Your questions answered by our students

Your techer training questions answered

We asked our students to answer your questions… 

Every training we ask our students not only to give us feedback about their experience, but also to answer some of YOUR most frequently asked questions about Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga Academy International. 

In the video below we had our students answer your questions.

Our Yoga Teacher Trainings are STILL HAPPENING!! 

We are excited for SUN, for fun, for daily yoga practices, for SURFING and to create yet another COVID-free bubble where we can feel some semblance of our normal lives again.

Is this the training where you finally say yes to this adventure? 
Hit reply and let us know!
Lauren & Team YAI


Tropical 200hr yoga
teacher training

in Playa Maderas
This is our home base location. Join us in at our private 100 acre retreat center overlooking the ocean at playa maderas. this 200hr Yoga-Alliance Registered Teacher Training is the perfect setting  for a yoga training in paradise! 

Luxury 200hr yoga
teacher training

in Amorgos, Greece
Join us on the spectacular Greek island of Amorgos.The same teachers and same curriculum as our famous 200hr ytt in Nicaragua, only Greekier this 200hr Yoga-Alliance Registered Teacher Training is the perfect foundation for becoming a professional yoga teacher.

Acro Yoga 
teacher training

in Playa Maderas
Join Nicholas Coolridge aka Modern Tarzan for our most playful training! Get Acro Yoga certified! This course is also a module of our ADVANCED 300HR YOGA TEACHING CERTIFICATION. AFTER COMPLETING THIS TRAINING YOU WILL BE A CERTIFIED Acro YOGA TEACHER AND COMPLETE PART OF YOUR 300HR YTT.

Luxury Yin yoga teacher training

in Marrakech, Morocco

questions for us? 
Get in touch now!

The training that happened while the world was stopped

…As a group we decided to press on with the training. We had all come a long way to make this training and some of us were unaware of what to do next. So we agreed that in class time we would continue our journey in to mindfulness. In classes we went on as per usual. On breaks, we organized and arranged next steps. It feels now like that training was a lifetime ago. It feels like we maintained a tiny haven of paradise in a far away place where the rest of the world’s problems simply did not exist.

The training that continued while the world was stopping...

If you’ve been following along on our journey, you’ll know that we were in the midst of a Chakra-Vinyasa yoga teacher training while the world was wrapping it’s head around a global pandemic. It was just a few days after the training started that travel bans started to come in to effect, business closed, government regulations were put in to place, and the world seemed to halt while we were all in Nicaragua. 

The situation was uncertain to say the least. On our breaks our eyes were peeled to news sources, texting and calling friends and family back home and just trying to get updates on what was going on. It felt like we were in a far far away dreamland, away from all the chaos. 

As a group we decided to press on with the training. We had all come a long way to make this training and some of us were unaware of what to do next. So we agreed that in class time we would continue our journey in to mindfulness. In classes we went on as per usual. On breaks, we organized and arranged next steps. It feels now like that training was a lifetime ago. It feels like we maintained a tiny haven of paradise in a far away place where the rest of the world’s problems simply did not exist. 

Hopefully we will be able to return soon to our beloved Yoga Teacher Trainings in paradise. In the meanwhile, here’s a recap of the Chakra-Vinyasa experience. 


We are still committed to offering you the highest possible standard in yoga education.

Take this time to advance your home practice with us.

Go deeper into themes and practices you’ve always wanter to.

Prepare yourself for next steps in your yoga career once we return to our regular lives.

Learn from our internationally renown teachers right from the comfort of your own…quarantine. 

online yoga courses

Ashtanga Yoga for newbies

Join internationally renown Tantric Yoga Teacher Nancy Goodfellow as she introduces you to this amazing practice! This course is challenging, uplifting, insightful and deep. It is perfect for a yogi ready to learn more, go deeper- mind, body and spirit and gain more understanding of the ancient traditions of yoga. Nancy guides safe and structured Tantric practices that include explanations of.why Tantra is practiced in this way, mudras, mantra, meditation and so much more. Contains over 3 hours of guided asana practice and more than 10 hours of video content!

Turn your life upside down

Turn Your Life Upside Down is a 4-week 4-module course designed to get you knowing what your passions are, what makes you come alive and then take the steps toward living that dream! Lauren Rudick takes you on a journey into yourself. This course contains 5 guided yoga practices, 7 guided meditations, a fully illustrated e-book and journaling exercises.
Join Lauren in living a lifestyle of passion. Turn Your Life Upside Down!

