Dharma Yoga Life of a Yogi Teacher Training Immersion Program

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
How long has Dharma Yoga been running teacher training programs?

Sri Dharma Mittra has been serving students from all walks of life by disseminating classical Yogic disciplines for almost 50 years, first under his Guru beginning in 1967, and then through his own school since 1975. He has trained many students to teach yoga since the early 1980’s, and, in 1999, officially inaugurated a complete, accredited Eight Limbs of Yoga-based training program. The first group of teacher trainees was comprised of students who had studied with Sri Dharma for several years and were personally invited to participate by him. This special group led the way for hundreds of Dharma Yoga teachers to spread the teachings of Dharma Yoga to those in need everywhere. Today, Sri Dharma Mittra’s training programs are held in New York City multiple times each year.

What are the deadlines?

For both the DY LOAY 200 and 500-hour  programs, it is recommended that you submit your materials as soon as possible as space is limited and applications are reviewed on a “first come, first serve” basis. The final deadline for submissions is 14 days before the first day of the actual training. All applications must be submitted with the application fee, required essay questions and a photograph in order for the applicant to be considered. The application should be filled out online. Once the application, application fee,  essays and photograph have been received, we will be in touch regarding your acceptance. A $2,000 reservation deposit is required upon acceptance into either program to secure a place. Tuition must be paid in full at least 45 days before the start of the program, otherwise the reservation is subject to cancellation. Tuition rates and published discounts are dependent upon how early they are fully paid in accordance with the published payment schedules.

How do I qualify for the DY LOAY 200-hour  Teacher Training?

You qualify for the DY LOAY 200-hour TT if you have a sincere desire to explore and practice Classical Eight-limbed Yoga in the way it has been transmitted from teacher to student for thousands of years. Most of our trainees have studied with Sri Dharma Mittra or one of his senior teachers at a weekend retreat or workshop in their area or country of origin, and are inspired to come and learn more in a dedicated manner under the guidance of Sri Dharma Mittra and his senior teachers. Others are regular students at a Dharma Yoga Center or have encountered Dharma Yoga in their local studio, gym or school. All prospective trainees will need to have attended at least 50 hours of classes and workshops with Sri Dharma Mittra or Dharma Yoga Certified Teachers to be considered for these programs. If one resides somewhere where this is not possible, we will accept an equivalent number of hours spent practicing with and learning from one or both of the Maha Sadhana DVD’s or Sri Dharma’s classes on YogaVibes. People who participate in our trainings represent diverse backgrounds and experiences, and wish to move forward in their practice to become serious Yogis. What brings them together is a common desire to learn and study.

How do I qualify for the DY LOAY 500-hour Teacher Training?

To apply for the DY LOAY 500-hour TT, one must have a 200-hour DY LOAY TT certification or a 200-hour certification from another Yoga Alliance approved school in addition to meeting the program entrance requirements listed in the entry above.

Please note that the DY LOAY 500-hour TT is an advanced training immersion for serious seekers and dedicated aspirants. (Any 500-hour TT program is actually a 300-hour teacher training program which builds upon a 200-hour TT plus at least 100 hours of actual teaching experience, much in the way a two year Masters program is rooted in four years of undergraduate work.)

Should I have taken a 200-hour program in order to qualify for the 500-hour program?

Yes. Please refer to the paragraph above.

If I take part in the DY LOAY 500-hour TT, but did not receive my 200-hour certification through the DY LOAY programs, will I be “behind” in any way?

“Behind” is a relative term in this instance. Some of the material presented as part of the current  DY LOAY 200-hour TT will be reviewed at the 500-hour level, but typically about 50% of the people participating in our advanced certification program have not done their 200-hour certification with us. If you feel the lack or have interest, there is no reason not to also take our DY LOAY 200-hour TT at some later date in time as a number of students choose to do each year.

What if I don’t want to become a yoga teacher?

