200 Hour Teacher Training

Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga > 200 Hour Teacher Training

200-hour Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher Training

The goal of the Teacher Training at Pilgrimage Yoga is to create an inviting and safe environment where you can advance your personal yoga practice while learning to teach others the art of yoga. Our program is centered on three essential elements of yoga: ancient knowledge rooted in modern science, thoughtful and skilled teachers, and a strong community of support. After successfully completing the training, you may join Yoga Alliance as a Registered Yoga Teacher and enjoy the benefits of membership in this internationally recognized organization.

Program Format

Both In-Studio and Live Stream options are available for this training. Please contact Lauren McLaren at yttadmin@pilgrimageyoga.com for more details.

Wondering if Our Program is Right for You?

The Pilgrimage Yoga Teacher Training is right for you if you’ve been practicing yoga for a year or more and …

  • You want to share yoga as a teacher.
  • You want to elevate the level of your personal practice.
  • You are interested in personal transformation.
  • You are curious about meditation.
  • You are interested in deepening your understanding of anatomy and alignment in yoga.
  • You want to learn more about the philosophy of yoga.
  • You are seeking a community of like-minded people.

See what our graduates had to say about the program here.

August - December 2020, 5-Month Program

9 Weekends: Each weekend workshop will be held on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays.

August 28-30; September 11-13; September 18-20; October 2-4; October 9-11; October 23-25; November 6-8; November 20-22; December 4-6

Additional information about format of training:

As we navigate the requirements put into place by the San Diego County Board of Health and Yoga Alliance, we have adapted our training program to successfully work in a Live Stream format. We anticipate that some part of this training will be offered virtually, but that as restrictions ease, we will move to in-person training. If you have questions about the training format, please contact Lauren at yttadmin@pilgrimageyoga.com.


Full Price: $2500

Our price includes all necessary books and materials. Program application and full payment of tuition must be submitted 48 hours prior to the training start date.

If you decide that this program is the right fit for you, you can call the studio at 619-640-4438, send an email to yttadmin@pilgrimageyoga.com or stop by the front desk to schedule an appointment with our Program Coordinator to get the application process started.

*Payment plans available.

Request More Information

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It is both a great honor and a great responsibility to run a yoga teacher training program. Here at Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga we take that responsibility very seriously. We do everything we can to ensure that your experience of learning to teach yoga is fulfilling and comprehensive. Our goal is to offer you the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to teach yoga.

Our program is also ideal if your main goal is to deepen your practice and understanding of yoga. Nearly half of those who take our training do so primarily to expand their knowledge and practice. Some graduates go on to teach, while others choose not to. The training is for you.

Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga’s 200-hour teacher training is certified by Yoga Alliance, the only nationally recognized purveyor of Yoga instructor certifications in the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Experience Do I Need Before Taking the Program?

We recommend 12 months of regular yoga practice prior to beginning the teacher training. Regular practice would be considered either two studio classes a week (at Pilgrimage of the Heart or any studio of your choice) or a similar amount of practice on your own.


Yoga is an ancient art that has been passed on from person to person for thousands of years. In the modern world yoga has taken on another unique manifestation: it has become an extremely popular form of mind-body exercise. As of 2016 over 36.7 million Americans are now practicing yoga and another 20 million are thinking about trying yoga. This creates a wonderful opportunity for you to teach and share yoga with others.

The Western world is realizing not just the health benefits of yoga but also the mental and emotional benefits. In our teacher-training program we offer students the full range of yogic understanding so that you can play a significant role as a yoga teacher and practitioner in the years to come. You will learn all the components of yoga including yoga philosophy, breath control and meditation.

What if I Am Not Sure if I Want to Teach or Not?

Our training offers you the opportunity to both deepen your knowledge and practice and learn to teach. Half of those who are in our programs do so only to deepen their practice. Yoga is a journey of transformation and you will experience that transformation during our training.


