The Shala London

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Advanced Teaching Skills: Core Module IN STUDIO

This rich 4-day course with lead teachers Melanie Cooper and Gingi Lee is designed for yoga teachers who wish to deepen their understanding of asana and refine how they teach asana based classes so it they are alive, multi-faceted, inspirational – and moving with modern times.

Advanced Teaching Skills: Core Module | IN STUDIO or LIVESTREAM

Gingi Lee & Melanie Cooper | 24-27 January 2025 | 40 hours | Price: £595 (£495 to our 300-hour students )


This 4-day course with lead teachers Melanie Cooper and Gingi Lee is designed for yoga teachers who wish to take their teaching of asana to the next level. You will benefit from Gingi and Melanie’s 50+ combined years of teaching ashtanga, flow, vinyasa and yin classes. The course will help you deepen your understanding of asana and refine how you teach posture-based classes, so your teachings are alive, multi-faceted, inspirational, inclusive  and moving with modern times. 

This course is an in studio course with a livestream option, that can be taken as a stand-alone CPD course or as a module on our 300-hour teacher training programme. The course is central to our 300-hour programme and will build on skills for teaching asana from any 200-hour training.

Please note that for anyone joining our 300-hour programme, this course is a mandatory component of the programme (unless you are not teaching asana). For those who began their studies prior to 2023 it is not mandatory but highly recommended.

Advanced Teaching Skills Course Overview

As a yoga teacher, it is not easy to keep your material fresh and inspiring. This is especially true when it comes to teaching asana. How many possible ways can you teach a forward bend? How do you keep it alive and interesting for your students? How do you give it depth and texture? How do you stay enlivened through teaching asana and How do you bring in the many layers of yoga when teaching a vinyasa-based class in 60-75 minutes? How can you make the class not just about physical “exercise”?

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras there are eight “limbs” of traditional yoga, of which asana is just one. In contemporary yoga, however, asana has become the main focal point and entry into yoga. Since this is where most people begin their journey, it is usually through asana that we have an opportunity to ignite a passion for yoga in all its richness. It is the springboard for so much more! 

This course is designed to offer inspiration, knowledge, and skills to build confidence in teaching asana and a deeper knowledge of  “physical” yoga. This means understanding what is happening from the outside as well as the inside of a posture. We explore what we can see with all the basics of structure, alignment and balance, as well as what we can’t see with biomechanics, energetics and of course breath. Contemporary yoga reaps the benefits of all the knowledge gained from modern science as well as other movement physical therapies, and as such it is continually evolving as a living tradition. This course sits at the confluence of tradition and contemporary yoga, respecting the traditional teachings whilst actively looking forward to exploring what physical yoga is today and what it can offer. 

Teaching asana has many layers to it if you wish to do it justice and take it beyond a physical form of exercise. We need to obviously understand anatomy but beyond this, we specifically need to consider both the individual and the group. How can we respect and find the safe range of movement for an individual, while also meeting the demands of a mixed-ability group? Well-being is central to how we deliver our teaching of postures. Is the way the students doing the posture good for them? In most cases, we need to educate students on how to locate safety within their own body and mind as well as the most resourcing them with the skill of self-modification to get the most out of postures.  

It is essential that as teachers we truly consider that all bodies are different and we should be adaptable to teach postures in a range of ways to make asana inclusive for everyone.  


teaching asana yoga postures
asana yoga postures

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asana in depth Melanie

Advanced Teaching Skills Course Content

This course is structured in a thematic way and is not tied to one particular style of yoga. Thus feeding into whichever “style” of yoga you may be focused on building skills, knowledge and depth to the way in which you teach. 

The 4-days will include tuition, teaching practice, tutor and peer feedback, discussions, debate, Q & A sessions, sharing, and peer-inspired learning. 

We will look in depth at many themes including a deep dive into the fascinating science of how we move as well as:

  • delving deeper into postures for specific muscle groups
  • how to approach difficult postures  
  • how to avoid injuries 
  • what it means to really rest and recuperate 
  • exploration of peak postures and sequences 
  • teaching points 
  • cues & communication skills 
  • modifications 
  • working with beginners 
  • The science of pain – how does pain really work and how can we use this knowledge in our teaching 
  • Does alignment matter? Do we need alignment to protect our joints?
  • Yoga and neuroscience – our understanding of how the body moves has increased in leaps and bounds over the past 20 years – learn how to use our understanding of the brain, the nervous system and the vestibular system to increase strength, flexibility and ease of movement.
  • Consciousness and interoception – what makes us aware? Can our yoga practice support this?
  • Do we stretch muscles? How do we gain flexibility? Do muscles actually lengthen?