The Tantra Course

Join internationally renown Tantric Yoga Teacher Nancy Goodfellow as she introduces you to this amazing practice! This course is challenging, uplifting, insightful and deep. It is perfect for a yogi ready to learn more, go deeper- mind, body and spirit and gain more understanding of the ancient traditions of yoga. Nancy guides safe and structured Tantric practices that include explanations of.why Tantra is practiced in this way, mudras, mantra, meditation and so much more. Contains over 3 hours of guided asana practice and more than 10 hours of video content!

Uplift your Yoga Career

Uplift your yoga career is everything a yogi needs to know to elevate a great career in yoga, raise your income and create an awesome yoga following. The full course includes guides on getting jobs, marketing, social media, creating workshops and growing a loyal following in yoga.

Like netflix, but yoga.

We are still continuing to offer membership to our online yoga studio at significantly reduced rates. 

Our online studio and online courses are NOT the same. The studio is streamable online content with various teachers. The courses are an opportunity to go WAY deeper into a particular discipline or style. 

During stressful times like these that we need wellness and mindfulness practices the most.We are giving you almost free access to our entire online studio library. It’s like Netflix, but yoga for Just $1 per month.

We want to invite you to practice with us from the comfort of your home.

FULL ACCESS to our online studio for only $12 for the entire year. Use code yoga12 to sign up today.

If you are already subscribed, feel free to share page with others who need heart opening meditations, yoga practices to keep them physically fit and well and yin yoga to reduce stress and stiffness.

We have classes in English, French and Norwegian and have just added almost a dozen new practices.

Hundreds of practices available – unlimited yoga for all levels – beginners to super advanced – continuing education for yoga teachers

Whether you are brand new to yoga, super advanced or on your yoga teaching journey, we have practices and classes for you. Our online instructors have been handpicked for their teaching style, commitment to practice and specialty in their individual yoga discipline. We have classes ranging from 2 – 90 minutes waiting for you!

Membership is just $98 per year!

[register_form id=2]

But what about our 
yoga trainings abroad?

We are keeping a close watch on how the situation is changing day by day. At this point in time it is highly likely that our YIN YOGA TEACHER TRAINING  at the end of April will be postponed for 1 year. We will continue to watch the COVID-19 situation closely and make a final decision by April 1, 2020. Good news- you now have time to sign up at save up for it! This luxury training is amazing and we can extend a payment plan to you over 12 months. This means for less than $200/month you can get to this INCREDIBLE luxury experience.

We are still saying optimistic that our 200hr YOGA TEACHER TRAINING this July will run as scheduled. We are hopeful and keeping faith that we will be able to stop the spread of this virus shortly and continue to create magical experiences in paradise. 


200hr yoga
teacher training

in playa maderas
Taking place on the spectacular cliffs of Maderas Beach, this 200hr Yoga-Alliance Registered Teacher Training is the perfect foundation for becoming a professional yoga teacher.

Ashtanga Yoga intensive

in Lembongnan, Bali
THIS is an amazing course with KPJAY Authorized level 2 teacher Tina Bock! Tina has spent years studying in Mysore, India under Sharath Jois and takes a very traditional but fun approach to Ashtanga Yoga. This program is an ELECTIVE MODULES THAT MAKES UP OUR ADVANCED 300HR YOGA TEACHING CERTIFICATION.

questions for us? 
Get in touch now!


What does it even mean to be a spiritual sell out? How do we hold up our own standards and our own self-respect and self-worth? How can we maintain our practices and stay true to who we are? How can we continue to be our best selves? I’m sharing this because recently I did feel like a spiritual sell out. I shared my story in this video and so much more!


Hi Yogis!
I believe that you are the sum total of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Our time is precious. It is crucial to be choosy about how and where we spend out time. In this video I talk about why we need to be choosy about the company we keep. I will also share with you how you can be choosy without destroying other relationships in your life.

I feel it is so important to be picky about the company we keep. That being said, it is so important to choose kindness in our interactions.

There is so much power in taking the highroad.

At the end of the day, we have to live with ourselves.

My Favourite Thing About Yoga Teacher Training Is…

Our next Teacher Training in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica is fast approaching and we are so excited!!

Each training is a holistic experience of mind, body and soul filled with gratitude, warmth, learning and all the love in the universe. Our mission at Yoga Academy International is to raise the standard of yoga education each passionate, authentic and magical 200 hour training at a time. Our professional program is a thorough, and progressive yoga teacher training course that enables an incredible foundation of the lifestyles, philosophy and asanas of yoga.

