Yoga Sanctuary Punta Gorda, FL view schedule my account gift cards return home

teacher training

200 hr Yoga Alliance ® Teacher Training Program
December 3, 2014 – April 12, 2015

“If you want to learn something, read about it.
If you want to understand something, write about it.
If you want to master something, teach it.”

– Yogi Bhajan

Do you want to take your yoga practice to the next level? Does the idea of sharing the yoga practice with others as a teacher intrigue you? Are you YA-SCHOOL-RYS-200interested in learning more about the philosophy behind the practice? TYS Teacher Training offers a unique, integrated approach to studying, practicing, and teaching yoga. Through this training you will develop a deep foundation of yoga philosophy, anatomy, and asana. As you cultivate your own practice, you will gain the tools needed for teaching a safe and fun yoga class all while gaining a better understanding of yourself along the way. TYS Teacher Training is ideal for aspiring teachers, health practitioners, and students who want to simply deepen their practice and study of yoga.

You will have the unique opportunity to study with guest yoga masters, such as Alan Finger (subtle anatomy) and Julie Gudmestad, PT (anatomy), both specialists in their field. In addition, you will receive business coaching, practical teaching experience, and mentoring from lead teachers Bonnie Yonker and Jennifer French as well as past TT graduates.

Upon completion of this program, you will be fully confident and capable to teach yoga if that is your goal. You will be qualified to register as an instructor with the internationally-recognized Yoga Alliance.


• Yoga Philosophy, Ethics & Lifestyle
• Anatomy & Physiology
• Theory & Practice of Asana, Pranayama & Meditation
• Subtle Anatomy: Tantra, Chakras & Bandhas
• Ayurveda—The Sister Science of Yoga
• Teaching Methodology
• Teaching Practicums: The Art of Teaching and Sequencing
• The Business of Yoga (includes guidance on how to get your first job, as well as assistance in job placement for qualified grads)


Please have at least one year of consistent yoga practice. Advanced asana practice is not required; a full commitment to the program is. To apply, submit a completed Teacher Training application(.pdf). You will be contacted to schedule an interview with the program director. All students of yoga are encouraged to apply, regardless of physical ability or limitations.


TYS Teacher Training is spread over five months to accommodate those who work a standard full-time schedule, seasonal residents, and students with other obligations. Your dedication and 100% participation is required for the program. In addition to the scheduled meeting times, you will complete individual and group homework projects, observe and participate in several weekly group classes, contribute Karma Yoga hours, and develop a home practice.

Wednesdays: 5:30 – 8:30pm
Fridays: 5:30 – 8:30pm
Saturdays: 8:30am – 6:30pm
Sundays: 8:30am – 6:30pm

December 2014 – April 2015
December: 3, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 27, 28
January: 7, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 28
February: 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22, 25
March: 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22, 25
April: 1, 4, 8, 11, 12
Dates and times may be subject to change.


The Yoga Sanctuary Teacher Training Program is co-directed by Bonnie Yonker, owner of The Yoga Sanctuary, and Jennifer French, Director of Teacher Development, both Yoga Alliance Registered Instructors (E-RYT) with over twenty years of combined teaching experience. The faculty also includes local RYT Yoga Instructors and world-renowned guest instructors to offer students one of the best Training Programs in Southwest Florida. The Yoga Sanctuary is proud to present the following guest Master Teachers for the 2014 – 2015 Teacher Training Program:

Yogiraj Alan Finger and Yogiraj Sarah Platt-Finger– Subtle Anatomy (Chakras & Tantra)
South African Tantric and Kriya Yoga Master Alan Finger began studying yoga at the age of 16 with his father Mani Finger and renowned swamis of the past century. Alan and Mani created ISHTA Yoga. The ISHTA style integrates breath-based flow yoga with alignment, meditation and healing bodywork. Before creating a home for ISHTA, Alan co-founded Yoga Zone, Be Yoga, and Yoga Works. Alan has authored several books and travels the world to share his teachings.
Sarah co-founded ISHTA Yoga with her husband, Alan Finger and their partner, Bruce Wilcox in May 2008. As the Teacher Training Director, Sarah helped to develop one of the most renowned Teacher Training programs in New York City. Her partnership with Alan has informed her teachings on multiple levels and graced her with the opportunity to teach all over the world including Tokyo, Munich, Stockholm, and India. Her daughter, Satya, inspires her every day to live a life based on truthfulness and self-empowerment.

Julie Gudmestad, PT – Anatomy
Julie has been active in Portland, Oregon, as a yoga teacher and licensed physical therapist for over 30 years. She has integrated Western medical knowledge with yoga training into a unique teaching style, and has taught many workshops in the U.S., Canada and Europe. She is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. Additionally, she wrote the Yoga Journal column, “Anatomy of a Yogi” for several years.

