A year of firsts for IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga Teaching

The IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga Teaching course has been running for more than 50 years but 2020 has been a year of first for the non-profit organisation

By Katie Brown

It’s the first year of running the 460-hour course during a global pandemic.

The highest number of male students (there are five enrolled in this year’s course compared with 21 female students).

And the first year there has been a combination of online lectures, live streaming and face-to-face lectures – in each study weekend!

But yoga is known for being flexible and the IYTA Diploma Yoga Course has been adapting its year-long course to ensure the students have the best possible learning within government restrictions – and its worked!

One of the current students is Brjinder Sandhu he says: “ I felt the course came into my lie at the perfect time. I was very impressed at how quickly the IYTA transitioned from face-to-face to online Zoom classes during the lockdown.

“I know other courses were cancelled, but thankfully the IYTA continued. It could easily have felt like a waste of a year, but instead I have been gaining this useful tool that has helped me cope with anxiety and stress, has supported me emotionally and psychologically – all while keeping me in good shape!”

Plus once Brij graduates early next year he’ll be an internationally qualified yoga teacher.

Brij – started off his career in the corporate sphere – working in travel marketing. But seven years ago he quit the rat race and qualified as a massage therapist. Now he’s planning to combine yoga teaching with his massage business in Sydney’s North Shore.

Before embarking on the Diploma, Brij did a lot of research to choose the best yoga teaching course. He was particularly keen to learn from a variety of different lecturers and not be tied to one particular yoga lineage. The IYTA has an expert panel of 22 lecturers – teaching on all aspects of yoga from asanas, to philosophy to anatomy and energy systems and pranayama.

Brij says: “I wanted to learn how to be a teacher, rather than draw from one point of view.”

He was also impressed with the IYTA’s long standing global reputation and how well respected it was within the industry.

Brij had enrolled in the IYTA’s Yoga Foundations course – a 70 hour online course and knowing how professional and thorough that course was gave him the confidence to take the next step and embark on the full teaching diploma.

Brij says the IYTA course has also helped him to be more grounded. He says: “I would recommend this course to anyone who wants a better understanding of yoga and of themselves!” He adds that you don’t have to teach at the end of it – but you will end up becoming your own teacher!

Brij says it is great to have a mix of other men on the course – but that everyone has come from all different walks of life. And he adds that the guys doing the course are probably already on their own path of self discovery.

The irony isn’t lost on Brij who was born and grew up in India, is qualifying as a yoga teacher while living in Sydney! He says during his 20s in India he did study yoga but has found the IYTA’s approach is more open.

He believes there is more freedom to explore self expression. “In India they want you to say things in a certain way – you are constricted in the way you can teach. But that wasn’t my personality. I need to come from a place where I can infer from multiple sources  and grow Into the kind of yoga teacher I want to be while still having a strong focus on safety.”


Get $1,450 off the course by taking advantage of the Earlybird deal – valid until December 18, 2020.

The IYTA Diploma of Yoga Teaching begins in February 2021. To enrol in this prestigious course click here


The IYTA is also running a series of free Open Days and Live Zoom events – to find out more or register your interest, please email us




Christmas Chocolate, Pistachio & Raspberry Slice

Indulge your senses and tastebuds with this delicious festive treat by our NSW IYTA State Rep, Alexi Pallpratt


1 x 100gms block of dark chocolate 70% ( Alexi used Lindt).

3 tbsp of Almond Butter

1 tbsp of coconut oil

1 tbsp of Maple syrup

100gms of fresh raspberries

¾ cup of Pistachio’s

1 tsp Vanilla essence

1 tsp cinnamon



On a very low heat melt the bar of chocolate then remove from the heat.

Add the almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup. Mix together well.

When all combined, add ½ cup of the Pistachios into the mixture.

Then place the raspberries at the bottom on a lined small slice tin.

Poor over the chocolate nut mixture & then place the remaining pistachio’s on top for decoration.

Put in the fridge for 1 hour to set and slice up when ready to serve.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas.




How studying Yoga helped me through 2020

When Mum-of-three, Bec Abbott enrolled on the IYTA Diploma of Yoga teaching at the start of the year she had no idea how much of a lifeline it would be…

By Katie Brown

This ground-breaking course has a panel of 22 expert lecturers delivering information and practical sessions on asanas, philosophy, meditation, anatomy and so much more.

More than 3000 teachers have graduated from this – arguably the longest running yoga teacher training course in Australia.

While dozens of yoga teaching courses have been postponed or even cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, the IYTA team worked hard to ensure the Diploma course continued – providing students with online live and face-to-face lectures whenever required.

Bec Abbott, aged 45, is one of the current intake of students and is delighted the course was able to continue.

She says: “I feel so well supported. The IYTA is doing everything within its means not only to help us pass but to ensure our experience of the course is just as enriching despite the restrictions and making sure we all continue to genuinely enjoy the course.”

The course has been delivered by a mix of online, live Zoom classes and face-to-face lectures – with live streaming for students in remote areas or who are not able to attend the study weekends.

Bec of Hornsby, NSW, says that even when she has attended online she has still found a deep sense of community and support from students and lecturers alike.

And the mum-of-three, who also works as a part-time journalist has found the practices she has learnt this year have helped her personally. She says: “My meditation and breathing practices have become a lifeline. They have sustained me and helped me focus on feeling positive and calm. I feel much more peaceful than I think I would have if I hadn’t been doing the course this year!”

Not only has the course supported her personally but she feels that at the end of this year she will have a valuable qualification as an internationally-recognised yoga teacher.

She adds: “It’s been a real rollercoaster ride this year – we’ve had lots of niggling sicknesses – my family has had a total of six Covid 19 tests so far this year! They’ve all been negative but it’s been challenging. We’ve dealt with homeschooling our three girls (aged 11, 12 and 15) while both my husband and I have worked from home.

“Another thing I’ve learnt from the course is how to respond and react to challenging situations. I have been able to give single focus to each problem as it crops up rather than feeling overwhelmed. And with that single focus I have been able to give undivided attention to my children as they have gone through these issues.”

Bec adds: “I am just so glad that I decided to take the time to do a course that would be so comprehensive. This was really important to me as I want to provide safe and effective teaching for people at all ages and stages of life.

“My husband works as a chiropractor specialising in rehabilitation, so I’m very aware of how beneficial strengthening and stretching can be, but also how important it is to do it in a safe, controlled manner.”

Bec adds if you want to become a yoga instructor who can simply demonstrate a few asanas, then you could find a short teacher training course elsewhere. However, if you want to be a yoga teacher who can safely guide their students through all the physical and emotional – and potentially even spiritual – benefits that yoga can provide, then the IYTA course is definitely the one for you.

She says: “It will not only enable you to greatly enrich the lives of your students, but it will also greatly enrich your own.”

The IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga course is 460 hours which includes 10 study weekends + six-day residential

The International Yoga Teachers Association is non-profit and does not have a guru, or owner. It embraces many traditions acknowledging that ‘many paths lead us up the mountain’. This inclusive approach creates a solid and stable foundation for student teachers to develop their own style of expression and teaching of yoga.

The IYTA also offer a 70-hour Foundation of Yoga course (an introduction to the full course). If you decide to do this and then wish to enrol in the full Diploma course, the course fee and all your completed assignments are counted towards the full course.

Graduates of this course are respected and acknowledged as some of the best yoga teachers around the world.

Email us to find out more and book into our FREE Open Days.


November 15

Live and via Zoom

4-5pm AEST

to register and find out more


Or visit our website: iyta.com.au for a course outline or to enrol