Body Positive Yoga Teacher Training is a 200-hour yoga teacher training and certification program facilitated by Body Positive Yoga founder Amber Karnes.
This training emphasizes accessible, adaptive yoga asana practice, intersectional feminist and social justice principles, addresses working with marginalized communities and outside the “yoga studio-industrial complex”, and operates from a body-positive, Health at Every Size perspective.
After completing this 200-hour yoga teacher training, you will qualify to register and teach yoga as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) with Yoga Alliance. Registration with Yoga Alliance is completely optional.
Body Positive Yoga Teacher Training will be held in Richmond, Virginia.
It’s made up of 5 in-person immersion sessions from October 2019 through March 2020.
In-person training will be combined with online group calls, reading assignments, writing exercises, and experiential projects to supplement and integrate classroom hours.
October 5-12, 2019
November 8-10, 2019
January 17-19, 2020
February 21-23, 2020
March 14-21, 2020
Loved the class and the way Amber taught it. Explaining poses, demonstrating poses and allowing us to experience the variations in our own bodies. The education on language was so helpful and enlightening. I would recommend this class to anyone who is interested in broadening their class to include more yogis. The class was organized around how to teach and make poses accessible to the needs of individuals of different backgrounds, body sizes and physical restrictions. Very helpful in this way.
This workshop was awesome! I loved being with a community of teachers who are trying to create safer spaces for their students, and I loved that the content of the workshop went beyond just the physical aspects of yoga practice. The whole experience was warm and welcoming, and the conversation was rich and deep. My big takeaway was that it’s ok to scale back on asana in group classes (I’ve wanted “permission” to do this for a looong time) to create more space for students to do self study and other inner work of yoga! That feels really freeing.
The course content provided an integrated picture of what a well-rounded accessible class can look like. We were provided an excellent outline that will allow us to adjust our classes based on the needs of our students. This course was well-rounded and creatively taught. It gave us room to learn the material and to exercise that knowledge. Amber created a warm and welcoming space for teachers to learn from her and from each other. I’m so grateful that I took this course!
Amber is a knowledgeable, intuitive, and honest teacher/leader. I loved how customized the workshop was to what people were interested in, had questions about or were concerned about. There is so much information! But, now I long for even more information. The 1-day class inspired me to more seriously consider investing in a retreat weekend.
195 approximate hours of in-person study and practice, plus 4 group live coaching calls
(above-and-beyond the standards of most YTT programs and the Yoga Alliance requirements)
Amber Karnes is the founder of Body Positive Yoga. She’s a ruckus maker, yoga asana teacher (E-RYT 200), social justice advocate, and a lifelong student of her body. Her commitment to accessible, adaptive yoga practice empowers thousands of diverse practitioners around the globe.
She is the creator of the Body Positive Clubhouse, an online community using the tools of yoga to build unshakable confidence and learn to live out loud. Amber is the co-creator of Yoga For All Teacher Training, Accessible Yoga Trainer, Yoga International featured teacher, serves as a board member for Project Yoga Richmond and Accessible Yoga, and is a contributor to the Yoga and Body Image Coalition.
Through her workshops, retreats, teacher trainings, and online yoga and wellness offerings, she seeks to further the message of inclusivity, consent, agency, body sovereignty, and accessibility for all (on and off the yoga mat). She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband Jimmy, and blogs at bodypositiveyoga.com.
In this program: Amber is the creator and lead trainer of Body Positive Yoga Teacher Training.
Michelle C. Johnson is an author, yoga teacher, social justice activist, licensed clinical social worker and Dismantling Racism trainer. She approaches her life and work from a place of empowerment, embodiment and integration. With a deep understanding of trauma and the impact that it has on the mind, body, spirit and heart, much of her work focuses on helping people better understand how power and privilege operate in their life. She explores how privilege, power and oppression affects the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and energy body. Michelle is the creator of Skill in Action, a 200hr teacher training program focused on the intersection of yoga and social justice.
In this program: Michelle will be leading a 2-day offering: Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Practice of Yoga to Create a Just World.
It has become increasingly difficult to describe who I am and what it is I do as I’ve matured as a human and a professional. My work these last 21 years is informed by a life-long love of physical movement and a fascination with human physiology. As a manual therapist, movement specialist, Yoga and meditation practitioner, and a strength and conditioning coach, my diverse knowledge and experience allows me to be creative and dynamic in helping people feel more confident in their own skin whether they be an athlete seeking balance, are recovering from an injury, or someone just trying to be the best version of themselves they can be in the body they’ve been given.
