(the Mesoamerican Permaculture Institute)

lake atitlán, GUATEMALA

NOVEMBER 1 – november 28, 2018

october 26 – november 23, 2019

Deepen your yoga practice and embark on a transformational journey to discover how embodying holistic and sustainable practices can radically shift the way you live and engage in the world.

Learn the foundations of yoga through asana, breathwork, and mindfulness in this unique program combining ancient yogic wisdom and the intelligence of nature. Gain the tools and resources to create and inspire change in yourself and your community. Awaken your potential!

Want to engage community directly in your transformational journey? We also offer the opportunity to crowdfund your tuition. Find out more below.




• Yogis interested in deepening their practice
• Changemakers, innovators, activists and teachers
• Counselors and human rights workers
• Yoga teachers seeking to deepen their facilitation and community building skills
• Practitioners interested in new tools and approaches to designing and creating change
• Seed planters


200 HOUR YOGA Teacher Training PROGRAM

Leadership, community, self care + earth care

• Enhance your understanding of the foundational aspects of this ancient practice through asana, pranayama, meditation, chanting, kriyas, philosophy, anatomy, lifestyle, ethics, and Ayurveda
• Learn form, benefits and cautions of principal asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques) and kriyas (cleansing techniques)
• Gain knowledge in anatomy and the physical/mental benefits of yoga
• Discover the subtle energy of yogic anatomy and how the chakras work
• Learn about Ayurveda, nutrition, and the yogic diet
• Explore Ashtanga philosophy (the Eight-fold path)
• Study and discuss the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
• Explore various teaching methodologies, including modifications for age, focus and common injuries/conditions
• Become skilled at creating various class-styles: beginner, intermediate and an introduction to prenatal yoga
• Gain experience through a teaching practicum and receive feedback in a supportive environment
• Find your own unique expression as a yoga teacher
• Release self-limiting beliefs and step into your power as a leader!

Course Overview + FEATURES

• Build your personal practice and gather concrete tools to embody the wisdom of The 4 Paths of Yoga, and The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
• Gain a greater understanding of the neurological, emotional, and physical effects of yoga
• Learn how to nurture compassionate relationships, healthy families and a peaceful, sustainable world through the practices of yoga and mindfulness
• Address issues of diversity, social justice, inclusion, and safety in a variety of contexts
• Discover the benefits and challenges of introducing yoga and mindfulness practices to diverse communities
• Explore the potential of matching ecological integrity with human needs through permaculture design and sustainable living practices
• Connect with nature to inform your journey
• Discover your own unique set of assets and tools
• Learn and experience participation-based tools that support project management and community impact projects in a new and different way through hands-on teaching
• Learn and apply sustainable project design tools to support a local community project
• Better understand how to design and manage a project in alignment with your values, skills, passion and leadership style
• Engage your community through crowdfunding, leveraging the power of the collective to support sustainable projects

Personal Rewards

• Discover the resources, inspiration, and community support you are seeking to change lives through yoga
• Connect to your inner teacher and learn how to leverage your skills and strengths with your unique purpose
• Nourish your mind, body and spirit, and be provided with the tools to create positive change with intention, confidence, and a fresh perspective
• Return home with a renewed sense of purpose and passion, expanded networking and community organizing skills, and the heartfelt inspiration you need to continue making a difference in the world


• In-depth training 5.5 days a week
• 1.5 days of unscheduled time to study and explore
• 4 weeks of accommodations at Atitlán Organics' Bambu Guest House (community living focused on harmonious relationships with the planet!)
• 3 delicious, organic vegetarian meals per day
• Fermentation workshop
• Daily yoga and meditation classes
• Cacao and sound ceremony
• Permaculture immersive
• Illustrated Akhanda Yoga Teacher Training Manual
• 200 hour Awakened Spirit Yoga Teacher Certification (YTT)*

*received upon successful completion of the program

Awakened Spirit Yoga is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School (RYS 200) adhering to the strict guidelines of the Yoga Alliance. Intimate classes allow our dedicated team of teachers to provide personal attention, expert guidance and personal feedback to students throughout our trainings.


View our full program curriculum.

