A practice-based training program designed for serious practitioners of Ashtanga Yoga and those seeking to become effective, compassionate and skilled practitioners and/or teachers — with Michael Joel Hall (DC Yoga Club), Heather Sullivan (Birmingham Yoga) & Cory Bryant (Yoga Shala Nashville)

Dates for 6-week program: 
January 2 to February 16, 2025

  • 4 weeks of on-line course work followed by  
  • 10-day in-residence immersion at Yoga Shala Nashville: February 7 to 16th, 2o25

We are looking for folks who want to dive headlong into the system wide study of Ashtanga Yoga with an eye toward cultivating the ability to communicate (i.e., teach) it to others. 

Our purpose is to:

  • facilitate a deep understanding of Ashtanga Yoga as a holistic system for personal, spiritual and communal growth; and 
  • equip you with the communication tools necessary to convey the practice to yourself and others.

We’ll cover the traditional series in a purposely segmented fashion and discuss the nuanced aspects of teaching, such as inclusivity, equity, cultural appropriation, eating disorders, body positivity and trauma. 

Our comprehensive curriculum includes:

  • asana study (including modifications/variations for students of varying abilities)
  • pranayama
  • meditation
  • anatomy & physiology
  • adjustments
  • self-care practices
  • philosophy & history
  • ethics

Practicing and teaching yoga is a responsibility and a privilege that we take seriously. We each come to the table with decades of experience and a passion for supporting anyone and everyone who is ready and willing to dedicate themselves to this path. Those that entrust us with their precious time and energy can count on having our support beyond our six weeks together.

Join our community of passionate and dedicated Ashtanga Yoga practitioners and take your practice to the next level with our ASHTANGA TECH Immersion. Apply now to secure your spot!

What to Expect:

  • Weeks 1 through 4 will be delivered via virtual format and you may complete the work from home.
    • Live (Zoom) weekly Sunday morning Mysore sessions with Michael, Heather and/or Cory
    • Live (Zoom) Sat meditation lecture with Cory (7:30-8:30amCST) + a new 20 min guided meditation to use daily through the week (13 hours)
    • Live (Zoom) Sat Q&A with Heather & Michael (9-10amCST)
    • 20 minute video lessons on each curriculum topic for you to complete on your own (9-10 sessions per week)
    • Reading assignments distributed each week (50 hours)
  • Then (Feb 11-20) we’ll transition to in-person for the last 10-days when we convene at Yoga Shala Nashville (85 hours).
    • 6-10am  Morning Session
      • 6am meditation
      • 6:30am Mysore 1 (+Observation)
      • 8am Mysore 2 (+Observation)
      • 9:30am pranayama
    • 10-noon break (breakfast)
    • 12pm Session 1:  Lecture & Discussion
    • 2-2:30pm Break
    • 2:30-4:30pm Session 2:  Assisting Lab/Practice SessionsNotes:
    • Rotation of Observation Groups: The observation groups rotate daily, ensuring all students get a chance to observe and then practice.
    • Breaks: Scheduled breaks allow for rest and transition between activities.
    • Flexibility: The schedule is flexible to adjust for the number of students and can be modified to accommodate different activities or extended sessions.
    • Potential for evening supplemental sessions that may be attended in person or on Zoom.
    • Feb 16th is moon day – there will be no morning session that day.


  • To join this training you must have an established/consistent Ashtanga Yoga practice (meaning practice is a non-negotiable component of your life)
  • A sincere interest and ability to commit to the training.
  • Know Sanskrit numbers to 26.
  • Strong familiarity with Sanskrit posture names and vinyasa count for primary series.
    ** You have until Dec. 1 to have these accomplished, and will be provided tools to get you up to speed. These prerequisites are non-negotiable.


Included in this offering is a MENTORSHIP opportunity to spend one week with us in our home shala diving deeper and more personally into the aspects of teaching upon which you desire to focus.


  • $1950
  • $200 off for early bird registration by May 1
  • Includes access to the complete training
  • Transit to Nashville and lodging there is not included.

Payment is nonrefundable after December 1, 2024.