There are typically a number of students who take part in the DY LOAY 200 and 500-hour TT programs without having a set goal of teaching yoga, and which we openly embrace. We understand that this approach includes a sincere desire to go deeper into personal practice to gain Self Knowledge and to experience Dharma Yoga through direct contact with a living Yoga Master.

How is it possible to compress 200 hours worth of training into ten days?

Yoga Alliance demands a certain number of contact hours containing a set curriculum to qualify for accreditation. These requirements are met and exceeded in the DY LOAY 200-hour TT offered through the LOAY programming. The ten consecutive days that comprise the hands-on training contain at least 13 to 15 daily contact hours. These ten days represent a complete immersion in the theory and practice which are the essence of Dharma Yoga and the LOAY TT Immersions. An additional minimum of 50 to 100 non-contact hours are gained through required reading, essays on the reading, homework, dietary plans, independent personal practice, teaching/assisting/observing of Dharma Yoga, Karma Yoga-Selfless Service and a variety of other internship opportunities.

What comprises the non-contact (a.k.a. internship) hours for DY LOAY certification?

Examples include: develop a personal practice / home-study, Karma Yoga, teaching and practice; real world experience teaching public classes to varied populations; organize your own DY events and begin to build your own community of students; work under the supervision of the DY LOAY department.

Can I complete my post-contact hours internship where I live?

Yes. The LOAY department will guide you through your internship and help support you in its completion. If there is a Dharma Yoga teacher in your area, they will work with you to the extent they can, as well. You will always have support from the LOAY Department  by e-mail and phone on all of your questions.

As for additional requirements that might affect out-of-towners, often more than half the participants in any of our TT’s are from all around the world so we are prepared for this as it is our normal mode of operation.

How do I prepare for the program?

Once you have been accepted and have made your deposit or paid in full, you will be sent a reading list and assignments pertinent to your particular training. If you live within commuting distance of the New York Centers, you should consider starting to take some classes to familiarize yourself with the foundational aspects of Dharma Yoga as taught daily at the Centers. If you live outside the New York metropolitan region, The Maha Sadhana Level I and II DVD’s or YogaVibes online classes are a sure way to gain exposure to Dharma Yoga. If there are Dharma Yoga Registered Teachers where you live, begin taking classes with them. If regular practice is not already a constant in your life, you might consider taking on some aspect of the practice as a way of preparing yourself for the odyssey on which you are embarking. Resting up during the final weeks before the training will ensure that you enter into it better equipped to deal with the mental and physical demands. Finally, it is recommended that you begin to diminish consumption of any meat, poultry or fish in your diet and explore a more plant-based diet to help in your preparation. A requirement of the actual program is that you keep a mostly vegan diet during the actual contact hours of the training to honor the foundational and most crucial teaching of yoga: to harm no living creatures through word, thought or deed. Additionally, this diet will help you feel better in general. Another powerful technique we will be practicing throughout the training is Mouna or Spiritual Silence. It is one of the best practices for purifying the mind as it is a respite from the constant conversation, stimulation and mental activity which are all regular features of our modern mode of existence. Mouna is a Sadhana (spiritual practice) that increases self-control. We will be practicing a modified version of this throughout the training where we ask that you only speak if necessary.

Our invitation to you is to approach the DY LOAY TT sessions as complete retreats. Try to maintain minimal contact with the outside world, only using your cell phone, computer and other wireless devices if absolutely necessary. Allow yourself to arrive free of expectations, set aside what you already know, and let yourself absorb the teachings fully. In other words, our invitation to you is to become a Yogi during our time together.

Where can I stay during the training if I don’t live in New York City for the trainings that take place there?

Every trainee is responsible for his or her own room and board and the expense for these arrangements falls outside the cost of tuition. There are many inexpensive hotels and hostels listed on our website that are within walking distance of the Dharma Yoga New York Center where our in-town TT’s take place. Some of the listed properties offer group discounts and allow room sharing, so please inquire about these offers when making your reservations.

What are the meal options?