There is no “right” reason for practicing yoga. Each individual that embarks on the path of yoga does so for his or her own unique reason. At our studio we honor and respect all the reasons and motivations that inspire people towards yoga. We hold forth the same attitude when it comes to our teacher training. Whether you primarily wish to deepen your practice or want to become a full-time yoga teacher our program is designed to help you reach your unique goals.

Our program will prepare you to teach all styles of yoga. You will learn the fundamentals of yoga, which you can then apply to teaching all styles of yoga including traditional hatha yoga, gentle yoga, power yoga, vinyasa flow, and hot yoga. We also feature a special workshop where you explore the fundamentals of teaching yoga to children, prenatal yoga and yoga for seniors.

Best of all: from all that you learn you will be able to create your own unique yoga style and flow. You will learn the principles of pose/counter pose, the principles to sequence a yoga class, and the emotional benefits of the various poses.

What Kinds of Training Do You Offer?

Our teacher training is an exploration of the foundations of Hatha yoga. The program is influenced by the teachings of BKS Iyengar and offers students an in-depth look at the alignment, anatomy and energetics of more than 40 yoga asanas. Besides the training in the physical practice of yoga, our program includes an introduction to yoga philosophy and the study of selected Sutras of Patanjali; instruction in meditation techniques and practice; and practical experience with teaching. We currently offer two trainings per year. Each spring we offer a 5-month training program with workshops on weekends. We also offer a one-month intensive training that extends Monday through Friday in the month of July. Both trainings are certified by Yoga Alliance, the most respected certification program in the world.

Do I Have to Be Super Flexible to Teach Yoga?

No, but you do need to care about people and to want to help them learn and grow. Flexibility is only one aspect of yoga.

In our training you will learn to guide people into postures through verbal cues and the demonstration of the postures. If there are postures or variations of the postures that you cannot do you can verbally cue your students into those postures. To effectively guide others in yoga you do need to know the basics of anatomy, which you will learn in our training.


Another wonderful element of our teacher-training program is the fact that you are training and learning in the environment of a thriving yoga studio. Each week hundreds of individuals come to Pilgrimage of the Heart to learn and practice yoga. It is in this inspiring and uplifting environment that our teacher training is held. You will see the positive effect of yoga in the lives of our studio members and this will help you learn how to offer yoga to others.


Our program is built on three principles: (1) the study of ancient knowledge rooted in modern science; (2) highly qualified teachers offering you outstanding instruction and guidance; and (3) a strong community of support.

Through this program, you will receive training in the fundamentals of Yoga philosophy, Yoga postures (asana), anatomy, breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation. You will learn to teach over 40 postures.

How Does the Teacher Training Work?

The backbone of our program consists of 24 workshops, homework, scripts for learning to teach over 40 postures, developing your own practice of yoga, learning breath control and meditation, observing during studio classes, assisting in studio classes, taking classes, and working with your mentor. Five months of studio membership and all textbooks are included in your tuition.

What is the Mentorship Program? No Other Programs Offer That.

This is one of the unique elements of our program. You will spend 8 hours in Spring, and 4 hours in Summer (you and your mentor can decide on how to divide up the time) working one-on-one with a mentor of your choice. You will choose your mentor from the participating teachers on our staff. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions, work on your teaching skills, and discuss spiritual philosophy or anything else that you wish to explore with the help of your mentor. This reflects the ancient mode of teaching through which the wisdom of Yoga was passed on through one-on-one exchanges.

Is There Homework?

Yoga is an art and science that has evolved over thousands of years and involves plumbing the heights and depths of human consciousness. The more you read, study and practice the more you will be able to know and teach the essence of Yoga to others. Our program involves homework assignments that include reading, journaling and video scripting. These assignments are designed to help you reinforce the concepts and information you study within the program. The more time and energy you put into your study, the more you will get out of the program and the more confident you will be as a teacher.

