Programs offered at YCT

Foundations Program

Three or six classes taken consecutively, one class per week, and can be started at anytime. The Foundation Program is a prerequisite to Level 1. Any adult with varying physical and yoga backgrounds is welcome. Please arrive 20 to 30 minutes before the start of your first class to register and complete a health history form.

Pre-registration is required for the following:

Cardiac Program

A special practice designed to support the requirements of cardiac patients. The sequence of supported, restorative asanas is helpful in the recovery process.

Multiple Sclerosis Program

Iyengar yoga is effective in increasing muscle control, eye coordination and balance. Attention will be given to each individual’s physical requirements and energy level. Our experience has been that a yoga practice improves the quality of life for those who live with Multiple Sclerosis.

Prenatal Program

Designed to specifically support an expectant mother during her pregnancy. This program is a series of supported yoga asanas designed to enhance a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Expectant mothers may start at any time and continue for the duration of their pregnancy. No previous yoga experience is required.

Back Care Program

For people who suffer from chronic and/or acute back pain. Students are assisted with the aid of props to overcome their pain and are then guided through a series of asanas to develop the necessary strength and stability for eventual reintegration into regular asana classes.

Special Needs Program

For students challenged by musculoskeletal problems of the joints and spine such shoulder or knee pain. Students are assisted with the aid of props to overcome their pain and are then guided through a series of asanas to develop the necessary strength and stability for eventual reintegration into regular asana classes.

Special Practices Program

For students who are practicing yoga as part of their recovery process in such cases as cancer recovery, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, etc. In this program a practice is designed to meet the needs of each individual student.

Teacher Training Program

This program is based on the apprenticeship model and requirements designed by B.K.S. Iyengar and in conjunction with the Iyengar Association of Canada national certification process. Applicants must be 25 years-of-age or older, and have three years experience in level 2/3 classes and workshops with a recognized certified Iyengar Yoga teacher.

YCT’s Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Program is an extensive three-year training program based on an apprenticeship model. Throughout the course of the program, student teachers will delve deeply into their personal practice and learn to draw from that experience to inform their teaching. In addition to specific teacher training sessions, student teachers will also spend time apprenticing with one of the certified teachers from the Teacher Training Team. As an apprentice, they will have the opportunity to both observe and eventually teach in that class.

Student teachers will also spend significant time apprenticing in one of YCT’s many therapeutic classes, under the guidance of a Senior Teacher. These classes provide a unique and valuable learning opportunity. Between attending asana classes, apprenticing in classes, attending teacher training sessions, monthly workshops, home practice, and written assignments, participation in the Teacher Training Program generally requires a commitment of approximately 15-20 hours per week.

Applications for the program are accepted in July each year. There are a limited number of spaces available.

Yoga Centre Toronto, Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Program, is recognized by the Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities.

Below are three essays from first year student teachers.

How does yoga affect your life physically, emotionally and spiritually?

Kasia H.

All of my life I have been very diligent in taking care of my physical and intellectual needs. However, I have not paid too much attention towards the spiritual aspects of life. I suspected that enrolling into the Teacher Training Program at YCT might change my attitude, and I was right.

Regular asana practice has been very beneficial for parts of my body, especially for knees, thighs and hips. I can go deeper into poses such as Supta Virasana or Padmasana. At the same time, my mind is better tuned with my body in being able to feel what different movements and positions do to different parts of the body. Extending, stretching, expansion, bending and turning are just a few sensations my body feels, and now my mind recognizes and has become intelligent in their use.

Regular reading of the yoga literature, which I had never done before, has affected me on an emotional level simply by making me understand fundamental rules governing behaviour and reactions to various aspects of life. Becoming familiar with the philosophy of yoga has made me calmer and less likely to become stressed.

When I look at my new yogic experience from different angles, I see a close connection between the physical, emotional and spiritual paths of life. I can see there is still a long way ahead of me before yoga will start to affect me on a spiritual level, but I have a good beginning.

Irving G.

As a person with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), yoga has had a huge effect on me physically. I have increased mobility, leg strength and balance. My core strength and stamina are markedly improved; I’m in better physical condition then before I was diagnosed with MS. I can walk further and for longer periods than when I was first diagnosed. The improved strength in my legs allows me to almost run across the street. I am able to climb/descend stairs without holding the handrail. My balance is so improved that I can climb stairs that do not have railings (e.g. in front of office buildings) without assistance. I noticed these improvements early on in my yoga experience even though I was only practicing once or twice a week. With an almost daily practice of yoga, the tingling and numbness in my feet and hands has almost disappeared. For example, if I do Utthita Trikonasana with my foot against and parallel to the wall, there is no added tingling and numbness. This was not the case some four years ago.

As to my emotional wellbeing, yoga helps to contribute to my positive outlook on life. I find I can deal with stress much better. I weigh my battles before worrying about things that might not be worth the aggravation. I have an overall calmness to my demeanor that has come from taking yoga off the mat and trying to incorporate it into my daily life. The physical awareness that I am experiencing during my yoga practice has brought an amazing awareness within my daily life. My enthusiasm for yoga has greatly enhanced my life. Indeed, as I say that I love yoga, I realize I have to embrace some detachment, as it says in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, in my yoga practice.

Dare I say I can’t imagine life with yoga? But it’s true. I don’t question whether I will be doing a yoga practice each day. It seems to be a given. Yoga has allowed me to re-evaluate my spiritual awareness and experience a general happiness that is new to me. It has re-enforced my positive attitude of looking at the glass half full, rather then the negative view of the glass half empty. It has re-confirmed to me that there is a silver lining to every cloud. My cloud was MS, yet it brought me to yoga, which has been life altering for me.

Ghislaine A.

Yoga’s benefits on my physical state are as such:

  • It helps me recover faster from lower back pains and has actually reduced the amount of episodes to almost none.
  • It fixes all the little pains and aches I may have.
  • It gives me all the energy I need to go through each day.
  • I can still get easily distracted at times, but I have noticed some improvement in my ability to focus.

Yoga’s benefits on my emotional state are as such:

  • I feel more stable emotionally, meaning I don’t react to situations as quickly as I used to. Today, I am able to first catch myself with the intent to react, and then pause for a moment to analyze the situation before I respond.
  • I am now able to see and appreciate the positive side of even not so pleasant situations.
  • I am smiling more and more again. I seem to be happier and less affected by trifles or things that I have no control over.
  • I am learning to let go, not to be so affected when things don’t turn out the way I wished they would have.
  • I have the same amount of compassion for others, but I no longer feel responsible for other people’s happiness, unless someone asks for my help and assistance.
  • I had thought I had worked a lot on my prejudices over the years. I realize today that I still have negative ideas, but that yoga is helping me to recognize them and little by little get rid of them. I am more capable of accepting other people’s choices to do what they want to do with their lives, including my loved ones, even if those choices differ from my own beliefs.

Yoga’s benefits on my spiritual state are as such:

  • I feel that I am on the path to where I want to be as a spiritual level, and I am learning that the practice teaches me to look inside myself.
  • Yoga has brought me an awareness of a philosophy of life that makes sense to me. I am no longer looking for the meaning of life. I am no longer trying to be perfect. I am, instead, accepting who I am and learning more about myself.