Training Faculty

Julia Forest : E-RYT Lead Facilitator
Kristine Vanderplas : Community Development
Shad Qudsi : Permaculture



Curious whether this program is right for you? Let us know when you're available and we'd be happy to speak with you over the phone or Skype!

Hear what Julia and Kristine have to say about yoga for inner transformation and outer change.


72+ HOUR Permaculture Design Certification


Permaculture is the harmonious, sustainable integration of landscapes and people. This approach teaches us the interconnectedness of all life through direct observation, conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems that have diversity, stability, and resilience. This holistic exploration of sacred ecology and yoga is one way to integrate our practice into everyday life and inspire change in the world! Read more HERE.


This year we are so excited to collaborate with IMAP! The Mesoamerican Permaculture Institute (Instituto Mesoamericano de Permacultura) is a non-profit organization based in Guatemala. It was founded in 2000 by a group of local people concerned with the serious environmental, social and cultural problems affecting the nation. They established an ecological education center to promote permaculture techniques, local biodiversity conservation, production of organic food, and a seed bank that strives to reconstruct the Mayan seed heritage.

Incorporating a combination of field trips, work experience, numerous guest facilitators, and design practicals, this course provides participants with much more than the internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate. It is a foundational experience for a new way to see the world. Learn how to capture energy, become a producer, and respect and encourage diversity. There is a special focus on indigenous knowledge and how permaculture relates to this well-established world view. Students will gain the benefit of exposure to two different sites, with the first week of the PDC taking place at the Meso-American Institute of Permaculture, and the second at Atitlan Organics.


This 2-week intensive course goes above and beyond the full 72 hour curriculum as laid out by the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia’s PDC curriculum and follows Bill Mollison’s Designer’s Manual.

Topics include:
• Permaculture theory and principles from a diverse group of leaders in the field
• Sacred ecology: How sustainability deepens our understanding of yoga
• Land assessment, observation, and plant identification
• Water systems: The ability to implement basic grey water and composting systems necessary for sustainable dwelling
• Animal Systems: Aquaculture and integrated livestock management
• Vegetable production & agroforestry: Designing food production systems for yourself and others, preservation, and value added products
• Plant guilds, propagation, seed saving, and germination
• Natural building theory & techniques
• Design Project: In small teams students will conduct a local land assessment, client interview, and present your ideas for a permaculture design suitable to the project.


• In-depth permaculture training 5.5 days a week
• 1.5 days of unscheduled time to study and explore
• 1 week of accommodation at Atitlán Organics' Bambu Guest House
• 1 week of accommodation at IMAP
• 3 delicious, organic vegetarian meals per day
• Daily yoga and meditation classes
• 72 hour Permaculture Design Certification (PDC)*

*received upon successful completion of the program

Training Faculty

Shad Qudsi : Permaculture
Julia Forest : Yoga + Meditation




Want to immerse yourself in an energy-conscious, off-grid, resourceful community of like-minded folk? This is the place! Enjoy delicious vegetarian meals, breath-taking views, and freedom of expression while re-discovering your true nature and connection to Mother Earth.

Shad and the team at Atitlán Organics consider small-scale food production and localized resource utilization the wave of the future. They are proud to spread the good word of permaculture, nutrient dense food production, local resource utilization, and other sustainable practices, as these are the areas where positive change can be most effective in our lives and communities.

Studying Permaculture and Natural Building at Atitlán Organics will fast track your understanding of how to interact with natural systems. The educational impact of Atitlán Organics is not only inspirational, it is also a fully-functional, profitable, and off-the-grid permaculture farm. The systems they have in place allow both visitors and students to experience the principles of permaculture in real time. They run their own sustainable hotel onsite called Bambu Guest House – a brand new, natural building boasting bathrooms and balconies in each room, new comfy beds, wifi, super hot water, and amazing views of the surrounding lake, mountains, and rivers. Lodging is shared, but private. The Bambu Guest House has a Farm-to-Table Restaurant that serves delicious and filling organic meals mainly composed of Atitlán Organics products, with some help from other local farms. Currently, Atitlán Organics supplies all: milk, yogurt, cheese, salads, cooking greens, honey, coffee, chicken, taro root, pigeon peas, and herbs to the restaurant. 




