"When one thought ends, right before the next thought begins,
there is a tiny gap called 'now.' Over time we learn to expand that gap."

– Spring Washam

Dharma & Yoga Teacher Training Program (DYP)


This six-month, non-residential, dharma and yoga training program Is designed for experienced yoga students and aspiring yoga teachers to:

  • Develop the skills to teach yoga from a mindfulness approach: the use of language and sequencing to focus the mind, how to address the nervous system, and deactivate the stress and competitive response.
  • Study the latest teachings in neuroscience and interoceptive awareness and how they apply to yoga and meditation practice.
  • Deepen your own personal yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practice.

Fulfills requirements for the Yoga Alliance 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher Certification.

Program Fee: $3400; includes all 2018 DYP programs and certificate fees. This is a non-residential program to be held over a period of 6 months.

This immersive training addresses body, mind and heart through the study of mindful asana, pranayama, anatomy, mindfulness principles, meditation, and the wisdom teachings of Yoga and Buddhism. Students will develop both their personal practice, as well as the ability to guide and lead others. We will engage with the Dharma through study of traditional texts, writings by Spirit Rock teachers, poetry, and story to bring the teachings to life. The Brahma Viharas, with a focus on metta, will be at the heart of our practices, providing refuge and support for kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others.

The focus of the asana training is on increasing sensory awareness and allowing the body and breath to open and transform without seeking to achieve a particular pose or goal. We will explore asanas as vehicles for insight and for fostering a kind and easeful relationship with the body. We will increase mindfulness through asana training by the use of language, directing cues to the inner experience of the posture, breath, and what arises in the mind. Through anatomy study we will strengthen understanding of the body’s structure and inner function for intelligent practice and skillful teaching.

Training Objectives

  • You will learn the foundational asanas and how to teach them through practice experience, observation and study, and the use of variations, props and modifications.
  • You will learn how mindful yoga is distinct and involves creating a calm and spacious atmosphere in a class by using language and cueing to focus the mind, addressing the nervous system and deactivating the stress or competitive response.
  • You will study the latest teachings in neuroscience and interoceptive awareness and how they apply to yoga and meditation practice.
  • You will strengthen your personal meditation practice and learn the foundational skills of teaching meditation in a yoga class.
  • You will learn to identify key bones, muscles and myofascial lines, as well as the organs and components of the nervous system.
  • You will have the opportunity to develop an integrated and embodied connection to the foundational teachings of the Dharma, including the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, the Brahma Viharas, and the Five Hindrances, and the key sutras of Patanjali and the Ashtanga Yoga system.


View detailed curriculum description >

2018 DYP Faculty:

Djuna Mascall (E-RYT500) gracefully integrates her extensive knowledge of anatomy, alignment, and the wisdom of yoga and the Dharma. Djuna is faculty for Prajna Yoga, founded by Tias Little, and her teaching is a reflection of thousands of hours spent studying within this lineage. Her offerings are rooted in mindfulness and the traditions of yoga and the Buddha Dharma. She combines meditative practice and wisdom study with the power of asana training which is designed to cultivate sensitivity and vitality, while supporting the body's capacity to heal. The poses are approached as vehicles of insight, inviting us to wake up through depth of knowledge and practice. In addition to holding Spirit Rock as her spiritual home Djuna offers workshops and teacher trainings internationally, guiding annual retreats at Green Gulch and Tassajara. She is also a certified yoga therapist in private practice. Djuna graced the cover of Yoga Journal in October, 2012 and was featured the same year in their August issue.

Sean Feit Oakes, Ph.D, teaches Buddhism, Haṭha Yoga, and Organic Intelligence® with a focus on the integration of meditation, philosophy, and self-inquiry with trauma resolution and social justice. He has studied in Theravāda, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhist lineages, including training as a monk in Burma, and is authorized to teach Insight Meditation by Jack Kornfield. In yoga, he began in Ashtanga, trained with David Moreno in the Bihar tradition, and has taught since 2006. At Spirit Rock, he completed the Dedicated Practitioner, Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation, and Community Dharma Leader programs. Website: Handout from 2/10/18 daylong:

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books are available in 26 languages and include Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha's Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, he's been a speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and other major universities, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. Dr. Hanson has been a trustee of Saybrook University and served on the board of Spirit Rock Meditation Center. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS and NPR, and he offers the free Just One Thing Newsletter that reaches over 120,000 subscribers, plus the online Foundations of Well-Being program in positive neuroplasticity. He enjoys rock-climbing and taking a break from emails. He and his wife have two adult children.

Tias Little (E-RYT500) Tias’s unique and skillful approach enables students to find a greater depth of understanding and awareness in their practice, both on and off the mat. His interdisciplinary approach to practice synthesizes precision of alignment, classical yoga, Sanskrit, Buddhist studies, anatomy, massage and trauma healing all while weaving together poetic metaphor with clear instruction that is filled with compassion and humor. Tias began studying the work of B.K.S Iyengar in 1984 and lived in Mysore, India in 1989 studying Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga with Pattabhi Jois. Tias is a licensed massage therapist and his somatic studies include in-depth training in cranial-sacral therapy. His practice and teaching is influenced by the work of Ida Rolf, Moshe Feldenkrais and Thomas Hanna. He is a long-time student of the meditative arts and Buddhist studies beginning with Vipassana and continuing in Tibetan Buddhism and Zen. Tias earned a Master’s degree in Eastern Philosophy from St. John’s College Santa Fe in 1998. Tias is the author of three books, The Thread of Breath, Meditations on a Dewdrop and Yoga of the Subtle Body.