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Alison was recently featured in Yoga Journal's Yogapedia, Philosophy, & LiveBeYoga columns

and was invited by Yoga Journal to create a six-part Yoga for Back Health online series launching June 25

300-Hour Teacher Training

300-Hour Teacher Training
with Alison West and Guests:

Kaitlyn Hipple

Leslie Freyberg (Sanskrit)

Bob Gilbo (Philosophy)

Megan Mook (Meditation)

Laurel Beversdorf (Anatomy)

Sarah Tomlinson (Yantra)


Registration Deadline and full payment due: December 17, 2018

Early bird deadline: October 25, 2018 (Full payment with Early bird discount)

Payment plans available.

Email Alison about options.


Please read the requirements below.

They include an audition, application,

and 10 alignment classes by January 14 with Alison West or

other designated teachers.

This is not a last minute drop-in TT!


Please read the schedule carefully.


In addition to Asana and Weekend intensives, all Monday nights for the duration of the teacher training   

and January 14 - May 13, 2019


Asana and Weekend Intensives Schedule 

Fridays 5-8pm; Saturdays and Sundays 8:30a-5p

Note: Some weekends are as long as three-and-half days.

300 TT:

9-day In-studio Intensive: Saturday, January 5 - Sunday, January 13 (8:30a-5p each day)

February 1-3 (Friday-Sunday): Ropes Weekend

February 7-10 (Thursday-Sunday): 4-Day Backcare Weekend

(Thursday 2-5, Friday 1-8, Saturday 8:30-6, Sunday 8:30-5)  

March 29-31 (Friday-Sunday): Basic Chairs Certification

April 26-28 (Friday-Sunday): Hypermobility/Hyperflexibility

May 17-19 (Friday-Sunday): Closing TT Weekend 

May 3 (Friday 9a-5p): Backcare Certification Review (This date is subject to change.)


+ 22 hours of YU alignment classes with Alison or other designated teachers (included in cost of TT)

+ assisting 10 alignment classes, taking and assisting backcare classes and more (read below)




Download the application here.

Audition class: any regular Alignment class with Alison West or Kaitlyn Hipple, Level 2 or higher.

Written Entrance Exam
10 alignment classes by January 14 with Alison West or other designated teachers. 

A 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Certificate from a program with a full 180-contact hours.



Registration Deadline and Full Payment Due: December 17, 2018
Early Bird Deadline: October 25, 2018 (Full Payment required for Early Bird discount)


Recommend the TT to someone and save $200 on yours.



“If anyone is contemplating a teacher training, Alison West’s Yoga Union Teacher Training is the absolute best in NY! Cannot recommend it highly enough…” 

 Caroline Andrews, FB 2014


"Outstanding teachers, who are thorough, with very high standards, and available for personalized attention, direction and support whenever it's needed. I highly recommend this program. I have learned (and continue to learn) so much about yoga and about myself as a direct result of this program."

Jamison Steinke, 2017





Yoga Union is excited to present its full 300-hour Mandala of Yoga Teacher Training starting in January 2019 and running through June.  This Training Program brings together a powerful and seasoned group of teachers to help you become a knowledgeable, compassionate, creative and inspiring teacher.


A Mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol representing the Universe. Mandalas are used as a tool for meditation and spiritual guidance to establish a sacred space and focus the mind. The Mandala of Yoga Teacher Training will open the four gates of asana, pranayama, meditation and swadyaya (self-study and study of ancient texts) in an integrated way. Completing the full Mandala of Yoga 300 TT is an excellent way to achieve a strong understanding of yoga as a practical, philosophical and spiritual path. Build a thorough foundation for outstanding alignment as well as vinyasa teaching grounded in intelligent work and sustained teaching practice.


ALISON WEST leads the powerful “Gold Standard” YU Teacher Trainings with a roster of exceptional guest teachers. Limited class size and seasoned teachers make for an unforgettable experience. The YU 300TT continues the “Gold Standard” (TONY 2007) quality of its 200TT in a rich and demanding eight-month program that provides you with the opportunity not only to become an outstanding teacher at the intermediate+ level, but to maintain a serious self-practice in asana, pranayama and meditation. Become a confident and knowledgeable teacher while exploring the more subtle aspects of Yoga and and the relevance of ancient texts to modern life. You will develop your teaching skills and understanding in an intimate environment with world-class teachers.  Excellence, integrity, hard work, inspiration–these are some of the qualities you can expect from the YU® 300TT. Because of the limited group size, you will receive abundant personal attention and have the opportunity to develop a real Satsang with your fellow students.