As with accommodations, you are responsible for your meals. It is recommended that you bring snacks that you’ll be allowed to eat during many of the prescribed activities throughout the course of each day. Also, there are many wonderful vegetarian and vegan restaurants and health food stores listed on our website in the area, many of which offer DY student discounts. Directly across the street from the DYC is a lovely little vegan luncheonette which sells prepared foods, smoothies and juices from early morning until late at night. There are also wonderful Kosher gourmet vegetarian Indian restaurants nearby. Raw and vegan restaurants are only a few blocks away, as well. Gramercy Park down to the East Village is a great area for vegetarian dining. Midtown South also has a broad variety of vegan and vegetarian options.

What is the daily schedule like?

DY LOAY 200-hour TT: Be prepared to spend each day at the DYC with one meal break and only short pauses throughout the day. Days begin at 7am and end between 8:30 and 9:30pm. Remember, this training is an intensive immersion and we are covering a lot of material in a condensed period. This process will allow for a lot of change, but you must be sure to eat and rest accordingly. There will be little or no time for outside activities — all of your time will be devoted to the training.

DY LOAY 500-hour TT: The 500-hour program is conducted over two eight day modules with two months between them. Be prepared to spend each day at the DYC with one meal break and only short pauses throughout the day. Days begin at 7am and end between 8:30 and 9:30pm. Remember, this training is an intensive immersion and we are covering a lot of material in a condensed period. This process will allow for a lot of change, but you must be sure to eat and rest accordingly. There will be little or no time for outside activities — all of your time will be devoted to the training.

Each eight-day module consists of at least 80 contact hours spent with Sri Dharma Mittra and his faculty, 160 hours in total. Additionally, you will receive credit for non-contact hours through completing assignments in reading, written reports, initiated home programs in breathing, meditation, Ahimsa (non-violence), journaling, dietary programs, self-practice of Dharma II and III, teaching in your home community and Karma Yoga-Selfless Dharma Yoga Community Service.

Note: for certification at the 500-hour level with Yoga Alliance, you must complete a total of 300 contact and non-contact hours (in addition to a 200-hour certification) through an accredited school.

DY LOAY 800-hour TT: Be prepared to spend each day at the DYC with one meal break and only short pauses throughout the day. Days begin at 7am and end between 8:30 and 9:30pm. Remember, this training is an intensive immersion and we are covering a lot of material in a condensed period. This process will allow for a lot of change, but you must be sure to eat and rest accordingly. There will be little or no time for outside activities — all of your time will be devoted to the training.

What is covered in the DY LOAY 500-hour TT?

The DY LOAY 500-hour TT is an in-depth examination of Dharma II and III. This course invites the student to go deeper into the esoteric spiritual studies at the core of traditional practice in the lineage of Sri Dharma Mittra. These include study of the scriptures, Psychic Development, Karma Yoga, Dharana and Dhyana, purification techniques and specific Pranayama practices. While some major components of the DY LOAY 500-hour TT are covered in the 200-hour program (Divine Purification techniques, Psychic Development, meditation, scriptural study, etc.), the 500-hour program is designed to place focus on the deeper traditions and values of yoga. It will bring the student toward the true understanding of yoga on many levels and transform one’s personal practice and, quite often, one’s life, as well.

What if I have to miss a few days or hours during the contact hours of the DY LOAY TT?

Due to the intensive nature of these programs, you are required to be available for the entire duration of the training. Our on-site hours meet and surpass the Yoga Alliance minimum standards and categories of training. In addition, we require you to learn to lead a Yogic lifestyle throughout your course of study. It is not advisable to start new projects at this time or to schedule other activities. We have set aside this whole time to be with you and expect and want you to be 100% with us. It is best to plan ahead so you do not have any other obligations during the time you are in your immersion with us. Absence is discouraged as you are responsible for any missed hours and will have to pay out-of-pocket for private sessions to make-up the difference.

Who is on the faculty?

