Trying to find the yoga school that is right for you?
Do you want to teach or are you looking to deepen your yoga practice and knowledge?
"My experience with Balance Yoga and Wellness was incredible. Courtney is a master teacher: knowledgeable, nurturing, and authentic. I met so many new friends and fellow yogis. I highly recommend Courtney and am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to earn my RYT200 through this school."
-Karin Bara R.Y.T. 200
Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Pulaski County
History:Balance Yoga and Wellness has a long history. We are affiliated with Turquoise Tree yoga of Little Rock, Robin Johnson 500 E.R.Y.T., R.C.Y.T., R.P.Y.T.. I myself received my training from this amazing woman. She has been my guide and mentor for many years along with Elana Johnson E.R.Y.T. 500, R.C.Y.T., R.P.Y.T. I continue to work with these ladies today in the school, with workshops and on advanced teacher training's. Both of these teachers graduated with Erich Shiffman's school in California as well as intensive study under Rod Stryker.
I started teaching professionally in 2001 (before that I volunteered to friends and students I knew) then opened as Floating Lotus Yoga back in 2004 as a traveling yoga business while working at National Park Community College, a local gym , and yoga studio. In 2007 I started offering workshops and intensives. In Nov of 2007 the 200 hr program became an approved school with Yoga Alliance. In 2012 I had an opportunity to open a studio and changed the name of our business to Balance Yoga and Wellness due to some confusion with another studio that had recently opened in the Little Rock area. Since we train teachers in Little Rock and Hot Springs we thought is best to change our name. So you will see that many of our teachers will say they graduated from Floating Lotus Yoga.
Since our inception my staff and I have trained teachers who now teach as far away as Germany, Hawaii, and cover much of the United States and the globe. Courtney and her staff have trained well over 180 teachers to date. Our teachers are some of the top teachers in the United States based on credentials and years of teaching. Courtney and Stacey were the in first group of teachers to be recognized as Yoga Therapist by the International Association of Yoga Therapist. Courtney, Robin, Elana, and Stacey hold every possible certification with Yoga Alliance and have been all been teaching well over sixteen plus years. Rena Wren is RYT 500, ERYT 200 is one of the few Yin Certified teachers in the state of Arkansas. Our support staff is also very experienced and all of our main teachers are E. R.Y.T.'s or above. We all continue to travel and educate ourselves with other well known teachers around the world. You will know you are training with experienced teachers who have many years in the yoga community and working with a variety of students.
Courtney currently is a former three year Member of the Yoga Alliance Advisory Group to the Standards Committee so she stays up to date on what is going on in the world of yoga credentialing. She has a private yoga therapy practice in Hot Springs, leads workshops, teacher trainings and is has written a book for yoga students and teachers that is currently being published. She is a Certified Solution Focused Coach and is one of the featured speakers on holistic health in the 2017 Coaching Summit. Courtney travels often to events with Yoga Alliance, I.A.Y.T. and to do training in therapeutic yoga. She is the Stress Management Specialist with the Ornish Reversal Program at Saline Heart Group in Benton, Arkansas.
What to expect in class? We (the staff and I) generally train groups of ten to twenty people.In 2016 Rena Wren RYT 500, ERYT 200 and Yin Yoga Certified, has been working as my assistant for four years joins our staff as a lead teacher in the school. She is the owner of SoulFeedYoga.com
No matter the number of people we keep a small friendly feel to our training's. Here at Balance we like to think of ourselves as compassionate, kind, and having high ethical standards. We guide you every step of the way, classes are taught not just in lecture style but using many modalities to assist all types of learners and to build relationships with your fellow classmates. We promote a healthy, cooperative yoga community by teaching ethical business practices.
Headstand or No Headstand? First off my motto is "I care more about your heart than your headstand". I often say that we as a school teach much like a contractor builds a house. You will get the foundation, the walls and the roof but how you decorate depends on you, you are an authentic human being and will teach that way. We are not here to make you mini versions of us. We train people to teach a wide variety of classes. I like the K.I.S. method "Keep It Simple", we do not try to intimidate or talk over your head, all of our material is taught in a way that is accessible to your unique learning style.
In the 200 hour school we give you a solid background in yoga history, philosophy, three basic pranayama (breath-work) practices, asanas (postures), and meditation. You will be able to teach a class and keep people safe when you graduate from our training and have a solid foundation to work from.
