Vinyasa yoga teacher training in Nepal (200 hour yoga teacher course)

Dates: 01 September 2019 - 27 September 19
Taught by: Annie Seymour and Lizzie Hacker, with Matt Huy (guest anatomist) and Ellen Johannesen (guest philosopher)
Location: Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Pharping, Nepal
Cost: $3,195 (equivalent to approx £2,485)

Overview of this 200 hour yoga teacher training in Nepal

Retreat to live in a beautiful Tibetan Buddhist monastery for a four-weeks yoga teacher training. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, in one of the most important spiritual locations for Tibetan Buddhists, join this transformative 200-hour yoga teacher course in Nepal. 


  • Step away from the demands of daily life and the “you” back home, and become part of Mahalaya Nepal’s 2019 residential yoga teacher training course.
  • Nourish your practice with the peace, inspiration and nurturing energy of your unique, extraordinary and welcoming home for the TTC: a Tibetan Buddhist monastery.
  • Study in Nepal – a country steeped in spirituality: the birthplace of Buddha; the land of the founder of Hatha yoga; the setting of histories, stories and practices which gave us Yoga.
  • Gain a high level of competence in anatomy, sequencing, assisting, and asana technique.
  • Question, experiment, contribute, and learn to articulate the concepts of Yoga with your own voice.
  • Delve deep on its contemplative approach, to expand what you see and what you can share.
  • Train under world-class teachers Annie Seymour and Lizzie Hacker, supported by a faculty of guest thematic specialists, who share the practices and the home that have changed our lives. 
  • Practice asana, breath, meditation and chanting as the sun rises over the Himalayas in the beautiful yoga space at the top of the temple.
  • Develop a greater understanding of meditation, with guidance from monks.
  • Immerse completely into the yoga lifestyle: live, eat and breathe in a peaceful, value-driven community for a month away from daily demands and our home “roles”.
  • Field-visit to see original yoga spiritual practices which have passed throughout Nepal’s history and still part of life here today.
  • Be supported with bright, comfortable, modern accommodation, and delicious nutritious meals tailored to keep your body and mind in tune with your practices.


Why this yoga teacher training?    

Before we developed a teacher training, we were frequently asked by students what to look for in a TTC. They often said it was hard to find a course that met our rigorous criteria. Keep looking, we would tell them. Do the best you can afford. Know what really matters and look for that.

In offering this course, we seek to contribute a TTC that we truly believe in.

The training will equip you with the skills and confidence to begin teaching safely, competently and intelligently. It focuses on vinyasa flow, grounded in its origins of the Ashtanga yoga of Sri T. Krishnamacharya. This gives you both the wings to fly as a creative teacher and the roots to teach with authenticity and awareness. Restorative practices are also taught to help you to more roundedly serve your students.

The curriculum is crafted to take you through a journey of transformation. Holistic daily practices, clinics in assisting and alignment, and guided personal growth help you to emerge as a more insightful practitioner and a new teacher inspired and skilled to begin contributing to others. Sequencing is taught as an art of choreography – equipping you with the knowledge to create your classes.

We delve into the philosophy and psychology of the practices, using them as a tool to better understand ourselves, our relationships and our motivations. Through this, the practices can help to sharpen our minds, enable us to live with more fulfillment and more closely to our values, and to guide others on their own path.

A faculty of excellence

You will be taught by specialists who have devoted themselves to the practices (see below), supplemented by teachings from lamas of the monastery who share insights from their own journey.

We add texture to your teaching and practice by exploring the contexts, histories and complementary practices thriving in Nepal. The course blends modern understanding and scientific enquiry with traditional knowledge and practices that enable you to define the teacher and practitioner you would like to be.


Imbibe your teaching and practice with Nepal

Mahalaya developed the unique relationship with the monastery, and holds that relationship like family. We work very closely with the guesthouse and monastery team to create a happy, collaborative and supportive experience for everyone, in an environment that nurtures your studies and practices, while ensuring our presence does not destabilize the monastery dynamic.

By choosing a residential yoga teacher training course, you step into a sanctuary away from conflicting demands on your time. With no commute but a short stroll through the lovingly-tended gardens to the temple, with your comfortable accommodation and nourishing meals taken care of, with no demands except for the practices, with a community of like-minded people on the same journey, and in a place wholly set up to support spiritual practice, you can truly immerse in the training.

Lizzie and Annie, who have each lived in Nepal for more than seven years, who raise our children here, and belong to families here, share Nepal and its spiritual practices in their truth. Not voyeuristically, not with “exoticism”, but as a bridge. This is our home, it has transformed us, and we can take you into its heart so that part of it stays in yours and your teaching.