In addition to the well-rounded program described below, you will receive a Basic Backcare, Chairs, and Wall-Ropes Certifications, allowing you to safely and effectively use wall-ropes at YU and other studios where they are available to you. You will also come away ready to teach two workshops prepared by you as part of your final. All certificates are subject to complete and satisfactory completion of the requirements and demonstration of appropriate teaching ability. 

From the very beginning fifteen years ago, daily teaching practice has been one of the cornerstones of the YU Teacher Training.  All of these certificates are Alignment-based. This gives you a sound foundation from which to teach vinyasa, if you choose to do so. Surya Namaskar is the fundamental vinyasa practice and it is also covered from an alignment standpoint with variations, building confidence and the ability to see students in motion and adjust on the go.

If you have completed your 200-Hour Certification elsewhere, it is possible for you to apply for YU’s 300-Hour Program. Please keep in mind that there may be additional requirements. Your application, entrance exam, and audition class will give us more information on what additional work may be required to help you prepare and move through the program. Plan on taking as many classes at the studio with Alison and Kaitlyn now to prepare yourself. 



  • Basic Ropes Certification

  • Basic Backcare Certification 

  • Basic Chairs Certification

  • Yoga with Dowels

  • Yoga for Hypermobility and Hyperextension

  • Anatomy and Kinesiology applied with greater sophistication

  • Yoga Philosophy including the Bhagavad Gita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika

  • Pranayama Beyond the Fundamentals

  • Meditation Beyond the Fundamentals

  • Yantras



  • to have three Certificates for Backcare, Ropes and Chairs in addition to your full 300-Hour TT

  • to come away with the ability to teach a solid intermediate alignment class, with language and adjustments suitable to that level

  • to achieve new clarity and confidence in your practice and teaching, including observational skills and adjustments

  • to sequence with greater sophistication and understanding

  • to sustain a fulfilling self-practice

  • to be able to teach basic pranayama and meditation

  • to have two marketable workshops ready by the end of the 500TT

  • to gain a fundamental understanding of mudra and yantra painting

  • to assimilate a substantial body of philosophical information on which to draw both in the studio and daily life, helping you to forge a more harmonious, fulfilling existence for yourself and your environment.

  • to experience the vibratory quality of Sanskrit through the alphabet and mantras.

  • to deepen your own practice through class, observation, and self-practice.

  • clear feedback on your teaching that gives you a good sense of your strengths and weaknesses and helps you move forward in a positive direction.

  • to get to know and study with some of the best teachers in America.



Practice and teach at a new level. Yoga Union’s trademark emphasis on teaching practice during the program will help you to perfect your observation, verbal, physical and tonal expression, pacing, sequencing, and modifications. Refining your knowledge of alignment will help you in whatever form of Yoga you teach. 



Delve into the body’s systems (nerves, muscle, bones, organs) so that you can have a more secure sense of how the body moves and functions.  Kinesiology is more demanding than anatomy, and understanding the challenges the body and mind face when working in the poses is fundamental in developing your own sense of sequencing, avoiding injury and approaching more challenging poses.


Your Basic Certification in Yoga for Backcare is an essential tool for every Yoga teacher! Back pain is the single most common reason doctors send students to Yoga classes. Learn how to helps students with common back issues, and when to send them to a more specialized teacher. 



Yoga Union is one of the few studios in NY with major rope walls as well as ceiling slings (not the soft silks of aerial Yoga). The ropes and slings are unique and wonderful tools that allow the body to work in all characters of pose. They increase effort or release, and with the advantage of traction they offer many powerful challenges.



Awaken your whole being by studying in greater depth the subtle anatomy of the body, chanting, mantras and paining yantras with Sarah Tomlinson. There is nothing that does not vibrate in the manifest cosmos.



Still your mind under the guidance of outstanding teachers who will oversee your meditation practice, offering a series of three-hour sessions of lecture, discussion, and personal interviews.  Between sessions, a buddy system will help you maintain a regular practice and lay the foundation for a lifetime of meditation. If you already have a meditation practice, this will be the perfect time to receive sustained guidance.



Explore new texts, such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Bhagavad Gita. This is a wonderful opportunity to read texts you might not otherwise find the time for and to share your experience of them in the company of interested colleagues.  



