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USA Yoga Teacher Training

The course is the largest and longest-running yoga teacher training in the West, with over 50,000 graduates worldwide since 1969. Join Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm for a month of inner transformation and deep immersion in a peaceful yogic lifestyle, all with the guidance and support of seasoned practitioners.

Meet the instructors

Swami, Swami, & Swami
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  • 25 days of training
  • 2 yoga classes per day
  • Meditation and pranayama sessions
  • Kirtan and chanting sessions
  • Yoga Philosophy lectures
  • 28 nights accommodation
  • Daily vegetarian meals

Skill level

  • Beginner


25 days with instruction
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  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Labyrinth
  • Yoga deck
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Laundry
  • Library

During the training course, you will be accommodated at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm which is situated in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada mountain range at an elevation of 2000 feet. The hills that make up the ashram land are populated by oaks and pines. The beautiful Yuba, bear, and American rivers are nearby, offering wonderful hikes along the river gorges. Lake Tahoe is not far away to the east.


You can choose to bring your tent for your settlement during the training. Camp on the land and sleep closer to nature in the fresh, open air. There are deck platforms designated for tenting.

Om cabins

This pleasant and simple lodging can be booked as single, double, or dormitory-style for four (with two bunk beds). The Om cabins are placed in a peaceful and tranquil setting, on a gentle hillside overlooking the pond and surrounded by the natural beauty of the ashram. Each cabin is named for a different virtue, such as happiness or contentment. Each cabin is furnished with a dresser, desk, nightstand, ceiling fan, and propane heater. Om cabin guests share a nearby bath house.

Siva cabins

Nestled at the base of Siva Temple Hill and offering a beautiful view of the valley, these five cabins are the newest accommodations. They feature an outdoor porch and bamboo wood flooring and are built with high-grade materials and can be booked for either single or double occupancy. Furnished with a side table, dresser, and propane heater, each cabin has a private bathroom, including a shower.

Deluxe Shanti cabin

About 50% larger than the Siva cabins and located close to the central yoga halls, these extremely comfortable, spacious cabins are tastefully furnished and decorated. Watch the deer wander by from the front porch with a sunshade. For your comfort, an air conditioner, propane heater, and ceiling fan are provided. Furnishings include a desk or table and chairs, a dresser or wardrobe, and a sitting area. A small refrigerator, dishes, and cutlery are provided. Options for single, double, or triple occupancy are available. The Shanti cabins include private bathrooms with showers.

Ashram facilities

Drinking water

The pure drinking water comes from a well in the ashram grounds. You can refill water bottles from the sinks or from the water dispensers in each of the buildings.


The ashram boutique is open daily, offering a range of spiritual books, inspirational CDs, clothing for yoga classes, mats, meditation cushions, and other yoga-related items. Also available are a selection of natural personal care items, dietary supplements, essential oils, and Ayurveda remedies.


Coin-operated washing machines are available during daytime hours. There are clotheslines for drying. Laundry soap can be purchased in the boutique.


The sauna is wood-fired and available for you on Fridays seasonally and during certain weekend courses.

Vrindavan pond

Maybe the most striking natural feature at the Yoga Farm is the pond. The large pond lies at the center of the ashram at the bottom of a long green grass field. There are many fish, birds, turtles, frogs, and other animals and reptiles that make use of the pond. It is beautiful to watch the fountain and sit by the pond to contemplate and read a book or to meditate on the sound.

The pond is swimmable as there is a gazebo and dock with a ladder for entry. There is also a boat for those not want to swim. During the summer months, the pond is a popular destination to get a quick cool down or to just sit next to it under the weeping willow trees.


About the training

  • Enliven and deepen your yoga practice
  • Ground yourself in a classical yoga tradition
  • Learn to teach yoga to others with confidence and grace
  • Immerse yourself in a well-rounded yogic lifestyle
  • Participate in daily asanas (yoga poses), pranayama (breathing exercises), Karma yoga (selfless service), vegetarian diet, meditation, and chanting

This month-long residential training follows the ancient Gurukula system, where students live, study, practice, and serve alongside their teachers and fellow aspirants. Students will practice the classical yoga curriculum which opens opportunities for deep personal transformation. The spiritual essence of yoga will be learned through in-depth lessons shared from heart to heart by senior disciples and experienced teachers. This will help awaken self-awareness and leadership and guide the student to cultivate health and vitality.

