professional training

Professional Training & Continuing Education


Peoria Teacher Training Application 2017-2018

200 Hour Foundation Yoga Teacher Training
April 2017-March 2018

The Midwest’s Premier Teacher Training Institute
Prairie Yoga at Heading OM Yoga in West Peoria, Illinois
with Lead Teacher Ellen McKenzie, assisted by Tammy Mitchell
Established in 2006, Prairie Yoga’s Registered Yoga Alliance School has certified over 300 yoga teachers. When you train at Prairie Yoga, you are poised to become one of the best instructors in your area. Employers know this. They seek our graduates because of our high standards and deep curriculum. When our graduate yoga instructors put into practice what they have learned, they express a top satisfaction rate with our yoga teacher training. And so will you.
Here’s why:

  • Our Training Focuses on Authentic Yoga: Our training is a blend of multiple traditional styles that combine the precision of alignment-based yoga, the breath-synchronized flow of vinyasa and adaptation to the individual.
  • Our Training Is Comprehensive: Our 200 hour and 500 hour yoga teacher trainings are rich, in-depth studies that provide a foundation for all styles of teaching and practicing.
  • Our Training Is Supportive & Ongoing: From the moment you walk through the doors to the moment you graduate, you will receive ongoing support and mentoring from our yoga faculty. Graduated students continue to learn beyond the curriculum with our mentoring opportunities.
  • Our Training Is Reputable: Since 2006, Prairie Yoga has been a Yoga Alliance Registered School at both the 200 and 500 hour levels.Our programs far exceed the requirements established by Yoga Alliance. Workshops and special events are approved CEUs with Yoga Alliance. Yoga Alliance requires that all RYTs complete a minimum of 30 CEUS within a three year period.
  • Our Founder Wrote the Curriculum: Lori Gaspar is a leader in the field of yoga and developed the 200- and 500-hour curriculum used at our facility and others across the Midwest.
  • Our Training Is Accredited: We are an Illinois State Board of Education professional development provider (# 090129102221607).
  • Our Graduates are notified of job opportunities from a wide-range of employers. Once you complete a training with Prairie Yoga, you will automatically receive job postings from employers that seek our graduates.  Please note, these postings are primarily locations in/around the Chicago area. The opportunity for yoga community growth is just getting going in Central Illinois.  Demand is increasing in gyms, studios, corporations, traveling teachers, specialized individual and small groups.  Heading OM forwards opportunities directly to their teaching staff & tt’s.

Learn the Modern Application of Traditional Yoga
We are committed to teaching yoga in its purest form. Yoga fads come and go, but traditional yoga and its eight limbs are the foundation for all yoga instruction.

Multi-Style Yoga
We include techniques from a variety of styles in our training. You will learn both structural alignment and breath-synchronized movement (vinyasa flow) and how to artfully combine them into intelligent sequencing.

Find Your Path
The 200 Hour Foundation Yoga Teacher Training will deepen your own personal practice and/or prepare you to intelligently teach yoga classes from your own heart-felt path.

Build a Firm Foundation
We believe that establishing a firm foundation in your own yoga practice is key to becoming an inspiring yoga teacher. You will learn how to safely use the tools and techniques from all eight limbs of yoga.

Become Connected with Yourself—and Others
Our philosophy is non-dogmatic. We offer a contemporary approach deeply rooted in the ancient wisdom of traditional yoga. By immersing yourself in the study of yoga, you move toward becoming a balanced, whole individual deeply connected with yourself, others and the world we live in.

On-Going Support and Experience – During and After
Many yoga instructor programs are built merely on coursework. At Prairie Yoga, we are committed to mentoring throughout the certification process and beyond. We build a multi-level support community around our students. During the training, you will have primary teachers and be assisted by mentors who have completed the program. Once you are done with your training, you can reach out to our faculty at any time for a reference or on-going teaching advice. You can also become a mentor yourself for new trainees, and deepen your understanding of yoga through hands-on apprenticeship. Prairie Yoga is committed to mentoring yoga instructors through out their yoga teaching career.

Choice of Schedules & Locations
We offer 4 different training schedules at our home base in Lisle, IL: Weekends, Thursdays, Evenings and a Summer Intensive. Our satellite trainings are held in Chicago, IL and Grand Rapids, MI, Peoria, IL and Madison, WI.  If you miss a required weekend or training, you can make up the hours at any location.

