Ready to be a BSY teacher?
Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School
In March 2020, we'll kick off our 200hr Hatha yoga teacher training in Chicago! The training will focus heavily on sequencing, adjustments and practical teaching experience. Over our 15-week training we will delve into the style taught at Big Shoulders Yoga and by the end trainees will graduate as competent Hatha yoga instructors. 

Our teacher training will be led by owner Nicolette Downs and BSY teacher Claire Harper. The training is designed to fit around a typical work schedule, with sessions on Tuesday evening and all-day Sunday.


Adjustment & Anatomy
Practical Experience
  • Structure and organization
    of a sequence
  • Sequencing around a theme
  • Different styles of yoga and
    their characteristics
  • Adjustment techniques and practice
  • Anatomy and alignment
  • Asana modifications
  • Teaching mock classes
  • Receiving constructive
  • Creating an ideal class environment
Meditation & Breathwork
Yoga Philosophy, Ethics & Culture
  • Sanskrit language study
  • Cueing exercises
  • Verbal adjustments
  • Tone and energy
  • Meditation and mindfulness exercises
  • Breathing and pranayama exercises
  • History of yoga
  • Yoga Sutras and Eight Limbs of yoga
  • Westernization of yoga and cultural appropriation
  • Business of yoga


Why should you take our TT? ↓

Our training will deepen your knowledge of yoga, improve your personal practice and equip you with the skills to teach the unique style taught at Big Shoulders Yoga! We emphasize practicality in our training and want trainees to walk away feeling confident they can write a sequence, lead a class, and provide safe and effective adjustments.

What will the schedule be like? ↓

The training will begin on March 1st and run for 15 weeks. We will meet on Tuesday from 6pm to 9pm, and Sunday from 9am to 4pm.

What will a typical day look like? ↓

Here’s what a typical Sunday session will look like: 

9am-10:15am — Trainees teach a practice class to each other and lead teachers, then receive feedback
10:30am-11:45am — Yoga class with lead teacher
12:30pm-2:30pm—Adjustments: technique and practice
2:30pm-3:00pm—Sequencing exercise 
3:00pm-3:15pm—Meditation and breathing
3:15pm-4:00pm—Yoga philosophy discussion

How much will the training cost? ↓

The training costs $2,500 and includes our training manual and unlimited yoga classes during the training. Payment is due at the start of training, but we can offer payment schedules to meet your needs - please contact us prior to the start of training to setup a payment schedule. We are committed to making teacher training accessible, so if prices are prohibitive to you please contact us about scholarship opportunities at

What is the application process like? ↓

Send us an email at to let us know that you are interested and start the process. We want to hear a little bit about you, why you’re interested in our training, and make sure that our training is right for you! We do require that you try one of our classes to familiarize yourself with our style prior to registering.

Who will I be learning from? ↓

Nicolette Downs is the owner of Big Shoulders Yoga. She completed her 200-hr teacher training with Carmen Aguilar in 2012, and has since gained experience teaching studio classes and private students to become an experienced yoga instructor, E-RYT 200. Nicolette has a history of teaching students of all levels and abilities from injured police officers to athletes. In 2019, Nicolette decided to create a yoga community of her own when she opened Big Shoulders. Additionally, Nicolette has had a consistent yoga practice for over 10 years and has  drawn inspiration for her practice from a number of styles including cYoga, Baptiste, and Power Hatha. As TT instructor, Nicolette brings her breadth of teaching experience as well as her background of owning and operating a successful yoga business. 

Claire Harper has been a teacher at Big Shoulders since day one. She started a consistent yoga practice as a teen over 10 years ago. Claire completed her 200-hr teacher training in 2011 with Carmen Aguilar, and is now a Yoga Alliance E-200-hr teacher. Claire has taught in both studios and gyms across the country. She has experience teaching students of all levels through both Hatha and Restorative practices. By day, Claire is a Registered Dietitian and has taught workshops on Mindful Eating and Yoga and for Digestion. Claire’s practice draws from a number of styles including Ashtanga, Forrest Yoga, Restorative Yoga and cYoga. As a TT instructor, Claire brings her unique teaching background of both physically advanced and more subtle practices yoga.

In addition to Claire and Nicolette, our training will pull in a few of the BSY teachers for their expertise on certain topics.

Questions about BSY TT? 

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