Moksha Yoga Center Hosts 500-Hour Advanced Teacher Training For First Time at Stonehouse Farm on July 18-27

This summer, Moksha Yoga Center will offer its 500-hour advanced teacher training in a two-week intensive program at Stonehouse Farm. Rooted in classical yoga as described in ancient Vedic texts, the 500-hour advanced certification program is designed for teachers who have already completed a 200-hour program and are hungry to advance in their teaching, practice and understanding of yoga.
Students will further their studies of the ancient art and science of yoga rooted in its classical form, informed heavily by history and philosophy. The fundamentals, key elements and techniques of asana, pranayama, meditation and teaching skills are explored with an interdisciplinary approach emphasizing deeper analysis and critical thinking.
One of the most respected trainings of its kind in the country, Moksha’s 500-hour program is designed to expose students to a wide variety of topics and classroom experiences. Incorporating core required curriculum as well as ample opportunities for electives based on individual focus and interests, the 500-hour program is structured to provide students the autonomy to chart their own path in terms of course selection and scheduling.
“Though the 500-hour training at Moksha is incredibly comprehensive and builds on the strong foundation I was given during my 200-hour at Moksha, the most important aspect of the program to me is the organic nature of the curriculum,” said Moksha teacher and 500-hour trainee Angie Starz. “We have teachers participating in the program who all come from different backgrounds and experiences with different styles and opinions, and to share the space with them while being guided by Moksha founder Daren Friesen is inspirational. It’s a safe space where we are able to question and challenge each other and from that we are able to see different perspectives, solidify our own and grow as teachers of this great tradition.”
The intensive is led by Daren Friesen, director and founder of Moksha, who has been an avid student of yoga since starting his practice in 1989 and trained countless other Chicago-area studio owners and teachers since establishing Moksha in 1999. Daren has traveled to India 14 years in a row and has spent more than 30 months there studying yoga, ayurveda, sanskrit, and sutras.
During 1998 and 1999, Daren studied at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute (Laksmipuram) with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Drawing upon his studies with revered teachers such as Leeann Carey, Bryan Kest, Shiva Rea, and Seane Corn, and his time with masters in India, Daren developed his own style of vinyasa flow with an ashtanga influence. Daren imparts to students the classical principles of yoga in a modern setting.
“As yoga teachers we have freedom (to be creative with structure and sequence), but with that freedom comes responsibility,” Daren said. “We have to study ten times harder so that we are able to discern and make decisions that are in the best interest of our students.”
Participants will immerse themselves in these studies while surrounded by nature on the serene and scenic 37-acre Stonehouse Farm property in Paw Paw, about 70 miles west of Chicago. Options for accommodations include camping with tent rental available and large and small yurts suitable for anywhere from two to eight people, as well as a showerhouse with plumbing. The price for the intensive also includes food, with vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options made available to participants for every meal.
The two-week intensive with Daren will provide the foundation of the 500-program. Moksha Yoga Center has been an officially recognized and approved yoga teacher training school through Yoga Alliance since 2002. For more information about coursework and tuition, or to apply for the program, visit