The 300 hour program for 500 hour registration is a whole person oriented training to assist students in working with special populations, understanding modifications on a deeper level, thinking outside of the box, deeper levels of meditation and the the neuroscience behind cognitive and somatic experience that we use in yoga therapy. The training and concepts come from Courtney's experience as a yoga therapist, solution focused coach, and her many years teaching a diverse group of people.
What if I already consider myself an advanced practitioner? All of our students are required to have one year of yoga practice in one of the eight limbs of yoga. That means that if someone has been practicing meditation for two years and has basic asana (postures) background we consider this. We do not consider the words "advanced yoga" practitioner to mean someone who can do advanced asana. Asana is merely one limb of yoga. We consider an advanced practitioner someone who is well versed in the eight limbs, yogic history and philosophy and has an understanding of anatomy -both on a physical and subtle level. Many of our practitioners have many years experience however it varies greatly from those who practice in a gentle way and those who practice more advanced yoga asana. This school follows the basics outlined with Yoga Alliance for our curriculum. The 200 hour program is not advanced teacher training. If you are only wanting to advance your physical practice we would suggest you also practice with a teacher who is teaching advanced yoga asanas (we are happy to suggest some associated with our school or in the community). Our goals are to teach you the basic history and philosophy of yoga as outlined in the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras, to teach you the fundamentals of teaching a yoga class that is appropriate for the general population (beginner to intermediate) in the 200 hour course and therapeutically oriented practices in the advanced course, both include pranayama, asana and meditation. We want you to understand how to keep yourself and others safe. We teach the foundations of anatomy , gross and energetic (Chakra's and Ayurvedic principles). The 200 hour program is the beginning for a yoga teacher in the journey of becoming a more advanced teacher. The best way to find out if this is the training for you is to speak to someone who has been through the training. Need references? Please ask. We want you to be satisfied. It only reflects well for us when you are.
What if I just want to deepen my own practice by taking a 200 hour program? We do require some basic yoga background, weather it's a personal home practice, a meditation practice or a practice in a studio. Just call us and we will help guide you to see if you are ready. You are welcome to take the training for deepening your own practice, this is common in our school. Yoga Alliance requires us to have you teach at least 5 practice hours of yoga in the school. We do this by breaking it down in tiny bite size pieces so that you feel comfortable when the time comes to teach to the class, we incorporate small group sessions often in training to help you get comfortable. There are some basic expectations of teaching, however we let you tailor your teaching to your own unique style and guide you in finding what that is for you. Even if you never plan on teaching a class this process will help deepen your understanding of the flow of a practice and how to utilize that in your own life. If you do not want a certification when finishing the program you will not be required to turn in the homework, teach, or do any required outside work, if you choose this route then no certificate will be given. It is in everyone's best interest to do the homework to get a well rounded education but only required for certification.
How much time will I have to devote to training? We meet one weekend a month on Saturday and Sunday from approx 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Depends on the training). The school opens in Sept and graduation is in April or May. There are a total of eight to nine weekends. *We take off at least a week during Thanksgiving, three weeks during December and try to avoid training on all legal holidays.
We offer practice each day by one of our teachers (or the student teachers teach as we move along), usually a beginner friendly class which may be taught by your teachers or guest teachers. All classes are taught by registered yoga teachers. Homework varies from month to month but you should plan on at least 2.5 hours per week for the 200 (study, practice, observe, assist) and 5 hours per week teaching, studying, observing or assisting for the 300. We will give you the homework upfront so you can work on it at your own pace. We advise you do it in the timeline we lay out each month so it doesn't pile up. The homework is quite enjoyable. We also allow attending concurrent trainings for extra learning hours. So if you are in the 200 hour program you can drop in and listen to what the 300 hour teachers are doing. If you are in the 300 hour program you can assist with teaching the 200 hour program (we strongly encourage 300 hour teachers to get hours this way as it is an excellent review).
Why did you make the training 8 to 9 weekends long? We tried the training in shorter increments and found that it just didn't work as well and students didn't seem to bond as much (an important factor in our opinion). The students felt more overwhelmed. Sitting in training for long hours days on end is exhausting and overwhelming.We also pride ourselves on integrity and ethics and Yoga Alliance mandates that each student have a minimum number of hours with a seasoned teacher. Most of our students have busy lives, families, are going to college, or have a career or work that they do already, so this gives them ample time to learn and get their work done without to much added pressure. The process of learning over the eight or nine months is very enjoyable and is an experience most people don't want to rush. We have also worked the training around holidays and the normal vacation times that are concurrent with most public and private school schedules, in our society this is common and seems to fit most peoples lives more readily.