In addition, the course will prepare students to transmit their knowledge of yoga to others. Students will enjoy special cultural programs, ceremonies, concerts, and lectures offered by special guest teachers in allied vedic sciences such as Ayurveda and Jyotish. There is one weekly day off. During the day off, students are only required to attend morning and evening sessions and to perform their Karma yoga.

Attendance at all activities is mandatory and there will be a final exam at the end. The yoga teacher training course requires a high degree of discipline and commitment however prior mastery of yoga practices is not necessary. Instead, yoga is about inner growth. Of course, prior practice of asanas and meditation is preferable. To best prepare for the intensive yoga teacher training schedule, they recommend you to take a course at the ashram before the training.

Four paths of yoga

An important component of the yoga teacher training is that for one month you will study the lessons of the four paths of yoga. By learning with the Gurukula system, you will transform detailed theory into practical understanding.

  • Karma yoga
  • Bhakti yoga
  • Raja yoga
  • Jnana yoga

The practice of selfless service helps to reduce selfishness and egoism and keeps you fit, healthy, and joyful. You will learn how to transform karma into dharma.


1. Asanas

Each day you will study and practice yoga poses as the senior teachers guide you on how to teach asanas and pranayama. The daily practice with individual corrections includes:

  • Sun salutation
  • 12 basic yoga postures
  • 125 asana variations, from intermediate level to advanced
  • Postural alignment
  • Concentration techniques
  • Deep relaxation with autosuggestion
  • Facilitate energy flow and remove blocked energy

2. Headstand workshop

Each day, you will have a headstand workshop where they work one on one with each student to help them get up into the headstand or practice the exercises that will help prepare them to do so.

3. Group teaching

During the last two weeks of the course, you will start to break the training into small groups and have each student take turns being the teacher and teach their classmates a portion of the yoga class. The groups will have personal observations and feedback at the end.

4. Pranayama

Pranayama, the science of prana control, consists of breathing exercises to enhance the health of the body and mind. You will learn Kapalabhati and Anuloma Viloma (alternate nostril breathing) daily. Also, you will be introduced to advanced pranayama. In summary, pranayama will give you the following benefits:

  • Expands capacity of the lungs
  • Increase oxygen intake for the cells
  • Remove carbon dioxide and toxins
  • Recharge your energy battery
  • Relaxes the nervous system
  • Balances the two hemispheres of the brain
  • Purifies the nadis (subtle energy channels)
  • Awakens the inner spiritual energy

5. Mantra and meditation

Meditation is an integral part of the practice of yoga. During this course, you will learn the practical steps of meditation, what meditation is, and what meditation is not. In addition, you will learn that meditation is a spiritual journey to the realization of oneness. During the course, there will be a focus on japa meditation, or mantra repetition. You will learn how a Sanskrit mantra is a mystical energy encased in a sound structure. Furthermore, through repetition, you will create a positive thought pattern.

6. Kriyas

Yogic cleansing exercises, known as “kriyas” assist nature in removing waste products from your body. Practicing cleansing is important as the yogi regard their bodies as a vehicle in which to evolve toward higher consciousness. Therefore, you will learn and practice, with guidance, yoga kriya exercises.

7. Anatomy and physiology

This study helps you to improve your understanding of your body during your yoga practice and to apply it in your teaching practice. You will learn:

  • Introduction to the major body systems
  • The effects of asanas and pranayama on the cardiovascular, respiration, digestion, skeletal muscular, and endocrine systems
  • Yoga and physical culture

8. Yoga philosophy

Yoga philosophy will give you insights into your mistaken beliefs of who we are and what reality is. A deeper understanding of yourself will help you to detach and release stress which will bring your mind and body in harmony with your life purpose. You will learn about karma and will understand the causes of your obstacles and challenges.

The philosophy classes are considered the main teaching and will benefit you for a long time as the seeds of knowledge are being transmitted. The study of classical yoga texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and the writings of your own yoga masters will also take place to enrich you.