With the YU 500TT, you will enter a new dimension of Yoga at the personal level and become ready to safely teach at the intermediate level anywhere. YU strives to develop teachers who can be hired with confidence by any center looking for a well-rounded, confident and sensitive teacher. The personal mentoring of senior teachers will provide you with a solid point of reference while you continue to forge your personal trajectory in Yoga. 



YU is recognized by Yoga Alliance at the 200 & 500 level. But more importantly, it is recognized by its peers as one of the leading Teacher Training institutions in America. 


300 TT REQUIREMENTS (in addition to application requirements below)

• You must complete all in-studio sessions listed on the above schedule (Monday evenings and intensives). Note: if there are scheduling conflicts, some modifications are possible.

• Daily self-practice of asana, pranayama, and meditation and a log of this in Google Doc form.

• Take a minimum of 22 class hours at YU with Alison West (two classes a month over the duration of the training, included in the cost of your TT).

• Assist 10 YU alignment classes beginning in January or February 2019 (not more than once a week).

•  Before the Backcare Weekend: Take four Herniation Basics and one Hyperkyphosis/Hyperlordosis class (not included in the cost of the training). 

•  After the Backcare Weekend: Take five more Herniation Basics and one more Hyperkyphosis/Hyperlordosis class (not included in cost of the training), and assist seven herniation basics classes. Complete a Backcare written exam, case study, and practicum teaching video.

• Assigned reading, written homework, and asanas/sequences for self-practice.

• Mid-term and final written exams, group and individual teaching practicums, philosophy final questions and essay.

• Prepare two marketable workshops.

• One class, at least, of each of the following studios/styles January-June 2019 (not included in the cost of the TT): Jivamukti, Iyengar Yoga Center, Dharma Mitra, Yoga Works, observe Astanga class or take led Mysore style, Sivananda. Note the sequence, relative pose duration, music used, and so on. Prepare an essay based on your observations about the impact each form has on you and what its gifts are.

Note: Yoga Union reserves the right to withhold certification in the event that not all requirements are fulfilled or that the work fails to meet the YU standards for the 500TT. 



• TT Manual will be provided after registration.

• All other books and materials must be purchased by participants and are not included in the cost of the TT. 

• A list of required reading will be provided upon registration.



• Have at least three years of regular practice and be now at the intermediate level (understanding of standing poses and the ability to hold the poses, all basic backbends, full headstand for at least 5 minutes in the center, and full shoulderstand for at least 10 minutes in the center, unless you have specific issues contra-indicating these poses)

Written Application
• Interview with Alison + audition class with Alison or designated Alignment Yoga teacher.  If you are unable to take any of these classes, you can schedule a private session with Alison, or if you are out of town, send a video of your practice to (This class must be a regular Alignment class, Level 2 or higher, not a backcare or scoliosis class.)
• Written Entrance Exam (email us to schedule this after your audition class).



Registration Deadline and Full Payment Due: December 17
Early Bird Deadline: October 25 (Full Payment with Early Bird discount)



  • There is a non-refundable deposit of $500 to secure your place. Full prices below include your deposit.

  • Early bird by October 25: $3800 (Payment in full); after October 25: $4200 due by December 17 

  • Payment plans are available for $4400. Your non-refundable deposit is still due by October 25. Design a plan that allows you to pay in full by August 31, 2019.

  • Payment can be made over the phone by credit card, or in person by credit card, cash, or check. You can also pay through PayPal for an extra 3% fee.

  • No refunds after October 25, other than emergencies. 

  • Refer the 300 Teacher Training and received a $200 credit towards your own 300TT.  


Class attendance prior to Teacher Training application is an essential requirement. Spend time in your new home and get to know it!

Call 212.510.7404 or email  for more information.



Amy Matthews (The Breathing Project and co-author of Yoga Anatomy), Stephanie Sandleben, Deborah Wolk, Brette Popper, Katie Jehenson, Michael Hayes (Buddha Body Yoga), Kristen Davis (Yogasana), Mariso Sako (Kula Yoga), Jodie Rufty (Yoga Works), Jason Brown, Jason Orrell, Elizabeth Reiback, Liza Toft, Paula Liberis, Ellen Huang, Julia Frodahl, Katie Jehenson, Laura Staton, Olga Kuchokova, and many more!