Dr. Carrie Demers – Ayurveda
As the Director of the Himalayan Institute Total Health Center, Dr. Carrie Demers M.D., lectures nationally on Ayurveda and holistic health. Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Demers is a holistic physician who blends modern medicine with traditional approaches to health. After receiving her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and completing her residency at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Dr. Demers went on to study massage, homeopathy, nutrition, herbal medicine, Yoga and Ayurveda. Widely recognized for her expertise in holistic health, Dr. Demers has been quoted in Time magazine, and is a frequent contributor to Yoga International magazine.


One of the greatest benefits of participating in The Yoga Sanctuary Teacher Training Program is FREE unlimited classes! Your tuition also includes 20% off all workshops by TYS instructors, all books required for the program, and all other retail items. Enjoy your unlimited classes and savings once your registration is paid in full.

Early Registration: $2950 (paid in full by October 22nd)
Deposit of $500 due within two weeks of acceptance into the program.

Standard Registration: $3150
Deposit of $500 due within two weeks of acceptance into the program.

Payment Plan: $3350
Deposit of $500 due within two weeks of acceptance into the program.
Three payments of $850 will be automatically charged to your credit card beginning the first day of the program. If you are interested in the payment plan, or have any questions, please e-mail


“The Teacher Training Program at The Yoga Sanctuary was a major life-enhancing experience for me. I do not think that there is a better way of yoga immersion than through the teacher training adventure. My journey with Bonnie and Jennifer was demanding, soul searching, and enlightening. The step by step process of learning how to teach from them and our guest teachers was comprehensive and concise. You will find it to be worth every minute!”
—Cathy Getz

“Yoga teacher certification was a dream that always seemed just out of reach because it meant traveling to and living in another city. When this course was offered right here in Punta Gorda, I had to jump on the opportunity! To say that I am glad I did it is a huge understatement. Bonnie has created a class that offers a wealth of information and personalized instruction. One of the many benefits is that I can now go to a yoga class anywhere in the world and understand the Sanskrit names of the poses and modify the poses for my ability in a way that whoever is teaching me will recognize as informed and safe. A month after graduating I am busy integrating all that I learned into my life and my yoga practice to my great benefit and the benefit of my family.”
—Kathy Kuzara

“Since the first time I took yoga I wanted to be a yoga instructor. When I found out Bonnie was offering teacher training right here in Punta Gorda I thought “this is meant to be,” and signed up immediately. It was great to have instructors like Dr. Carrie Demers and Alan Finger to be included in our training. I work full time so this was a major time commitment out of my life. But keeping the end goal in mind, I continued on. Now I teach yoga and I love it!”
—Melissa Meehan

“When I made the commitment to The Yoga Sanctuary Teacher Training Program, I remember earlier graduates telling me “It will change your life.” Now, a year after my own graduation, I can confirm that this is true. Without doubt it has been a challenging, humbling, illuminating, transformational experience! For anyone who is serious about yoga, willing to do the work, ready to go beyond current self-image, and who has the desire to be beautifully trained, this is the place to be and these are the people to learn from.”
—Sherry Bechtold

“I was in the midst of making a life change moving back north after being in Punta Gorda full time for the better part of 10 years and part time for 15 years. My yoga practice at The Yoga Sanctuary began in April 2010. I was determined with all the decisions that I was making, if I was ever going to do yoga teacher training it would be at The Yoga Sanctuary. I made that happen before I moved! It was a lot of hard work, but worth every moment. I am forever grateful to Bonnie and Jennifer and my co-teachers for the most amazing experience that I take with me daily.”
- Lynn Williams

“As someone who approached teacher training at The Yoga Sanctuary from the point of view of a part-time yogi just looking to learn more and deepen my own personal practice, I can honestly say that this program was life changing! Bonnie, Jennifer, and the rest of the staff at The Yoga Sanctuary went above and beyond to ensure each student received a well-rounded, balanced, and efficient education while allowing us to learn within a peaceful and comfortable environment. Some of my fondest and proudest memories came from this program, including courage, strength, and lots and lots of laughter, as well as the instant friendships that were forged in the fire of each of our shared passions for yoga. And as someone who went into this without any aspiration of ever teaching—and would have scoffed at the idea prior to taking teacher training—I am now celebrating six months of teaching at The Yoga Sanctuary, and I am loving every minute of it!”
—Sally Bartolotta

“I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Teacher Training Program at The Yoga Sanctuary last winter season. Bonnie Yonker and Jennifer French offered a professional balance of physical and spiritual knowledge required of a quintessential yoga school. They will forever be the teachers, mentors, and everything that I strive to be as a student and teacher of yoga. I recommend with highest praise this training for future aspiring Yoga teachers!”
—Julie Huffman

“The program fulfilled the yearning to deepen my practice. Bonnie and Jennifer are amazing teachers and have developed a comprehensive program on the science and art of yoga. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and developed great friendships with the other trainees. It was apparent how much time, dedication, and passion Bonnie and Jennifer put into designing the curriculum. Although I began the program without the intention of ever becoming a yoga teacher, I certainly felt confident in teaching after completing the program and would recommend it to anyone looking to either become a teacher or simply deepen their own practice. The tools I gained from participating in the program are priceless and will continue to serve me in all aspects of my life. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity.”
—Ashley Ellis

Please contact for any additional information.