Atlas 500 Hour Yoga Teacher Training


Pre-requisite: 200 Hour Credit of Basic Yoga Teacher Training

2-year program (300 contact hours):  Tuition: $5,400

Intake is continuous and acceptance is based on a personal interview and demonstration class. Limited number of apprenticeships available – contact for details


 The core course will be delivered Denise Davis-Gains.  Guest tutors may also contribute as appropriate.

The AYTT will be experiential and participative and will aim to deepen and enlarge the understanding of the ancient science of Yoga, and the personal development of Yoga Teachers.


  • To expand the student’s understanding of yoga as a holistic science of self-development
  • To awaken the sense of creativity, mindfulness and exploration in asana practice
  • To link outer with inner, so that the student understands the physical, etheric, mental and spiritual continuum of yoga
  • To deepen the understanding of the chakra system
  • To develop an understanding of a variety of yogic meditations, including mantra
  • To deepen understanding of Yoga Nidra and relaxation techniques
  • To deepen the knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and explore how these  relate to physical and pranic yogic practices
  • To deepen the understanding of principal paths of yoga
  • To develop a specialization in an area of interest – thesis
    • Specialization Options:

      • Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Specialization
      • Pre/Post Natal Specialization
      • Children’s Yoga Specialization
      • Yoga Philosophy (required)
      • Yoga Philosophy – Meditation Specialization
      • Advanced Pranayama (required)
      • Therapeutic Applications of Yoga (required)
      • Samasa Anatomy for yoga & other healing modalities (required)
      • Thai Yoga Massage Level I, II, III

The 500 hr Yoga Teacher Training is open to those who have at least 2 years’ experience of practising Yoga and who have a valid Teacher’s certificate.  An interview may be required, where further information or clarification is necessary.

To be discussed with each candidate. The program starts when the individual is ready and can be completed within two years.  The program will require a total of 300 contact hours.  There will be additional hours of homework, projects, group work and karma yoga.


The cost of the Diploma is 5,400.00

Includes: 180 hours of core programming, 2 years of unlimited studio class pass access, all specializations (100hrs) led by primary faculty. If the student chooses other work towards specific specialization there may be additional fees – to be identified and agreed up in initial meeting before application approval.  

Payment plans are available if necessary.



  • Asana analysis, technique and modification of problematic yoga asanas; working from base of asana, building on foundations to discover equilibrium between effort and letting go “wu-wei”
  • symbolism and the secret language of asanas (asanas as “mudras” or attitudes of inner states)
  • “seeking the stillness”- deepening the experience of the asanas;
  • asanas and the chakras-exploring the relationship between asanas and the chakras
  • dealing with asana related injuries
  • ‘step by step’ – approach to teaching an asana in stages
  • discovering the qualities you are looking for in life in your practice
  • Modification and Analysis of Postures and exploring the three main areas of blockage in Asana practice:
    1.         Lack of Understanding
    2.         Wrong action – resulting in tension
    3.         Compression of the joints


  • Swara yoga
  • Nadi shodanana- variations
  • Nadi shodanana- ida/pingal and sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system
  • Savitri rhythms
  • Pranayama kriyas
  • Anuloma viloma
  • Pranayama mudras


  • An exploration of the chakras and the etheric body
  • Location
  • Function
  • Physical correlatives
  • level of awareness
  • symbolism
  • yantras
  • elements (tattwa)


  • Yogic methods of meditation, including Dharana on Akash, Ajapa Japa, Antar Mouna
  • Energy awareness, working with energies


  • The structure of consciousness according to Yoga- cosmic mind, higher mind, ego, lower mind, subconscious and unconscious mind, patterns of consciousness.


