Details about the 200 hour training program
Become a guide for a global shift in consciousness!
Do the Work! Explore and teach the Yoga of Action.
The Hard and the Soft’s 200-hour (8-month) course of yoga study is an opportunity to join a global community of bright, like-minded yoga practitioners and dive progressively into the transformational and powerfully therapeutic dimensions of this brilliant methodology called classical yoga. The focus of this unique training – aside from integrating the 8 limbs of yoga into your life and learning to share it with others – is an aspect of this path called kriya yoga, or the yoga of action. We call it “doing the work.” This means your practice is part of your lifestyle and strengthens and supports your intention to be not only healthy and happy, but to serve your community and participate in the healing of our world. Your practice is what you do on a day-to-day basis, 24/7, not just what you do “on your mat,” or during your training weekends.
Every segment of the training is an exciting adventure. Our weekends together are fun, informative, challenging and life-changing. You will be part of a small study group that meets monthly (in addition to our regular weekends), giving you the opportunity to exchange views, work in community, and support one another. Every weekend you will have the chance to share what you have studied, and practice teaching what you have learned.
Why choose this training?
There are eight reasons our yoga teacher training courses rank so highly when compared to hundreds of other programs, and are consistently rated in the top 5% nationally by our graduates and those who evaluate our programs.
- The students. Our programs attract top quality students and genuine, bright, compassionate human beings from all over the world. We consistently hear from our trainees and graduates that “this is the best group of people I have ever been a part of – I look forward to the training weekends because it feels like I am coming home.”
- The Sangha (community). Students meet and are supported by like-minded practitioners and forge lifetime friendships.
- The faculty. Unlike many other programs, our teachers have all been practicing and teaching for many years. Most are Certified Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and nationally renowned specialists in a wide variety of fields and yoga applications. Students would need to combine several different professional trainings in order to duplicate the comprehensive quality of our single program.
- The practice. There are many ways to teach yoga and many ways to practice. Every weekend includes study and practice in asana, pranayama, and meditation, in order to help students find and define their unique path. The foundation and primary focus of our asana study for the 200 hour training is a brilliant vinyasa sequence of postures called Present Power. It can be as challenging or as accommodating as desired. Every student is certified to teach this power vinyasa system, plus more moderate styles of the practice that are capable of being amended for all limitation and disability, as well as beginning forms of pranayama and meditation.
- The depth of training. Because all our faculty have actually been studying yoga and practicing all its aspects – asana, pranayama, meditation, service – for so many years, we can offer insight into the deeper dimensions of yoga that, frequently, the staff of other trainings does not have the experience to provide.
- The emphasis on service. Through our affiliation with The Give Back Yoga Foundation, we prepare our graduates for a career in yoga service and help them to take their practice out into the world and be the change they want to create.
- The Individualized Yoga Plan (IYP). Every student develops an Individualized Yoga Plan with help from faculty and the director of the studio where they are training. This provides students with a way to identify their dharma and pursue a path into the specialized field of their choice.
- The Director. Our Director, American yoga pioneer Beryl Bender Birch, is the founder/director of The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute and co-founder of the Give Back Yoga Foundation. As a best-selling author, (Power Yoga, Beyond Power Yoga, Yoga for Warriors) and teacher, Beryl has been teaching yoga and meditation internationally for over 40 years and is a longtime faculty member at Kripalu and Omega Institute. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in English and Philosophy, and began the study of meditation in 1971 with her teacher, Jain monk Munishree Chitrabhanu. She traveled to India in 1974 to further her studies and started practice of the ashtanga vinyasa asana system with her teacher, Norman Allen, in 1979. She continued to study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois from 1987 through 1993. Her book Power Yoga (1995), an accessible form of the ashtanga asana practice, sold nearly 300,000 copies and was primarily responsible for introducing yoga to the athletic community. She, more than most, walks her talk…and is one of the brightest, most down to earth, knowledgeable, accessible, funny, and joyful people you will ever meet. One of her gifts is making authentic and therapeutic forms of asana accessible to all. Everyone on faculty has trained with her for decades and is at least a 1000-hour graduate of her school, The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. Beryl’s vision trickles down from the top and infuses the program, the faculty, the community, and the students.
Heartsong Yoga is located in East Longmeadow, MA, a Western Massachusetts community, less than 2 hours from Boston, about an hour south of the Berkshires, less than an hour north of Hartford, CT, or about an hour south from the Vermont border. 413-525-0720