200 hour Yoga Teacher Training March 2018

” In separateness lies the world’s great misery,
in compassion lies the world’s true strength. “

Karuna Yoga school is very happy to announce the first ever 200 hours yoga teacher training in Lamu. This is a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified training that will help you get deeper into your own practice as well as give you the basic tools to teach an all rounded, safe and amazing Vinyasa Yoga class.

This yoga teacher training will take you on a journey of self love, self acceptance, self discovery and transformation. When you have completed the training you will be a different person, a person with a truer understanding of who you really are, a more compassionate, more loving version of your former self. Your beauty and light will shine and you will have the confidence to let others shine in their light too. This training is so much more then just learning yoga poses and being able to teach. Yes you will learn alignment, intelligent sequencing, anatomy, how to cue etc but more then that you will embrace the responsibility of leading others into a healthier more whole way of life.

“Welcome to our tribe, our family. We are looking forward to spending this time with you, to teach you everything we know about yoga and life and to enrich ourselves and learn from your beautiful souls. See you very soon…”

-Payal and Leyla

Two inspiring and experienced yoga teachers will lead this Teacher training. You will also get a chance to meet and practice with several other teachers from Uganda.


Leyla Ahmet Meredith

Leyla’s appreciation for the body, strength and flexibility began at the tender age of 7 when she first put on a leotard and discovered ballet and gymnastics. She practised both for the next 10 years enjoying power and weightlessness, turning her world upside down, flying through the air and bending herself in half.

?At 23 she left her home in London and set off for India. Her feet touching Indian soil was both a curse and a blessing. Instantly in love with the smells of incense wafting through the air, the wobbly, smiling, brown faces, the colourful aray of gods and goddesses adorning equally as colourful temples and the lyrical chanting flowing from Ashrams before the sun had risen. She stayed for the next 5 years and here her love for yoga began.

?Leyla qualified as a yoga teacher in 2008 with AfricaYogaProject and has been teaching extensively over the world since. Initially drawn to the dynamic nature of Ashtanga, its power and moving meditation qualities she has since softened preferring to teach flow Vinyasa.

Always looking for inspiration and to further her self practice and teaching in 2013 Leyla completed Shiva Rea prana flow training and in 2014 the Africa Yoga Projects 200 hour Journey into Power teacher training.?


Payal Gori

Payal is a biotechnologist turned Yoga teacher who moved to Uganda 3 years ago. Since she was a child, she found herself very curious about the mind, body and soul connection. till the age of 23, Payal had a regular yoga practice as a part of her culture, not paying much attention to it. At the age of 24, due to a major shift in her life, she left her job in one of the most competitive environments in one of the most competitive places (Bombay) of the world and took a 6 month break. This is when she re discovered her enthusiasm for yoga. She dedicated the next year deepening her own practice with several teachers in India. Being from a scientific background gave her a very keen interest in observing the anatomy of the physical and subtle body.

In 2014, Payal moved to becoming a full time Yoga teacher. She wanted to share this joy and knowledge of self discovery and absolute state of health with everyone around her. When she moved to Uganda, it was a perfect opportunity for her to help the (then) small spiritual community. When she visited Jinja for the first time, she knew that she had to bring people from all over the world to experience the serenity, which she often compares to the peace she found in Rishikesh, at the banks of the Ganges.

Having lived in many places all her life, Payal lovingly calls Uganda her HOME. She is soon opening the first dedicated Yoga and Wellness space in Kampala while working on her vision to bring Yoga teacher trainings to Uganda so the yogis of the entire world can discover this beautiful country and come together to find peace and mindfulness. Her vision is to create a safe and healing space where healers, Yoga teachers, Energy workers, creative artists can come to offer the depth of their knowledge to anyone who is willing to learn and anyone who is looking to transform their lives and the loves of the people around them.


Karuna (Compassion) yoga teacher training is an intensive 200 hour program focusing on helping you create a safe, mindful and all rounded yoga class. In this program you will learn all the basic tools you need to start of your journey as a certified Yoga Teacher in any part of the World. You will receive the accreditation of RYT200 at the end of this course from Yoga Alliance, provided you pass the course to the Lead Teacher's satisfaction.