Interested in becoming a certified yoga teacher in paradise? Apply HERE today and become part of the Yoga Academy International family.  


Lost in Translation: Teaching Yoga in Another Language

C’est quoi “yoga” en français?

Each time you step into a new studio or room, roll out your mat and place your props at the front as an guide for students to take and use during class, there’s this little feeling, this unspoken energy that you’re not quite sure what to make of just yet. The practice of yoga, as we’ve come to know it in its modern form, is full of nuances and subtleties based on a plethora of factors; teachers, locations, clientele demographics, space, so on and so forth. And many of us as teachers are more than used to hopping between teaching spaces, working to continuously adapt our methods to the individuals in the room in each new location.

The stories I’ve heard from teachers who’ve come and gone from different studios, gyms, and private spaces, range from hilarious to horrendous. Each time that we as teachers step into our role in an unfamiliar space, we are faced with new challenges that spin their way into opportunities, enabling us to grow our own practice as both teachers, and students. New obstacles force us to redefine our “standard” method, and get creative in how we reach out and communicate with those in the room.

yoga class, yoga teaching, yoga teacher, studio

The Space

This past month I was fortunate enough to teach with Arles Yoga, as a part of their “Professeurs en Residence” (PiR) program; a unique approach to running a studio that counters the current trend we see in major North American “yoga hubs,” where studios tend to selectively hire teachers churned out by their own teacher training courses. Each month, a new prof de yoga comes into Arles Yoga’s space, and teaches 10-12 classes per week, in a variety of styles ranging from a Slow Flow, to a vigorous Yoga Dynamique, and accompanied by Pilates or other speciality classes. Oh yeah, and for those of you unfamiliar with the geography of France, Arles is situated in Provence – translating to blue skies for 30 straight days, temperatures that enable you to never wear more than a light tank and shorts, and scenic views of the Rhones and Roman architecture. Rough life, I know. However, if you haven’t already deduced, there is one key factor I’ve omitted – classes were taught in French.

The Obstacles

When I committed to taking the PiR post for the month of July, I was well aware of the fact that the months leading up to my arrival in Arles would be filled with numerous podcasts, instructional videos on yoga and Pilates in French, and some practice lessons with willing friends. And although I prepared to the best of my ability, pre-planned sequences to no end, and essentially committed to memory every one of the Transfert podcast episodes, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of jumping into teaching 11 classes a week in a language that you are far less familiar with than every single one of the people in the room in front of you, that makes you question whether or not the decision you made was well-thought out.

The Progression

Let’s work through this little journey in a more digestible format, for those of you with limited time, or those of you that may actually be thinking of embarking on a similar path in the not-so-distant future.

Week 1 – The Over-Prep

I’ll preface this section by saying that in the week leading up to my first class in Arles, I pre-planned three full classes, which I RARELY (if ever) do. Although I tend to sequence my classes with a common theme or apex pose, anatomical focus or intention, I rarely pre-plan to the extent of essentially scripting out my sequences. I’m a big fan of instantaneous adaptation, and letting the room guide the class.

During my first week, I woke up early each morning to practice through each sequence, formulate what I wanted to verbalize as instructions, and create options for modifications that I anticipated being necessary based on common physical limitations. I tend to give a significant amount of verbal instructions during classes, and this quickly presented itself as a bit of a challenge, as I struggled to quickly translate what I would normally say in English, into French that made sense and wasn’t a series of strung together nonsense that made my non-Francophone background glaringly apparent.

In addition to the French factor, I was also adjusting to the process of teaching in a new space, to a group of people that I had no previous experience or interactions with. Layer in the significant differences that exist between North American and French yoga culture and expectations, and I had myself a fairly large set of extenuating circumstances cultivating my current environment.

The result? I felt out of place, I questioned my teaching capabilities and methods, and I was anxious before and after each class, worried that I wasn’t providing what was expected, or that I simply wasn’t good enough. This discomfort, though, pushed me to prepare for each class, study and learn during my off-hours, in an effort to ensure that I was the best teacher I could be.

Week 2 – The (Almost) Settling

As you’ve probably guessed, it does get better. If it didn’t it’s unlikely I would be writing this blog post, or at least, it would be released at a much later date when I could look back on the experience as a whole without wincing.