9. Special ceremonies or musical performances

There are always some special holidays and special guests invited to perform. You celebrate all the major holidays both Western and Indian, from Memorial Day, Labor Day to Diwali, Navaratri, and much more.

10. Create a community, talent show, or Karma yoga

You spend four weeks with a group of people who were strangers in the beginning but create a lifelong bond. By spending time together doing yogic practices and sharing in the teaching, the connection goes much beyond any normal friendship. It is a sacred community where you feel like one with the students who join in the experience with them.

Recommended reading for at-home study

  • “Sivananda Beginner’s Guide to Yoga” by Sivananda Yoga Centre, Gaia Books
  • “Yoga Mind & Body” by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Dorling Kindersley
  • “Meditation and Mantras” by Swami Vishnudevananda, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers
  • “Essentials of Yoga Practice and Philosophy” compiled by Swami Sitaramananda

Daily schedule

  • 05:30 Wake up
  • 06:00 Meditation, Kirtan chanting, lecture, or silent walk (Satsang)
  • 08:00 Asanas and pranayama
  • 10:00 Brunch
  • 11:00 Karma yoga
  • 12:00 Bhagavad Gita or chanting class
  • 14:00 Main lecture
  • 16:00 Asanas and pranayama
  • 18:00 Dinner
  • 20:00 Meditation, kirtan chanting, and lecture (Satsang)
  • 22:30 Lights out


Swami Dharmananda

Swami Sitaramananda

Swami Jnaneswariananda


The training will be held in Grass Valley, California, USA. Nevada City is nearby, and Sacramento is an hour's drive away.


  • Sacramento - 1 hour drive


During the training, you will be served two organic, delicious vegetarian meals per day according to the traditional principles of a yogic diet. Every meal is lovingly prepared with fresh ingredients and mild but tasty spices. Though the menu changes daily, there is usually a salad bar, a soup, a grain, a protein, and at least one vegetable dish, as well as oatmeal, yogurt, and granola at lunch. There will always be options for vegan and gluten-free diets. Meals are served in the dining hall or sunroom, which has just recently been enclosed.

If you enjoy snacking midday, you can get some snacks from the ashram boutique at an additional cost. The boutique is open from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The boutique carries a variety of snacks, including fruit, nuts, granola bars, juices, teas, drinks, chocolate, and a variety of other snacks. Several health food stores are located in the surrounding towns as well if you need to bring some snacks with you. There is a refrigerator available in the common area that you can use.

The following meals are included:

  • Brunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Besides practicing yoga and meditation, you can do a variety of activities around the ashram. There are several points of interest worthy of your visit.

Animal pen

Home to affectionate llamas, naughty goats, and elegant alpacas, the animal pen is a source of joy for adults and children alike.

Moksha trail

Enjoy a gentle walk through natural fields. Follow the trail up the hill to Durga Temple for contemplation.

Peace miracle labyrinth

The design is based on sacred geometry and matches the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France, built between 1194 and 1250. The labyrinth in the ashram was built by dedicated Karma yogis. The peace miracle labyrinth offers a twenty-minute meditative walk. Take a breath, ask a question, step inside, and walk the labyrinth to find your answer. Unlike a maze, there is only one way in and out.

The labyrinth is a purposeful path of twists and turns, a metaphor for life. The labyrinth has appeared in a variety of forms in many cultures and traditions around the world for thousands of years. Typically circular in design, the shape symbolizes the unity of life. The labyrinth at the ashram is patterned after a turf labyrinth in southwest England. Walk the peace miracle labyrinth to find inner peace.

Permaculture gardens

Yoga life is deeply connected to Mother Nature. The Yoga Farm is located on 80 acres of beautiful land with meadows, creeks and ponds, landmark oak trees, and a variety of domesticated and wild animals. These resources provide great possibilities to move closer to full sustainability through expanding Yoga Farm’s already-large food forest, organic vegetable garden, well water, and solar power systems.

Siva temple hill

Enjoy a more vigorous hike. Count the 108 steps up Siva Hill to reach the highest point of the ashram and pay homage to Lord Siva. Drink in a beautiful view of the surrounding golden hills.

