At the Essence of Living Academy, we are committed to training world-class yoga teachers. Teachers who respect and honour this eternal practice and those teachers who have come before us. The teachers trained at Essence of Living are sought after and recognised as some of the best yoga facilitators in the industry. At Essence of Living we equip you not only to be an amazing yoga teacher, we also prepare you for the business of yoga. Our training is not only for aspiring yoga teachers, many students take on our training in order to deepen their own personal practice and delve deep into the philosophy beyond the mat. The Essence of Living course is registered with Yoga Alliance, offering you the best quality yoga education. We welcome you to the Academy!

The Essence of Living Yoga Level 1 (200HR) training takes place in two locations, at the Essence of Living Tallebudgera Valley Retreat and The Daily Dose studio in Melbourne. Our training program truly over delivers, providing you with 320 hours of training, including 200hrs of face-to-face learning. Find out course dates, requirements and a course overview below.

Gold Coast Course

18th May – 21st July 2019
Lectures and training: 10 weekends, Saturday & Sunday, 7.00am – 4:00pm


28th October – 22nd November 2019
Lectures and training: 4 weeks, Monday – Friday, 7.00am – 4:00pm


Where: Essence of Living Tallebudgera Valley Retreat

Participation: 40 scheduled classes (included in course cost)

Observations: 8 classes

Assisting: 10 classes

Optional: Ashtanga Intensive, Monday to Friday, 5.30am – 7.00am.

Optional: 108 Sun Salutations.


Or reserve your spot by emailing or calling 07 5520 6600

Melbourne Course

Spread over 7 months. Dates are:

  • 9th & 10th June 2018,
  • 21st & 22nd July 2018,
  • 18th, 19th, 25th & 26th August 2018,
  • 1st, 2nd, 15th & 16th September 2018,
  • 20th & 21st October 2018,
  • 10th, 11th, 24th & 25th November 2018,
  • 8th & 9th December 2018

Lectures and training: 10 weekends, Saturday & Sunday,  7.30am – 4.30pm. (Includes 30 minute pranayama/meditation and 90minute practice with Cara)

Where: The Daily Dose Studio, Balaclava  

Participation: 40 scheduled classes  (included in course cost). Participation can be completed at The Daily Dose Studio in Balaclava and/or at Live Life Well Studio in Chelsea (included in course cost)

Observations: 8 classes

Assisting: 10 classes


Or reserve your spot by emailing or calling 03) 9530 3659

Course Cost

$4400 (Payment plans available. Click here for more information.).  Combine Yoga Teacher Training with the Pilates Teacher Training to receive a $1000 discount of combined total.

The course cost includes all all required classes (participation, observation and assists), weekend workshops (with your course facilitators and guest experts), course workbooks, first aid training and a studio branded singlet.

Receive a 5% discount if paid in full 8 weeks prior to the course!

Course Outline

Yoga Philosophy
  • Apply yoga philosophy and history to yoga instruction
  • Develop and apply awareness of specific pranayama to yoga instruction
  • Provide advice to clients on the steps of meditation
  • Utilise a broad knowledge of yoga philosophy and history in yoga planning and programing
Group Yoga Training
  • Develop a broad knowledge of yoga asana and adjustments
  • Instruct Surya Namaskar, standing, balancing, backbending, twisting, forward bending, hip opening and inversion postures
  • Apply safe sequencing, teaching method, adjustments and assists for Surya Namaskar, standing, balancing, backbending, twisting, forward bending, hip opening, inversion and savasana
  • Instruct and monitor yoga programs
  • Plan and deliver group yoga sessions
  • Deliver approved community yoga programs
Anatomy and Physiology

Apply anatomy and physiology principles in a yoga context

Exercise Programming
  • Plan and deliver yoga programs
  • Plan and deliver an athlete-specific yoga program
  • Undertake long term yoga programing
  • Apply exercise science principles to planning yoga exercise
  • Plan and deliver personal yoga training
Special Populations
  • Develop and apply an awareness of specific populations to yoga delivery
  • Plan and deliver yoga to older clients with managed conditions
  • Work collaboratively with medical and allied health professionals
  • Interact effectively with children
  • Plan and deliver exercise to apparently healthy children and adolescents
Client Screening
  • Provide yoga orientation and health screening
  • Undertake client health assessment
  • Apply motivational psychology to provide guidance on yogic behaviour and change to meet health and wellness goals
  • Undertake appraisals of functional movement
Business Skills
  • Marketing small yoga business
  • Undertake small yoga business planning
  • Plan a home-based yoga business
  • Plan small yoga business finances
  • Provide healthy eating information to clients in accordance with recommended guidelines
  • Plan and deliver yoga programs to support desired body composition outcomes
First Aid
  • Provide applied first aid response including CPR


In order to equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to be a yoga teacher, there are a number of assessments required as a part of the course.