The prep started to become less and less – it was during week 2 that I stopped pre-planning every class, and reverted to my trusty old improv style. Although my level of comfort with the language did play a notable role in this progression towards settling in, the true determining factor was the familiarity with the Arles yoga community. For me, one of the most satisfying aspects of having yoga so engrained in my life is the connections built within the yoga community. I love seeing familiar faces come back to class, progress, and get excited as they see changes happening in their practice. Week 2 allowed me to start integrating myself into the fantastic, accepting community that owners Julia Mitton and Paul Biehn have built at Arles Yoga, and realize that there was no expectation

Week 3 – The Seeking of Growth

During week 3, although I said goodbye to a few yogis who were finishing up their vacations in Arles, I became well-acquainted with the repeat offenders who were showing up to practice multiple times a week, ready for new challenges and curious both during and after class, voicing their inquisitions and seeking answers. This inert desire to know more, to explore and redefine what limitations exist, is a part of human nature that’s really awesome to unearth, yet often lies dormant until stirred or poked.

Suffice to say, during this halfway mark, I started to feel really at home at Arles Yoga. I introduced some more daring variations and apex postures in classes, and let myself adapt and adjust in the same way that I would have during classes back in Toronto.

There was something else that happened during week 3 that has only really become evident as I look back on the experience as a whole – the more I let myself experiment with the language, the less concerned I was with making small mistakes. The initial fear of coming off as very Anglophone, or making verb tense errors when jumping between French and English, started to dissipate. I let myself make little verbal missteps, all the while knowing that the group of yogis in class could care less, and were accepting of the language slips, because in the grand scheme of things, they really didn’t matter. This was a lesson in self-acceptance that runs much deeper than a simple language barrier, and one that I will continue to integrate and acknowledge as I evolve my teaching practice, in addition to internal personal growth.

Week 4 – The Phase of Comfortability

As I wrapped up my residency in Arles, I started to feel (wait for it), a little ache of sadness. I’m generally a fan of the Irish goodbye – rarely will I dwell on the process involved in leaving or moving on. With each class that took place during week 4, the return of familiar practitioners, and the impending event of my final Friday class approaching, I was able to reflect on the experience with an increasingly holistic perspective.

The past month pushed me, made me uncomfortable, forced me to change and experiment with my teaching style, and ultimately allowed me to grow in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I’ve broken down the process in four stages here, but each day was truly its own challenge and voyage. Closing out the week with a final class filled with energy, enthusiasm, hugs, and some “coucous” was incredibly satisfying, and made the pre-work, podcasts and all, so very worth it.

The Lessons Learned

  • Get acquainted with imperfection

Looking back on some of my (many) verbal missteps that took place during classes, I wince a little with initial embarrassment, but then laugh and appreciate the growth that took place between weeks 1 and 4. We are always going to have classes that don’t feel quite right, that we replay and question, “why did I say that,” or “why did I feel the need to add that movement or posture in when it didn’t make sense.” These are the learning experiences we undergo as we grow and become more comfortable as teachers, and also as students. Mistakes lay the foundation for our continued development; observe them with grace, and reflect on them diligently to avoid repetition.

  • It’s okay to reverse roles

When teaching in French, as an Anglophone, to a room of native French speakers (with the most melodious French accents, I must note), you’ve got to expect to be corrected. And instead of take offense, or feel insecure, I chuckled and took mental notes (and then transferred these to paper), as a part of the continuous learning process. Never again will I think that is an adequate resource for anatomical translations – because no, tendon de jaret does not translate to hamstring (oouf).

  • Observe the opportunity in everything

As a proponent of the “free-to-be” sequencing style, I learned a lot by forcing myself to pre-plan and be more structured in how I structured classes during the initial classes at Arles Yoga. Although I may not retain this teaching style as I move forward, it was an excellent opportunity for me to redefine and learn to teach in a new way. Additionally, as someone who tends to pepper class with verbal micro-adjustments and modifications, having limited abilities to express myself forced me to be more comfortable with silence, and to learn how to say more with less. There’s a shiny side to every coin, right?

  • You are enough

Taken straight from an uninspired Instragram post. But for real, this was probably the most relevant lesson I learned. Every teacher is so inherently different, in method, style, diction, tone of voice, sequencing, influences, and the list goes on. We are inclined to compare ourselves and constantly pick out the areas where we either outshine or fall behind those considered to be our peers. Be content knowing that regardless of a practitioner’s past experiences with other teachers, your style and individual flare provides them with something new and unique, and shouldn’t be graded based on the characteristics of other teachers.