Use Crowdfunding to Engage Your Community!

Participants are encouraged to crowdfund for their tuition. This is an opportunity to engage your community with your journey from the very beginning and bring awareness to the projects that you will design and support during the training. There is also the option to raise funds beyond your tuition to use toward a passion project of your own design, or a community project that you choose to become more involved with during the training.

Crowdfunding gives your community an exciting way to invest in viable solutions that have an impact. If you are interested in crowdfunding, we provide a step-by-step guide and resources to support your crowdfunding campaign!


$2400 USD

Includes: 4-week YTT course including all classes, workshops, field trips & training manual.
Does not include: Lodging, airfare (accommodation pricing below), required reading texts.

accommodation: 200 HouR YOGA TEACHER TRAINING

$995 USD

Includes: 3 organic vegetarian meals per day and lodging at Atitlán Organics' eco-hotel: Bambu Guest House. Each room sleeps 4-5 people comfortably, and most rooms are screened and have electricity. Wifi is available in the common area. 

+ (optional) permaculture design certification

$1300 USD

Includes: 2-week PDC course + design practical, 1 week accommodation at Bambu Guest House, 1 week accommodation at IMAP, 3 organic vegetarian meals per day, daily yoga and meditation.



ready to reserve your spot?

step 1: fill out the application form

step 2: secure your booking

Deposit: $500 USD
Full YTT Tuition: $2400 USD

Once your deposit has been made we will notify you by email that your place in the course is secure. Deposit is non-refundable.
Full payment must be received 30 days prior to the start of the course.
Learn about our refund policy here.

Contact us for Bank Transfer or PayPal information if you would prefer.



Accomodation Payment Details

IMPORTANT: Payment for accomodation is sent directly to Bambu Guest House.
Please wait to pay for accommodation until receiving confirmation of acceptance into the program.

Deposit: $500 USD
Full Accommodation Fee: $995 USD

Option 1: PayPal

Note: An 8% PayPal fee will occur.

Option 2: Bank Transfer

Note: Accommodation payment must be paid in full to Bambu Guest House 14 days prior to the start of the course.



Yoga has transformed me in every way

“This was the best travel and training experience I've had in terms of self growth! I have more confidence and am able to communicate easier with others. I’ve gained a lot more knowledge about the way I interact with the world and have more compassion for myself and others. I feel equipped as a leader – mostly in terms of owning my practice, truth and voice without hesitation, but also in sequencing, and the history and principles of yoga. Yoga has transformed me in every way – it’s such a great outlook on healing and expression."

— Yara Kamal, Toronto
[ Nov 2017 Sacred Earth YTT Grad ]

A safe place to dig deep, connect & learn

“I went into the Sacred Earth Yoga Teacher Training as an instructor and practitioner knowing I was seeking more depth. I wanted to bridge the gap between my yoga and the environment. I wanted connection. I wanted to be presented the material and teachings in a way that was applicable to the times and culture. I was seeking the skills to be able to share yoga with my students in a way that presented them with the tools to make change and be able to confidently stand in their truth. This training gave me the opportunity to do just that and so much more, with a safe place for me to dig deep, to make those connections, and learn. To find my voice and teach what is authentic and true to me. I no longer feel like I am inadequate or ill equipped. I am confident in my truth and my path and know I have a community of amazing changemakers in my corner.”

Autumn Jean, Minneapolis
[ Nov 2017 Sacred Earth YTT Grad ]

The journey of a lifetime

“My experience with Awakened Spirit Yoga was the journey of a lifetime. The leadership course was challenging, but those difficulties brought me to new places that I was not aware I could reach. The structure of the course was genuine and unique and Julia’s passion for the environment was contagious. I left feeling more confident in my choices and absolutely motivated to pursue environmental activism.

Through this intensive course I gained clarity and motivation to follow the path of passion and love for Pachamama. True to the name, my time with Julia and her co-creators was awakening."

Zoë Evans, Toronto
[ Nov 2015 Sacred Earth YTT Grad ]

JOin our global family

Your transformative journey is already unfolding!
Ready to add your voice to an inspiring community of changemakers?
Contact us with any questions!