Week-to-Week Overview:

Jan 2-5:  Jan 4th – LIVE ZOOM kick-off

  • Kleshas & Kriya Yoga
  • Pranayama Subtle Body
  • Asana Foundations
  • Meditation

Jan 6-12

  • Physiology – General / Nervous System & Stress
  • Pranayama –  Breathing Foundations
  • Asana – Drishti
  • Meditation

Jan 13-19

  • Physiology – Respiration
  • Pranayama Techniques
  • Student Safety Foundations
  • Meditation

Jan 20-26

  • Ethics & Equity
  • Teaching Methodology – Foundations
  • Asana – Mudras / Bandhas
  • Meditation

Jan 27-Feb 3

  • Anatomy General Considerations
  • Pratyahara – Philosophy & Theory
  • Trauma & PTSD
  • Meditation

10-day immersion in Nashville:

Feb 11-20

  • Anatomy & Biomechanics
  • Pranayama practice 
  • Pratyahara practice
  • Physiology – Flexibility & Stretching
  • Teaching Methodology – Your Presence as the Teacher
  • Teaching Methodology – Alignment & Adjustments
  • Adapting in General
  • Adapting – Student Types / More Student Types (after dinner chats)
  • Personal Practice & Self Care (after dinner chats)
  • Practicums

Learning Objectives

  • Become familiar with systems theory and ashtanga yoga as a system. 
  • Become grounded in the teachings of kleshas, a foundation of yoga philosophy.
  • Become knowledgeable about the power of the breath to affect physiology and emotions.
    • Become clear on the cautions related to practicing pranayama and best practices for teaching about the breath, including teaching to beginners.
    • Become familiar with teaching considerations and instructions for Ujjayi Pranayama, Nadi Shodhana (Anuloma Viloma/Alternate Nostril Breathing), Kapalabhati and Bhastrika.
    • Become familiar with the purpose of bandhas and the five classes of mudras (hasta, mana, kaya, bandha and adhara)–their purpose and the central role they fulfill in Hatha Yoga.
  • Know the āsana sutras (2.46 to 2.48) and become familiar with philosophical perspectives regarding the purpose and benefits of asana.
    • Understand the importance of function over form and how knowledge of pose categories and families informs teaching.
    • Learn the physical and energetic effects of all major pose categories.
  • Become competent in specifying the ways that yoga supports health from various perspectives.
    • Be proficient in communicating how yoga impacts the nervous system and stress.
    • Gain an understanding of the foundational anatomy & physiology of the nervous system.
    • Understand the functioning of the sympathetic & parasympathetic nervous systems, and the workings of the Stress Response, Fight or Flight Response, Relaxation Response – and the significance of vagal tone in the experience of stress and the effectiveness of yoga techniques.
  • Become familiar with priorities and guidelines for studying and utilizing knowledge of anatomy and physiology in teaching.
  • Understand the widespread prevalence of trauma and its specific physiological effects.
  • Gain a fundamental understanding of drishti, kriyas, meditation and other yoga practices.
  • Become familiar with the meaning and deeper philosophical perspectives of pratyahara (sensory withdrawal) and the key role it plays in the practice of yoga.
  • Become knowledgeable in injury prevention and ways to accommodate students.
    • Gain an understanding of the complexity of pain and how to use this knowledge when teaching asana.
    • Learn the importance of knowing and utilizing contraindications and cautions, and understand how to wisely choose alternatives.
    • Know when it’s advisable to refer students out for diagnosis or individual assessment. 
  • Become knowledgeable about ethical factors in teacher-student relationships.
  • Understand the factors that impact equity and diversity in yoga and become familiar with specific ways to mindfully and proactively address these factors.
    • Become competent in choosing words that inspire an inclusive and accepting environment in which to practice yoga.
    • Be aware of what cultural appropriation looks like; the historical context that explains the significance of honoring the roots of yoga; and how to mindfully and ethically do so.
    • Be aware of perspectives and actions that can help to support students in having a body positive experience.
  • Be aware of the critical role of mindfulness and embodiment while teaching and explore how to apply humility and boundaries for optimum outcomes.
  • Explore the reasons why personal practice and self-study are vital for effective teaching.
  • Be knowledgeable in how to foster a safe, noncompetitive practice environment.
  • Develop an understanding of śamatha (calm abiding) meditation – the foundational mind training practice of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
    • Gain an understanding of why it’s important and how it can be integral to the Ashtanga Yoga practice.
    • Gain a clear appreciation for the benefits that it provides.
    • Develop an understanding of how  to practice it.
    • Develop an understanding of how to integrate its essence into your daily life.
    • Become comfortable holding space for others to practice.