When it comes to my experience practicing and teaching Yoga for 20 years, I came to understand through my own body and my students’ bodies that Yogasana is not the panacea of movement and healing and that not all yoga postures were truly beneficial for every BODY. I dug deeper and found answers based on science and not on story telling. I listened to my students experiences and sought out movement professionals outside of Yogasana. Throughout the years, I’ve studied with some of the most intelligent movement professionals in human biomechanics and some of the clearest teachers in Yoga, as a living tradition, and I am truly grateful to be able to share how I blend science with Yoga, meditation, and functional movement.
In this program: Lisa will be leading 3 experiential, applied anatomy clinics on the spine, pelvis, and shoulder that will combine anatomical concepts and principles into living, breathing, moving postures.
Susanna Barkataki is a teacher, inclusivity promoter and yoga culture advocate. Her work explores how we can decolonize, reclaim and honor our own yoga practice centralizing yoga as teacher for healing personally and socially. Call on her to help you put authentic yoga into action.
Susanna has an Honors degree from UC Berkeley, a Masters in Education, is an E-RYT 500 hour Master Teacher, a 500-Hour Certified Ayurvedic practitioner and C-IAYT Yoga Therapist.
In this program: Susanna will be leading a 2-day intensive including topics such as Yoga history, honoring yoga through cultural competency, Ayurveda and diversity in practice, mantra, mudra, meditation, and kirtan.
Kelley Carboni-Woods is a writer, wellness advocate and community organizer committed to using the tools and philosophies of yoga to cultivate liberation, joy and peace for herself and others. Her connection to the living practice of yoga, a path of mindful wellness and self realization fuels her work, impacts her life and propels her to want to share it with others through her writing, events and guest teaching opportunities. She remains focused on making this healing practice accessible to all, connecting to communities that are normally excluded or ignored in mainstream wellness circles.
Being a mother of two liberated souls has created a point of focus that brings these tools to the way she is mothering them and also calling her to share this with all parents. Through in person and online offerings, she centers her work on making these connections with authentic and sustainable tool building. Her writing, offerings and more about her can be found at www.peacefilledmama.com.
In this program: Kelley will be leading her workshop More Than Asana: Moving beyond the physical to honor this lived practice.
Francesca Cervero has been a full-time yoga teacher and yoga teacher’s mentor since 2005. Her teaching is inspired by her foundational training at OM Yoga Center, the years she spent as a dancer and the subsequent years she spent in physical therapy. Her teaching is also is influenced by her love of Buddhist teachings and a constant curiosity about anatomy and biomechanics. She is in private practice teaching a full schedule of 1x1 clients, mentors yoga teachers in The Science of the Private Lesson™ and hosts the podcast, The Mentor Sessions: Support & Strategy for Yoga Teachers.
In this program: Francesca will be leading a full day workshop, The Science of the Private Lesson™.
Since 2009, Shankari has been on a journey of self discovery, connection and expansion in
the universe. By allowing herself to move in time and space, while witnessing her actions,
she has become a stronger Yogi. She understands the need to invoke the six paths of yoga,
for not only herself, but her students. Trained in the lineage of Integral Yoga, she has
spent years connecting to breath, body, strength, movement, and energy to create her own
style of Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Flow, which she calls Soul Flow.
This style of Yoga draws in elements of her time training with Faith Hunter and Toni
Bergins, as well as her primary training, at Satchidananda Ashram, Yogaville. She is the
Founder of Shakti Tribe, a group that is based on the principles of empowering women in
sacred space, through yoga, self care, motivational insight and inspiration. She is also a
partner and creative director of the Shensara Yoga Festival, an annual 4 day Yoga and
Music Festival held in Luray, VA, and is 1/2 of the magical Kirtan and world music duo,
The Ascendants. She also leads her own Soul Kirtan events. She encourages everyone to
tap into their unlimited potential and spirit!
In this program: Shankari will be leading a workshop on the path of Bhakti yoga as well as a Soul Kirtan musical experience.
Our five in-person immersion sessions will be held at MyBirth in Richmond, Virginia. MyBirth is a women-owned co-op of midwives, doulas, and other birthing experts and they have a lovely yoga studio inside their business location.
The studio space is accessible and has a full range of props including chairs, blocks, straps, bolsters, blankets, and mats. Class size will depend on enrollment but is limited to a maximum of 18 students.
Our online sessions (between live trainings) will happen on Zoom, an online videoconferencing application. If you do not have access to a webcam or high speed internet connection, you may call in via phone. Live attendance is highly encouraged, but if you can’t make it to a Zoom session, you may watch the recording instead.
