Australia’s unofficial yoga capital is a former hippie town famous for it’s beautiful beaches, world class surf spots and vibrant community life. Located at the easternmost point of mainland Australia, Byron Bay caught the yoga hype in the 1980s and has been a popular destination of yoga addicts ever since. Could it be that anyone considering taking a yoga teacher training in Australia, should head straight to Byron Bay?
Here, at Find Yoga, we just simply couldn’t ignore the above rumour, so we researched the Byron Bay yoga scene thoroughly. As a result, let us present you the following selection of the finest yoga teacher trainings available in and around Byron Bay.
RETREAT STYLE RESIDENTIAL CENTRES
Byron Yoga Centre
One of the longest running yoga schools in Australia, Byron Yoga Centre was established in 1988 by John Ogilvie. It is also one of the few yoga teacher training organisations that operate as an RTO (Registered Training Organisation), offering the highest possible qualification in yoga teaching.
The yoga taught at Byron Yoga Centre is a holistic style developed by John Ogilvie himself. It is called Purna Yoga, purna meaning integrated or complete in Sanskrit. Purna Yoga represents a holistic approach to yoga integrating not just the physical postures but also philosophy, meditation, pranayama breath control and the yogic personal and social code of ethics.
Teachers at Byron Yoga are passionate about teaching safe, alignment based yoga - keeping you and your future students safe. Props such as blocks, belts and bolsters are used during classes to make the poses safe and accessible for everyone. Being able to adjust and correct effectively is an essential skill to acquire as a yoga teacher. Therefore, learning intelligent adjustments, corrections and skillful hands on assists that help with alignment, safety, comfort are top priority at Byron Yoga Centre. Another important aspect of purna yoga teacher trainings is that students are encouraged to retreat from their flexibility and focus more on strength. The concept of ‘Sthira Sukha Asana’ - the balance between effort and ease, strength and softness, stability and flexibility - is a central teaching here.
Yoga teacher trainings at Byron Yoga Centre are available for all levels and come in various formats. You can choose from a number of residential or non-residential, intensive or part-time courses, at the 200, 300 and 500-hour levels, as well as the new Certificate IV in Yoga Teaching. All courses are registered with Yoga Alliance. International participants of long term courses, such as the 800 hour Certificate IV in Yoga Teaching and the 2 year course in Purna Yoga Management qualify for an Australian student visa.
The primary location for Byron Yoga Centre teacher training courses is the Byron Yoga Retreat Centre, a peaceful eco paradise neighbouring Byron Bay. This wonderful retreat centre feels like a magical little universe - surrounded by flourishing permaculture gardens and a forest. The best part is that while it feels hidden from the rest of the world, it is only a short walk from the centre of Byron Bay and most importantly: the beach.
YouTube vlog by a student: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=y83wRPrXVXc
Krishna Village Eco Yoga Community
Located about halfway between Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, the Hare Krishna farm “New Govardhana” gives home to a community of yogis dedicated to live according the principles of Bhakti: the yoga of love and devotion. The Krishna Village Eco Yoga Community is the place to be for those searching for connection, spirituality and a deep understanding of ancient yogic teachings.
At the Krishna Village, the main goal of a yoga a teacher training is to teach yoga in its wholeness, so you can BE a yogi, rather than just DO some yoga. A 6 week course here is therefore a full immersion program that allows you to experience yogic living in its entirety. That means much more than daily yoga classes. After your morning yoga, you will do some work in the organic gardens, attend philosophy classes, take part in preparing your healthy food, enjoy Kirtan singing and mantra meditation. Basically, you will live and breathe yoga for real. And all that while being part of a lovely and supportive community. Besides addressing the science of yoga, business and leadership coaching classes and hands on business trainings are also included in the curriculum. On top of that, you will also gain real teaching practice with real students thanks to residents of the retreat centre. First you get to co-teach with your fellow trainees, and then gradually you can start giving your own classes.
Apart from nourishing your soul, this vinyasa style yoga teacher traning is a great opportunity to detox and refresh your body. The Krishna Farm has been producing organic veggies for over 40 years and they grow as much of their own food as they can. During your stay you will be provided with 3 delicious plant based meals per day.
At the end of your training you will have gained much more than a diploma approved by Yoga Alliance. You will have learned about healthy, yogic living and your stay at Krishna Village will have given you all the tools you need for a sustainable lifestyle and a successful career as a yoga teacher.
Youtube video about the course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n9FVb9J6ds
INTERNATIONAL YOGA SCHOOLS HOSTING TRAININGS IN BYRON BAY
Rainbow Yoga is a modern and revolutionary yoga school founded by Gopala and Angel Yaffa in 2007. Their dream was to give yoga teachers the tools to create fun, interactive and stimulating yoga classes for all kinds of people: kids, families, partners and communities.
