yoga teacher training

Silence Watching Sound : Yoga and Sanskrit


Yesterday I interviewed someone for our upcoming 300HR Yoga Teacher Training program. She was impressed with our use of Sanskrit during classes. She said the teachers don't even use the English terms and students understand! 

At All Life is Yoga we teach yoga in its original language, Sanskrit. Sanskrit is not commonly spoken; instead it was used to orally convey thousands of pages of verse from scriptures. It was, and is, the holy language of the scriptures—one of the oldest known sacred writings in human history.  Yoga was originally relayed and taught only in Sanskrit. Hearing yoga terms in a foreign, complicated language can sometimes make it difficult to follow along as a new student. However, there are several reasons we feel it's beneficial to use Sanskrit terms:

  • It's the language of our profession. We expect dentists to know what periodontitis and caries are, an artist to be familiar with stretcher bars, pigments, and gesso, and we trust a carpenter to know the meaning of level and plumb. To understand the language of your profession is part of what makes you a professional.

  • Sanskrit is a phonetic language—the meaning is in the sounds. Saying words correctly connects students to the word's meaning on a much deeper level than the English translation of the word.

  • Proper pronunciation teaches you to use your mouth in ways you rarely do. Sanskrit has complicated, unique movements of the tongue, which exercise the mouth and mind, creating new neural pathways and keeping them both fresh and youthful.

  • Using Sanskrit teaches students to listen and focus more intently during class. You may struggle the first few times and have to look around to stay at the pace of the group, but before you know it, you're in the zone, deeply present and aligned with an energy transmission that has happened for thousands of years.

There is no need to dumb down the yoga. We treat our students like they are intelligent enough to learn a new language, just as their body is learning new movements, and their heart is discovering new potential.

Creative Loafing Article

Creative Loafing recently interviewed me to discuss the state of yoga, All Life is Yoga and the Dharma Project. Check out the interview here.

To be honest, I was nervous about this article. I said some things. But after the events of this weekend, I was reminded of how necessary it is, even in our small ways, to speak up and acknowledge things as they are. Thank you to Creative Loafing for the platform. 

The Language of the Gods

At All Life is Yoga we teach yoga in its original language, Sanskrit. Sanskrit was never commonly spoken; instead it was used to orally convey thousands of pages of verse from scriptures. It was, and is, the holy language of the scriptures—the oldest known sacred writings in human history. Yoga was originally relayed and taught only in Sanskrit. Hearing yoga terms in a foreign, complicated language can sometimes make it difficult to follow along as a new student. However, there are several reasons we feel it’s beneficial to use Sanskrit terms:

Plug 1

Check out this INTERVIEW Center for Civic Innovation did with Rutu about her start with yoga and the development of The Dharma Project  + learn more about our upcoming teacher training, book club, and free yoga at The Grant Park Farmers Market.

Acres of Diamonds + Yoga with Police Officers + Dirty South + Meet the Trainees

Many years back I read this book called Acres of Diamonds. The author shares countless tales, spanning throughout history, of people who lived in the most destitute conditions on land that was seemingly barren and hopeless. Seeking riches, they would sell their land and travel far to mine for gold, oil, diamonds, etc. Story after story, the person that bought that seemingly worthless land for next to nothing would find the very thing the original owner chased elsewhere, making millions.

I’ve been spinning like a top trying to develop the appropriate connections to get certain programs for The Dharma Project moving. Recently I discovered that the people closest to me—those already in my inner circle—are exactly the resources I need to propel The Dharma Project forward.

Congratulations to Margarita Cruz! Partial Scholarships for Yoga Teacher Training Now Open

Yoga Teacher Training Full Scholarship Recipient

All Life is Yoga is offering its first full scholarship for the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training. I don't know anyone more deserving of this opportunity than Margarita Cruz, who has studied with me for over twelve years. Whether I was running around teaching at other studios, or at ALIY when we finally opened the doors to our own space, she has always been there.

Margarita recently retired as a teacher for the Decatur Public School System. She's said many times that she doesn't know how she would be able to show up daily for 25 kindergarteners if it wasn't for the tools this yoga practice has provided her. "Practicing at ALIY keeps me grounded and clear. I’m being of service to young children. I have to be focused and aware of my emotions, because my emotions impact the students. When I take care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally, I’m a better teacher. My emotions don't get in the way. I would not be well if I wasn't regularly taking time to slow down, and moving in a way that releases negativity and fatigue. Yoga renews my spirit."

We are so grateful that Margarita prioritized self care as a public servant, and can't wait to be a part of her new journey as a yoga teacher-in-training!

Partial Scholarship Applications Open

All Life is Yoga is also offering partial scholarships for our upcoming 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training. The applications are assessed based on financial need, aspirations to teach, dedication to the practice and an interest in leveraging the teacher training to serve communities in need. To apply, contact Rutu

July 4th Class Schedule and Early Bird Teacher Training Registration

Holiday Schedule 

We will have one class on July 4th from 9:30-10:45am taught by Rutu. The Tuesday evening 6pm and 6:45pm classes are cancelled. 

200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Early Bird Registration 

I'm really looking forward to teach the upcoming 200 hour yoga teacher certification at AllLife is Yoga. It's my first time in 8 years of teaching a yoga certification that I am offering a new format for the curriculum. It's gonna be special! Early Bird Registration for the upcoming 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certification ends July 15th!

