Program Info

Moksha's 200 hour Foundation Certification Program intended for any and all wishing to deepen their  practice, teaching and understanding of yoga.

PDF Schedule

SCHEDULE: Spring 2023 (Sundays) - Starts March 5, 2023

SCHEDULE: Spring 2023 (Thursdays) - Starts March 9, 2023

SCHEDULE: Winter 2023 (Kerala, South India) - Jan 1-25, 2023




Thank you for your interest in Moksha Yoga Center's Foundation Teacher Training & In-Depth Studies Program. This program is a foundation for the study of the ancient art and science of yoga rooted in its authentic and classical form. The fundamentals and key elements and techniques of asana, pranayama, and meditation will be explored. The program is designed to give you a wide variety of topics, class settings, and experiences. We are committed to giving you the best learning experience possible. We hope you will enjoy the program and find your life and practice transformed. Namaste, Daren

Course Topics

Theory & Practice of Asana, Pranayama & Meditation
Taking a Position of Steadiness and Comfort

The yoga sutras refer to asana as the integration of sthira (steadiness) and sukha (comfort). This important sutra will guide us as we look into the deeper aspects of asana, including alignment, adjustments, and variations. We will explore and deepen our understanding of energetic techniques such as bandhas, dristi, kriyas, mudras, and chakras in order to expand our awareness and understanding of the subtle movement of prana through asana.

Theory & Practice of Teaching
Conveying the Essence of Yoga

The art of teaching is a yoga in itself, requiring sensitivity, compassion, and practice. A teacher must encourage and inspire, being sensitive to the needs of both the individual and the group. The psychology and ethics of the student/teacher relationship will also be explored. Improved teaching skills, including use of language, theme, and music will also be developed.

Theory & Practice of Sequencing
Progression of Movement in Time and Space

An intelligent and efficient movement from one place to the next through time is necessary to reach the ultimate goals of yoga. Topics will include class themes and rhythms, goal poses, mini-modules focusing on opening a specific area such as hips or shoulders, vinyasas and namaskars, yoga therapeutics, and use of music.

Theory & Practice of Adjustments
Instructing the Wisdom of the Body through Touch

The art of teaching is a yoga in itself, requiring sensitivity, compassion, and practice. A teacher must encourage and inspire, being sensitive to the needs of both the individual and the group. How to properly adjust using visual (body language), verbal (voice), and kinesthetic (touch) tools is a key component of this training.

Theory & Practice of Ayurveda
Understanding the Knowledge of Life

Ayurveda is an ancient science based on living in harmony with nature. Topics such as lifestyle, daily routine, diet and nutrition will be explored. Esoteric concepts such as koshas, marmas, nadis, and chakras will be discussed.

Experiential Learning
Finding Wisdom & Understanding Within

Understanding from within requires the student to not only expand inner awareness and trust of intuition, but also to gain practical experience in the art and science of yoga in a variety of situations and venues.

Yoga History & Philosophy
Understanding Union, Relationships & Opposites

This ancient system of health and well-being, reveals a path to develop and expand our fullest potential in body, mind, and spirit. We will look at deeper sources of knowledge in Indian culture, vedic history, and ancient manuscripts such as Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the cosmology of Sankhya darshana.

About the Instructor

Daren Friesen is the founder and director of Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago, one of the largest independent yoga studios in the Midwest with over 100,000 student visits since 1999. Just as the emergence of yoga sprouted in popular culture, Daren had been an avid student of yoga since starting his practice in 1989 shortly after finishing college in Los Angeles, having majored in International Relations at the University of Southern California. Having moved to Chicago in 1994 due to a job transfer and not finding much of the vinyasa flow and astanga-based practices that he loved in L.A., he left his corporate job shortly thereafter to study yoga, practice, and travel. Wanting to reach deeper into the roots of vinyasa and astanga, Daren traveled to India in 1997/1998 studying at the Astanga Yoga Research Institute in Laksmipuram, Mysore. Now having traveled to India on 20 occasions studying yoga, Ayurveda, Sanskrit and Sutras, Daren has a deep understanding of the culture and context in which yoga originated.

One of the most influential teachers in his pursuit of the knowledge of yoga (jnana yoga) is Acharya Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois, founder of Sadvidya Foundation, of Mysore, South India. Practicing Sri Vidwan K. Pattabhi's Astanga Yoga and then sitting in the presence of Acharya on the same day to receive the teachings of Patanjali's 8 Limbed Path was truly a transformational experience. Having explored yoga's roots and depths, he returned to Chicago to open Moksha Yoga Center in 1999 with the intention of offering yoga to a Western audience but in its traditional and authentic form with its roots deeply nourished by the Vedas. The Sanskrit word, Moksha, means freedom. Coming from the vedas and yoga darshana, moksha is one of the most important goals in one's life. Our yoga shala ultimately strives for this goal. In service of this offering, Moksha hosts a variety of local and national teachers renowned for the depth of their experience. The teachings are imparted in a variety of settings - classes, workshops, trainings, and retreats.

Daren's approach to yoga is rooted in vinyasa/astanga but has been deeply influenced by a variety of master teachers hosted by Moksha over the last couple of decades resulting in a non-dogmatic and inspirational style. These influences include  Bryan Kest, Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Tias Little, Gary Kraftsow and Aadil Palkhivala. Daren is honored and appreciative to all of his teachers for the shared journey we all are on.

His interests include scuba diving, waterskiing, snowboarding, camping, travel, Ayurveda, Eastern cultures and philosophies, and spending the winter in South India on the beach.