Saturday, October 5 – Saturday, October 12, 2019
Approximate schedule: 8am-5pm each day
Friday, November 8 – Sunday, November 10, 2019
Approximate schedule: 5pm-9pm Friday, 8am-5pm Saturday & Sunday
Friday, January 17 – Sunday, January 19, 2020
Approximate schedule: 5pm-9pm Friday, 8am-5pm Saturday & Sunday
Friday, February 21 – Sunday, February 23, 2020
Approximate schedule: 5pm-9pm Friday, 8am-5pm Saturday & Sunday
Saturday, March 14 – Saturday, March 21, 2020
Approximate schedule: 8am-5pm each day, with a goodbye party and concert March 21 from 5-7pm
Upon completing all requirements, participants will be awarded a Certificate of Completion. With this you may apply for 200-RYT certification through Yoga Alliance. You will also be a certified Body Positive Yoga teacher, and will receive graduate tools you can use in your marketing or on your website.
*If you wish to receive your 200-hour certification at the end of this program, it is necessary to attend all five sessions to accrue the mandatory hours as determined by Yoga Alliance. If you miss a session due to emergency, act of God (such as weather/cancelled flight), or illness, you may be able to make it up by watching recorded sessions and following up with Amber. Makeup sessions will be discussed on an individual, case-by-case basis. There may be an additional cost if 1:1 time is needed. If you are concerned or have questions about this policy, please contact Amber.
The following texts are required reading for this course. If you are accepted to the program, some books may be able to be obtained at a discount due to a bulk order (we’ll discuss this after you’re accepted).
Full payment (made within one month of acceptance): $3,700
Installment plan: $3,900 paid in 10 installments of $390.
To participate in the installment plan, you must provide a valid credit card. Body Positive Yoga, LLC will automatically charge your card on or near the first of the month from December 2018 through October 2019:
Scholarships: Body Positive Yoga is committed to breaking down the gatekeeping that occurs at the teacher training level, as well as increasing diversity and accessibility in the yoga community. As part of these commitments, a number of full and partial scholarships are available to community members facing financial limitations. Folks with marginalized identities (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, folks with disabilities, etc.) will be given priority consideration. If you plan to apply for a scholarship, you are encouraged to apply early, since applications are processed in the order they are received.
Three-Day Cancellation: An applicant who provides written notice of cancellation within three (3) days (excluding Saturday, Sunday and federal or state holidays) of paying the initial deposit or tuition payment is entitled to a refund of all monies paid minus any credit card fees of 5%. No later than 30 days after receiving the notice of cancellation, Body Positive Yoga shall provide a 100% refund minus applicable credit card fees.
Denial of Enrollment: If an applicant is denied enrollment, 100% of all application fees and tuition paid will be returned within 30 days of denial.
Cancellation after the commencement of classes: If an applicant accepted by Body Positive Yoga submits written notice of cancellation after 3 days and up to 3 weeks (21 days) prior to the start of scheduled classes, Body Positive Yoga will refund 100% of all student fees and tuition paid, less a $150 Administrative Fee. An additional 5% of the tuition amount will be withheld for payments made with credit or debit cards.
Procedure for withdrawal/withdrawal date: A student choosing to withdraw from the program after the commencement of classes is to provide written notice to Amber Karnes. The notice is to indicate the expected last date of attendance and be signed and dated by the student. The receipt date of written request to withdraw will be considered the withdrawal date.
A student will be automatically withdrawn if they miss an in-person session and fail to provide notice and cannot be reached within 30 days after the session. In this case, the withdrawal date will be the start date of the missed session.
Tuition Refund: The percentage of the enrollment period completed is determined by dividing the total number of clock hours* elapsed from the students start date to the last day of attendance, by the total number of clock hours in the enrollment period, less a $150 administrative fee and a fee of 5% if payment was made by credit or debit card. Tuition charges and refund amounts for the enrollment period will be determined as follows:
*Clock hours are defined as the number of classroom hours the program has met.
Administrative fees charged for Payment Plan options will not be refunded. An additional 5% of the tuition amount will be withheld for payments made with credit or debit cards.
“How powerful community can be. It was so wonderful being around women who were committed (even at different levels) to achieving body peace. I love looking at our bodies together and witnessing the power that we hold to heal ourselves and each other. I think what Amber does is so important in holding space for us to find one another and lead us through example, wisdom, kindness, and humor.”
“Amber is a very effective teacher. She’s incredibly bright in a non threatening kind of way. I like the way she asks follow up questions. I like that she isn’t afraid to politicize the body or take a public stand against white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and other systems of oppression.”
“Loved all the tips about attending yoga classes. Loved all the modifications. Loved the poses. Loved the jokes. I think you’re rad!”
“I learned so much and reaffirmed a lot of what I had already learned and was feeling weak on. It was great to be able to learn from Amber and so many other knowledgeable women. The session on body image/opting out of diet culture was a great primer and overview of everything. It was great to talk about how all of these systems of oppression work together and to realize how radical body positivity really is.”
