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This teacher training course will help you understand very clearly what yoga is, how it works, and how to communicate that experience in a led class format. The goal is to help you practice yoga with the confidence that you can calm your mind, relax your body, and experience pure consciousness on your own. You will learn to teach in a way that shares that personal connection. Therefore, enough time and guidance for your personal progress has been woven into the schedule
You will be accommodated in La Hacienda, a beautiful and cozy retreat center in the middle of this valley. You will stay in beautiful shared rooms (three people), each one with its own private bathroom with hot water included.
While designing this course, there were a few factors that were considered crucial to the success of such a program.
After completion, want everyone involved will understand very clearly what yoga is, how it works, and how to communicate that experience in a led class format. The goal of these courses is to help everyone to first practice yoga with the confidence that on their own they can calm their mind, relax their body, and experience pure consciousness, to then be able to teach in a way that shares that personal connection. Therefore, enough time and guidance for personal progress to happen has been woven into the schedule
To make this process easy, it will be made it fun and interesting. It will begin with teaching just one pose to one other person, gradually teaching more poses to more people. By the middle of the course, a one and a half hour class to the whole group will be taught and by the end of the course you will have the confidence and imagination to create your own sequences and classes.
What makes this course a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in learning to teach yoga are the media resources which capture the course content. The two sequenced practices are each explained in a workbook with full color pictures and again in a full practice DVD. These resources will assist the students to achieve a satisfying self-practice at home for years to come after the course is over. The pranayama and meditation classes are recorded on CD to also allow for a lasting experience to aid in self practice.
This course is very special because the various components create a synthesis which is rare in teacher courses taught internationally these days. In part one, the asana practice will be explained and verified alongside the anatomy section. Similarly, in part two the practice of asana, pranayama, and especially meditation will be examined and explained in parallel with the study of yoga philosophy. For part three, you will look at individual aspects of asana practice like hip openers, inversions, or backbends and begin to create mini sequences. Having opened up the possibility of creativity in asana to individual interpretation to help understand how to express that, you will look at the art of teaching in the theory section.
This teacher training program is internationally accredited and recognized as valid qualification for 200-hour Yoga Alliance registration. The 200-hour teacher training program includes 26 days of training scheduled in three separate intensives. The combination of contact hours together with coordinated home study and practice (prerequisite reading, report, and asana and pranayama practice) make this course exceed greatly the minimum requirements.
As you gain confidence and become familiar with being the voice and the source of the practice, the challenge is to deliver longer sequences with more continuity. One of the main goals of this course is to learn to teach asana in a led practice format and these daily afternoon sessions devote more than double the time usually allotted in teacher training courses.
Teaching, just like public speaking, has a performance side which people usually either love or hate; the Sukhashanti method provides the essential skills to be able to lead a class and enough experience to become familiar with the role.
These afternoon sessions offer a chance to examine and dissect the poses and the links between. You will examine alignment principles, adjustments, and modifications to deepen the palette of tones and textures allowing you to adapt your teaching to suit individual needs. The poses will be demonstrated and explained then practiced.
Beginning with baby steps, you will teach single poses to one other person. Building day by day, you will introduce more poses and longer sequences. Also, each day you repeat the material from the previous day gradually bridging the gaps until the whole practice becomes seamless.
The beauty of this format lies in the repetition and consistency of the method. Because the afternoons mirror the morning practice sequence, you have a double opportunity to absorb the system. This arrangement allows everyone to quickly digest the practice and to practice from memory unassisted by the end of each 10 day session.
The set sequences of the first two parts of the course give everyone the opportunity to learn by rote and simply copy a method. In the third part of the course however, your skill-base will be expanded as students can make up their own sequences. Creativity and the ability to improvise are really the final test of an individual’s ability to be comfortable and at ease with teaching. Having overcome personal fears and doubts, it’s time to have fun.
In the first two of these sections, a precise sequenced practice will be learned. The aim of these sessions is to move the student into deep self-practice. To build the confidence and knowledge to allow this to happen is put to use. You will begin with a fully led class and progress to complete self-practice. Beginning with an open mind, you will learn the practice one breath and one movement at a time. Building day by day, you will lengthen the sequence. Gradually, the students will be guided into full self-practice.
The guided classes will lay the foundation for the yoga to begin. During these classes, the basics components of Sukhashanti style asana will be explored: how to place the body, where to take the drishti and which internal adjustments to make, how to flow with the breath, and when to experience the stillness of the pose. The Sukhashanti sequences allow the practitioner to have complete confidence in themselves. Take advantage of 20 years of experience - difficulties can be identified before they arise, remove unseen obstacles, and clarify any doubts regarding the details of this practice.