  • 20th March - 10th April 2018


  • 85% attendance in all the classes in mandatory to pass this course. It is an intensive course with almost 10 hours of study, mediation and practice every day of the week.
  • Saturdays will be half day and Sundays will be given off to study. Workshops and community service will happen over the weekends with optional attendance.
200 Hour Yoga TTC Program Details (in accordance with Yoga Alliance)

1. Techniques/Training

• Bandhas – lecture & practice: Moola Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, Jalandhara Bandha, Maha Bandha (Theory)

• Pranayama – lecture & practical training: Prana & Pranic Body, abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing, thoracic breathing, yogic breathing, alternate nostril breathing, Sheetali Pranayama, Sheetkari Pranayama, Bhramari Pranayama, Ujjayi Pranayama, Bhastrika Pranayama, Kapalbhati

• Mudra basic– meaning and practice

• Meditation techniques: silent mdeitation, dynamic meditations, dance meditation, kundalini meditation, chakra breathing, silent walking in nature, art meditation, moving meditation and much more…

• Mantras and chanting – selection

• Elements (earth, Fire, Wind, Water, Ether)

• Nutrition/Ayurveda

• Ethics of being a teacher

• Sanskrit revision of pronunciation

• Traits and characteristics of a good teacher

• Empowering others

2. Practice

• Sun Salutations- Hatha, Classical and Ashtanga variations

• How to start a class/ Read the room

• List of basic asanas

• Asana practice presenting various styles (guided and analytical training every day)

• Vinyasa Flow

• Smooth restorative

• Yin yoga

• Hatha yoga

• 12 basic Sivananda Asanas

• Going “in” and “out” of the posture

• Modifications for beginners and students with injuries and different abilities/limitations

• Creative, intelligent sequencing

• Guided asanas practice & analytical training focused on following groups of asanas:

• Standing asanas

• Forward bends

• Back bends

• Twists

• Balances

• Inversions

• Hip openers

• Finishing sequence & relaxing asana

3. Teaching Methodology

• Art of teaching: teacher’s qualities , intention & attitude, teaching styles, observation, giving instructions, feedback, sequencing, class management & class routine, principles of demonstration – theory and practice (“mirror” versus “real”, how to demonstrate, how not to demonstrate, practice in groups and feedback)

• Tasks of Yoga Teacher

• Themes and intentions based sequences

• Anatomy of alignment – theory and practice

• Safety of Yoga

• Modes of adjustment – verbal, hands-on, props, partners

• “Art of touch” – physical adjustment – rules and principles

• Partner Yoga practice

4. Business of Yoga

• Setting up a yoga business

• Start & development – practical tips

• Marketing strategies

• Public Relations / Advertising

• Business & ethics

• Community service/Seva

• Practical workshop: Communication and building conscious interactions

5. Anatomy & Physiology

• General movement and body terminology

• Systems of the human body – their meaning and functions

• Nervous, Skeletal and Muscular systems and their co-relations in context of yoga practice

• Respiration and breath

• Body’s main limitations: compression – tension – proportion – orientation and their meaning in asana practice

• Yoga and health – benefits and contraindications of asanas; basic elements of yoga therapy

• Yogic Anatomy: 5 Koshas, 3 layers, Energy channels & Chakra theory

• Ayurveda – introduction

6. Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics for Yoga Teachers

• Historical and cultural background of Yoga

• Definition and interpretation of yoga

• 4 paths of yoga

• Yoga philosophy in the contemporary/modern lifestyle

• OM/ AUM and its meaning (Basic chants)

• Patanjali Yoga Sutras and their interpretations (selection)

• 8 limbs of yoga and their meaning in the contemporary World

• Ethics and values for yoga teachers

• The Responsibility of being a Yoga Teacher

• Community Service/Seva/Social Responsibility

7. Practicum

• Practice of teaching under teacher’s observation

• In pairs

• In small groups

• In big group

• Practical exam of teaching

• Feedback

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This yoga teacher training was pure compassion, pure joy and pure love. The lead teachers Payal and Leyla are two beautiful souls, each with her own approach to yoga which makes them such an amazing duo complementing each other in every way. A really comprehensive course structure gave us all the tools we needed to start our journey of teaching yoga and sharing it with others. From daily meditation, pranayama and asana practice to lectures and practical classes with particular focus on alignment, intelligent sequencing and hands-on adjustments, this YTT not only informed and enhanced my own practice beyond measure but also helped me to understand what is important when planning and teaching a class.

Discussions on yogic philosophy opened my mind and heart to ancient concepts and how to apply them in this day and age. We were introduced in detail not only to vinyasa flow yoga but also to yin yoga and the concept of working on the meridians. It has been an incredible month of growth, self-exploration and – transformation, from yoga student to yoga teacher with equal amounts of confidence in ourselves to go out in the world and start sharing this beautiful gift of yoga as well as humbleness and a commitment to never stop learning.