About Our Faculty:

Michael Joel Hall (he/him)

Michael is an experienced Ashtanga Yoga teacher and wellness advocate based out of Washington, DC. With a deep passion for sharing the transformative power of yoga, he serves as the director of DC Ashtanga, a prominent mysore-style Ashtanga Yoga program in the city. Through this program, he guides students in developing a dedicated and self-paced practice that fosters personal growth, strength, and mindfulness.

In addition to his work at DC Ashtanga, Michael is the proud owner of miDCity Yoga, a corporate wellness provider that brings the benefits of yoga directly to offices, workplaces, conferences, and special events. With a commitment to making yoga accessible and convenient, he offers quality instruction tailored to the unique needs and demands of modern professionals, promoting overall well-being and stress reduction in corporate settings.

Michael’s journey in wellness and holistic practices began in his upbringing in a rural farming and fishing community, where he cultivated an appreciation for the interconnection between nature, body, and mind. He further pursued his passion through integrative studies at George Mason University’s New Century College, where he combined his interests in non-profit work and public relations. This educational background equipped him with valuable skills in community engagement, effective communication, and promoting positive change.

In addition to his yoga career, Michael has also spent many years working in the belly of a renowned comedy club, observing artists honing their live performance art as a vehicle for change on a nightly basis. Drawing from this experience, he brings a unique blend of humor and lightness to his teaching, creating an engaging and enjoyable atmosphere for his students. His ability to infuse joy and laughter into the practice inspires students to find a balance between effort and playfulness.

Outside the realm of yoga and comedy, Michael leads an active lifestyle and enjoys various physical pursuits. As an avid CrossFitter, marathon runner, and paddleboard enthusiast, he recognizes the importance of movement, fitness, and adventure in maintaining a balanced and vibrant life. These experiences enrich his understanding of the human body, resilience, and the joy of embracing new challenges.

Driven by his values of social justice and elevated consciousness, Michael remains dedicated to creating positive change both on and off the mat. He believes in the power of yoga to empower individuals, foster mindfulness, and promote a sense of unity and compassion. With a contagious enthusiasm for life, he encourages his students to explore their potential, embrace personal growth, and find joy in the journey.

When not sharing his passion for yoga or making people laugh, you can find Michael engaging in community service, exploring nature, or immersing himself in creative pursuits. Above all, he cherishes the opportunity to make a positive impact, inspire others, and create meaningful connections through the practice of Ashtanga Yoga.

2008: 200-Hour Training Sivananda

Studied Sivananda Yoga at the Ashram on Paradise Island. Received 200 Hour accreditation. Michael still teaches the yoga of synthesis as taught by Swami Sivananda. 

2008: Founded miDCity Yoga

Began working professionally as a corporate wellness facilitator, with clients like HUD, SEC, and the White House.

2009: Iyengar Apprentice

After studying Iyengar Yoga with Kristen Krash, began a formal apprenticeship. Completed in 2010. 

2012: 10-day Goenka Vipassana Retreat 

Michael attended a silent meditation retreat in North Fork, California, learning to practice vipassana meditation. Michael maintains a regular sitting practice

2013: Ashtanga Apprentice

Apprenticed with Tova Steiner, L2 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher.

2014: Founded DC Ashtanga

Established an Ashtanga Yoga shala (school) in the Mysore tradition with a mission of inclusivity.

2015: Formally Assisted David Garrigues

After completing many trainings, including specialized immersions into the primary, intermediate, and yoga sutras, Michael began formally assisting David in 2015. Michael proudly modeled for David’s book on the Primary series. 

2016: Ashtanga Authorization

Received Level 2 authorization from the KPJ Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India under the direction of Paramaguru Sharath Jois. 

2017: Ashtanga Pranayama 

4 months of structured practice and education featuring North and South Indian Pranayamas with Rolf Noujkat. Michael began practicing the formal astanga pranayamas with Rolf in 2012. Michael maintains a regular pranayama practice.. 

2018: Trauma Informed Care Course

Completed the Trauma Informed Care Webinar Series offered by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, proctored by the Trauma Informed Care Center. 

2019: Mobility Specialist Certification

Received certification as a Human Movement Specialist by Functional Anatomy Seminars, founded by Dr André Spinoa. Michel teaches Functional Range Conditioning, a scientific approach to strength training and mobility.

Heather Sullivan (she/her)

Heather is co-owner and director of Birmingham Yoga, where she leads and teaches the mysore program. Outside of Birmingham Yoga, she teaches meditation, mindfulness and yoga to those seeking support in recovery from Eating Disorders (ED) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

Heather first came to yoga in her twenties but nothing stuck until she was introduced to Ashtanga Yoga. She immediately fell in love with the meditative qualities and structure of the mysore style method and began to cultivate a daily practice where she continues to uncover layers of information about herself and her practice.