With Annie and Lizzie both living in Nepal, they had insights and knowledge that cannot possibly be available if attending a TTC in a country where the teachers have just flown in themselves to teach the course. Whether you aim is to deepen your own practice, teach in a yoga studio, or even just to make a whole new group of awesome friends, I would honestly highly suggest that you look into this course. You will laugh and you will cry, but you won’t regret a minute of it! When I compare my experience with friends who’ve done TTCs elsewhere I feel so lucky and so blessed. Thank you xxx”

Colleen Murray, New Zealand graduate of September 2016 TTC




One of the few Nepal YTTs that meet Yoga Alliance standards

Students who successfully complete this yoga teacher training will receive internationally-recognised RYT-200 certification that meets the standards of Yoga Alliance, the world’s largest yoga standard-setting organisation.

Yoga teacher training syllabus

The syllabus is designed to give you the core skills to begin teaching safely, with quality, and with texture. For those not seeking to teach, it will immerse you in practice and contemplative studies that will serve you on your path for life.

The 200 hour yoga teacher training syllabus covers:

  • Deep daily asana practice and asana clinics to refine your technique, incorporating the tristana of breath, bandha and dristhi
  • Sunrise pranayama, meditation and chanting, both theory and practice
  • Extensive anatomy and physiology with guest specialist Matt Huy
  • Yoga philosophy, with guest teachings from Buddhist scholar Ellen Johannesen and from lamas at the monastery
  • Living the philosophy – both in our own lives and through field visits to see the original yoga lineage held throughout Nepal’s history as it is lived today
  • Class sequencing, for intelligent, logical, inclusive classes that truly serve your students
  • Teaching cues, language and voice
  • Hands-on and verbal assists (including theory and ethics)
  • Modifications and the use of props
  • Plenty of teaching practice, in a supportive environment to help you to find your wings and fly
  • Living with self-awareness and mindfulness in daily life
  • Sanskrit pose names to help you teach with credibility
  • Debates and critique, helping you to be part of the conversation on modern yoga
  • The “business of yoga” – make teaching a sustainable part of your life.

The syllabus is complemented with a comprehensive manual which will guide you through the course and beyond to teach and progress in your practice.

The training is reinforced with pre-course reading and assignments, supported by the teachers, and designed to help you to make the most of our time together.


Course schedule – a typical day*

* This is a sample schedule and will vary from day to day. The course runs for six days a week, with Sundays off.

  • 6am: Meditation, pranayama, chanting
  • 7.15am: Break
  • 7.30am: Asana practice
  • 10am: Brunch
  • 12pm: Workshop (depending on the week: anatomy, philosophy, teaching methodology)
  • 2.30pm: Break with snacks
  • 3.30pm: Workshop (depending on the week: anatomy, philosophy, practice/teaching methodology)
  • 6.30pm: Dinner


Who would thrive on this course?

Participation in this 200 hour yoga teacher training in Nepal is open to all students who have practiced yoga for two years or more. 

It is recommended that you have familiarity with and a passion for the vinyasa (and Ashtanga) styles. Although your practice will deepen considerably, the course is not the time to learn yoga, but to learn to share it. The course is a gift to your future students and your future self.

For those who wish to go on to teach, the training will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to lead classes and to begin formulating your ideas and path to teach workshops and retreats.

For those not looking to teach, the course will deepen your understanding of the practices and how they can be used as a tool in living more authentically and contentedly.

Space is limited to 16 students – to ensure a place we encourage you to apply early.

It was a truly wonderful experience. I really appreciate the depth of the subjects taught and the push for us to grown within ourselves, ask hard and sometimes uncomfortable questions about ourselves and the creation of a safe space to be vulnerable.  It was an amazing month, one of learning, friendship, growth, laughter and challenges. Thank you both so much for your time, wisdom and knowledge.  You should both be very proud of what you have created and the tremendous positive influence you have had on people’s lives.”

Becky-Jay Harrington, Australian graduate of September 2016 TTC 


What kind of teacher do we support you to become?

Be exceptional at what you do, and students will flock to you.

Our promise to ourselves as we established a yoga teacher training was to meaningfully contribute to the tradition. We do that by producing teachers who can share this powerful lineage with quality, authenticity, and texture.

Over this month, we take you on a journey into Yoga – its practices, its history, its stories, its philosophies, its psychology. We want you to ask questions, to open your mind, and to truly explore what Yoga can be.  We want you to see your students, and to teach those you are with – in a way they can receive and which genuinely serves them.

We produce teachers who can truly teach.


