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This review was written by one of our students, Helena, who attended the 200hr Yoga Teacher Training in Guatemala, Novembe 2023.

Read the original post by Helena here.

When I began my research on which yoga school to choose from, the feeling of overwhelm was a constant.

There are so many schools to choose from all across the world, I had to think hard about what I wanted from a yoga program and what I was looking to learn in this space.

For me, improving my physical practice of yoga was a major goal alongside learning about the healing modality of yoga and the philosophy of yoga.

I also thought about what kind of environment I wanted to be surrounded in. Being close to water is very calming for me, so I looked at yoga programs near beaches and lakes.

Eventually, I stumbled upon Breath Body Earth Yoga School and instantly felt a connection to it.

After emailing back and forth with the two facilitators, Rachael and Melissa, I decided to take the plunge.

So, if you’re debating doing it or just want more information on what the day to day life is like, here is everything you need to know about the 22-Day 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Breath Body Earth Yoga School.

Breath Body Earth Yoga School Basics

Who are the facilitators?

The two incredible women are Rachael and Melissa, both bring warmth, realness, and grace to the table. They are experts at holding space, guiding each student in the physical practice of yoga, as well as teaching the philosophy of yoga for the mind, body, and soul.

During my training, they had a facilitator in training, Emilie, join to help with the YTT. All have wonderfully different personalities and the energy between the three of them was such a fun experience as we learned the curriculum.

Where is it located?

We were located in the beautiful Arco Isis Sanctuary, which is located on the mountain in San Marcos, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. However, their locations can vary so it’s best to check their website for the most up-to-date information.

When is it?

In the past, they have typically done the 22-Day 200-Hour YTT in the month of November. As their school grows, they may change the dates and/or add new ones, check their website for the most up-to-date info.

What’s the accommodation like?

They offer a variety of accommodation to make it as accessible as possible. This includes a dorm, shared glamping tents, shared A-frame houses, shared double rooms, and the most luxurious and private option: the treehouse.

The shared glamping tents, A-frame houses, and double rooms are shared by two people, both of which would be in the yoga program. You won’t share a room with someone not attending the yoga program. The dorm can fit about 10 people. The treehouse is private, so if you’re going solo or as a couple, you will have the space to yourself.

How many people attend the training?

In the past they have had groups from 12-20 people. Our group was their largest yet with 28 yogis. If you’re looking for a smaller group (15 people or less) then this might not be the program for you. However, before you make your decision based on that, consider everything you’re looking for. It was a larger group than what I was wanting, but I truly wouldn’t trade my experience for any other (and there is a reason why so many people are attending this training!).

If I don’t want to teach, can I still sign up?

YES. And I highly encourage it. Once you email them ( asking for more details, you’ll receive an online pamphlet with more information regarding the program. In the pamphlet, they ask:

  • Are you interested in the path of Yoga?

  • Are you looking to create new habits that support a grounded way of living?

  • Do you wish to play an active role in bringing about positive change?

  • Are you interested in learning somatic tools to help regulate your nervous system?

  • Are you a healing practitioner who wants to include yoga as a part of your scope of work?

If you answer yes to any of these, then this program is for you. Whether you want to teach afterwards or not is up to you; many yogis, myself included, don’t plan on teaching after the program. However, you still need to learn how to teach during the program, but I promise it’s a fun and enriching experience.

Daily Life at Breath Body Earth Yoga School

Daily Schedule

6 a.m. wake up (by conch)

6:30 a.m. meditation, breathwork, and asana practice

9 a.m. breakfast & break noble silence

10:15 a.m. morning class begins

12 p.m. lunch

1:30 p.m. afternoon class begins

6 p.m. dinner

9 p.m. noble silence begins

The Shala

Shala, in Sanskrit, means home. Each morning you will make your way into the beautiful shala, your home for the next 21 days. You will spend most of your time here surrounded by your new-found Sangha (spiritual family).

It has one of the best views in the world and this is where you will come for the morning practice, morning classes, and afternoon classes. They provide blocks and cushions which you can use freely at anytime.

Sometimes there will be events happening in the evenings in the Shala such as 30+ minutes of meditation or an Enneagram session.

Arco Isis Sanctuary Grounds

Beyond the incredible architecture and plants that surround the property of Arco Isis Sanctuary, there is more than just the accommodation.

There are two regal cats, two beautiful dogs (sometimes more four-legged visitors come into the property to say hello), a sauna set up similarly to a traditional temazcal, and an area with a bonfire pit and benches.

You are on a mountain, so prepare for lots of steps to get to and from places. Your glutes will be working like never before 😉

Food & Drink

All the food at Arco Isis is vegetarian, if not vegan. Our group had plenty of meat eaters, so we also had eggs for breakfast a few times. Rachael and Melissa are excellent at adapting to the group needs (not just with food, but also with curriculum, and day to day activities), so don’t be afraid to ask them anything you may need. I’m allergic to dairy and wheat, so the lovely chef, Alejandro, would make gluten-free and dairy-free options for any meal that had those ingredients in them.

Some example of brekky include:

  • classic shakshuka

  • Chef Alejandro’s famous gluten-free pancakes with fresh, seasonal fruit such as pineapple, papaya, and melon

  • oatmeal with fresh, seasonal fruit with fun toppings of granola, honey, and coconut flakes

Some examples of lunch include:

  • tacos with corn tortillas

  • hummus, fresh salad, with some kind of egg or potato dish

Some examples of dinner include:

  • zucchini pizza

  • lentil & veggie soup

  • mix beans or lentils, cooked veggies, and potatoes

Water is provided throughout the day and sometimes a free, delicious juice will be available at mealtime. There are also various snacks during the training. They aren’t free, but they’re not expensive. For my training we typically had a mix of brownies, cheesecake, and gluten-free cookies. Occasionally they would sell out, but they always had hot chocolate (and a variety of hot chocolates – I recommend trying the spicy one!).