It’s true that yoga teacher training programs widely vary in cost. The price of this training has been set so that those who pay in full will subsidize several partial and full scholarships for marginalized folks or people experiencing financial difficulties.
The price of the training also reflects the standards of the training (which are well above and beyond what Yoga Alliance requires). This training will prepare you in a way that very few YTT programs do; you’ll leave with knowledge on how to create accessible yoga classes, break down barriers to wellness for folks who are underserved and underrepresented, tools to help your students feel welcome and understood no matter their identity or experience level, and specialized skills (such as innovating and adapting the physical practice and integrated, mixed level teaching) that most yoga teachers don’t obtain until years into their teaching practice (if at all).
We also have a faculty that includes nationally and internationally known teachers in each of their specialties. Nearly all our presenters also have intersecting marginalized identities and represent a rich and diverse experience base. This program price supports and amplifies their work as well.
We are committed to breaking down the gatekeeping that occurs at the teacher training level, as well as increasing diversity and accessibility in the yoga community. As part of these commitments, a limited number of full and partial scholarships are available to community members facing financial limitations.
Folks with marginalized identities (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, folks with disabilities, etc.) will be given priority consideration. If you plan to apply for a scholarship, you are encouraged to apply early, since applications are processed in the order they are received.
Click here for detailed information on payments and payment plans.
Click here for detailed information on our cancellation and refund policy.
The maximum number of participants is 18.
Nope. This course focuses on teachers learning to offer accessible, adaptive, body positive yoga classes. Often, that means you or your students will be practicing the physical postures in a way that doesn’t look like the picture of Mr. Iyengar in his book or the cover of a yoga magazine. You shouldn’t let physical limitations or having a body that’s not in “perfect working order” stop you from applying.
Being a dynamic, successful, empowering yoga teacher doesn’t have much to do with being able to do fancy or complicated poses. It’s about a powerful mindset shift, having the right tools to empower our students, and finding the community that needs the gifts that only you can put into the world.
Our days will be a mixture of lecture, movement, group discussion, and (often) teaching practice. While it’s true that the days are long, you will have chairs, props, and plenty of freedom to put your body into whatever position it needs to be comfortable. We don’t give out medals for sitting perfectly on the floor (or sitting on the floor at all). Feel free to move your body, get up and walk around, lay down, sit in a chair, prop yourself up, roll around on the floor, use a heating pad or ice; you can do what you need to do to make your body as comfortable as possible.
In the evenings, I encourage you to rest. Take a hot bath or shower, give yourself a massage (or get one with a local recommended therapist), and go to bed early.
Remember, the intense schedule is temporary! You can do this. If you have concerns, please contact Amber.
I’m not sure. If I do, it likely won’t begin until October 2020.
The training is located in Richmond, Virginia. We have an international airport here (RIC) and are also about a 2-hour drive from Washington, DC’s major airports (IAD and DCA) as well as Baltimore-Washington International (BWI). Travel guidance is available once you are accepted into the program.
There are many options for affordable hotels in the Richmond area (starting at around $35 a night) as well as hundreds of AirBNB room options for less than $35 a night. We may also have limited options for couchsurfing with local friends. If travel budget is less of a concern, more luxurious and expensive accommodations are available, of course.
Once you’re accepted into the program, we’ll guide you in finding appropriate housing if that would be helpful.
We have a full hour lunch break each day. You are welcome to pack a lunch (a refrigerator is available) or there are several options within the Scott’s Addition neighborhood where you can get a quick bite. Before you arrive at the first session, you’ll get a map with suggested grocery stores and dining spots.
I’ll send you a complete packing list before the training, but you don’t need any complicated or fancy items. You won’t need to bring all your books each time. You’ll need comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict movement, a water bottle, a notebook and pen. Mats and props are provided as well as all the supplies you’ll need for any workshops or activities.
No. This training is open to people of all genders.
“I felt more open and free than I’ve ever felt in my life. Never have I felt more comfortable with myself and my surroundings than I did that weekend. I’ve taken this sense of self-acceptance and love with me and have reflected on my experience daily. I’m trying to keep those good vibes alive!”
“I felt extremely safe and the modifications that were given were very helpful to my overall practice. Also, the physical adjustments were key to helping me understand what a pose should truly feel like and I feel that I can now get myself to the correct pose(s) more successfully.”
“I enjoyed this retreat immensely. The friendships I made, the yoga I learned, and the experience will stay with me a lifetime. My practice feels more my own now and I feel comfortable continuing what I learned and incorporating it into my current and future practice. Amber is a phenomenal teacher and makes yoga feel like a natural part of life. Your feedback and your guidance made me feel good about yoga and my body. Anne-Marie and Lisa were exceptional and I hope they come back next year. There help and their corrections were key in helping me learn and grow as a yogi!”