Heather completed her 200 Hour Training with Akasha Ellis, which began an endless pursuit of knowledge in the vast field of yoga. Heather credits Akasha with fostering a deep love and curiosity of yoga and the inspiration and confidence to teach.

Heather was incredibly fortunate to continue her studies with Tim Miller (Encinitas, CA) in 2017 where she completed a 100 hour Primary Series Teacher Training. Heather took regular trips to Encinitas to study with Tim in 2017 and 2018.

In 2020, Heather began a three year mentorship program with Taylor Hunt at Ashtanga Yoga Columbus. Taylor has been instrumental in her work with the recovery community and she credits Taylor with instilling the importance of creating an inclusive and supportive community outside of the yoga room. She continues to work with Taylor assisting with the AYC Mentorship program and co-hosting retreats (see you in Costa Rica!).

In the yoga room, Heather’s teaching style is light-hearted and compassionate. Her goal is to make the practice of yoga accessible to everyone. You can expect to be challenged, supported and directed toward self-inquiry.

“My goal is to provide an open and inviting space where the practice of yoga itself can be the teacher. I have been fortunate to find countless benefits including a more loving and compassionate attitude toward myself and others through my practice and look forward to seeing what the practice uncovers for you.”

Cory Bryant (he/him)

Cory is Founder/Director of Yoga Shala Nashville & The Spiritual Pilgrim. He discovered yoga shortly after 9/11, while living in NYC—initially through a soft introduction at the Integral Hatha Yoga Institute in the West Village and then with the mind-blowing, tapas-inducing experience of Jivamukti Yoga. Since that time, pretty much everything about the way he views the world has been challenged, bringing with it transformation from a goal-oriented, judgmental, high-tempered, career-driven person to the more even-minded, compassionate person he humbly aspires to be today.

Cory began teaching yoga at Flow Yoga Center in Washington, DC, in 2008 after completing teacher training at Flow in 2007 and Jivamukti in 2008. In the years that followed, his commitment to practice and teaching continually deepened, and in December 2015, he resigned from an international food policy position at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to pursue yoga study, practice and teaching full-time. He lives in East Nashville with his husband Richard and their rescue dogs Buddy, Bella & Puja.

Cory’s study and practice has also been supported by Tim Feldmann, Jen René, Michael Joel Hall, Maggie Lively, Tim Miller and David Garrigues. David Life, Sharon Gannon, Ruth Lauer Manenti, Andrea Boyd, Jill Abelson and Alanna Kaivalya of Jivamukti Yoga were his early teachers and mentors and he attributes much of his understanding of yoga to them. Cory practices and teaches the Primary (Yoga Chikitsa) and Intermediate (Nadi Shodana) Series of Ashtanga Yoga.

Cory’s Training:

  • 200hour Certification from Flow Yoga Center, Washington, DC – Feb, 2008
  • 350hour Certification from Jivamukti Yoga School, New York, NY – May 2008
  • 5 trips to India – total of 5 months spent in-country practicing and studying Ashtanga Yoga & Buddhism
  • 10 trips to Nepal – total of 14 months spent in-country practicing and studying Buddhism and meditation
  • Taught weekly classes at Flow Yoga Center from 2008 through 2019
  • 100hour Ashtanga Second Series Training with Tim Miller, Encintas, CA – Aug 2016
  • 5-day Weekend immersion Second Series Training with David Garrigues, Philadephia, PA – 2017
  • 100hour Ashtanga Teacher Intensive with David Garrigues, Phoenix, AZ – Nov 2017
  • 2 year Apprenticeship with David Garrigues, Philadelphia, PA & Kovalam, India – 2016-2019
  • 200hour Ashtanga Practitioners Intensive with Kino MacGregor & Tim Feldmann – Summer 2020
  • 8 week Mindful Leader Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course – 2021
  • 10-day Goenka Vipassana Retreat – Jessup, GA – 2021
  • 6 month Wakeful Body meditation course with Lama Willa Blythe Baker – 2022
  • 8 week Buddhist Studies course, Rangyung Yeshe Institute, Kathmandu, Nepal – June/July 2022
  • Tergar Joy of Living Level 1 and 2 completed 2023
  • Tergar Path of Liberation Level 1 completed May 2023