What makes this course special is the transitional shift that takes place as you begin to practice independently. Sukhashanti has devised a program which requires self-practice of small sections gradually culminating in full self-practice. The beauty of this formula is that it requires students to grasp the practice before then repeating it on their own.
The purpose of this sequence is not to develop the difficulty of the practice but rather to become grounded in the quality of practice. You will focus on alignment and symmetry, both within the poses and in the transitions between poses. Teaching this sequence opens up the possibility of making yoga practice accessible to the uninitiated. The modifications allow for a deep and comforting experience. This is yoga you can teach to your own mother.
In the beginning, you must come to relate to gravity and the earth, not merely standing on the ground but relating to it. For the beginners, placements of hands and feet are essential elements and then understanding how we cooperate with gravity for balance. The essential concepts of what is required to complete forward bend, backbend, side bend, twist, and inversion are explored and will connect you to the advanced stages with primary principles of movement and posture. Linking the static postures, you will become embedded in Vinyasa, the incorporation of measure, drishti, breathing, and counter pose. Strength and stability are the qualities you will emphasize as you touch the fundament.
A second Surya Namaskar will add depth and potency to the firmness of the first. You will use poses which are shoulder and hip openers. Headstand and some simple arm balances and introduce some of the essential asana positions like lotus and many others.
With your feet on the ground you can reach for the sky without falling over. Having a firm hold of the basics, it is possible to extend the practice safely and begin to explore the limits. The cardinal directions are mapped out with asana which progress in sequences and allow for gradual realistic progression without setbacks. Asana, like mountain climbing, requires a planned and supported approach avoiding dangers and securing the ground covered. The way is steep and sometimes obscured but by focusing on forward movement the obstacles are overcome.
You will explore many of the aspects of practice as independent areas. Surya Namaskar, standing poses, inversions, forward bends, back bends, side bends, hip openers, and arm balances. This phase of practice you will examine the use of sequence and repetition to deepen poses. Opening up infinite possibilities with multiple variations on poses seems fancy but what is substantial is to understand how to use progressions to safely develop asana depth.
At the summit, you can see where you have been and where you are going now is the time for celebration and expression of joy. The poses reflect the exhilaration and bliss of feeling at home in a special place. The peculiarity of existence is reflected in the many and various possibilities. Having used a map and formula to find your path, you now see that there are other ways. Yet the end is just another beginning as here you see the introduction to advanced asana. Beyond this, the individual must travel alone but now not merely equipped with a map you can learn to make your own maps.
By gradually lengthening the breath, you can slow down the heart rate and eventually the brains metabolic rate evoking a profound state of relaxation. Pranayama gives you the tools to reprogram your bodies response to stress with a direct feedback system. This ancient art is inseparable from meditation and yet is much more approachable for lay practitioners.
Noah has practiced pranayama regularly for over 10 years and reduced his breath rate during practice to below one breath per minute. By combining the effects of pranayama with meditation, the Sukhashanti method was born. This style of practice has made sense of what is often a neglected area of yoga practice.
Sukhashanti-style pranayama uses a systematic method beginning with guided practice and then moving to self-practice. In this manner, every individual will be able to find their own level of depth. From an already established path to progress requires simply placing one step in front of another. Having covered the core concepts of the seated posture, the use of hand positions, the breathing techniques, and the correct way to focus the mind in concert with the breath, you will progress to pranayama proper with retention and gradually establish self-practice.
For this most important practice, you will take the seated position developed in asana and bring about steadiness of the body. Then use the pranayama techniques to make the breath even and minimal and begin to calm and soothe the mind. From this base, you will begin to learn dharuna (concentration) using Sukhashanti method of taking many points of focus for short periods. Lengthening the period of concentration and keeping the point of focus fixed brings you to dhyana (absorbtion). Samadhi arises out of awareness which focuses in on itself; it is a natural consequence of practice.
Meditation can be difficult and is commonly misunderstood. Most yoga teachers either embellish or avoid this most vital and fundamental aspect of yoga. To clarify and lay the path, you will study Patanjalis Yoga Sutras. Without philosophy, yoga can be misguided and even dangerous. Without practice, philosophy can be dry and theoretical. Through meditation, liberation is possible in a way that asana and pranayama rarely achieve.
The process will begin with fully guided practice and gradually develop to self-practice. The Sukhashanti approach uses shifting points of focus, gradually covering the layers of manifest consciousness. Eventually, you identify consciousness itself as the source.
