We’ve compiled a list of popular questions to help all of our future yoga teacher trainees better understand our 200 and 300 hour teacher training programs, the amazing town of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, and other helpful tips and tricks to get you started and on your yoga teacher journey.
Can I take this training if I am pregnant?
This will depend on you entirely and the advice of your medical professional. We have hosted pregnant women before! And several of the faculty members have trained or offered trainings while expecting. There are some travel restrictions with pregnancy that would be good to look into. You will also need to provide written doctor’s permission and sign an additional waiver.
How “advanced” do I have to be to join?
What is most important for the incoming students is that there is a sincere desire to deepen their study of the practice of yoga. We look for serious students and seekers who are here to train seriously and work hard. This includes focus on history, philosophy, spirituality, anatomy, teaching methodology and more…not only asana (poses). However, it is very helpful to have at least one year of steady asana practice experience beforehand.
What if I need to stay extra nights at the beginning or end?
We send out recommendations of where you may like to stay in both San Jose and in Puerto Viejo should you need additional nights at the start or end of any program. We recommend booking yourself some extra time to enjoy vacation days as the programs themselves are quite intensive. The housing at OM at Cashew Hill begins on the start date of your program (check-in at 3p.m.) and ends on the last date of your program (check-out at 11am.). It is not possible to book additional nights at the retreat center outside of your scheduled program.
What are the room/housing options?
All pricing is based on standard shared housing. This means anywhere from 3 to 6 people per house. Some houses are 1 bedroom / 1 bath, some are 2 bed / 2 bath. On occasion we have the option for upgrades to single or double room at an additional cost. These will be announced via email and availability depends on the size of each program.
What do I need to bring? Anything I should not bring?
You can find a full packing list here.
Do not bring anything that you hold too near and dear or are very attached to. The jungle climate is unforgiving and it doesn’t take too long for mold to settle in on clothing if it is not stored well, cleaned and dried regularly. Bring light breathable clothing for a hot climate as well as warmer layers for cool Caribbean evenings.
Can I take this training if I have a preexisting condition or injury?
This will depend on what the condition or injury is. It is always best to seek advice from your principle medical care provider in this case. Written permission may be required as well as an additional waiver. This will be explored on a case-by-case basis.
Is the program Yoga Alliance recognized?
Yes! We are! Caribe Yoga Academy’s school ID is 143450. Avani is YA ID: 128775. You can find both there to see reviews.
I took my 200 hour training elsewhere, can I still join your 300hr training?
YES! And we love having students with different backgrounds and perspectives join in our advanced level training!
Will I be able to teach in my country when I complete this course?
Yoga Alliance is generally accepted worldwide, however it is always best to look into your individual country’s requirements to be sure before signing on. If possible, ask other yoga teachers in your local area if you would be able to teach there with a Yoga Alliance approved certificate.
What if I don’t plan to teach yoga?
It is not uncommon for students to come in and not plan to ever teach yoga. This is a deeply personal exploration and there is absolutely no requirement to go out into the world and teach. However, you will be required to teach practicum classes during the training in order to gain your Yoga Alliance certificate. What is often surprising is that many students at the end of the program feel a spirited enthusiasm to go out into the world and share the practice of yoga!
Curriculum and Student Experience
What makes Caribe Yoga Academy different?
At Caribe Yoga Academy we have a commitment to exploring our inner nature through exploring and developing a relationship with the exotic nature all around us in the Caribbean jungles of Costa Rica. We commit to not hi-jacking your own inner experience and your unique authentic truth through false claims of having all the answers or being the “healer” that you need. We are all here to dive deep into yoga as explorers and seekers…TOGETHER. We believe that each person’s greatest teacher is their deepest, inner Divine Self and we commit to journeying and excavating with you to reveal that in your own time and without force. We respect that personal transformational practices are just that…personal. We honor that each student has their own voice and our hope is for you to emerge as a teacher wiling to share from your own truth and experience rather than as replicates of our faculty or cookie cutters of the CYA system.
We offer a variety of learning tools to suit the reality that varied learning styles and types of intelligence exist. You will experience lecture, group work, mentorship, art, movement, breath, asana, space for meditation and contemplation as well as rests for stillness and restoration. You will also receive verbal and written feedback, regular assessment and projects that are not founded in the need for short-term memorization, but rather a true connection with the material and also your ability to lean into your resources and your kula when needed.
The CYA training is supported by:
- Karuna: Compassion and Ahimsa: Non-Violence
- Connection to Nature
- Yoga, Ayurveda and Bhakti
- Traditional Hindu mythology and modern Archetypes
- Western science’s contributions to the the Spiritual practices of the East.
- A deep comprehension of functional anatomy and acceptance that bodies and bones are shaped differently and therefore the practice of modification and adaption is vital for optimizing the yoga practice experience to fit different shapes.
What are the class sizes?
250 hour trainings are usually 24 to 28 students. The advanced level modules tend to be a bit smaller at 12 to 18 students per course.
How many staff members are there?
There are 3 principle faculty members that teach the majority of the material as well as 4 student assistants for each foundational program (3 assistants on the advanced programs). Each student also works in mentor groups (with assistants and faculty guiding) and has the option to schedule co-listening sessions for the opportunity to have smaller group and individual attention when needed.
Where can I learn more about the faculty?
Please follow this link to read the faculty bios.
What is the average age of participants?
The majority of participants fall between 25 and 40 years of age though we have trained with students as young as 18 and up to 65 years of age. It is important to keep in mind that independent international travel is required to participate in our programs and so we request a high level of maturity, a willingness to work hard and somewhat of a sense of worldliness.
What is the style of yoga offered?
