Teacher Training

Introduction to Training:

We at Birmingham Yoga truly feel honored and blessed to have the opportunity to share our love of Yoga.

Our  programs are  designed to provide a rich environment for learning, growing and healing. We follow the traditional path of yoga, as outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: the 8-limbed path.

Our intention is to help our participants establish a strong foundation in yoga through daily sadhana (practice). We use the immersion period to help create an environment for this daily yoga practice to develop.

Once this foundation is laid and healthy habits take root, students can truly reap the benefits and wisdom of yoga.

We will practice daily asana, pranayama, chanting, and meditation as given in the Ashtanga and Kundalini Yoga traditions.

We will encourage self-inquiry(svadhyaya) and discuss our experiences; drawing on the Yoga Sutras and yogic philosphy.

In our daily practice we will cleanse, play and challenge ourselves to become aware of the changes occurring in our bodies, mind and breath.

Current Teacher Training Offerings:

200 hour Bali May 10- Jun 3 2017

200 hour Birmingham Oct 13- Feb 10th

Goals of Training:

As Akasha’s teacher, Yogi Bhajan used to say “I am here to create teachers not accumulate students”

Yogi Bhajan felt we needed these sacred teachings to help bring more balance, happiness and peace to our world. What better way to enrich the world than to help students become their own teacher and in turn they will uplift all those whom they meet. Yoga is a wave of consciousness and as we teach others to swim in that consciousness, we too, embody more of these sacred teachings. Each student understands and learns differently. As a teacher it is our responsibility to be in tune with and acknowledge the subtle differences and changes of each student.

Once you learn the practice the true test of mastery is learning how to translate that wisdom to another person. This teacher training is a wonderful learning experience for both teacher and student.

Our goal is to share our love of the practice and to support and encourage a daily sadhana so that each participant can find the teacher within themselves. In doing so, they  return home to loved ones feeling inspired, strong and energized, experiencing their own sacredness (teacher) and having the projection to uplift not only themselves, but also those around them. Upon completion of this teacher training each participant will feel comfortable sharing their knowledge of yoga with others, regardless of their age, experience and/or physical condition.

Styles of Yoga: 

Our daily practice will focus primarily on two styles of Yoga. Ashtanga as given by Guru Ji, Sri Pattabhi Jois and Kundalini Yoga as given by Yogi Bhajan. In addition, this training will introduce aspects of a Restorative Yoga practice.

We believe both of these traditions will help form a strong foundation for personal growth,understanding of the self and provide a proven method of teaching singular and group classes.

If  you are unfamiliar with these practices we recommend that you attend one of our classes to decide if you resonate with the practice and manner of teaching.


Training is offered under the guidance and direction of Akasha Ellis (500 e-RYT) at Birmingham Yoga and Guest Faculty (please see individual training listing for guest faculty).


It is important that you are sincere in your commitment and that you are healthy physically, mentally and emotionally.

Yoga can be practiced by all and we do not want to discourage anyone who has the right intention, however, the training will be challenging physically and mentally and it is important that you are in the mental, emotional and physical space to allow these changes to unfold.

During this exploration one may experience feelings of comfort, discomfort, happiness, sadness, joy and fear all of which are equally important in our growth. We do recommend a minimum of at least one (1) year of Hatha Yoga Practice before attending our Teacher Training Program.

About Akasha:

Akasha began his yoga studies as a boy before he knew how to give it a label. Probably his first initiation was watching Star Wars and dreaming of being a Jedi knight or one of the many westerns portraying a hero rescuing someone from the bad guys. He practiced martial arts with the intention of being a warrior preparing himself to battle the dark forces. It was many years later that he realized the battle was within. Yogi Bhajan was his first living Yoda and his answer to his dreams. Yogi Bhajan’s radiance and compassion fueled Akasha’s desire to be true to his heart. He was taught to be grateful and to understand that the divine lives in all of us and that we must become our teacher. These wonderful tools of insight have given him the courage to surrender when his life is too constricted and the compassion to embrace his fears when his doubts and insecurities hinder his path. Akasha humbly bows to Yogi Bhajan in gratitude.

Later as a student in college Akasha was blessed to have the opportunity to study with Dr. Vasant Lad whose love for Ayurveda, Ganesh and life bubbled over into all aspects of his teachings. He showed him another aspect of health that brought balance and ease into his life through diet, yoga and mediation.

In his early 20’s he ventured to India to start a business and family. When he moved to Bangalore, Inida he discovered Ashtanga Yoga and started studying under Viswanatha (Sri Pattabhi Jois’s nephew). Each morning Viswanatha taught with a sense of patience and kindness and he began to witness how yoga connected his breath and body, truly allowing him to be present.

Akasha truly feels blessed and bows to the teachers who through compassion, courage and grace have guided so many of us to our true teacher within.

Daily he continues to explore, learn and immerse himslef  into his practice. He resides half of his year between Alabama and Virginia living, teaching, running a business and caring for his son. The other part of the year he spends travelling, learning and sharing with others.  If you wish to contact him visit our studio or email him at teachertraining@birminghamyoga.com.


Yogi Bhajan said “A teacher must teach and share what s/he knows”. And the best way for a teacher to become a master at what s/he does is to teach.  Akasha has found this to be true.  Teach what you practice and share the wisdom you gained from that experience.

What do we do when asked about something we are unsure about?  Be honest and let the person know you do not know and offer to guide them to someone that may  know.

If we have pain in the body while practicing.  Back off and listen to your body’s cues. Observe the body and breath. If you cannot breathe deeply and smile then you have probably crossed the edge. Return to the place of no pain.

What is perfect?  Remember we are always changing and everything is impermanent.  What seems perfect today may be imperfect tomorrow.  If we can detach from the end result and learn to enjoy the moment we may find the journey more important than the end.

Why are we encouraged to practice the same sadhana?  Each day of practice is a new opportunity to breathe, feel and understand. Some days it feels easy other days it’s more difficult, the key is to keep up and adjust to that day.


At the end of training students will be prepared to instruct and lead a beginning Level 1 and Level 2 Ashtanga/Vinyasa-flow class and guide students through a basic Kundalini Yoga class as taught by Yogi Bhajan.

Birmingham Yoga Teacher Training program is a Registered School with Yoga Alliance. Upon successful completion of your training you may register with Yoga Alliance by sending them a copy of your certificate of training

In Akasha’s Own Words:

Yoga is a journey of awakening and experiencing that oneness in our own being. It provides us with a method of understanding our true self and divine teacher that watches over our body and mind, thoughts and actions. A path of love, courage, compassion, acceptance, that leads us inward towards fulfillment, happiness and freedom.” – Akasha Ellis

If  you are interested in attending our Teacher Training Program please feel free to contact us at teachertraining@birminghamyoga.com with any questions may have.


A Yoga Studio offering Yoga Classes & Teacher Training • 605 37th St South Birmingham, AL 35222