Course Syllabus

YYTT is offered through the guidance and direction of Mandee Labelle.
Special thanks to all the wonderful contributors who have helped to make this program possible.

Lead Facilitator/Instructor:

Mandee Labelle, E-RYT, CYI, BA. psych.,
Chakra & Raja Yoga specialization & certification.

Associate & Guest Faculty:

Location Oakwood House, 20 Boathouse Lane, Dartmouth
Hours 8:00-8:00 Saturdays; 8:00-5:00 Sundays
Phone 229-9642

A. Description

Yogaheart Yoga Teacher Training program (YYTT) is a 200-hour certification course that aims to provide a rich learning experience for those who would like embark on a journey into greater happiness and wellbeing, while also learning methods and developing skills to become qualified and inspired yoga teachers. The program is designed to embrace the joy of the physical practice, while also attending to the deeper essence of what yoga has to offer. Taking place in the beautiful, serene, and conveniently located Oakwood House, overlooking Lake Banook in Dartmouth, the program will consist of weekend meetings plus one final graduation retreat weekend away. Each weekend will offer a balance of practice, study, and contemplative time.

B. Organization

YYTT takes place one weekend per month for 12 months.

Weekend schedule:

YYTT consists of three tracks: Practice, Study, and Contemplative.

Practice Track (P)

Focus: During Practice periods, we will be developing our understanding and practice of hatha yoga through the study and practice of the poses. We will also be deepening our understanding and practice of pranayama yoga (breathwork).


Study Track (S)

Focus: The study of various topics relevant to yoga and teaching.

Objectives: Broadening our knowledge base and understanding of yoga and teaching through seminars, teachings, readings, guest speakers, dialogues, exercises, and assignments.

Contemplative Track (C)

Focus: Looking into various meditative, spiritual, and contemplative themes. The focus will be less on self-improvement, and more on the exploration and discovery of what is true to our own experience. Different traditions will be discussed, in relation to the yoga tradition relevant to the study, practice, and teaching of yoga.

Please know that yoga is not a belief system. It can be many things, but much of it is a system of methods and pointers that help us to reveal what was in us all along. As we discover what is true to our own hearts, yoga can then also help us to better align and harmonize ourselves with what we find.


Please note * Specialty Yogaheart Meditation Pillows will be available to use during the course. These pillows are provided to create a comfort level during meditation and study sessions.

C. Course Objectives

  1. To deepen our understanding of yoga, ourselves, and the world, bringing our connection to body, mind, heart, community, and spirit into greater harmony.
  2. To foster, cultivate, and preserve enthusiasm and freedom in the student in order to allow the yogic path to unfold uniquely for each participant, while providing real structure and guidance to assist and encourage this unfolding.
  3. To introduce, practice, and develop listening and communication skills to be able to teach and guide as a certified yoga instructor.
  4. To become familiar with many aspects involved with teaching yoga such as sequencing, posture assisting, setting up environments, the business of yoga, ethics, and other topics that would provide confidence in stepping out into the world and teaching.
  5. YYTT aims to host an experience where personal growth and awakening is encouraged, guided, and assisted.

D. Course Topics

  1. Hatha Yoga: Asana practice, study, and analysis, including the practice of Bandhas, Mudras, as well as looking at different styles of Hatha Yoga
  2. Pranayama Yoga: Breath Training, and breathing techniques, including Mahat Yoga Pranayam (3-part complete breath), Kapalabhati, Nisarga Bhastrika, Alternate Nostril, Savitri, as well as lessor known techniques
  3. Historical texts: A look at The Vedas, Upanishads, Geranda Samhita, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Bhagavad Gita; The History of Yoga
  4. Yoga Anatomy: Study of the Muscular & Skeletal System, Physiology, and the Study of Movement
  5. Yoga and Energy: The Chakras, and the Subtle Body
  6. The Physical Body: Digestive, Cardiovascular, Endocrine, & Lymphatic systems
  7. Raja Yoga: The 8 Limbs plus Pralaya
  8. Swadhyaya: Self-Study, Development, & Understanding; The Yamas and Niyamas
  9. Listening: Communication & Relationship Skills
  10. Teaching Yoga: Voice, Language, Communication, Lesson Planning & Sequencing
  11. Teaching Yoga II: Reading nonverbal communication, clarifying your objective, practicing public speaking, practicing teaching, assists and adjustments, practicum
  12. Teaching Yoga III: The Role of the Teacher; Ethics; The Business of Yoga; Healthy Business, and Healthy Marketing
  13. Special topics in Nutrition and Ayurveda
  14. Special topics in Mantra Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Sound Healing, Mandalas, and Chanting
  15. Jnana Yoga: Special topics in Advaita/Nonduality