What you’ll learn on this yoga teacher training in Nepal

  • The foundations of intelligent teaching: posture, voice, cues, modifications, props, assisting, linking movement with breath, sequencing, ethics
  • Safe, versatile adjustments, with training on when to use different types of adjustment
  • A solid basis in anatomy for safe and informed teaching, sequencing, adjusting and practice.
  • Correct alignment– both what is “correct” for your body type and what might be more appropriate for another.
  • Develop your self-practice – the building block from which great teaching begins.
  • Learn how to truly communicate the practices with others.
  • Explore in-depth the wisdom of yoga philosophy.
  • Leave with life-changing tools for living and relating.
  • Add texture to your teaching so you can share with depth and inspiration.

The teaching faculty

A yoga teacher training changes you. Be discerning about who you allow to influence your path.

Together as a faculty, we bring together our diverse experience and different perspectives, and blend these to create an integrated and rounded experience for your training.

Annie Seymour

Yoga has been Annie’s constant companion, guide, love, and salvation since 2008. It became her reason-to-be from 2013, when she set aside the life she had been building in a different direction in order to devote herself to understanding and sharing this extraordinary tool.

Already a Nepal resident since 2011, having initially arrived as an aid worker, Annie immersed into the spectrum of yoga practices, relishing the opportunities that Nepal presented to live to her values, to live with simplicity, and to learn in a place where the practices thrive as a normal part of everyday life.

Bringing a scientific curiosity to the esoteric practices that clearly had a profound impact on those living them around her, Annie sought every opportunity to deepen her knowledge. She established Mahalaya, as a way to invite international teachers she most respected to offer teachings in Nepal, bringing together the modern and the traditional. She nurtured a unique relationship with a monastery to host these events, both to offer a sanctuary of learning and to support the work of the monastery itself.

Beyond Nepal, Annie sought out learning opportunities across India, Thailand, Indonesia, the US and the UK, becoming more focused on using the practices for healing and to support others also exploring how to live with more authenticity, contentment and compassion. Annie’s studies have included intensive training under John Scott, Paul Dallaghan, Petri Räisänen, Tim Miller, Helen McCabe, Andy Gill, yoga anatomists Adarsh Williams and Andrew McGonigle, and yoga philosopher Emil Wendel. She has deepened her daily practice under the guidance of Saraswati at KPJAYI, Ellen Johannesen in Nepal, Boonchu Tanti in Bangkok, Lisa Schrempp in Arizona,  Iain Grysack in Bali, and Hamish Hendry in London. She has assisted at multiple Yoga Teacher Trainings led by Heather Elton and Doron Hanoch.

As a teacher, Annie brings warmth and accessibility to sharing Yoga practices and traditions with students from all over the world and of all backgrounds. She integrates her training in energy and bodywork (particularly reflexology) and pulls in relevant research on the mind, our body, and on our changing society, to create a vibrant, inspiring and thought-provoking learning environment. Her own practice and understanding is constantly evolving, most recently following the birth of her daughter in 2017, which opened up a new world of insight into practice during pregnancy, motherhood, and how life changes us and our practices.

Annie is a spectacular yoga teacher – wonderful at talking through poses, providing individual guidance, inspiring affirmations and creating a space for reflection.

LaChelle Amos, USA, graduate of the September 2016 TTC

Annie: what a beauty! She is the sunshine on all things, the guardian angel to everyone’s needs and concerns! Love that lady! She is the perfect amount of everything pleasant in this world.

Cookie Renn, USA, graduate of the March 2016 TTC 


Lizzie Hacker

Lizzie’s yoga journey began in 2006 in London. Since then, yoga has accompanied her as she has travelled, providing a constant in many varied contexts.

Lizzie completed her 200 hour Yoga Alliance accreditation in Vinyasa and Hatha yoga in Nepal with Heather Elton. Yoga philosophy formed an integral part of this training, and she was privileged to also be taught by Emil Wendel, gaining insights into the underlying philosophical current of India and Nepal – two countries which she holds grown deep connections with.

Lizzie has lived in Nepal since 2012, and is fascinated by the depth of yoga’s roots here, and the way it intertwines with modern day culture and society. She teaches Vinyasa Flow and loves the creativity and freedom of this style of practice. She also emphasises correct alignment during her teaching and the importance of connecting with stillness and silence as a way to improve wellbeing and to gain a greater understanding of the self. For Lizzie, yoga is an exciting adventure that allows for the exploration of the physical and the spiritual. It also provides a wonderful lens through which to further explore and understand the fascinating country of Nepal.