You Will Learn How To:

  • Include all eight limbs of yoga in your practice and teaching
  • Understand the energetic effects of asana, pranayama, bandha, meditation and the basic principles of Ayurveda
  • Rid ourselves of habitual patterns, create a healthy balanced state and restore energy
  • Train the mind to become still and develop self-awareness
  • Sequence to emphasize different energetic effects, themes and intentions
  • Apply key alignment principles
  • Integrate the intelligent use of vinyasa (breath-synchronized movement)
  • Understand anatomy of the physical and subtle bodies
  • Balance the opposing forces of grounding/lightness; stability/ease; and strength/flexibility
  • Introduce sound based yoga practices such as chanting and simple mantras
    •     Refine your teaching language so it is clear and specific
  • Demonstrate visually to emphasize key actions
  • Adjust students manually to reinforce alignment principles in a safe and appropriate way
  • Modify for common student issues
    • Organize a yoga class to create a supportive environment for transformation
  • Market yourself as a yoga teacher; understand common yoga financial agreements and insurance; and build healthy business relationships
  • Gain insight into the ethics of teaching yoga View certification requirements, schedules, registration information and application, please click on links on right side of page.


The training is designed for those who want to become yoga teachers as well as for those who want to deepen their own personal practice and immerse themselves in the study of all aspects of yoga. One year of consistent yoga practice is required to enroll. Your commitment to learning and dedication to your own personal transformation is key to enjoying the benefits of this training.

Check List of Certification Requirements

Below is a checklist of certification requirements. If you are absent for any of the set schedule hours.  The Program includes 180 contact hours and 46 non-contact hours, plus weekly homework.

9 Weekend Schedule (108 contact hours):
Saturday, 11:00 – 6:00 p.m. & Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m – one hour lunch each day

2017-2018 Weekends
Saturday, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Includes one hour meal break daily
April 1-2/ May 6-7 / June 10-11
July 8-9 / Aug. 12-13 / Sept. 9-10 /
Oct. 14-15 / Feb. 10-11 / March 10-11
*** Non-Contact Requirements Nov. – Jan. ***

(45 hours)All requirements must be completed by March 3, 2018.

  • Fundamentals of Yoga Anatomy with Marinda Stopforth
    (15 contact hours)
    April 21 – 23, 2017
    Friday 6-9 pm; Sat-Sun, 9-4 pm (15 contact hours) Held at Heading OM

    Further Exploration with Ellen McKenzie
    Developing A Home Practice
    Friday, June 9, 6-8pm (2 contact hours)

    Individual Clients: Observe and Discuss
    Friday, Oct. 13, 6-8pm (2 contact hours)

    Teacher Training Weekend with Theresa Murphy
    Sat-Sun,Times TBD, Jan 20-21, 2018
    (12 contact hours)Held at Heading OM Yoga

    Envisioning Your Path Retreat with Tammy Mitchell
    Sat., June 24, 2017, 10am – 2pm(4 contact hours)Held at Heading OM Yoga

    Self Care for the Yoga Teacher Retreat with Tammy Mitchell
    Sat., Feb 24, 2018, 10 am – 2 pm(4 contact hours)Held at Heading OM Yoga

  • Anatomy & Yoga text books required for this program
    Yoga Teacher Training Manual is included in your tuition.
  • Additional texts you must purchase:
    Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar
    Yoga for Wellness by Gary Kraftsow
    Yoga Sutras of Patanjali translated by Swami Satchidananda
    Scientific Keys 1: Key Muscles of Yoga by Ray Long

Flexible Scheduled Requirements

  • Observing and assisting teachers at Heading OM Yoga 
  • 4 book reviews– Choose 4 out of the 7 books Listed as required for certification
    (approx. 4 hours reading/writing per book = 16 non-contact hours)
    Cost of books varies – suggested to purchase used online

Choose 4 out of the 7 books listed below:
Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hahn BringingYoga to Life by Donna Farhi TheTree of Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar
Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life by Judith Lasater
Fire of Love: For Students of Life and Teachers of Yoga by Aadil Palkhivala Health, Healing and Beyond by T.K.V. Desikachar Overcoming Trauma through Yoga: Reclaiming Your Body by David Emerson