*We also are in a rural part of the country and many of our students will drive up to four hours to go to school. Spacing it out makes it more accessible to them.
What if I need to drop out? We only have so many openings in each training and once those are full we start a waiting list so we ask you to consider carefully before you go into training. Make sure you can attend all the weekends, keep up with the homework and be available for makeup time if you need it. When you sign up for training you are signing a contract that you owe the amount of the deposit and tuition regardless of if you finish training. Please do not register for school if you are unsure if you can make the financial and time commitment.The school has bills to pay, teachers to pay, credentials to pay for and many other expenses. When students drop out it puts a burden on the school so therefor we ask you to consider this commitment carefully.
What if I have to miss a weekend?
If you know you will have to miss a day or a weekend please contact us before you register. If you miss more than two days you may be transferred to the next years training if you cannot make it up. We do offer makeup days and ways to make up hours however they may have some cost associated with them. If you have a catastrophic event or serious illness and can get a doctors note we will withdraw you from training and your fees will be prorated to the date we receive the doctors note. * Many issues can be worked around such as physical limitations so minor injuries are not considered issues to withdraw from training. Physical practice is only one part of the training.
Aren't you over-saturating the yoga market and will there be a place for me to teach if I wish to teach? This has yet to be a problem as we train teachers from all over the state and country. So many of the people in your training will not live in your area. If there are a lot of teachers in one area we teach collaboration and business in a way to promote harmony. We teach you how to work together by teaching you ethical business practices. One should not take training as a means to becoming wealthy. Yoga teachers generally teach one to ten classes a week and some teachers only prefer to subclasses. Yoga teaching should be a way to help other people facilitate their practice. Teaching yoga is a great lifestyle due to the fact that it often is way to be in a community of people and in at atmosphere that you already loved before you became a teacher. You will also have many perks (often free or reduced priced classes for yourself) once you become a teacher and have great access to yoga classes, workshops, and make like minded friends.
Accessibility to training: We will offer training in Conway and Hot Springs in 2017.
* We also offer teacher training at other yoga studios outside of Central Arkansas by request. If you are interested in hosting a teacher training please click here.
What are the payment options: We try to work with everyone's special needs. We have payment plans and an option to pay ahead at a discount. We will work with special circumstances should you need it within the best of our ability please contact us if you have questions. All tuition is due before graduation.
What have other said about this training?
"I had such a great experience with Balance Yoga and Wellness. I was lovingly encouraged to get out of my comfort zone and with that, I found tremendous growth. I so believe in the program and recommend it to people all the time!"
- Stacey Reynolds, C-IAYT , 500 E.R.Y.T.
owner of Blue Yoga NYLA
North Little Rock
"I'm grateful for the school. Truly a life altering experience. Becoming a yogini and behaving like one are not the same thing. Living a yogic life, body mind and spirit, is soul cleansing. Finding others who feel the same are hard to find, at the school an overabundance of love surrounds you. Like I said before, I'm grateful for this life altering school."
- Leslie Cuffe 200 R.Y.T., R.C.Y.T. and Balance Barre Certified Instructor
"Today is a very gray day,
For me, Courtney's gift of Yoga she wanted to share,
Allows me to be better doing it alone or with others if I dare,
My practice makes the great out of grey,
Yoga brings out the best in us and cast some bad away!!"
I miss all the wonderful yogi spirits i met!!!"
- Rebecca Weller 200 R.Y.T.
" I look back on my 9 months' training with Courtney Butler's yoga school with so much fondness. It was a wonderful personal experience, and I learned a great foundation of skills and philosophies to help me be a good yoga teacher. The training was done in a comfortable, accepting way that met my personal needs and abilities. I now teach a community class and have built up my number of students and the time I spend teaching to a level that is exactly what I need. I love sharing the joy of yoga with my students, and I thank Courtney and the other teachers for making that possible for me."
- Sarah Standridge 200 R.Y.T.
North Little Rock
"The yoga teacher training program offered by Courtney Butler is excellent in every way-perfect class size, a variety of guest teachers, thorough instruction of anatomy and philosophy, etc. Courtney possesses all the experience and technical and philosophical knowledge it takes to be an excellent yoga instructor, but she is also one of the most caring people I've ever known. I strive to emulate her kindness and teaching style in my own classes every week."
- Erin Simpson R.Y.T. 200
" Where to start. I wish I could be in teacher training all the time! It was only 2 days a month but I loved every second of it. The community and the family that is built in that time between everyone as we are all there learning together, laughing together, crying together. There's nothing else like it."
-Susan Griffin 200 R.Y.T.