Step 1: 300 Hour Yoga Therapist Training

One Weekend a Month, March 2020 - January 2021*

Presented by Yoga Among Friends in affiliation with the Surya Chandra Healing Yoga School (SCHYS) in the traditions of T. Krishnamacharya and Desikachar. This is the first step of a 3-step 900-hour program to become a certified yoga therapist.

Laura Jane Mellencamp adjusting a yoga student

Program Overview

This unique teacher training is for yoga teachers (RYT-200) who realize that yoga is a deeply intimate experience of the body-mind-spirit and that its beauty lies in how differently it is expressed from person to person.  This program is not so much about the information you will learn, but about the personal transformation you will undergo.

The integrated curriculum of this 300-hour program is designed for RYT-200 yoga teachers who want to expand their yoga teaching, who want to become a yoga therapist or want to go more deeply into their own practice. Our program places emphasis on the transformation of individuals through quality, excellence, and integrity of a complete education in the art, science and philosophy of yoga.  

Open your heart and become a part of this unique community - establish lasting friendships with like-minded individuals, enter into a study group, and go deeper into these beautiful teachings.

All programs are directed by JJ Gormley, one of the premier leaders in the field and founder of the Surya Chandra Healing Yoga School. JJ, as primary faculty, teaches the majority of the curriculum, with Laura Jane Mellencamp and with assistance from Meredith Harbour.


Program Format

Surya Chandra Healing Yoga School

Surya Chandra Healing Yoga School

The Step 1 300-hour program meets via a weekend module format, which is approximately one weekend per month for eleven months.  We believe immersing oneself in the curriculum for little bits at a time (a weekend’s worth of new information), then taking time to assimilate and digest the information before bringing in another little bit is the best way to learn.

In addition to the weekend program modules, there are online classes, practicum, quizzes, exams, and other outside study.  The online discussion posts (for the online classes, and reading assignments) keep the students and faculty engaged with each other during the time between modules.

We use an online website,, to organize each program. All students will be required to have access to a computer with appropriate software and current operating system to utilize The ability to play audio and video media is required for the online classes. Some online classes are audio recordings, most are video recordings; and therefore, students must have technological capabilities to take these classes—we can assist students who have less technological aptitude.  All course information, materials, online classes, quizzes and exams for each program are set up on  Quizzes and exams are all open-book.

*Note: the monthly weekend program will be held at Yoga & Ayurveda, Lombard.


Graduation & Yoga Alliance

Graduates of this 300-hour program may submit their certificate to the Yoga Alliance along with their 200-hour certificate to become a RYT-500.  Graduates may also choose to continue their journey to become a yoga therapist with steps 2 & 3 to complete the 900 hour total, Yoga Therapy Certification Program and apply for C-IAYT.

SCHYS, of which Yoga Among Friends is a partner, is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga school. SCHYS was among the first schools to register with the Yoga Alliance (in 1999) and also with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). Our yoga therapy program was accredited in 2017 and is the premier yoga therapy training program in the Chicago, IL area.


Learn more about the Step 1 program including curriculum topics, schedule, prerequisites, application and enrollment process on SCHYS’ website by clicking the button below.