Frequently Asked Questions - Online Study for teachers & trainees

As an Iyengar Yoga Institute Yoga Mandir has a responsibility to propogate the teachings and study of Iyengar Yoga. We fulfill this responsibility through training teachers (both local and remote area), ongoing Professional development of certified teachers, Trainer mentorships, and Online study programs. There are two distinct Online Study programs offered by Yoga Mandir.

The first Online Study program is a resource for Teacher Trainers, those Senior Iyengar Yoga Teachers who are currently in the process of training teachers to prepare for assessment with BKSIYAA at Introductory Levels 1 and 2. For these Teacher Trainers, who are interested in providing audio visual and written resources to their students (the trainee teachers) to supplement and deepen their face-to-face and on-the-mat learning, Yoga Mandir offers the Online Study - Trainee Teacher program. The Teacher Trainer negotiates with Yoga Mandir for his/her trainees to have access via the Teacher Trainer to the content of the Online Study program.

The second Online Study program is for certified Iyengar yoga teachers; teachers with Introductory Level 2 and higher certification. Such teachers may be interested in ongoing study to deepen their understanding of a range of philosophy subjects related to and relevant to Iygengar Yoga. For these teachers Yoga Mandir offers the Online Study – Certified Teacher program.

The focus of both programs is to assist trainees and teachers to deepen their understanding of what yoga means through the lense of each philosophical subject.  Yoga philosophy is challenging to understand. It is helpful to have guidance around the significant themes of Yoga and the Yoga Sutras.

BKS Iyengar has his own distinctive understanding and presentation of the Sutras based on decades of practice. Both Online Study programs highlight Iyengar’s teachings and lineage.

Yoga Mandir has been using a “subject based” approach to studying Yoga philosophy since 2006 and delivering study material online since 2008. This has allowed us time to observe its effects and how best to use the online forum in conjunction with face-to-face education. These subjects create a lens through which to view and consider the significant themes of Yoga philosophy and Iyengar Yoga.

Yoga Mandir enables both internal and external students to access study material to stimulate and guide their practice. The material is for practice support. The selections from texts enable students to digest material at a relevant point in time rather than being overloaded with material without guidance to consider its content.

Reading extracts from books and articles has been part of education in many fields  over time including yoga and other practiced philosophies. New technologies allow selected extracts of video and audio footage to be seen and heard by students to further broaden their understanding of how to teach and practice yoga.

There are a number of unique elements to Yoga Mandir’s Online Study programs:

  • Students are guided through a hand-picked selection yoga philosophy subjects using extensive audio visual and reading material specifically developed by Alan Goode (Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher) for study purposes.
  • The content includes Alan Goode’s own audio visual presentations and Reading and Research logs.
  • Students will develop an understanding of the Iyengar method and its relationship to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras as taught by members of the Iyengar lineage.
  • Alan Goode has painstakingly catalogued the Iyengar family’s audio and videos footage of yoga teaching over many years. From this body of material Alan has selected samples of the Iyengar family teaching to highlight particular points of emphasis or focus for each subject.
  • Students are offered excellent access to the Iyengar family’s teaching in their own words wherever possible.
  • This approach does not detract from the significance of time with a senior teacher, time at Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, nor attendance at a convention with a member of the Iyengar family.
    • Yoga Mandir’s Online Study programs acknowledges that for many of us it is a rare event to have the opportunity to stay in Pune and experience the teachings of the Iyengar family in person;
    • Many of the Australian Iyengar yoga teachers and trainees live in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia where access to high quality and relevant material about Iyengar yoga is not readily available; and
    • It is essential to access Iyengar’s teachings to stimulate our practice and to assist with the articulation of practice questions and experiences. 

Yoga Mandir highly values the relationship between a senior teacher and a trainee; indeed it has been the way yoga has been handed down from guru to sisya for centuries, and it is how Alan Goode insists that his own teacher training program is run.

In support of the essential relationship between senior teacher and trainee, Yoga Mandir does not allow certified teachers to accrue the time spent with the Online Study – Certified Teacher program towards ongoing teacher development (as set out in the BKSIYAA certification handbook page 25).

Similarly the Online Study - Teacher Trainee material can only be accessed through a trainee’s Teacher Trainer (a Senior Teacher) who has negotiated access on their behalf with Yoga Mandir. Yoga Mandir does not communicate directly with another Teacher Trainer’s trainees.

Online study programs are not a replacement for teacher training or teacher development.

Upon acheiving Introductory level 2 certification teachers become recognised Iyengar Yoga teachers. As qualified teachers they are no longer required to be within a recognised training program. Some certified teachers may continue to work with a senior teacher in an established learning agreement or mentorship. Yoga Mandir’s programs for certified teachers do not require a commitment to a mentorship (even though some certified teachers establish such agreements with Alan). Individual agreements between a senior teacher and individuals as always remain the domain of those individuals. Certified teachers who enrol in Online Study are encouraged to advise any Senior Teacher with whom they participate in Professional Development.

  • In order to enrol in an online study program you must either have Introductory Level 2 certification (Online Study – Certified Teacher) or access the program as a trainee through your Teacher Trainer’s access gateway (Online Study – Trainee Teacher).
  • Once enrolled the teacher or trainee accesses the material through their unique username and password.
  • Reading materials are presented in Pdf format in line with copyright laws.
  • Audio and video recordings cannot be saved off the site; they can only be streamed and viewed online. This protects the material from being recorded and further distributed and hence reduces the risk it will be used inappropriately or outside the Iyengar yoga community.

The details of Teacher Trainer access (4 weeks prior to their trainees) and how the program might be integrated into training is located on the Guest site of Yoga Vidya, a part of the Yoga Mandir website. Safeguards to ensure that trainees deal only with their Teacher Trainer and do not deal directly with Yoga Mandir are built into the process to ensure the integrity of the Trainer/ Trainee relationship. For more information, please email 

Trainee teachers cannot enrol in Yoga Mandir’s Online Study programs. We will only deal with Teacher Trainers. Your Teacher Trainer may negotiate with Yoga Mandir on behalf of you if s/he assesses it would be helpful for you to access the Online Study - Trainee Teacher program to supplment your training.


No. Online Study is not a substitute for working with a Senior Teacher and hours spend on Online Study programs cannot be counted towards the requirements of the BKSIYAA.

Agreements between a Senior Teacher and another teacher remain the domain of those individuals. If you are training with, apprenticed or mentored by a Senior Teacher please discuss this with them.

At Yoga Mandir Certified teachers are regarded as trained teachers responsible for their own learning. Professional Development and Online Study programs for certified teachers do not require a commitment to a learning agreement/ mentorship. However the prerequisite for enrolment, as well as holding at least an Introductory Level 2 Certificate, is that the student has an established relationship with Yoga Mandir, ie has:

·         participated 2 or more professional development terms at Yoga Mandir or

·         participated in 2 or more Interstate Professional development enrolments conducted by Alan 

For more information on Yoga Mandir's Professional Development program, click here