Aptly named; The compassion experienced in this training was so powerful, and one of the greatest lessons of yoga I have experienced. The instructors, Payal and Leyla, lead by example, sharing their beautiful selves with students before, throughout and after the training. Their knowledge and yoga journeys compliment very well, giving students a array of insight and experience to learn from. It is inspiring to see how they continue to learn from each other, as well, as they continue training- proving that the journey never stops.

I appreciate the depth of this course, covering yoga from all angles, and reaching beyond asana and pranayama; lectures on anatomy and discussion of history and philosophies surrounding the practice brought a deeper understand and interest which has enhanced my personal practice and given a better understanding of how to create and deliver whole, balanced classes to others. The structure gave time to all aspects, with each session bringing back the key concepts of intelligent sequencing, alignment and adjustments. Beginning each morning with meditation opened each day with a sense of openness and transformation.

Going into the training I did not know if I wanted to teach; throughout, I was able to grow and explore in my own practice and experience on and off the mat. Bringing together an amazing community, learning from each other became the key practice, and one that I trust will continue. As yoga does, this training taught me more than how to teach asanas and meditation- this was a space of growth, healing, love and guiding it all, compassion. Now with more confidence in my own abilities and voice, I know that I can teach, and feel excited to continue doing so. I hope to be able to participate again in such a training, but feel so supported and loved by those that I practiced with here.


I spent one of the best months of my life this June 2017 at Karuna Yoga Shala, learning and growing into a better Yogi, and I think, an even better person.

Surrounded by a small and intimate group of women, who quickly grew to become my sisters, I was introduced to yoga philosophy, human anatomy & intelligent sequencing that have deepened my own practice as well as enhanced my teaching capabilities. Workshops from guest teachers added fresh perspectives on yoga, and introduced us to different ways to apply yoga, from trauma relief, restoration to engaging children, making the course content very well rounded and diverse. There was never a boring day!

I especially loved how our classroom would sometimes be outdoors, giving us the chance to learn and practicing in nature, which was so refreshing for my entire being. The food was some of the most delicious vegetarian meals I have ever had, and totally turned me on to vegan eating, and inspired me to keep it up even after the end of the course.

Payal and Leyla are phenomenal teachers ! The experience and knowledge that each of them contribute makes them a dynamic duo that beautifully compliments each other, I am so honoured to have learnt with them. Even before the course started, I had their support and encouragement in my fundraising effort to afford the Teacher Training Course, which I greatly appreciated. Genuine, wholehearted, and so full of love and light, they are easy to fall in love with.

I hope the Karuna Yoga Shala continues to grow, creating a family of thoughtful and compassionate Yoga teachers across the globe !


I’m so proud and happy to count myself as one of the first Karuna graduates! The course took place in the most powerful location – the Source of the Nile – and we were lucky enough to practice meditation and yoga a few meters from the river banks every single day. Payal and Leyla are such amazing human beings, sharing their knowledge and wisdom with a lot of humility and complementarity. They introduced teaching practice as soon as the very first days of the course and I left four weeks later feeling completely ready to teach. I have taught since, only a few weeks after the course ended, and have felt very comfortable doing it. The structure of the course was great – mindful of everyone’s capacity and learning processes, and built with so much love and awareness. Guest teachers introducing trauma-sensitive, restorative, SUP, Baptist or children yoga brought incredible value to the course, demonstrating the wealth of diversity and benefits of yoga. I particularly enjoyed the small, cosy group of 7, which allowed for so much friendship, support, understanding and sisterhood to grow <3 Finally, very important bonuses – lots of bonfire and poi fun and the most amazingly deliciously mouth-watering vegan food you’ve ever (EVER) had in your life.


I should have done this a long while ago, but my YTT with both teachers Payal Gori and Leyla Ahmet Meredith was so integral, so nurturing and so immensely inspiring that as soon as I finished it and stepped back into the real world, as we would often tease during the training, I could hardly wait to start teaching. My first class in the real world was on the day of my birthday which was doubtless one of the most special birthdays of my life and it was all thanks to this magnificent experience that I recommend to anyone who feels this infinite and absolute love for Yoga and for everything that it entails. The very first Yoga class I ever attended was a gift that the day I became into a Yoga teacher I could pass on to others and that I continue to do, every time I have the chance and the blessing to teach, and it is again thanks to the my own amazing teachers Payal and Leyla who guided me, helped me, supported me and never stop encouraging me up until this day!

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