It All Sounds Good. What is the Next Step?

If you have never been to our studio please come in and try some classes! We have a great special: 2 weeks of unlimited yoga for $25.

If you decide that this program is the right fit for you, you can call the studio at 619-640-4438, send an email to yttadmin@pilgrimageyoga.com or stop by the front desk to schedule an appointment with our Program Coordinator to get the application process started.

As a wise philosopher once said: “The longest journey begins with the first step.” We look forward to serving you along your journey in becoming a Yoga instructor.

Program Requirements

  • Spring, 4-Month Program
  • 24 Yoga Teacher Training Workshops.
  • 10 Meditation classes.
  • 8 Hours of one-on-one mentorship meetings.
  • Public yoga classes: participating, observing and taking notes during and after each class.
  • Daily asana practice to solidify your own commitment to yoga.
  • Successful completion of exams and final class presentation.

Program Highlights

  • Yoga Alliance certification.
  • Five months unlimited yoga at Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga Studio.
  • Mentorship Program designed in line with traditional Indian yoga instruction. Trainees work one-on-one with the yoga teacher of their choice.
  • Skill-building to teach and adjust 40 postures.
  • Skill-building to teach meditation, breathing techniques, and chanting.

Lauren McLaren, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, YACEP

Program Administrator & Co-Lead Teacher

Lauren began her yoga training in the Caribbean and studied with teachers there, in Canada, and the US. A teacher at heart, she returned to her calling and began teaching yoga in 2009 after completing her first teacher training with Aura Wellness Center in Rhode Island. Always seeking to expand her knowledge and training, she completed her second 200-hour program with Deva Parnell at Discovery Yoga Center in St. Augustine, Florida. Kripalu inspired, her teaching style is grounded in honoring the body and its innate wisdom. She brings dedication, compassion, and a sense of lightheartedness to all of her classes, but what drives and inspires her most is a profound belief in the transformative power of the practice both on and off the mat.

Click here to experience a 9-minute Pranayama flow with Lauren McLaren!

Jamie Lee

Jamie Lee, E-RYT 500

Co-Lead Teacher

Jamie Lee, E-RYT 500, graduated from Pilgrimage of the Heart's 200-Hour YTT in 2013 and a 300-hour advanced vinyasa training with Jason Crandell in 2016. Jamie's main goal as a teacher is to facilitate the profundity of embodiment.  She is driven to share the complexity and majesty of the human body through alignment and anatomical principles and encouraging people not only to accept but to embrace the totality of who they are.  Jamie brings an accessible approach to functional anatomy and yoga philosophy, empowering students to rediscover and reconnect with their wholeness.

Click here to experience a 30-minute Flowing Yoga I Class with Jamie Lee!


Sujantra McKeever

Philosophy & Meditation

Sujantra was born in San Francisco in 1962 and moved to San Diego in 1980 to attend UCSD. He is the founder and owner of the Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga Studio. He first became interested in hatha yoga as a young boy and used his practice of asanas (the yoga postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques) as a stepping stone into the “inner aspects” of yoga: concentration, meditation, and contemplation.

Sujantra has authored five books on eastern philosophy, success motivation, and meditation. Two of his books were used by major universities to teach wellness, stress reduction, and comparative religion. Over the past 20 years, he has delivered over one thousand lectures on meditation and yoga in over 25 countries.

Sujantra opened the Pilgrimage of the Heart studio in 2006. In each of his yoga classes, Sujantra offers the complete yoga experience by teaching all eight aspects of yoga and exploring the relevance of this ancient art in our modern lives. He teaches Beginning / Gentle Yoga, Yoga for Children and Hatha Levels I and II, which includes Sun Salutations, shoulder stand, and headstand. He encourages students to practice both at home and at the studio.

Sujantra has studied meditation with spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy since 1980. Sujantra is an ACE certified Group Fitness Instructor.