The main style that you will study and acquire proficiency to teach is a vinyasa style of practice. We title it “Karuna Flow’. Karuna is one of the Sanskrit words meaning compassion. This style has a firm foundation in functional anatomy, prop usage and allowance for adaptation so that each student can make the class right for their unique body and practice.
What will I learn during the YTT?
For our full curriculum, and to explore whether or not this is the right program for you, please go here.
Will there be homework?
Sometimes there is supplemental reading suggested. There will also be several playful group presentations and projects which will require you to gather with your group and plan outside of contact hours. In addition students complete a mid-course and final exam.
What if I need to miss some of the training?
An attendance policy will be covered for each training. There are usually a few built in times that are acceptable to rest or miss while still gaining certification. Missing more than what is allotted will result in failure to complete the standards and you will not receive your certificate of completion. Make up hours are not offered.
How much time off will I have?
There will be 2 full days (on which we still have morning and evening practice) and 2 half days off during the course of your 24 day journey. We recommending staying extra time in Costa Rica if you desire to have a vacation built in. The teacher training schedule is intensive and we expect hard work and focus. For a glimpse at the schedule, please see here.
Training Expenses & Payments
What’s included in the training price?
Opening dinner, three meals a day, departure day breakfast, your shared accommodation for 23 nights (upgrades for housing may be available for some programs at an additional fee), an in-depth workbook and manual, expert incoming support, mentorship groups, built-in experiences and adventures of the area, frequent communication, on-going support post graduation and an incredible faculty.
What is NOT included in training price?
Your travel expenses to and from OM at Cashew Hill retreat center are not included nor your two required reading books, additional expenses such as souvenirs, tips for housekeeping, bodywork at the spa, additional experiences or tours nor additional meals (outside of the provided 3 per day).
Do you offer scholarships or work exchange?
On occasion (not often) partial work-trades are offered for marketing, videography and photography. We do offer a few scholarship spots per program which you can read about and apply for here.
What is the deposit amount? When is the remainder due?
The deposit is $750 USD for foundational level programs and $500 USD on advanced level programs. The remainder due is paid 21 days before arrival.
How can I make my payment?
Payment can be made via PayPal (+3%), US or CR bank transfer, US or CR check, cash or credit card (+13%)
What is your cancellation policy?
All deposits are non-refundable within three months of any training. With cancellation 6 weeks in advance the deposit may be transferable to another CYA training. This is on a case-by-case basis to be discussed with Avani. Final payments on all programs are due 21 days in advance upon arrival and are therefore non-refundable.
Costa Rica / Puerto Viejo / Transport
Which airport will I fly into?
The Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose/Alajuela Costa Rica is the closest airport to OM at Cashew Hill retreat center in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. The airport code is SJO.
How do I get to Puerto Viejo?
Once students are enrolled they begin to receive orientation emails. These emails outline several different transportation options including shuttle, private taxi and flight. We help you arrange and reserve your transportation to Puerto Viejo. The trip is 4.5 hours from San Jose, direct to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
What is required for immunizations?
At the moment there are some required vaccines but no required vaccines for entering Costa Rica unless you are coming in from a Yellow Fever country. We recommend the following resources for the most up-to-date vaccine and immunization information for international travel:
What about the safety of Costa Rica?
The retreat center at OM at Cashew Hill is an enclosed and guarded site with dogs. It is very safe and tranquil. It is, however, important to remember that Costa Rica is part of Central America and is considered a developing country. If you have travelled internationally before you will need to follow all of the standard safety regulations: don’t walk or run after dark, don’t carry valuable belongings to the beach, don’t go with people you don’t know, avoid getting intoxicated and therefore unaware of your surroundings, don’t hitchhike or get in unmarked taxis etc. In particular women traveling in Latin America will want to move in groups when possible, particularly when it is dark. One of the biggest safety issues here is ocean safety (rip currents), jungle critters (stinging leaves, thorns, jellyfish, ants) and petty theft like bicycles. We’re in the jungle in a developing country. Please be prepared for that and take necessary precautions.
Retreat Center and Local Area
Can you accommodate my food preference or allergy?
We are able to accommodate students that require vegan or gluten free diets. We can also accommodate food allergies.
What kind of food is served?
All vegetarian food is served with as much as possible coming from the on-site organic gardens at OM at Cashew Hill. For a better idea you can see a sample menu here.
Will there be WiFi available?
There is regular WiFi in the reception but not in the housing areas. There is fiber optic internet available in town center just a 5 minute walk from OM at Cashew Hill. We recommend coming in with a commitment to digital detox. Try seeing what it feels like to find human connection rather than WiFi connection.
Will there be bugs?
We are located in the rainforest / jungle. YES. There are bugs, snakes, spiders, butterflies, sloths, toucans, scorpions and lizards. You will see monkeys, sloths and beautiful birds, but when visiting the jungle one must also plan on other critters like bugs, mosquitos and geckoes. Yoga is a practice of coming into peace with and reconnecting with your internal nature. Peace with external nature is a practice we seek to cultivate here in order to deepen our Yoga practice. This is a near-to-nature experience. If you know that you are very bug or nature sensitive and you prefer not to be in close contact with nature, this may not be a great program choice for you.
Will I be camping? What is the housing like?
The housing that is provided is shared (3 to 4 people per house / per bathroom) and in enclosed jungle lodges. They all have screening, shelves for storage, a hotpot and mugs for tea/coffee, fans, electric outlets, lights, hot water shower, bathroom, seating area (some indoor, some outdoor) etc. Think of a simple lake camp…only in the jungle! They are simple but comfortable and beautiful. Each lodge has a view out into the thick jungle or out over the Caribbean sea. Housekeeping is provided daily.