Functional Vinyasa & Hatha with Esther Ekhart, Anat & Marcel - 200 Hours

Cabeceiras de Basto, Portugal

200 hours

Intensive Module

01 June - 22 June 2020

D'Alijo Retreat Center

Price: from €4.135

Learn to teach yoga with Esther Ekhart (EkhartYoga), Marcel van de Vis Heil and Anat Geiger. Three renowned teachers, one exceptional training.

We are delighted to announce that in June 2020 we are joining forces for the first time to offer a unique teacher training that unites our many years of knowledge, experience and expertise.

For over 20 years, Esther Ekhart has been an international reference for high-quality yoga, both online and offline. Her classes, retreats and teacher trainings have inspired thousands of students to deepen their knowledge of yoga and themselves.

Anat Geiger and Marcel van de Vis Heil have been leading classes and teacher trainings for over 20 years, focusing their programs on strong scientific and philosophical education.

Together we’re offering a 200-hour, Yoga Alliance Accredited, Functional Hatha and Vinyasa Teacher Training.

This in-depth course will give you a strong grounding in yoga anatomy, theory and philosophy, underpinned with a range of self-inquiry techniques to enable you to be the most authentic yoga teacher you can be.

This Yoga Teacher Training course will give you the foundations to teach both Hatha yoga and Vinyasa yoga flow classes. The 200 hour course is accredited by both Yoga Alliance US and Yoga Alliance Professionals (formerly Yoga Alliance UK).

The training consists of two parts: a three-week residential course, followed by homework assignments and a theory exam to be completed within three months of the residential.

We will accept up to a maximum of 27 participants to ensure that you get our full support and attention.

Part 1: 3-week residential in Portugal in the beautiful D’Alijo Centre

June 1st to June 22nd, 2019

Each week will focus on a different aspect of the yoga practice. The structure of all three weeks is similar, allowing for a daily rhythm that is intense but also tranquil. We will practice meditation and asana – both Yin and Yang – daily along with lectures and practical sessions.

Yoga theory only has value when put into practice, and our practice is sustained by understanding who we are and why we do certain things:

Self-enquiry sheds light on what happens during our physical practice;
our physical practice unearths our patterns of behaviour, strengths and weaknesses;
yoga philosophy and meditation guide us on how to proceed, bringing us back into self-enquiry.

These are different aspects of the same practice, and each week informs and supports the others.

Topics covered during the 3 week residential in Portugal:

  • Anatomy (30 hrs)
  • Techniques, training and practice topics (120 hrs)
  • Yoga philosophy, lifestyle and ethics (40 hrs)
  • Practice and teaching of asana, pranayama and meditation
  • Alignment, benefits and potential risks of the foundational yoga postures
  • How to observe bodies
  • Refinement of your own yoga practice
  • Develop your confidence with teaching practice
  • Finding your voice
  • Assisting and modifying poses
  • Class sequencing and planning
  • Personal development / Mindfulness techniques
  • Study of traditional texts (Yoga Sutras, Samkhya philosophy and The Bhagavad Gita)
  • Sanskrit names of yoga postures
  • Ethics and the business of teaching yoga

Week 1 (1st to 7th June)
Self-development; how to become a functional human being

led by Esther Ekhart

The purpose of this week is to teach you techniques you can apply during this training and throughout your life to help you let go of old and established habits and patterns that may be holding you back. Using powerful tools, both ancient and modern, you will explore the deeper, more hidden parts of yourself and the more awake, aware parts of yourself so you can learn to open yourself to the beauty of the present moment. This will also help you to be the best teacher possible for your students.
Some of those methods include:

  • Self-inquiry
  • Here and now practices
  • Meditation
  • Insight practices
  • Self-compassion

Week 2 (8th to 14th June)
Functional anatomy and technique of the poses

led by Marcel van de Vis Heil

Functional yoga recognises the scientific truth that every single bone in every body is different, and therefore the way we move is unique to us. Instead of focusing on how a pose should look, Functional yoga asks what should the pose be doing for us, for the body we have today. Knowing the answer to that question enables us to find the right alignment for our bodies and for our students, not according to a general rule but according to our own uniqueness and needs.

This dictates everything we do, also the way we study anatomy; we look at muscles and bones not only to learn their names and functions but especially to learn to look at people and identify what adjustments and modifications they need in order for their practice to be safe, pleasant and healthy.

  • Anatomy foundations:
    • skeletal variations and their importance when teaching yoga
    • the 14 skeletal segments and their movements
    • the 10 myofascial groups and their functions
    • fascia and modern meridian theory
  • Yoga poses:
    • The 7 archetypal poses and their variations
    • Alternatives for different bodies and for injuries
    • Sun salutations
    • Sequencing
  • Pranayama
    • Basic breathing techniques and how to teach them

Week 3 (15th to 22nd June)
Yoga Philosophy, Chakra Theory & Practice

led by Anat Geiger

Yoga is by definition a practice: a method of self-work with the goal of realizing and manifesting our true, enlightened nature. More than anything, it needs to be experienced. But the road can be extremely difficult and frustrating, especially these days when materialism and instant gratification seem to be the drive behind so much in our lives.
That’s where yoga philosophy can help us: it is packed with information, guidance, support and inspiration, and even though it was written long ago, it carries deep relevance for our times and lives today.
Yoga philosophy cannot be grasped with the intellect alone, it must be felt with the heart. We take the time to explore these ideas using a down-to-earth approach that is accessible and understandable without losing its beauty and depth.

  • Foundations of Yoga Philosophy
    • The Creation of the Universe according to yoga philosophy
    • The Four Dimensions of Human Experience
    • Karma, Samskaras and Breaking the Cycle
  • Introduction to the Sutras of Patanjali
  • Chakras and Human Evolution
  • Chakra Meditation

Daily Schedule:
07.30 – meditation
08.00 – breakfast
09.30 – lecture and practice
12.30 – lunch
16.00 – lecture and practice
19.00 – dinner

Part 2: Homework and follow-up sessions

To be completed in your own time and submitted within 3 months of return from the residential

  • Teaching friends and family (10 classes)
  • Observing a yoga teacher or teachers of your choice (10 classes)
  • Making a short 20 min video of yourself teaching a functional yoga class
  • A short video of you explaining a yoga pose to a student, including the function of the pose, its target area, the skeletal segment it belongs to, and the myofascial group it is part of.
  • A theory exam on anatomy and philosophy

Come and join us and start your yoga teaching journey – the rewards are life-changing!

Costs and accommodation options

Per person (Includes three delicious vegetarian organic meals daily and the use of the retreat centre facilities):

shared accommodation 4 persons – € 4,135
shared accommodation 2 persons – € 4,375
Single occupancy with shared facilities – € 4,705
Single occupancy toilet & shower in the room (converted cabin) – € 5,125
Single occupancy luxury single cabin – € 5,305

These prices do not include:

Your travel expenses to and from the centre (we will help organise shared transport from Porto airport to the centre on arrival and departure days). Also excluded in the price are any extra food, drinks, treatments, massages during the three-week intensive. Please read our Payment and Refund Policy


To register (or if you have any questions), please send an email to You will then be sent a registration form.

Entry requirements

You should have a minimum of two years’ regular yoga practice for this Yoga Teacher Training Course. You will not be expected to be able to do every pose but you are required to be in good physical and mental health as the training is intensive and demanding. 

Please read the Code of Conduct by which all Yoga Alliance Professionals Registered Yoga Teachers agree to follow; our Terms and Conditions, and our Grievance Procedure. We will send you copies of these documents following your acceptance on the training.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.