For each meal time, you are welcomed to eat at the large dinner table in the kitchen area or to go anywhere on the property to eat. Just remember to bring your plate back. Once you’re finished with eating you can do anything you would like before class starts again, most people would shower, journal, study, chat with others, or take a gander around the tranquil property.

You are allowed to leave the property, if you want to have lunch in San Marcos. However, there is a 15-20 min trek down the mountain and a 20-30 min trek back up the mountain, so most yogis would rather spend their afternoon time chatting, studying, or soaking up the sun after feasting on the lunch.


To create a space and feeling of community between Breath Body Earth and Arco Isis Sanctuary, there are two volunteering opportunities.

The first is to help the hard working kitchen employees get home at a reasonable hour. Each night there will be 2-3 yogis (depending on the group size) doing the dinner dishes. It typically doesn’t take long and is a fun community-building opportunity.

The second is you’ll get the chance to come to the Shala slightly earlier than the others in the morning to sweep the floor. This is to help everyone understand it’s a communal space and to treat it with respect and care.

Just like your own house or room, you feel a sense of accomplishment and peace after cleaning your space. Towards the end of the program, I saw multiple yogis get up to sweep during the day time. It was a beautiful moment to see the care each one of us had for this space.

Mauna (noble silence)

What the heck is noble silence you may ask? Mauna (noble silence) is to invite you to pause your communication with the outer world, to get a better sense of your inner world. In the lovely words of the Silence Queen:

I love silence and find it’s not always [easy] to put in words how it works. Mauna, noble silence, is a vow not to communicate externally for the purpose of interiorization. Through this practice we naturally become more aware of our inner world. - MELISSA

The hours for mauna during the 200-Hour YTT are 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. It’s a practice that most of my group wasn’t used to, but after a few days everyone began to embrace it wholeheartedly. Of course, if there is any kind of emergency or something someone needs to know (especially Rachael or Melissa) you can break the silence.

Morning Practice

You did the math correctly, if you read the schedule – it’s about a two and a half hour long practice each morning. It may sound intimidating, but I promise you feel unbelievably grateful to receive that time (if not during, then most definitely after!).

Each day upon waking, you have the beautiful sunrise to greet you as you make your way to the Shala. The morning practice typically has a 20 minute guided meditation, 10 minutes of guided breathwork, and about an hour and 45 minute to 2 hour asana practice.

During my training, we were lucky enough to have the on-site manager guide us through an intense asana practice followed by an hour-long savasana, in which he took us on an inward journey with multiple musical instruments. It was a transformative experience for me and others in my training.

Rachael and Melissa understand there will be days you may feel too tired, emotional, or just not in the mood for it – all they ask is for you to at least show up. You can do your own asana practice, journal, or just make a cozy space with cushions and fall back asleep.

In my experience, I never had a day where I didn’t want to show up. I invested in this time for myself and I wanted to make the most of it. Also, I genuinely loved the program and really enjoyed their classes.


A question I was very curious about and one I couldn’t wait to learn! On the first day, you will receive the Breath Body Earth manual. Inside will have all the topics being covered for your 22 days (and then some!), she is thick and you will most likely not go through every single page word for word, but rather have discussions regarding the topics covered in the manual.

Classes are typically set up as morning classes covering philosophy and the background of yoga with the afternoon classes covering some philosophy, but mostly learning the vinyasa yoga poses and sequences and how to teach them. The curriculum gets more intense as each week goes on, with week two and three being the most asana-heavy (the physical practice of yoga).

It’s such a gift to be able to practice teaching during the program. You’ll understand once you’re there – it’s a wildly different experience to teach than it is to take a yoga class. You begin learning how to teach on day 2.

Don’t worry, it’s only a little bit at a time and perfection is definitely not encouraged. My group’s experience was all quite similar: after each time you teach, there is a noticeable improvement, which led to less fear of teaching and more excitement of getting to practice it.

Each week the topics get juicier and juicier, until you finally reach the last week where you get to cover the fun stuff like the chakra systems, ayurveda, and the central nervous system. All of the topics and discussions (and topics brought up by your fellow yogis) can become emotional, controversial, and/or heavy, so if you’re not open to taking a dive into yourself, your past, or your emotions – then maybe this yoga program isn’t for you.

To receive your 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training certificate, you will have to pass a written test, teach (with a team) the 2.5 hour morning practice, as well as a one-on-one hour and a half class. If that makes you cortisol spike, don’t worry – they will prepare you for these! By the time you’re doing it, you’ll of course have some nerves, but also have more confidence than before!

My Honest Review

The journey yogis take with Breath Body Earth is one that stays with us for life. The encouragement of introspection and reflection, the curriculum, and the sense of love and support is something that is truly profound.

The community Rachael and Melissa create is beyond special. They cultivate a space of safety, awareness, curiosity, and playfulness. Everything is optional, you are never required to do anything – which brings an aspect of autonomy and accomplishment to your time with Breath Body Earth.

At Breath Body Earth, your asana practice will improve (of course), but you will have a far deeper understanding of what Yoga truly means. This training is an investment into yourself, your relationship with all beings, and the path of life you’re on.

If you’re looking for a yoga program that is strictly fitness and asana practice, then this is not for you. If you’re looking for a yoga program that is a holistic training on all things yoga – fitness, health, philosophy, introspection, and a way of life – then the Breath Body Earth yoga program is for you. Not only will you leave with the ability to teach others yoga, you will have so much love and support from your entire Sangha.


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