In your own practice, you develop a keen intuitive understanding of your body, yet without the language to communicate this knowledge teaching can be frustrating. To teach yoga well, verbal communication must be consistent with physical demonstration. The basic terms of anatomy describe the positioning and movement of the human form in three dimensional spaces. With clarity and consistency, teachers will develop the self-confidence that comes from knowing rather than guessing.
The limitations of the body must be respected for progress in asana. To understand the basis of these physical limitations, anatomy provides the answers. Bones, muscles, and tissues have various inherent properties relevant to physical strength and flexibility. In fact, the riddle of the many and varied asana can be comprehended by knowing which areas of the body are being targeted by the different poses. By studying the articulations of the body the different types of movements possible can be understood.
With his background as a chiropractor coupled with a bachelor’s degree in Anatomy, Physiology, and Neurology, Noah is uniquely qualified to teach anatomy for yoga teachers. He presents this subject with a therapeutic view in mind drawing from years of practice and clinical experience. This workshop has distilled the essentials into an interesting and interactive package.
You will cover the first two of the four chapters in this two thousand year old text. The first chapter or Samadhi Pada deals with the concepts that describe the structure of your own consciousness. Patanjali describes the nature of the mind and the soul and explains how yoga works through the mind to "see the soul". The second chapter or Sadhana Pada describes yoga practice. Here, Patanjali defines the Ashtanga system and goes on to discuss meditation practice in detail.
This text examines the nature of the existence. It is a practical manual discussing yoga in terms of the quality of the state of mind. To relate to the text it is necessary to have some experience with meditation practice. So this section of theory is scheduled together with the meditation practice to be used as an aid to achieving self-practice of meditation.
The text will be studied by comparing different interpretations of the original Sanskrit that are presented in the English language. Reading texts will be provided and the philosophy will be discussed as a group in a tutorial format. This allows for discussion and discourse so necessary to absorb the content.
The landmark performance of this ability is to deliver a one and a half hour asana class which is safe and effective. Ask any experienced teacher and they will tell you that teaching beginners is generally the most challenging task. Sukhashanti yoga uses a set sequence designed for its accessibility to the lay public and gives the teacher the language and clarity to express the teaching verbally, together with clear and non-competitive demonstration and the ability to read and adjust the students poses. The result is a well-defined form which could be taught to your own mother or someone already with a background in human movement.
The energy which you require to perform the action of teaching is often even with the best of intensions misguided. For example, it is a common mistake to presume that while demonstrating a pose for a class the more you push your own body the greater the understanding of the students will be. And so in a class teachers often strain and injure themselves trying too hard and overdoing poses in an attempt to inspire the students. Sadly, this frustrates the teacher and provides no benefit to the students at all, they will not notice if you can force your shoulder blades down an extra centimeter.
And so the need for ethics in the teacher student relationship arises, both to protect the student and the teacher. A little bit of wisdom goes along way. Having a clear idea of what you are trying to accomplish in a yoga class is the first step in adopting the right attitude to teaching. Without this road map, your passions can carry you away to a place where you can’t remember why you teach. Is it just because you love the control of the group energy? Do you do it because you need the money? Or is teaching simply a natural expression of who and what you are shared compassionately with others in a noncompetitive environment?
Ethics is applied philosophy and here lies the link between practice and exposition. It’s the knowledge of the meaning of yoga hand in hand with the experience of self-practice communicated to others. Then given the right tools you can be authentic teachers. The theory content for this the third section of the course will be the art of teaching yoga.
The course will run one month, with one day holiday every week. During the interval between classes, there will be time for meals and homework.
The course includes hiking trips around the Sacred Valley.
Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 (Yoga)
Noah completed a bachelor of science majoring in Anatomy and Neurology and a master’s degree in Chiropractic at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He is a qualified acupuncturist graduating from Nanjing University of TCM, China. In 2003, he completed the six month yoga therapy program at Vyasa University in Bangalore, India. He has spent three years in Mysore, India over eight visits since 1995 and practiced intensively with Indian masters B.N.S Iyengar and V. Venkatesha.Since 2003, Noah has been traveling and teaching workshops in Asia, Australia, and Europe.
The teacher training will take place in Sacred Valley. It has been said that all the energy and power of nature is now gathering in South America, specifically in the magnificent Sacred Valley of Peru. This is a moment to rediscover the Inca culture and the wonders of Peru.
The teacher training course will include three vegetarian or vegan meals a day prepared by the locals with the highest quality organic food.
Please book your flight to arrive at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ). A flight from Lima to Cusco takes one and a half hours.