Yesica Rodriguez

Special Populations: Prenatal and Children's Yoga

Yesica firmly believes in the importance of exercising the body from the inside out. This is what drew her to yoga over seven years ago. In 2011, Yesica completed her first Yoga Teacher Training at Namaste Yoga Center in San Diego. She is also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) 200 hour with Yoga Alliance. Most recently, Yesica completed her 100-hour Prenatal, Postnatal, and Baby Yoga teacher training at Nature’s Whisper School of Yoga, also in San Diego.

Kari 2019_01

Kari Ross-Berry

Special Populations: Chair Yoga

Kari Ross-Berry, M.A., is educated in practical, philosophical, and historical Yoga and its various lineages both East and West, having obtained her Masters of Yoga Arts through Loyola Marymount University. She is registered with Yoga Alliance as a continuing education provider for the yoga community at large (YACEP).

Her mission and experience are in teaching Yoga philosophy, asana, pranayama, and guided meditation to help students understand their unique mind-body complex in order to overcome obstacles. Compassionately helping others to expand their mental and physical well being includes stress reduction and mind-body acuity. Designing and delivering courses, classes, and workshops from an Ayurvedic point of view, and actively striving to meet students where they are at, whether in a group or private setting. In this manner, enabling others to think and act creatively from an authentic sense of self through the practice of Yoga.

Kari’s interests and research include the conjunction between Yoga and art.

"I am teaching at The Scripps Research Institute. It is for the employees there to unwind during their lunch break. I can imagine that they work in a stressful environment so I am happy to provide a space where they can connect back to themselves and return to work feeling a bit lighter. I also teach at If I Was A Bird Yoga in Carmel Valley. Teaching to kids has been really enjoyable because it brings out the carefree and playful part of yoga rarely seen in adult yoga. I am also on the sub list for Ride On. It is a spin studio that expanded to offer yoga as well. I have not yet taught a class there but am looking forward to it. Despite not having taught there yet, the yoga coordinator, Daniela Kent, has been doing workshops there that are free for the teachers. I am grateful to be apart of a place where I can continue my education post-YTT." -Kathleen Thai, YTT Graduate 2015


"This program is unique in that it encourages students to truly live, and truly live, breathe, and experience yoga, both on and off our yoga mats. I love that this program integrates all aspects of yoga: philosophy, meditation, asana, anatomy, and pranayama. Exploring and connecting each of these themes has helped me to develop mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I feel prepared ans inspired to continue to seek and learn, as this program has helped me to cultivate a strong foundation for my yoga practice as both a student and a teacher. Nikole, Sujantra, and Courtney are phenomenal teachers who sincerely care for and love their students. Their support and guidance throughout the program has helped me to discover and embrace the light in others, and within myself. This has been an incredible journey, and I feel truly blessed to have had this opportunity to learn from so many genuine people." -KB (Fall 2011)


"I love the trainers and the setting of the workshops. The program is very well balanced in terms of what we learn, and the mentor program is wonderful. Nikole is a brilliant teacher! This has been an incredibly transformative experience and it feels like the beginning of a lifelong journey. " – Kristin Akerele (Spring 2013)


"I enjoyed the teachers, mentors, classmates, the challenges that arose and the growth that occurred with all of us. I wish it didn’t have to come to an end. I do not think that there is one thing to like best out of the program. It is the program itself that is best! " – Amanda Spitzfaden (Fall 2014)


"My favorite aspect of the program was the sense of community; we were part of a team who was growing and transforming together – learning from one another, as well as from our incredible life-changing teachers. I am so thankful to the wonderful community of Pilgrimage of the Heart – from the teachers to the admin to my fellow students who made the experience so great. After this program, I feel excited and ready to launch forward as a yoga teacher." – Allison Gower (Summer 2017)