"Yoga Union’s 500-hour Mandala of Yoga was my first yoga teacher training program, and after much shopping around, I am very glad that I chose this one. The asana teaching was intelligent, clear and safe, the philosophy teaching was outstanding, and the anatomy teaching was thorough and practical. Additionally, the emphasis on yoga for back care was invaluable, especially considering the growing demand for yoga as a means to address back issues. An expert in her own right, Alison West also brought in outside experts to teach workshops on Philosophy, Anatomy, Meditation, and Sanskrit, which provided a fresh perspective and a deeper understanding in these areas. Alison, Kaitlyn and Kristin are truly inspiring as yoga teachers and practitioners. Their endless energy and commitment to the students made it virtually impossible for us not to succeed. They would continually encourage, challenge and motivate us while reinforcing key principles and concepts until we were able to demonstrate our understanding of the material. The 200-hour teacher training program was excellent; however, I am glad I continued with the 500-hour program because it gave me time to apply and absorb the material, deepen my knowledge and gain valuable teaching experience under the guidance of the teachers. While I realize that the learning has just begun, upon completion of the program in May 2017, I feel well-equipped to impart to others what I have learned and experienced in my own body. More than that, obtaining certifications in both Slings & Ropes and Basic Back Care (included in the 500-hour program) gives me a significant advantage as I begin my career as a yoga teacher. I am happy to say that as of June 2017, I am already teaching several classes per week, and I am enjoying every minute of it! I highly recommend the Yoga Union 500-hour Mandala of Yoga Teacher Training Program to experienced yoga teachers, aspiring yoga teachers, or those wishing to deepen their practice." JAMISON STEINKE, 2017


"Alison West’s “Ivy League caliber” yoga program is not a typical teacher training—nor should it be approached as such. It’s a robust pedagogical course intended for serious yoga practitioners who crave intellectual rigor—consider it “yoga graduate school.” Regardless of previous training or experience, all students should start at the program’s beginning to learn Yoga Union’s highly sophisticated and unique parlance. While previous trainings can be informative, few, if any, programs in the country provide the depth that this one does, so it’s best to “start fresh,” so to speak. All facets of the yoga practice are investigated—Sanskrit, chanting, literature, history, anatomy, alignment, prop use, the mind, the body, and, of course, teaching practice. This program is renowned for a reason and graduates are equipped to contribute to the yoga world in numerous ways, so look no farther than here—it’s time and money well spent."  MICHAEL LASKARIS 2015


Yoga Union is the gold standard for teacher training.  Over the course of the training, I developed strength and a deep, physical understanding of asana, a love of Indic philosophy, and received an excellent introduction to Sanskrit. pranayama and restoratives.  This alignment based program teaches the comprehensive use of props to both heal and prevent injury, as well as how to safely adjust students. I teach Kundalini Yoga and the training has been invaluable in addressing correct alignment, and practicing yoga with injury or limited range of motion. 

Alison, Kaitlyn and Kristen are devoted teachers.  They are inquisitive, patient, and supportive. I recommend this training wholeheartedly for both teachers and yogis who want to deepen their practice. LIZ DALTON, 2016

"This Teacher Training has been one of the most delicious, rigorous, challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. I am changed person and will and will be applying the principles and teachings in all aspects of my life in order to evolve as a yoga student, emerging teacher and human being.[..] Thank-you so much.” N. GOLDSTEIN, New York City, July 2010.


“I’ve known Alison for almost fifteen years as both a teacher and a fellow Astanga practitioner. Her insight and experience single her out as one of the most highly regarded Yoga instructors in New York City.” WILLEM DAFOE, New York City, March 2007


“Alison, and her impressive guest teachers, present an enormous amount of material expertly and concisely. Be prepared to work hard, and grow even more.  I can’t recommend her 200-hour TT enough.” MEGAN MOOK, RYT, 2009 Winter TT


“The TT course was great; more than I expected in every sense!  Alison West is an inspirational teacher and leads the course in an extremely thorough fashion, along with other wonderful visiting teachers.  I would highly recommend anyone dedicated to yoga to do this course, whether it is with a view to teaching or to intensify their own practice.   SIOBHAN O’CONNOR, 2009 WInter TT


“The Teacher Training was comprehensive! I will be processing and returning to what I have learned for a long long time!” ALANNA BARRETT, 2009 Winter TT


“Alison’s Teacher Training was one of the most in-depth and empowering trainings I have ever had!” SARAH NIELSEN, Certified Massage Therapist and Yoga Teacher, 2007


"If you are a yoga instructor who feels a bit insecure about alignment and anatomy, this would be an amazing training for you! It is rigorous and intense but totally doable for everybody. I strongly recommend it."  XIMENA ROJAS


"It's been 13 years since my TT with Alison West and I still use the knowledge and skills I learned from her every time I teach or practice!"  JESSICA LUNT

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