachers who are many miles away, who we have been deeply inspired by. This would not have been logistically possible or feasible in an in-person only format. They are renowned Sanskrit teacher Dr. Anuradha Choudry, who will be joining us from Bangolore, India; Michelle Cassandra Johnson– yoga teacher, anti-racism trainer, licensed clinical social worker and author of “Skill In Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice To Create A Just World,” joining us from Raleigh-Durham, NC; longtime meditation teacher and researcher Dr. Lorin Roche, author of The Radiance Sutras and Meditation Made Easy joining us from Los Angeles; and functional movement and anatomy specialist Jessica Carlin, from Chicago, who provides continued education courses to yoga teachers that replaces conventional anatomy and memorization with modern movement education and foundational joint mechanics.
Yoga as Art & Craft: Focus On Learning To Practice & Teach Yoga with Skill, Imagination & Heart
In Soul School, we emphasize the importance of practicing solid teaching skills, techniques, alignment forms and actions, clear language — combined with designing imaginative, colorful classes, born from your own unique story and personality, drawing deeply from the arts of Bhakti Yoga, including music, storytelling, and creative movement.
The bond that is created between participants in Soul School is deep. Many life-long friends have been made over the years. We create a safe, supportive, loving learning environment where we all support each other’s growth.
Depth and Fun
Soul School is a deep and transformative process that is also filled with lots of humor and laughter. We’re serious about yoga as a profound practice that can enrich and transform our lives, and also help us stay humble, not to take ourselves too seriously, and laugh a lot along the way.