why I choose evolation yoga teacher training: evolution


I chose the evolation teacher training for a philosophical reason and a practical one.

The philosophical reason is that evolation yoga believes in evolution. Evolution is both the basic biological process by which species adapt to their environment and survive and the basic intellectual process by which human beings build on their experience and come up with new ideas to survive and to improve their world. Evolution, however, is a conservative process. Only small changes are made to an already successful foundation. Each change is rigorously tested, many failed experiments are discarded and only changes that improve survival are preserved. One foundation of evolation yoga is Bikram yoga, the style of yoga I have practiced for 10 years and love and know to produce extraordinary results. It is not perfect and, if it does not evolve, it will become less perfect with time. Evolation is committed to the conservative evolution of Bikram yoga.

escaping rigidity

We have had many examples in the world of systems that declared themselves to be perfect for all time, and being of self-declared perfection forbid and even persecuted anyone who dared to attempt to innovate. Come to think of it, I am where I am now because I had to escape from such a rigid system. I do respect the desire to preserve yoga in a pure form. I don’t think yoga should be made easy to make it appealing to lazy people. But there cannot be one person who is the guardian of true yoga and there can’t be one true yoga that must be immutable for all time.

The practical reason is, frankly, that evolation yoga offers a one month intensive program that I couldn’t fit into my life, but did anyway, and flexibility. Perhaps I’m not committed enough to yoga, but I could not be doing this any other way.

Today was my first day in yoga teacher training and I saw why the one month intensive program can work. First, the number of students is limited to 20, the student-to-teacher ratio is very low, and the amount of attention and interaction each student gets is ample. I got right on the hot-seat the first day, demonstrating to the class that I really had not started learning the asanas and got a lot of help getting going. Secondly, evolation works the students to the bone, my assumption that 12 hours a day would be enough looks a little too optimistic now and I’m afraid that a number of other things going in my life are going to slip by the wayside. But that is as it should be, I am here to learn a great deal in a very short time.

My first day jitters were quickly calmed after introductions; no one had, as far as I could see, devil’s horns and I didn’t feel that anyone was worried that I did. Mark and Zefea, the founders of evolation, were everything I hoped they would be and I’m really happy that I will be trained by them. The students come from quite a variety of backgrounds, they are interesting and the class environment is committed, but fun. And there is one other male … I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this but I find there is quite a disproportion between female and male yoga teachers so I was glad to see someone else helping to making yoga “a guy thing”.

Michael Leventhal


Michael has been practicing hot yoga for over ten years, coming to it initially to heal a body broken from endurance and extreme sports. While yoga continues to do that he has perhaps benefitted even more from its power to enhance focus, concentration, creativity, and calm, attributing two of his major inventions in the field of computing science to yoga energy. After 30 years of chasing fame and fortune in tech, Michael has recently reshaped his life goals toward expressing his gratitude for his spectacular life through Service, expanding his practice from hatha yoga to yoga in all its expressions.