200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training

Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga > 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training
YTT Photo Shoot May 2015_011_MBO

2024 Training Dates

March 8-10
March 22-24
April 5-7
April 19-21
May 3-5
May 17-19
May 31 - June 2
June 14-16
June 28-30

Graduate Testimonials

I think the overall program had a great balance between the physical practice of yoga and the other limbs.  AB

I loved the instructional style. The training, even considering virtual, had a great mix of lectures, discussion and practice teaching. AA

The mentorship program was outstanding! I really appreciated having someone I could turn to for specific questions and personal coaching. I can’t imagine doing the final presentation without a mentor’s help.  JJ
I loved how other yoga teachers would occasionally conduct workshops or other classes for us. It was great to learn from different teaching styles.  NO

Watch Lauren McLaren and former co-lead Jamie Lee talk about the Pilgrimage YTT experience!


Click below for more resources from Lauren:

Yoga for Beginners 20-Minute Home Practice

Pranayama 10-Minute Breath Break 

200-hour Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher Training

Pilgrimage of the Heart's 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training program in San Diego, CA, aims 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

This training is offered through weekend workshops. The intensive workshops are held during 9 weekends over 4 months. We hope to offer this program in-person, but we are prepared to successfully deliver it via livestream should local health regulations dictate that course.

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.


Sessions meet on:
  • Fridays from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Saturdays from 11:30 AM - 6:30 PM
  • Sundays from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

If you have questions about the training format, please contact Lauren at yttadmin@pilgrimageyoga.com.

$2,600 by 12/1/23

$2,700 by 2/2/24

$2,800* by 3/1/24


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, email yttadmin@pilgrimageyoga.com to get the application process started.

*Payment plan available.

Request More Information

Sun Saluations
YTT Photo Shoot May 2015_049
YTT Spring 2016__1160
YTT 2015_008

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 traditional hatha yoga, gentle yoga and a foundational vinyasa style of yoga. Along with exposure to these fundamentals, you will also benefit from guest instructors who provide a map for exploring meditation and mindfulness; who demonstrate how to offer yoga to students who are pregnant or of limited mobility; and who can explain how to intelligently design and deliver an experience of yoga.

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

What Kind of Training Do You Offer?

Our Teacher Training is a journey into all the limbs of yoga. Not only will you enjoy the in-depth study of more than 40 yoga postures with attention to energetic and anatomical principles, you will also explore the practices of pranayama and meditation to enhance your knowledge and experience. Together we will dive into several aspects of yoga philosophy including a study of Patanjali's Sutras and The Bhagavad Gita. Teaching methodology, communication skills and ethical practices round out the program. We celebrate all you learn over the training with a final weekend of classes taught by you and your fellow students.

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 training workshops, preparatory reading, video and written assignments. These aspects of training are layered onto a foundation of personal practice of asana, pranayama and meditation which support your growth as a practitioner. In addition, you will be paired with a mentor and you will observe public classes in order to enhance your understanding of teaching principles. Finally, you will demonstrate your knowledge through the completion of a final exam and a final class taught to your fellow trainees. We include five months of studio membership as well as all necessary textbooks to ensure you are well prepared for your journey.

What is the Mentorship Program?

This is one of the unique elements of our program. We employ mentorship as a reflection of the ancient method of teaching in which the wisdom of Yoga was passed on from teacher to individual student. You will spend 8 hours working one-on-one with a mentor of your choice, chosen from one of the participating teachers on 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.

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.

What Are The Payment Options For Training?

We offer two Early Bird pricing specials for students to take advantage of a discount on the tuition. If you register and pay in full 2 months in advance, you will save $200. If you register and pay in full 1 month in advance, you'll save $100. We also offer a payment plan for students who want to spread out the cost of their training. Half of the tuition is due by the program start date, and we set up an automatic debit to make monthly payments to pay the balance.

Is The Live Stream Format Effective For A Yoga Teacher Training?

A big YES to this question! When we were forced to stop our indoor studio operation, we converted our training to a Live Stream format, and we were pleasantly surprised at how effective it was. We have been able to adapt the program without losing any elements of our training. We enjoy group practice, asana study, and practice teaching sessions in much the same way as before. Our lectures are still vibrant and dynamic offerings, and we have seen student contributions grow from an occasional comment to having them provide additional resources and support for each other in ways both unexpected and fruitful. Best of all, because this is a Live Stream affair, you can take the training from anywhere. We've had the opportunity to welcome students from as far away as Virginia and Mexico! If you think you have to wait for a reopening of business as usual to take your teacher training program, think again!

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, email Lauren at yttadmin@pilgrimageyoga.com 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

  • 5-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.
  • Regular asana practice to solidify your own commitment to yoga.
  • Successful completion of exams and final class presentation.

Program Highlights

  • Yoga Alliance certification.
  • Five months of unlimited yoga at Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga Studio.
  • Mentorship program designed to support trainees with one-on-one instructional time with a Pilgrimage yoga teacher of their choice.
  • Skill-building to teach and adjust 40 postures.
  • Skill-building to teach a variety of meditation and breathing techniques.

Lauren McLaren, E-RYT 500, YACEP

Program Administrator & 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

Guest Teacher - Asana and Anatomy

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

Guest Teacher - Philosophy and 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, E-RYT 200, YACEP

Guest Teacher - Special Populations - Prenatal 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, E-RYT 500, YACEP, Certified Yoga Therapist

Guest Teacher - 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.

"It was an amazing experience! I feel so prepared and confident to teach a yoga class whenever I want to. I also feel like I have gained a much deeper and holistic understanding of yoga that I actively apply to my daily practice."
-S.I. (2022)


"I loved all the practice teaching moments with my fellow yogis in the course, especially the appreciations and offerings. I learned so much about myself and picked up so many wonderful tips and techniques from my classmates." - Deanna Salazar (Spring 2020)


"I liked that we took the time to break down each pose in great detail, so that we felt more confident in teaching it. I also liked that there was enough flexibility in our schedule to allow time for working through individual questions or areas for improvement. Everything about the workshops felt very individualized, which I really enjoyed." -Anonymous (Summer 2019)


"I feel so lucky to have gone through this program and gained the breadth and depth of knowledge that I now have about yoga as a wholistic practice and lifestyle. There was a perfect balance of instruction, practice, and contemplation throughout." - Julia-Ellen Spruill Smith (Spring 2018)


"The program at Pilgrimage of the Heart is top notch led by incredibly knowledgeable and impactful teachers. I felt like it was a very well rounded program that empowered me with a strong foundation of understanding yoga, deepening my practice and becoming a teacher." - Jenelle Villalon (Summer 2018)


"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)


"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)



"The program was designed thoughtfully and included a lot of valuable information. I liked the emphasis on pranayama and meditation in combination with the asanas. Both Jamie and Lauren were great teachers, they allowed for each of us to express questions and go over information that we did not understand. There was such a sense of community between the students and I attest much of that to Jamie and Lauren creating such an open learning environment. I think the overall program had great balance between the physical practice of yoga and the 8 other limbs."  - Aeriel Bailey (Spring 2020)


"I recommend all yogis that are interested in deepening their practice, building community, and teaching to participate in this unforgettable YTT experience offered through Pilgrimage of the Heart. Upon graduating, you will feel a sense of fulfillment and inspiration to continue on your journey with greater awareness and poise." - George Aburto (Spring 2020)


"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 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

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 Prenatal Yoga.
  • Get real studio teaching experience by teaching and assisting in our Community Class.