Train with one of the best! Mark Stephens is a world-class teacher trainer with over 25 years experience training teachers around the globe. Mark’s comprehensive training will fully prepare you to teach with confidence, creativity and competence.


Our Training Calendar

Start - January 25
Santa Cruz, CA - Mark Stephens Yoga
Start - March 2021
Santa Cruz, CA - Mark Stephens Yoga - 1 weekend per month


With 30 years of consistent practice in a variety of yoga styles, deep study of yoga traditions and innovations, and an extensive background in educational theory and technique, I come to these training's prepared to guide you in the best ways in becoming the best yoga teacher you can be.

My passion for yoga and for sharing it in powerful and meaningful ways is reflected in my four core yoga textbooks, which are available in many languages. These are the leading textbooks in yoga teacher training program globally.



The Mark Stephens Yoga 200-Hour Teacher Training covers all of the main topics in teaching yoga and 100% fulfills Yoga Alliance curriculum standards.

Upon registration, you will receive a welcome packet giving a general orientation for your specific training. You will receive the reading list and recommendations on how best to further prepare to get the most out of the training. You will also receive Mark’s direct and personal contact information so you can discuss any questions you might have before, during, and after the training.

On the first day of the training you will receive the detailed syllabus for the course along with the course Resource Book that contains materials to assist you in more deeply learning.

As each training is limited to 20 participants, you will be part of a small group of future yoga teachers, some of whom might become you new best friends. Indeed, our primary resource in the training is one another as we interact in a variety of ways to develop and hone our skills and knowledge. Throughout the course, Mark will give you extensive individualized guidance and support.

Teacher training can be an intensely personal and transformation experience. We begin each day with an Opening Circle to ensure we’re sharing in the clearest and most comfortably engaging, always opening to making our shared learning experience the best it can be.

The training is offered in two formats: 21-Day Intensive and 9-Month Weekends (one weekend per month). The 21-Day Intensive is offered in Winter and Summer. The 9-Month Weekends format meets one weekend per month (Saturday-Sunday) starting in September of each year.

With your successful completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion of the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training. This empowers you to be a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYS 200) with Yoga Alliance.



Ultimately, you will learn to teach with confidence and creativity borne of balanced competence. You will learn the most effective methods and techniques of teaching, including the art and science of seeing, practical anatomy, sequencing, qualities of personal presence and much more. .

Develop a deeper passion and appreciation for yoga as a transformative practice.

Study, refine and deepen your own yoga practice along with other highly motivated yoga teacher training students.

Learn to really teach yoga - not a yoga brand or single style, but yoga.

Gain a thorough and practical understanding the major asanas, including their alignment principles, energetic actions, variations, modifications, contra-indications, risks and benefits, enabling you to teach with confidence in a variety of approaches, including vinyasa flow, alignment-based practice, yoga therapy, and specialized styles.

Learn practical yoga anatomy that's of actual use in teaching yoga - how the body is structured, held together, moves and stabilizes - in a way that makes practical sense in teaching real human beings.

Learn the tools and skills needed for effectively and clearly teaching yoga to all levels of students and various student intentions and conditions.

Learn how to plan classes based on clear principles of sequencing within and between each family of asanas.

Learn the art and science of giving hands–on adjustments and other forms of assistance, one of the essential tools in guiding students in their yoga practices.

Develop an appreciation for different styles of yoga and different yoga teaching methodologies. Learn to work with injuries, pregnancy and other specific or unique student needs in your yoga classes.

Explore the received wisdom from ancient yoga traditions and develop a well-rounded knowledge of yoga philosophy, ethics, history and lifestyle practices.

Learn about teaching in a variety of settings - yoga studios, gyms, businesses, schools, community centers, retreat centers and more - as well as the basics of opening a yoga studio.

Have a variety of opportunities to tailor your yoga studies to your specific interests.

Gain extensive teaching experience through practice teaching, apprenticeships and mentoring.



This training is designed for anyone with at least one year of yoga practice who is interested in deepening and refining their personal practice and for anyone interested in teaching yoga.

The youngest student over the years was 16, the eldest 83. Students from all over the world attend. It is for those who are entirely serious about learning all they can about yoga, for those who are open to expanding not just their knowledge of yoga theory and practice, but to learning more about themselves and opening to the most profundly transformational experiences that yoga offers us. It’s also for those who are not afraid of reading, thinking, and opening their mind to new ideas about many things in life.

"I loved every minute of the training, learned so much and feel much more confident in the depth and breadth of the conceptual and physical understanding I gained regarding yoga. I definitely developed the skills to delve deeper into my own practice and teaching in ways that will continue to allow me to grow and deepen my understanding."