  • Teach 2 Private Lessons and write 1 page overview of each
    One may be with a fellow trainee. (estimate 2 hours prep and teaching time per = 4 non-contact hours)
  • Co-Teach 2 Community Classes  (4 contact hours)
  • Karma Yoga: Teach to an underprivileged/needy group at no charge. (2 non-contact hours required)
  • CPR: You may take this anywhere it is offered, which may include charges. Fire depts, govt institutions or your employer may offer CPR for free. (4 non-contact hours)
  • Self-study/Thesis (20 self-study non-contact hours)
    An in-depth study of a specific area of interest related to yoga, resented as a paper, class, lecture, video or other appropriate medium. Topic must be approved by teacher.
  • Weekly Homework (approximately 3-5 self-study hours per week).  All homework and sequences are due as assigned.
  • Observe/assist OM teachers (10 hours)
    Fees for class attendance may apply.
  • Attend 10 hours of group classes with Tammy Mitchell or another Prairie Yoga graduate at Heading OM (10 hours)
  • Demonstrate the ability to teach an inspiring Level 1-2 yoga class clearly, safely and appropriately.

Props Required

• 1 standard bolster
• 2 yoga blocks (4″)
• 3 yoga blankets (wool or woven Mexican) • 1 yoga strap (8′ – 10′)

There will be an opportunity to purchase props at a discounted rate; details to be provided upon registration.

200 Hour Tuition Agreement

$150 deposit holds your spot in the training. This deposit counts toward your tuition fee. The deposit is refunded only for those not accepted into the Program or if the Training is cancelled.

$150 non-refundable deposit
$3750 if paid in full by 3/8/17
$3950 thereafter
4% fee added for credit card payments
$150 fee for payment plans (Contact Heading OM for details)
Tuition Includes: 10 classes at OM, all required events and course manual.
Fees for props, books and observe/assist are not included in tuition.

The tuition and fees paid by the applicant shall be refunded if the applicant is rejected by the school before enrollment. All tuition and fees paid by the applicant minus the $150 deposit shall be refunded if requested within 3 business days of payment and prior to the first training class, otherwise the following refund policies are in effect:

All Trainings (weekly or monthly) refund policy:

  • Before the first training class, your tuition will be refunded minus $150.
  • After the first training class, your tuition will be refunded minus $250.
  • After the second training class, your tuition will be refunded minus $500.
  • No refunds are available on the day of the third training class or thereafter.
  • Requests for refunds must be submitted in writing to the Director, Tammy Mitchell.
  • All refunds shall be returned within 30 days.

Terms and Conditions
We accept cash, check or credit cards (Visa, MC, Discover only).
Advertised price of tuition is for cash or check only.

Credit Card Payments
All credit card payments will be charged a 4% transaction fee.

Late Tuition Payments
Late payments will be assessed a $25 fee for each week past the due date. In addition to late fees, the student will not be allowed in training classes until balance is brought current. Any training classes missed due to late payments must be made-up at the student’s cost.

Primary: Ellen McKenzie, 500 E-RYT

Director: Tammy Mitchell 500 E-RYT

Heading OM Yoga
2619 West Heading Avenue Woodridge Professional Building West Peoria, Illinois 61604

Registration: Tammy Mitchell
(309) 326-8262,

Certification and Training:

Our Lead Teacher Ellen McKenzie

Ellen graduated from the first Prairie Yoga training offered at Cascade Yoga Studio, Grand Rapids, MI in 2009, and has lived a life dedicated to teaching and study ever since. Ellen has been a Prairie Yoga student, mentor, assistant teacher, and is honored to be lead teacher trainer in Madison, WI & West Peoria, IL. Ellen studies intensively with Tias Little and completed Theresa Murphy’s 300 Teacher Intensive in December 2015.

You can learn more about the Prairie Yoga Teacher Training here:
Prairie Yoga 200 hour Foundation Teacher Trainin

If you are interested in having your events/trainings in the comfort of Heading OM Yoga, please contact with your letter of interest.   We are currently interested in booking trainings in yoga philosophy/anatomy, meditation, Asian & Western bodywork/massage/energywork, breathwork & mindfulness practices.