  • 40 class participations (can be signed off before course commencement)
  • 8 class observation reports
  • 10 class assists
  • 5 one hour class deliveries (with your fellow teacher trainees)
  • Business Plan (including market research)
  • 2 written exams (yoga philosophy & asana and anatomy)
  • 3 reflective essays/book reports
  • 6 two minute presentations on assorted topics
  • Develop client screening appraisal
  • Personal Development plan

Many of these pieces of assessment will be delivered during your training, however you do have a total of 6 months to complete all of your assessment.

Required reading

There are a number of books required to complete the course, these will be referenced within the training. You do not have to read them cover to cover before training commences.

  • Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
    We recommend The Essence of Yoga: Reflections on the Yoga Sutras by Bernard Bouanchaud
  • Hatha Yoga Pradipika – Muktibodhananda Swami
  • Breathe Bend Blossom – Michelle Merrifield (purchase in studio or online)
  • The Key Poses of Yoga – Ray Long
  • The Key Muscles of Yoga – Ray Long

Online retailers we suggest to find your materials include Book Depository, Amazon and AbeBooks. Fishpond.




A typical day at Essence of Living Yoga Teacher Training

6.45am – 8.45am
Meditation, pranayama and 1.5 hour yoga asana practice
8.45am – 9.15am
Breakfast and a swim in the creek
9:15am – 11.30am
Teaching techniques or sequencing.
11.30am – 12.00pm
Lunch break
12.00pm – 2.00pm
Asana, adjustment or class delivery practice.
2.00pm – 2.30pm
Afternoon break
2.30pm – 4.30pm
Reflection on the Patanjali’s yoga sutras

Course Facilitators


Michelle Cassidy is the founder and operator of Essence of Living Yoga & Pilates studio and Teacher Training Academy on the Gold Coast. After first discovering Yoga and Pilates at the young age of 16, Michelle knew this was her calling and she wanted to share both the spiritual and physical benefits of the practice with others.

Michelle Cassidy

Primary Facilitator

Clare Merrifield is a beautifully organic yogini who will surprise and delight you with her amazing classes. Clare’s classes are the perfect blend of dynamic movement and scintillating stillness.
Clare has completed Lance Shuler’s (Inspya Yoga) Yoga Level 1 training and Radiantly Alive’s Level 1 training. Clare has also mentored on the Radiantly Alive’s teaching course six times.

Clare Merrifield


Erin had been teaching Physical Education and Chemistry in high schools for several years since completing a graduate entry Bachelor of Education (following a Bachelor of Exercise Science). It is this wealth of hands on experience in the classroom which gives Erin the ability to make anatomy and physiology accessible to teacher trainees.

Erin Bourne


Jema Lee is a nutritional educator, wellness coach, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and self-health teacher. Known for her integrity, warmth, ability to communicate a sometimes overwhelming topic and her no-gimmick approach.

Jema Lee


As Sharon continued teaching through both her pregnancies she became even more aware of these benefits during the pre and postnatal months and discovered how yoga can actively prepare you for a natural birth. Sharon teaches regular Prenatal, Mother & baby yoga and general yoga classes on the Gold Coast.

Sharon Little

Pre and Postnatal Yoga

Having practiced Tantra for our 18 years, Andrew unites his diverse background and experience with Transpersonal work, Mythology, Astrology, Dance and Yogic Philosophy to bring a rich and exciting view and perspective on this liberating art form and spiritual practice.

Andrew Mournehis

History and Philosophy

Natalie completed her Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) in 2012. Natalie strived to expand her skills as a yoga teacher completing more training; Radiant Child III, My Health Yoga Level I and Essence of Living Level I and II.

Natalie Olsen

Children’s Yoga

Dr. Rama Prasad has taught, presented and practiced Ayurveda internationally for over 25 years. Dr. Prasad's presentation style is an absorbing with pure devotion and a strong sense of logic. He promotes Ayurveda education with science and common sense so that students and practitioners get an accurate understanding of its principles and application.

Dr Rama Prasad