—Rachael Dektor, Santa Cruz, CA, RYT-200

“Mark is an extremely seasoned teacher with very deep understanding of yoga as a practice and invaluable experience with both students and teachers. Very pleased and honored to have chosen him and his school and will definitely continue studying with him..”

—Monica Ruiz, London, U.K., RYT 200


21-Day Intensive Format

Starts - January 25

Santa Cruz, CA - Mark Stephens Yoga

Application Form

9-Month Format

Starts - March 2021

Santa Cruz, CA - Mark Stephens Yoga - 1 weekend per month

Application Form



Submit your application (at left)



Submit your $25 application fee (below)

This fee counts towards your registration deposit.


Receive your acceptance letter



Submit your $500 registration deposit (below)

Since you will have already paid $25, the balance is $475.


Submit your $2,750 tuition fee (below)

Pay no later than 30 days prior to the start date of your program. Your application deposit counts toward your tuition.

Make a Payment

Optional Payment Plan

Pay the initial $500 payment (your application fee goes toward your first payment). See below for further details.

Registration Confirmation

A non-refundable application fee of $25 is due upon receipt of your Application for Admission. This fee is applied toward your tuition.

After acceptance to the program, you must secure your registration through payment of the $500 Registration Deposit (your application fee counts towards this fee).

Tuition Payment Plan

A Monthly Payment Plan is available upon written request to those in the Weekend Format (9-month) program only. The Payment Plan lets you pay your tuition fee across a period of six months. Payments are as follows: Pay the $500 registration deposit to secure your place in the training (it must be paid no later than 30 days prior to the beginning of the course), make one payment prior to the start of the training, and make monthly payments of $500 each month from the date of your initial payment. All payments (100% of the full tuition) must be paid in full prior to receiving your Certificate of Completion. This makes total tuition with the Payment Plan $3,000 for 200-hours and $3,500 for +300-hours ($250 more than when paying the full tuition 30 days prior to the program beginning).

Refund Policy

The $25 application fee is not refundable. The $500 registration fee is refundable up until 90 days prior to the start of the course (minus the $25 application fee) and is forfeited after that. Two weeks prior to the course beginning 60% of the full tuition is refundable. One week prior to the course beginning there are no refunds.



Our comprehensive curriculum fully covers the fundamentals of yoga philosophy, teaching methods, techniques for working with a diverse array of students in all aspects of postural, breathing, and meditation practices, and myriad small matters that come into play in the art and science of teaching yoga.

We begin with the question, “What is yoga?”  Then we fully dive into the interwoven threads of a holistic and integrated practice and how best to share it with others.

Asana Technique & Teaching Methods: The most extensive part of the course, here you will learn in detail how to teach each of over 75 basic yoga poses compassionately yet systematically, including their functional anatomy, alignment principles, energetic actions, risks, benefits, preparatory asanas, counterposes, variations, modifications, hands-on adjustments, and use of props. This part of the course covers the major families of asanas: Sun Salutations, Standing Poses, Backbends, Forward Bends, Twists, Arm Balances, Inversions, Core Refinement, and Hip Openers.

Practical Yoga History & Philosophy: A practical survey of yoga history and philosophy that distills the essential insights for teaching yoga. We look at the ancient-to-current threads of yoga and how they have developed and been intertwined over the ages, considering essentia lpassages from the Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, and Yoga Sutras as well as somatic theory and other 20th and 21st century sources that can inform how we practice and teach. We give close attention to ethics in teaching, including matters of emotional transference and projection, and how to ensure an emotionally and physically safe space for practicing and self-transformation.

Practical Yoga Anatomy: A hands-on introduction to functional anatomy, bio-mechanics, and the kinesiology of movement as applied to seeing students in the practice and guiding them in a meaningful, safe, and effective way. You will learn about the basic human skeletal structure; how different types of bones, joints, muscles and connective tissues optimally function in postural practices; the basics of human movement so you better understand transtions in and out of asanas; close study of the spine, hips, and shoulders as they relate to all seven families (and sub-families) as asanas.

Designing & Sequencing Classes: The art and science of sequencing families of asanas and crafting entire classes, including for different levels of students, different intentions, seasons, styles and other considerations. Here we also cover pacing, duration, tempo, and vibe for different levels and intentions of classes.


Teaching Pranayama: Basic and intermediate pranayama techniques, including how, when, and whom to teach basic yoga breathing (ujayi pranayama) and more intermediate pranayama techniques (including kapalabhati, bastrika, sitali, viloma, kumbhaka, and nadi shodhana). 