One of the world’s most venerated Yoga Masters, Sri Dharma Mittra is the creator and foundational guide for the 200, 500 and 800-hour DY LOAY TT immersions. He is also the main teacher for all of the scheduled trainings. The supporting faculty of teachers includes close senior devotees and teachers of Dharma Yoga who live and breathe Sri Dharma’s teachings and message including: Ismrittee Devi Om, Adam Frei, Kim Jeblick, Melissa Capezzuto, Mark Kan, Brittanie Dechino, Gabrielle Sulc, Yoshio Hama, Gerson Frau and Andrew Jones. For more information on our exceptional faculty, please visit our teacher’s page.

What does Yoga Alliance require for the 500-hour registry mark?

A recognized 200-hour certification; advanced training (totaling over 300 contact hours); and 100 additional hours of teaching experience (internship), either in classes or privately.

How can I apply for either the 200, 500, or 800-hour DY LOAY TT?

Apply by e-mailing us the application form, essay questions, and photograph (headshot in Jpeg format to be used for administrative purposes) in addition to paying the online application fee – all must be submitted to complete the application process. The completed application can be e-mailed to loayapplications@dharmayogacenter.com and the application fee can be paid online or by phone. When your application, fee, essays and photograph have been received, we may contact you to schedule an entrance interview if we need further information, which may be conducted in person, via phone or via SKYPE. Please note that no entrance interview is required for the 700-hour or 800-hour programs.

When do I receive a book and reading list?

You will receive the lists upon receipt of your reservation deposit.

Am I done when I complete the contact hours and is there a graduation ceremony?

All students who attend the contact portion of our teacher training immersion programs receive a completion letter noting that they have completed this aspect of the TT which is not the diploma or actual 200, 500 or 800-hour certificate. In order to receive your diploma and become a certified Dharma Yoga Registered Teacher and register with Yoga Alliance, as desired, you must complete all internship requirements (discussed in detail during your DY LOAY TT).

Once all requirements have been successfully fulfilled and all assignments are reviewed, a Dharma Yoga Teacher’s Certificate will be awarded. Usually one graduation ceremony is scheduled per year which all eligible trainees are invited to attend. Trainees are given at least three to four months following the contact hour portion of their training to complete their DY LOAY TT Internship. Our graduation ceremonies are held at the Dharma New York Center. Guests, family and friends are welcome. For those unable to attend a graduation ceremony in Manhattan, your certificate will be mailed to you.

Do I need to be in good health to participate in a DY LOAY TT?

Yes. Completing and signing a DY LOAY TT Health/Medical Condition Waiver, completing our Medical History form and submitting a signed doctor’s note clearing your health are basic requirements of this program.

Is there anything else I need to provide?

We need your headshot! Please e-mail us a digital image of yourself.

Between the two eight-day modules of the 500-hour level training immersion, are there required classes to attend and / or assignments given?

Between the two eight-day modules, there will be daily assignments including postures, breathing, concentration/meditation programs, special diet and journaling. In addition, there will be assignments regarding public teaching, reading of required texts and essay composition.

Who is eligible to be part of the 800-hour Advanced Teacher Training Program?

Anyone who has achieved certification at the 500-hour level in Dharma Yoga.

What does the curriculum of the 800-hour Advanced Teacher Training Program focus on?

The Dharma IV sequence, Psychic Development and Yoga Nidra. This training is designed for serious, long-time students and will be offered again in 2021.

How many students do you expect to take part in this DY LOAY TT?

The number of trainees varies. We process applications and accept students on a daily basis up to the application deadline which is two weeks before the actual training starts.

Can you offer any other information?

If you have any questions at all, someone from the LOAY department would be happy to speak with you in depth. Call 212.889.8160 or email your question to melanie@dharmayogacenter.com.

 “With constant practice, one can improve his physical body and mental attitude rapidly, thereby igniting the higher motives of making oneself useful to himself and all mankind.”

–Yogi Sri Dharma Mittra