What You Will Receive

  • a 40-hour Level 2 certification (YACEP or as part of your 300-hour)
  • new approaches on how to “layer” and deepen your asana teachings
  • ideas and fresh inspiration using traditional yoga postures 
  • modern movement techniques to inject creativity and fun
  • skills to adapt to different abilities/body types
  • confidence in approaching more advanced postures 
  • ideas and advice on making your classes accessible and inclusive
  • practical ways and tips to enrich your student’s experiences 
  • constructive peer and tutor led feedback and coaching
  • and much much more!
Gingi Asana
Gingi Lee Yoga
Teacher Training Open Day
Melanie 300 hour yoga teacher

Lead Teachers

Gingi Lee

Leading this teacher training course is Senior Yoga Alliance Registered teacher Gingi Lee, co-director of the Shala, who founded the studio in 1997 and founded the Shala School of Yoga teacher training programme in 2016. He has been teaching yoga full time for over 25 years and is one of the country’s most experienced ashtanga vinyasa yoga teachers. As a teacher who has primarily focused on teaching self practice ashtanga – where hands-on adjustments are central to the style of teaching – he has almost unrivalled experience in this field in the UK.

Gingi began studying and teaching martial arts in the 1980s with his father, Sensei Richard Taibong Lee. During an early trip to India, Gingi came into contact with yoga and spent many years returning to India to study and devote himself to the discipline. For two years in the mid 90s, he apprenticed with the late Derek Ireland after completing a teacher training course in Goa. He subsequently went to Mysore to continue his studies with Sri K Pattabhi Jois and then attended a two-year teacher training course with Graeme Northfield of Australia around 2001. Additionally, Gingi has trained more recently with Yamuna Zake and become certified in Yamuna Bodyrolling, a form of remedial bodywork which has interested him for many years and which he now incorporates into some of his teachings.

For 25 years, Gingi has focused his energy on teaching at his centre in South London, alongside hosting yoga holidays and workshops internationally. In 2016 he established the Shala School of Yoga teacher training programme with co-teachers Kath RobertsMark Kan and Norman Blair and he is now hugely passionate about passing on his knowledge to the next generation of teachers.

Gingi has played a key role in popularising ashtanga yoga in the UK and has taught, trained and inspired many British yoga teachers. He is a well-respected teacher who has remained at the forefront of the yoga community. His teaching is characterised by sensitivity, warmth and a deep commitment to the practice.

Read Gingi’s own personal story here.


Melanie Cooper

Melanie has been teaching yoga since 1997 and teaching on teacher trainings since 2010. She is passionate about the ability of yoga to heal and transform peoples’ lives and her deep connection to and love of yoga is evident in her teachings.

On a personal level yoga helped Melanie heal from Chronic Fatigue. As she got stronger, her practice evolved and she became a daily Ashtanga practitioner for many years – making her way through the primary and second series and starting third. Her practice was very “strictly Mysore” at that time. More recently with changes in her own personal practice brought on by the menopause, she started to broaden her practice including yin, yoga nidra and slow flow. Her practice has evolved and grown into something new and beautiful – nurturing and soft but still strong and intense.

Melanie is a genuine and down to earth teacher who brings a vast breadth of knowledge to her trainings. She offers a place where you can find what works for you, a place where you will be welcomed as you are with no judgement or expectations – where you can find the practice and way of teaching that is truly right for you.

Melanie divides her time between the UK and Goa running teacher trainings and retreats in UK, Sweden, Crete and India. Sometimes she can be spotted dancing on the beach. She is the author of ‘Teaching Yoga Adjusting Asana’.

View Melanie’s website

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Course Dates

The course has the following modules scheduled:

  • Friday 24 January 2025 Day 1

    10am–6pm | IN STUDIO or Virtual Livestream

  • Saturday 25 January 2025 Day 2

    10am–6pm | IN STUDIO or Virtual Livestream

  • Sunday 26 January 2025 Day 3

    10am–6pm | IN STUDIO or Virtual Livestream

  • Monday 27 January 2025 Day 4

    10am–6pm | IN STUDIO or Virtual Livestream


Express Interest

Please register your interest in this course so we can keep you updated

Express interest

Please register your interest in this course so we can keep you updated.