So if you’ve managed to dig your way through this, or perhaps just skimmed, you may now be contemplating this proverbial jumping off point. It may not be directly related to yoga or even a career move, but could encapsulate making even a minor change in your day to day that forces you a little outside of the status quo. Although the process may seem arduous, the ultimate end result will be worth the initial discomfort – I promise.


Cassandra Cooper

Cassandra Cooper

Growing up with a background in competitive figure skating, Cass’ journey with yoga began at a young age. What started as a way of maintaining flexibility and mobility has since shifted to focus on building strength, by combining elements of functional movement into her practice and sequencing, helping to explore the different ways in which each individual’s body moves and changes shape. Since completing Octopus Garden’s 200 hour teacher training, and Rishikesh Yog Peeth’s 300 hour advanced teacher training program, Cass has pursued Barre and Pilates certifications through Stott Pilates, along with Essentrics movement training. The most important thing she’s discovered along the way is that you’re always a student – be curious, always question, carefully analyze, and continuously seek new avenues towards unexpected answers. ‘Yoga is the journey from cosmetic to cosmic beauty.’



I Am Not Flexible: Confessions of a Yoga Teacher

I am not flexible and I teach yoga. I used to feel like a complete sham, being a yoga teacher and not able to express full hanumanasana (the splits) …

Over time and with a lot of forgiveness, I have allowed this to become a strength rather than a hindrance. Due to an inability to demonstrate some poses in their fullest, I had been forced to improve my understanding of anatomy, my communication skills,
i am not flexible
and my explanations of postures. Comprehensible and down-to-earth analogies were needed in order to safely guide students in an out of complicated asana.
I had to let go of a tremendous amount of ego watching my students advance and surpass me in their bendtacular physical abilities. Rather than envy or jealousy, I was filled with enormous amounts of gratitude. It’s a truly humbling experience to watch your students surpass you. I felt privileged to be their teacher.
When my stiff body does manage a touch of suppleness, it becomes a fantastic victory. Years ago, while teaching gomukasana (cow face yoga pose), I was demonstrating how to position the arms when suddenly my fingertips grazed each other for the first time ever.
I almost stopped the class to shout, “Hey everybody! My fingernails just momentarily brushed each other!! Wooo hoo!! Did anyone see that!?!? I am usually not a flexible yoga teacher”
Which would have been both inappropriate and ridiculous in a room full of clasped hands behind backs.
But there’s something more here: When tickling fingertips together draws such awareness and excitement, suddenly little things in life offer us so much encouragement.
This small victory made me feel like I could accomplish anything! The intense sensation of joy and triumph in that moment gave me so much empowerment.
Once I had let go of the goal-oriented nature of my practice and the negativity I had let myself experience for being Inflexible, my personal asana practice flourished.
i am not flexible
Today my yoga practice is about joy. It is about love. It is so much less about the asana. When I step on my mat, I close my eyes and I move my soul with breath and posture. I let my heart pour out on the rubber floor. Whatever I am feeling I just let it be.

I have become so much more compassionate and forgiving of myself on the mat that it has permeated other areas of my life too-less judgment, more being okay with others as they are. By allowing expression and removing rigidity from my personal yoga practice, my body has opened up as well.
Today, not only can I do the splits, but lotus, arm balances, fallen angel, full dancer, have all become part of my regular practice. Oh, and gomukasana too! I can totally grab my hands and even reverse prayer these days! I never in my life thought I would be able to express these asana!
For anyone who is not a flexible yoga teacher or student, step on your mat. Close your eyes. Take some deep breaths. Ask yourself, “what is possible?” You might be surprised with the results, I know I was!


Lauren Rudick

Lauren Rudick
Lead teacher and founder of Yoga Academy International, Lauren is a globally celebrated yoga instructor. She has been teaching yoga for nearly a decade and comes from a variety of lineages and traditions. Lauren’s appetite for yoga and travel are insatiable. She continues to study with world-class instructors whenever possible, all the while leading her own yoga retreats and workshops. Lauren has solid roots in Hatha yoga with continued studies in Vinyasa flow, Anusara, Ashtanga, Restorative and Yin Yoga. She is inspired by teachers who tell stories. She has studied under Seane Corn, Chris Chavez, MC Yogi, Susan Cohen, Nancy Goodfellow and many others. Lauren is passionate about sharing yoga from an authentic and soulful point of view. She believes that yoga practice can help uncover the veils that hide us from achieving our full potential.