E. Supplies (included in full package)

  1. Yogaheart Teacher Training Manual & Workbook, Mandee Labelle
  2. Anatomy of Movement, Blandine Calais-Germain
  3. Journal
  4. Jade™ Yoga Mat

Recommended Reading (Not required)

  1. The Heart of Yoga, Desikachar
  2. Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness, Erich Schiffman
  3. The Complete Yoga Book, James Hewitt
  4. The Breathing Book, Donna Farhi
  5. Spiritual Materialism, Trungpa Rinpoche
  6. Peace is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh
  7. The Way of Liberation, Adyashanti

F. Grading Plan

Coursework will be weighted as follows:

  1. QUIZZES: There will be one quiz per weekend to review the material from the previous month. Participants are expected to work with the material during the time between retreats. (22 points)
  2. ASSIGNMENTS: There will be homework assignments between retreats. (8 points)
  3. VOLUNTEER WORK: Trainees have the opportunity to receive extra credit for work done in the community on a volunteer basis. The definition of volunteer work is flexible. Participants may be creative in what they submit as volunteer time.
  4. FINAL WRITTEN TEST: The final will focus on overall comprehension of topics covered during the Study Track over the year. (5 points)
  5. PRACTICUM: The practicum is the delivery of one hour of yoga. (5 points)
  6. ATTENDANCE: Attendance is mandatory in order to be awarded completed hours on the certification. In the event that circumstances prevent attendance of a full or partial day, trainees have the option to make up the hours through a comprehensive prescribed homework plan and assignment specific to what was missed. This option is available only twice during the course. If more than 2 full or partial days are missed, a temporary teaching certificate may be issued upon graduation, marked ‘pending’. The participant is required to attend the missed classes in the following YYTT year.

ATTENDING REGULAR WEEKLY YOGA CLASSES: All Yogaheart classes offered independently of organizations such as Cole Harbour Place will be available at 50% the registration or drop-in fee. Attendance is encouraged. Exploring Yoga in the community is also encouraged. Extra points will be available for those who can demonstrate their attendance to regular classes via receipts, or through the sign-in sheet.

GENERAL: For those who learn differently, if the proposed quizzes and testing are not the best way for such individuals to share their retention and comprehension, different testing methods may be discussed. Tests may be taken verbally by appointment with the instructor. Other creative options may be available.

GRADING: Grading will be a culmination of points for completing and passing various quizzes, assignments, and tests.

SELF-EVALUATION: Trainees will also learn to self-evaluate accurately and compassionately.

G. Classroom Etiquette

  1. Cell phones are off and put away.
  2. We always practice yoga safely.
  3. Shoes are to be taken off at the door.

H. Your Ideas, Evaluations, Etc.

In general, your ideas, comments, suggestions, questions, grade challenges, etc. are welcome. No part of your grade will be based on anything other than your coursework and attendance.

I. Suggestions for Success

Trust the process and allow yourself to enjoy it. Don’t treat it like work, but treat the program as a gift to yourself. To be there in a leadership capacity for others, we need to be there for ourselves. Welcome the areas of life that are challenging, and see how you are being asked to evolve and grow. Learn to trust that you do have what it takes to meet what is in front of you. Be kind to yourself, it will take you all the way.

Daily Practice: Taking care of the body and mind the best we can each day is daily yoga. As we learn the deeper methods and techniques of yoga, we naturally begin to use them in our lives. Dedicated Hatha Yoga practice on a mat is highly encouraged, and so we endeavour keep a little time and space aside for ourselves day to day for the physical practice. Good sleep, good nutrition, good daily exercise helps to pave the way to stability in our practice.

Prioritize your interest in YYTT during the 2019/20 curriculum to get the most out of the learning experience.