Matt Huy: Anatomy trainer and movement teacher

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Matt Huy has a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from California State University Long Beach and has completed several qualifications including a yoga teacher training at a Sivananda ashram in India, a Foundation Course with YogaFit, a Pilates Matwork Certification with Power Pilates and a Thai Yoga Massage Foundation Course with the Sunshine Network.

Based in the UK since 2009, Matt has taught yoga for over 13 years and is a Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance Professionals. For over two years, he has been leading the anatomy component of several teacher training courses in London and he also provides mentoring and CPD workshops to qualified teachers.

In his anatomy studies, he has been lucky enough to study with Karen Clippinger, co-author of Pilates Anatomy, and Andrew McGonigle (DoctorYogi) who has acted as a mentor to him. In his teaching of anatomy, Matt aims to provide the student with a broad framework for understanding the biomechanics of the body so that students can have their own insights. His course focuses on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and he always ties the information back to yoga. He is known for his light-hearted and engaging approach to presenting complex anatomical concepts.

Having formerly danced professionally, Matt still has a strong yoga and movement practice which informs his teaching.

Matt is a proud father of two.


Ellen Johannesen

Ellen Johannesen was born in Norway and has been yoga teacher for more than 20 years. She first encountered Ashtanga yoga in 1994, and this has been her practice ever since. She is an KPJAYI authorized level 2 Ashtanga yoga teacher and also holds a yoga teacher training certificate from John Scott.

In 2002 Ellen co-founded the first Ashtanga studio In Oslo, Norway, Ashtanga Yoga Oslo where she was the principal teacher in charge of the Mysore program. A growing interest in Buddhism brought her first to Bylakuppe, South India, where she spent three years living in a Tibetan Monastery. She then moved to Kathmandu where, after completeing a Tibetan translator training course, she earned a degree in Buddhist studies and Himalayan Languages from Kathmandu university. She is currently gaining her Masters Degree while running a Mysore programme in the center of Kathmandu.


The yoga teacher training will be hosted in a stunning and welcoming Tibetan Monastery, supplemented by a two-day field visit to sacred sites in Nepal to ground your learning in the living context.

The Monastery is situated near Pharping in the Kathmandu Valley and foothills of the Himalayas. We will stay in the comfortable and modern guesthouse in the grounds of the temple, less than an hour’s drive from the heart of Kathmandu.

For Tibetan Buddhists, the hills of Pharping are considered as sacred as Bodhgaya in India, as it is where is where the second buddha Guru Padmasambhava (“Guru Rinpoche”) attained the state of enlightenment, before going on to establish Buddhism in Tibet. The monastery which is our home during the retreat makes important contributions to the preservation and sharing of the Buddhist teachings, and our stay there helps to fund education for the many young monks from remote areas of Nepal.

The lovely guesthouse in the monastery grounds has spacious and modern rooms, comfortable beds for deep and refreshing sleeps, all with contemporary attached bathrooms and hot showers (and many with balconies). The yoga space overlooks the rice paddies of the Kathmandu valley, and – when the weather is clear – gives us stunning views of the sunrise over the Himalayas.

The vegetarian, delicious, local and international menu is freshly prepared to nourish your practice. Dietary requirements can be accommodated on request.

It is the perfect place to go within and study.

I cannot recommend enough the benefit of a residential programme. Not everyone has the luxury of taking 4 weeks off from ‘normal life,’ but if you can, do. Instead of balancing your teacher training between work, commuting and cooking dinner, you have 4 clear weeks to really delve into your own personal practice as well as your practice of becoming the best teacher you can be. You can devote all of your time and energy to your asanas, your meditation and your teaching. And Mahalaya offer you the foundation and tools to be a creative teacher rather than being stuck on a single sequence. I suggest carving these 4 weeks out of your year if at all possible.  
Matt Huy, teacher on multiple non-residential yoga TTCs and the anatomist for this course


Your training investment

The yoga teacher training fee is $3,195. (At the time of writing, this is equivalent to approx. £2,480)

This fee is all-inclusive from the time we meet you at our meeting point in Kathmandu, to when we return you to the city on the final day. On confirming your place, we will send you a welcome pack full of information to help you to plan your logistics for your stay.

It includes twin-share accommodation in the lovely guesthouse, your delicious vegetarian meals throughout the course, world-class teaching from Annie and Lizzie plus specialist guests to draw on the incredible depth of spiritual knowledge and practice of our faculty, domestic travel relating to the course from pick-up to drop-off, course management and administration, manual, and use of yoga props.

Payment details will be sent on the offer of a place.


Next steps

Complete the registration form for this yoga teacher training in Nepal (or get in touch with us if you have questions) and we’ll support you from there.


Book this course