  • The practice of Mantra Japa.  The use of a Mala. Classical mantras- OM, Pranava, Gayatri, Shanti Path, Purnamadah,Guru Stotram etc; Vedic and Bija mantras. Maha Vaks ( great sayings that encapsulate the higher wisdom of Yoga)


  • Yoga Nidra
  • Progressive relaxation
  • Relaxation in daily life-Wu-wei- the art of letting go
  • Marma points – use of marmas to induce a deep relaxed state


  • Cleansing practices of Yoga


  • The principal margas (paths)  of Yoga
  • Schools of Yoga
  • Streams of Eastern philosophy- Vedanta, Samkhya and Tantra.
  • Satsangs


  • Anatomy and physiology of Pranayama (including the physiology of the nose ( the function of nose not only as a vehicle of breath, but its unique connection through the sense of smell to deeper aspects of our being)
  • The endocrine system- its function, and links to the chakras
  • Nerve plexuses
  • Yoga Meditation and Yoga Nidra- effects on brain rhythms, relaxation  reflected on the neuronal map
  • Meditation and the autonomic nervous system
  • Anatomy of the bandhas
  • Anatomy of an inversion
  • The brain and mudra
  • Facial trains


  • Fertility
  • Children
  • Pre-natal
  • Elders
  • Yoga Therapy
  • Ashtanga Yoga
  • Kripalu Yoga
  • meditation


  • Hands on teaching and research


The course will be wide-ranging and experiential, and will include a variety of asanas, pranayama, mudras  and bandhas and other practices. It will provide a rich source of knowledge for yoga teachers and aspirants. The course is structured so that, following the principles of the Koshas, there is a continuum from physical to spiritual,  from the Annamaya kosha to the Anandamaya kosha.

This program is ultimately for the student’s self-development.


Meditations from the Tantras, by Swami Satyananda Saraswati 

Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha, by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Hatha Yoga Pridipika, by Swami Muktibodhananda 

Anatomy and Asana, by Susi Hately-Aldous

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The Upanishads

The Bhagavad Gita

Awareness: The Key to Living in Balance, by Osho

Facial Trains

Green Yoga

Yoga Morality: Ancient Teachings at a Time of Global Crisis, by George Feurstein 

Structural Yoga Therapy, by Mukanda Stiles

Yoga Nidra, by Richard Millar

Trail Guide to the Body, by Andrew Biel

Your Instructor

Denise Davis-Gains has been teaching fitness and studying meditation since 1980, and has been teaching yoga since 1993. After completing her first yoga certification with Susie Dias in Toronto, Denise actively sought to find time with senior teachers of this ancient tradition.  She holds two university degrees and continues to pursue higher education. Denise completed a course in Sanskrit with Jonathan Geen at McMaster University. She is trained in the Kripalu method of yoga, a very introspective style that incorporates vinyasa flow and postural analysis. She has been fortunate to be able to study with great yoga masters in the Ashtanga, Iyengar, Sivananda, Kundalini, Himalayan and other styles and schools and brings this variety of experience and style to this program.

Denise has been training yoga teachers since 1997. Denise taught Intro to Yoga, Group Exercise and Physical Fitness in the Kinesiology department of Wilfrid Laurier University for 16 years and is currently an Instructor at Conestoga College where she teaches physical education in the community Services sector of the Health Sciences Department. She has been a facilitator and Production & Staff manager in the Inner Quest Intensive, at the Kripalu Institute, Massachusetts (the Inner Quest Intensive in considered the most intensive and healing program that is run at this institution). Most recently, at Kripalu, Denise assisted in a program in support of Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers and a nutrition program.  

Guest Instructors to be announced.

“Yoga is the method or technique, the programme of psycho-physical, moral and spiritual training, by following which one can fulfil the ultimate destiny of life”.  (Haridas Chaudhuri)

Please return completed application form and $50.00 to

All information provided on this form is treated as confidential.

Please register by emailing or calling 519.240.9642

*Please note: payment is required on receipt of notification of acceptance to the program. (refunds will not be issued once admitted to this program)



Atlas Yoga Studio
18 Ainslie Street South, Unit B
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
N1R 3K1


Our studio schedule is dynamically changing with many community collaborations. Check out what's on for today - on our Contact page


Director: Denise Davis-Gains
Phone: +1 519-240-9642