What makes Rainbow Yoga radically different from any other yoga school is that the founders broke up with an old paradigm in order to replace it with a new one. In ancient times yoga was practiced alone, individually for each person’s own personal development spiritually, mentally as well as physically. This was great in an old society where community came first and self-realization wasn’t really a thing. However, today’s modern society has sacrificed community on the altar of individuality. Doesn’t that imply that we should use the tools of yoga also the other way around? The people of Rainbow Yoga definitely think so, and that’s why they would like to introduce the world a new paradigm: social yoga.
Social yoga is all about connection: touching, hugging, moving and breathing together. Rainbow Yoga Teacher Training’s are well-known for being energetic, hilarious and life changing. You will be left with a smile on your face, a wealth of knowledge and excited to spread the magic of yoga.
Rainbow Yoga offers a variety of unique teacher training courses all over the world – one of the recurring locations being Byron Bay. These teacher training courses offer a well-rounded, in-depth learning experience through a combination of play, practical theory and fun.
The 200 and 300 Hour Rainbow Yoga Teacher Trainings cover all the yoga specializations such as fertility yoga, pre-natal and post-natal yoga, baby yoga, mums and bubs yoga, yoga for kids and teens, community style yoga, women’s yoga and senior yoga. The next 22-day course in Byron Bay will be held at Paradise One Retreat Centre, starting on February 1, 2020.
Two shorter types of teacher trainings are the Rainbow Partner Yoga Teacher Training (next time in Byron Bay: November 29, 2019) and the Rainbow Kids Yoga Teacher Trainings (next time in Byron Bay: November 22, 2019). Both are 3 days long, and the kids yoga training does not require any previous yoga experience.
Youtube video about partner yoga: https://www.youtube.com/watch?timecontinue=57&v=mlCPSog9bM
Founders about their method: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo-jmohAydA/
Sacred Seed Embodiment School
Sacred Seed, an other international yoga school founded by a couple, hosts yoga teacher trainings in only two places in the world: Costa Rica and Australia. The Australian location happens to be on a land in the Byron Bay Shire, and that means Sacred Seed Embodiment School had to make appearence on our list! If you are looking for something raw and natural, truly spiritual and unusual, give this 200 hour Yoga Alliance certified teacher training a go.
In 2012 Adya and Velan founded Sacred Seed as an expression of their life walk. They spent years learning about rituals of indigenous people of various traditions and as a result their teaching is a blend of yoga and other practices such as Shaolin energetic arts or sacred rites coming from the Amazonian jungles.
A yoga teacher training lead by Adya and Velan is a space for growth and connection. Besides learning the basic principles of hatha yoga, becoming familiar with Shaolin secrets of longevity and refined philosophy, a lot of unique earth rituals and intimate community building are involved in the process. A major goal of this course is to awaken deep connection to the spirit of the land and to promote truthful self inquiry. The entire time students live in tents, drink source water, medicinal herb teas and eat organic vegetarian meals.
In an awe-inspiring testimonial by a former student (Alyson Dryja, USA) you can read that she walked into Adya and Velan’s yoga teacher training expecting to become a yoga teacher, and she walked out healed. We believe that says it all.
Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=59&v=DMOvBJr3bmw
Anatomy (must watch): https://www.instagram.com/p/BvzBi7xnS0G/
The atmosphere: https://www.instagram.com/p/BzGv5r0hAP6/
NON-RESIDENTIAL LOCAL TRAININGS
Looking for an excuse to actually live in Byron Bay for a while? Then you should check out the non-residential and non-catered yoga teacher trainings organized by Creature Yoga.
Creature Yoga was founded by two yogini friends, Bess Prescott and Tahl Rinsky in 2015. Their idea was to create an open space that welcomes all paths of yoga, honouring tradition while keeping up with modern approaches and allowing each student to find their own ways.
The studio hosts various workshops, a wide selection of 50 hour advanced yoga teacher trainings and 200/300 hour yoga teacher trainings as well. These trainings are based in hatha vinyasa yoga. The content and setup of the courses are modern, practical and functional. Bess and Tahl aim to teach not only what asana, pranayama, meditation and mantra mean, but they show how to use these techniques intelligently today. The same approach goes for philosophy, history and yoga tradition: besides discussing what it meant to be a yogi in the past, at Creature Yoga it is just as essential to learn how to translate anctient principles into modern day life.
Taking the 200 hour yoga teacher training at Creature Yoga comes with extras such as a photo shoot with Tahl Rinsky to provide you with a portrait and an asana shot for your own use and unlimited practice in the studio for the duration of the course. What a deal, don’t you agree?
Whether you are looking for the first yoga teacher training of your life or are about to step up your game taking an advanced course, it looks like Byron Bay got you covered. Are you in need of a total reset? Traditional schools like Byron Yoga Centre, the Krishna Village and the Sacred Seed will help you leave your everyday life behind and enjoy the community vibes living in harmony with nature, eating healthy food and taking up new spiritual habits. If modern trends and local life is more attractive to you, signing up for a teacher training by Creature Yoga or Rainbow Yoga might be your thing. You can even consider moving to Byron Bay by applying for one the long term courses at Byron Yoga Centre which qualify you for an Australian student visa. What do you say? In either way, we wish you good luck and a life changing experience!