Temples and shrines

A number of colorful temples and shrines are located on the grounds of the ashram. They honor various aspects of the divine. You are welcome and encouraged to visit them. When going for a walk, you may hear the beautiful cadence of Sanskrit being chanted. Pujas or prayer rituals and ceremonies are performed regularly at these sacred sites by the priest. Please feel free to observe them at a respectful distance.

Massage and spa treatments

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm provides a well-being center that offers a variety of treatments at an additional cost. Whether it is a therapeutic massage, Ayurvedic bodywork, or an Ayurvedic consultation, your investment in your well-being offers a learning experience in tuning in to your body's innate wisdom. In between programs and asana classes, consider taking time to integrate your experience and attend to your personal needs with a one-on-one- treatment or consultation. The skilled practitioners combine expertise and experience with compassion.

1. Thai yoga massage

Thai yoga massage is an ancient spiritual healing art based on yoga and acupressure. In this system, the practitioner guides you through a series of applied yoga postures while gently stimulating the body's energy lines and pressure points.

2. Head, neck, and shoulder massage

This massage targets the specific areas of the body where many people hold stress. It relieves aches and tightness and improves circulation.

3. Stone therapy massage

This ancient healing treatment combines a massage with the application of gently heated stones. This treatment relieves soreness and produces soothing and meditative states of peace, calm, and balance.

4. Ayurvedic consultation

Discover your constitution and learn the basic tools to keep your body, mind, and spirit in balance through diet, lifestyle, and other tools for healthy living.

5. Ayurvedic bliss therapy

A beautifully relaxing and luxurious full body treatment that includes an herbal oil massage, followed by a soothing, steady stream of oil poured gently over the forehead to calm and purify the mind. The experience ends with a full-body herbal steam treatment, nourishing the skin and removing toxins.

6. Ayurvedic body treatment

The treatment begins with a dry, silk glove exfoliation, followed by an application of herb-infused oils. This treatment nourishes and detoxifies leaving the skin smooth and silky.

7. Ayurvedic energy balancing

This treatment focuses on opening and balancing energy flow according to the marma system. Marma points, similar to acupressure points, are stimulated with circular motions using an application of herbal transdermal creams.

8. Vigorous herbal oil treatment

A vigorous, rhythmic treatment using herb-infused oils specific to your constitution. This treatment breaks up adhesions, stimulates lymphatic flow, and clears impurities.

9. Ayurvedic sinus treatment (Shiro-Abhyanga-Nasya)

This treatment begins with an application of oil on the head, neck, and shoulders and a facial lymphatic treatment including aromatic steam and herb-infused nose drops. This treatment clears impurities from the head, opens the sinuses, and stimulates the flow of energy in the head and neck area. A full-body oil treatment is also included in the treatment.

What's included

  • Daily yoga and pranayama classes
  • Daily satsang, meditation, and chanting
  • How to teach yoga classes
  • Kirtan
  • Lectures on yoga philosophy, anatomy, and physiology
  • Studies on the Bhagavad Gita
  • 28 nights accommodation
  • 2 daily vegetarian meals
  • 200-hour yoga teacher certificate from SYVC

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Auburn

  • From I-80, exit in Auburn.
  • Onto Hwy. 49 North towards Grass Valley, go 11 miles to Wolf Road (traffic signal light).
  • Turn left (note that the right side of the intersection is Combie Road).
  • Go 1.8 miles and turn right onto Duggans Road.
  • Go 2 miles to the end of the road and turn left on Lime Kiln Road.
  • Go 2.4 miles (the road becomes McCourtney Rd.) and continue straight.
  • Continue 1.2 miles and turn left on Ballantree Lane (you will note an Adopt-a-Highway sign 1 mile ahead of the turn that the "Yoga Farm removes litter").
  • Go 0.9 miles to the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm driveway.
  • Turn left (it is marked by a big sign); please drive 10 miles per hour on Ballantree Lane.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Quality of activity
29 days / 28 nights
from --


Arrival: Saturday October 19, 2024
Departure: Saturday November 16, 2024

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