"This was a transformative and inspiring experience that I will be forever grateful for. I cannot put into words what this training has meant for me in terms of my goals, purpose and spirituality. The connections I made and the amount I learned, both about the teaching and about myself, have shaped me in ways I would not have imagined. I am incredibly grateful for all this training has given me." – Sonia Rackelmann (Summer 2017)


"(What I liked best was) the organization of the program and the fact that the instructors and administrator were always available for us. Everybody was approachable and extremely loving. The curriculum was very complete, covering all aspects of yoga from philosophy to business." – Paula B (Spring 2014)


"I liked the intensity of the program best. It really pushed me to achieve, and I appreciate that. I thought the training was thorough, fun and awesome. The teachers were anywhere from exceptional to quite superior – very impressive. I can’t thank you all enough." – Anthony Tavernier (Spring 2014)



"Thank you all for your dedication, support and love; this program aligns the physical, mental and spiritual components of the being beautifully! I am walking out feeling integrated, vibrant and so deeply dedicated to this beautiful practice." – Tina Scaccio (Spring 2017)


"While I enjoyed every aspect of the program, I feel what made this training special was the extra focus on Meditation, Pranayama and Philosophy - these were the things I was looking for in a training that other programs did not offer. I appreciated the even distribution of education that we received on the other 8 limbs of yoga besides just Asana (chanting beyond OM was also way cool to learn). The mentorship piece was extremely beneficial. I loved the one-on-one guidance! I felt FULLY supported by the Pilgrimage community as a whole throughout my YTT journey." - Carla Seeley (Spring 2016)


"All of the teachers and assistant teachers are great, knowledgeable and easy to learn from. The program is very complete, well planned and it makes for an organic learning experience." – Oz Blackaller (Spring 2017)


"One of the best parts about the program was definitely the mentorship component. I loved having that other medium for learning. Learning from a few different teachers was extremely helpful, and I just think it added to the community aspect of it. To add to this, I thought that the class assists were also very helpful. Working through this with my mentor meshed well with the weekend workshops and brought a lot of what I had learned into a full circle." –AT (Spring 2017)


"I especially loved the sense of community-seeing the same faces at meditations, kirtan, asana practice and just around the neighborhood. I loved the willingness of all staff to support teacher trainees by answering questions and helping out. I especially liked that everyone learned my name and remembered who I was, which made me feel like I belonged. Overall, I felt like everyone here was supporting my experience and cheering me along the way." -CB (Fall 2011)


“I feel that the quality, personal support and sincerity exhibited by the teachers, as well as the staff at Pilgrimage of the Heart stands out in my mind as a model of Teacher Training.” ~EJ


“I have learned SO MUCH and have been inspired and supported beyond what I ever could have imagined by all of my teachers and fellow students in this program.” ~NS


“Sujantra is a knowledgeable, kind soul, and I enjoyed getting to know him while learning philosophy. The philosophy workshops were very interesting, as they help provide personal growth, and encourage thought on a deep level.” ~AJ


“Thank you to all teachers and staff at Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga Studio for a great experience-- Infinite Gratitude.” ~CM (Summer 2010)


“ This program has been amazing. I really appreciate the heart-centered approach the studio has in teaching yoga; that is what drew me there in the first place. I felt like this program helped us integrate this heart-centered philosophy into our own yoga teaching styles.” ~LM (Spring 2010)


“I loved all of the people involved in this Teacher Training. You provide a caring, safe environment in which we were encouraged to explore and to learn. I felt comfortable asking questions knowing that everyone is very knowledgeable, experienced and helpful." ~RL (Fall 2011)

Graduate Opportunities

We want you to continue to feel supported by the Pilgrimage community even after you have completed our program.

  • Join our Unlimited Membership at a discounted rate of $40/month for 6 months.
  • Opt in to our Employment Mailing list to be advised of upcoming teaching opportunities.
  • Continue your education with year-round trainings in areas such as Yin Yoga, Pranayama, and Pre-natal Yoga.
  • Get real studio teaching experience by teaching and assisting in our Community Class.