Email to apply. 

Dharma is the Umbrella

According to the Vedas (the oldest scriptures known to man, which came out of India), there are four major reasons for life. They are:

  1. Dharma: pursuit of purpose
  2. Artha: acquisition of material wealth
  3. Kama: experience of pleasure
  4. Moksha: spiritual exploration

The Vedas explains that the latter three are contingent on Dharma. That means that the amount of wealth you acquire, the amount of pleasure you experience, and even the amount of time and energy you spend on spiritual practices depends entirely on your pursuit of purpose. Anything beyond what is required for living your purpose is excess and fuels the ego. Discovering your purpose, then, becomes the most meaningful life endeavor. Everything else you do is clarified by that purpose.


quiet joy
peaceful trust
luminous hope

- The Mother

Level I Yoga Teacher Certification 

All Life is Yoga's 2017-2018 teacher certification dates are set! This training is appropriate for anyone who wants to deepen their personal practice, understand the why of yoga asana, pranayama, nutrition, meditation, anatomy, alignment, energetics, philosophy, sequencing, service...and learn to teach with confidence.

August 19th-20th
September 9th-10th
September 23rd-24th
October 21st-22nd
November 11th-12th
December 2nd-3rd
January 6th-7th
February 10th-11th
February 17th-18th

For more information and to apply, contact Rutu

200 Hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training starts June 11th

"To be well-rounded teachers of yoga, to serve our students with it's priceless gifts, to help each student fully realize the blessings that yoga has to offer, we cannot merely teach asana. It's not about hamstrings--it's about life. Our responsibility is to cultivate human beings, and the asanas are bait. People come merely to get fit, and we offer them a powerful evolutionary process leading to the revelation of Self and the fulfillment of dharma. The true impact of yoga is felt only when the student's entire life changes for the better from the practice." - Aadil Palkhivala from Fire of Love  Teaching is a joy, a privilege and a huge responsibility! This is the last week to register for the 200 Hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training that begins Saturday June 11th, 2016. Learn more about the course and register here.

Contribution Classes

I am so happy to have contribution based classes at All Life is Yoga. I hope to continue to transition the schedule in this direction. I love the feeling of inclusion that is blossoming at the studio.

There seems to be some confusion around the contribution classes for our current student base. I'm sorry for the lack of clarity. You are welcome to attend any of the contribution based classes and pay what you are able. You are able to use your class card but do not have to. You are unable to register for the classes online so come a few minutes early and the teacher will sign you in. Please bring your friends and family and practice with our eager, new teachers.

All Life is Yoga has teamed with CFM to bring free Purna Yoga classes to the community! Upcoming Events:


Ponce City - Tuesdays at 4-5pm
Decatur - Saturday 6/11 & 6/18 at 10-11am
East Atlanta Village - Thursday 6/16 at 6-7pm
Westside - Sunday 6/12 & 6/19 at 10-11am

These classes are outdoors  - please arrive a few minutes early and bring a mat. If you have any questions, let us know or visit the information booth at the markets for help. See you at the farmers market!

Work is Love

...made visible - Kahlil Gibran

When I was in college my friend, Christina Bulostine, had just graduated from a 200 hour yoga teacher training and was offering a donation class at another friends house. I was a bit averse to yoga in the US because I didn't relate to it. No one that did yoga looked like me. Even though it's roots are in India, ironically, I didn't think yoga in America was for me. I went because she was my friend. After that first class, though, I was hooked. I felt a huge burden release in my body. Yoga helped me with my body image, healing the trauma of a violent past, dealing with my anxiety, and so much more. It got to the point where I couldn't leave my house without doing my practice. It was my medicine.

I didn't miss Christina's weekly donation class. I started to tape the classes so I could practice them at home. I got videos of Baron Baptiste and Kundalini Yoga and I made mix tapes. Standing poses from this VHS, twists and backbends from that audio, core strengthening from a website link...Early on I was creative with my sequencing!

After three years I was feeling a bit stagnant in my practice since I was self teaching. My sister suggested I do a yoga teacher training. "Are you crazy! I exclaimed. I am not a guru. This is a respectable practice with lineage. I've only been doing it for three years. I'm not qualified!" But I wanted to learn more about yoga. So I did it! My sister's subtle nudge would change my life and direct me towards my purpose. What a huge gift she gave me. Within a few months of being in training I got my first gig as a teacher. :)

The point of my story is that yoga teacher training, esp. at the 200 hour level, is more about deepening your personal practice. You all know how much depth and breadth Purna Yoga has and some of you are more than ready to take your practice to the next level of understanding and application. Our mission is to embody the practice, to live it and for that, you need more training. Even if you've gone through a 200 hour in the past, this training is a tremendous eye opener. It will propel you in your practice. Learn the anatomy, physiology and refinement of posture, how to apply yogic philosophy in your day to day, and most importantly, how to embody the light that is experienced through meditation.

As Aadil often says, yoga is not usually the path but the path to the path. It's designed to align you with your purpose, your dharma. My purpose happens to be teaching. I have been teaching yoga for a living since 2003. My work involves my personal practice, so I can continue to heal myself and teach with integrity, sharing the gifts of yoga with others so they can feel more alive and joyful and earn a living do it. Wow! Talk about love manifest. It's pretty rewarding when your work serves you, your community and the planet.

Our 200 Hour Purna Yoga Teacher Training Starts June 11th. Apply Today!