Subtle Energy & Anatomy: Awareness and activation of subtle energy, including how to cultivate bandhas and the relationship between pranayama, bandhas, and the elements of yogic anatomy, including koshas, chakras, nadis, vayus, gunas, and doshas. 

Meditation Practices: In demystifying meditation, we explore how to bring meditation into yoga classes and everyday life in way that is simple, accessible, and sustainable. We explore several meditation techniques.

The Art of Seeing & Relating: An integral part of the course, here we learn to systematically observe, appreciate, and understand what is happening with different students in each of the 75 asanas, thereby developing the necessary skills for working individually with your students and giving appropriate verbal cues, hands-on adjustments, and use of props. 

Demonstrating & Cuing: Here we focus on when, where, and how to most effectively demonstrate yoga poses while giving the clearest, most understandable verbal and hands-on guidance to students. Qualities of voice, including language, tone, and audibility, are given close attention. 

Hands-On Adjustments:  We go deeply into the full range of hands-on adjustments, an essemntial skill for all yoga teachers. It begins with an in-depth consideration of the principles of tactile cues, and then looks at specific techniques for guiding students in over 50 poses. Here you will work with one another to learn, practice, and refine your ability to guide students.

Teaching Pre/Post-Natal Yoga:  Every public yoga teacher is a pre-natal yoga teacher if only because you will definitely have pregnant students in your yoga classes. Here we look closely at maternal anatomy and physiology, adaptation of the practice for each trimester of pregnancy, indications and contra-indications for various conditions, effective use props, emotional and psychological aspects of pre-natal experience, preparation for delivery, delivery, and post-partum reintegration through yoga.

Working with Student Injuries & Special Conditions:  Students come to classes with a variety of conditions, including acute and chronic injuries, disease, and other conditions that need to be considered in guiding their practice. We will consider several of the most common conditions: joint issues (ankles, knees, hips, sacro-iliac, spinal, shoulders, elbows, wrists), scoliosis, osteopororis and students undergoing chemotherapy.

Making Yoga Meaningful:  Why do you do yoga? What are the core values at the heart of your practice? How can you best be true to your values while holding space for othersand their values in your classes? How might you best create space in class and provide guidance to students in making their yoga experience more meaningfulin the fullness of their lives?

Class Observation: Buy observing experienced teachers in the act of leading live classes, you will further refine your insights into what different students are likely experiencing in their yoga practices, thereby expanding your own skills in leading classes. 

Practice Teaching: From the very beginning of this course, you will work with other participants to teach classes, starting with working one-on-one and gradually developing the confidence and skill to lead larger and larger classes. Each practice teaching session includes extensive feedback and discussion of teaching techniques and methods. 

Lifestyle & Ethics: How we live our larger lives off the mat, including personal yoga practice, nutrition, sleep, relations with family and friends, and being in community are essential aspects of deepening our yoga and sharing it with dignity and integrity.

The Profession & Business of Yoga: This covers the role of the teacher, getting yourself established as a professional yoga teacher, and being successful in teaching yoga as your source of livelihood.



  • This is an eclectic program that draws upon and integrates the best elements several different yoga styles and lineages. Rather than training you to duplicate a specific system or style, we offer you an environment and resources to develop a solid foundation in the art and science of teaching yoga in a way that is designed for the student(s) in front of you in a class. We focus on learning to understand what is happening with the real students in front of you so that you can give them appropriate guidance. In doing so, we draw from multiple styles, including Ashtanga Vinyasa, Iyengar, Anusara, Yoga Therapy, Tantra and various innovative flow styles as well as yoga philosophy, traditional concepts of yoga energetics, and functional anatomy, bio-mechanics, and kinesiology.

    As you explore this and other yoga teacher training programs, bear in mind that ALL forms of physical yoga, regardless of style, brand or lineage – are Hatha Yoga; Hatha is the umbrella over all the physical yogas, from Ashtanga and Bikram to Power and Svaroopa.

    This program encourages you to explore yoga in all its richness with the most open mind possible. Our approach is non–dogmatic, non-sectarian, and is not in any way part of a religion. We encourage you to think, to feel, to be creative, and to contribute to the ongoing creative evolution of yoga.

    If you are looking for a purist approach that treats yoga as a religion or tells you exactly how to do everything, this program is not for you!

  • This training prepares you to teach yoga, not a style or system, but yoga. Our graduates are now teaching everything from Ashtanga to Gentle Yoga, Anusara to Pre-Natal, Power Vinyasa to Acro, Yoga Therapy to Relax Deeply. Approximately half of our graduates describe their classes as “vinyasa flow, ” many others as "restorative" or "yin," and most some combination or blend of various approaches to practice.