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If you want to study yoga in depth, the only requirement to join this training is an open heart and willingness to learn this ancient art. Some people refer to it as boot camp, which is not far from the truth! This is not to say that students will not be able to fully enjoy the beautiful locations, but this is in no shape or form a holiday. You will live, eat, breathe, dream, and think yoga, which is why, by the end of it, you will have had a life changing experience that can only result in you becoming a better person with a realistic experience of yoga life in its entirety.
Students will stay in rustic apartments which have a large pool and both indoor and outdoor spaces for practice. Generally, all rooms are en-suite or have a shared bathroom. Single occupancy and supplement is subject to availability.
What makes this training course different to any other course is that you will be trained and qualified by the widely respected course director Barbara Gordon within a small group. The course features personalized instruction, many hours of teaching practice, and personal development time or group therapy with a highly qualified and experienced team of instructors.
The course includes extensive study of the asanas in the Sivananda tradition. Sivananda is a style of Hatha yoga, which is the physical aspect of yoga. You will have two asana classes a day, one for your personal practice and development and one teaching you how to teach. Each asana of the twelve in the Sivananda system will be broken down, dissected, and practiced until it becomes an intrinsic part of your psyche.
You will also have a great deal of teaching practice under supervision and by the end of the course you will have taught two full classes. The emphasis of the course is that you have an in depth knowledge of the asanas and how to teach them safely. Most people find the course life changing due to the intensity of it. This is not just about learning yoga but deeply learning about yourself. There is great emphasis on how to teach safely and a great amount of repetition so you fully understand the fundamentals of teaching yoga asanas and to give you plenty of opportunity to ask as many questions as you need.
The course will also include personal development and healing workshops, chanting, anatomy and physiology, and applied anatomy and physiology that explain how this relates to the practice of asanas and yoga philosophy. You will also be learning and practicing at length meditation and pranayama.
There will be at least one day of “Mouna”, which means silence. Often people are afraid of silence, in as much as they can’t sit still for very long, most people are unable to be alone in silence. Usually one creates some sort of distraction, for example, radio, computer, television, reading, phone, etcetera! Mouna is a traditional yoga practice that enables you to face your inner self, again something people mostly never do. To be a good yoga teacher you have to be able to look at yourself and face your demons.
This is a life long study in itself and they can only give you an overview in the limited time they have. However, again, if you cannot look at yourself and you know nothing about the philosophy, how do you expect to become a teacher?
They therefore make sure that you at least have a basic understanding of the underlying nature of the philosophy of yoga, including Vedanta, Gita, Upanishads, and Patanjali who wrote the original yoga scriptures.
There is a huge misconception in the west that yoga is just about attaining the body perfect. What use is a perfect body if the mind is polluted? A quote by a revered teacher, Swami Vishnudevananda: “The asanas are the kindergarten of yoga”. This ultimately enables you to be able to sit for very long periods of time without moving, for meditation.
Most people in the west can’t sit still for more than five minutes, let alone still the mind for a split second! The ultimate goal of all yoga practice is meditation, leading to the highest state of consciousness, self-knowledge, and enlightenment.
The hardest challenge for the western mind to achieve, as mentioned earlier, is to sit still or be alone in silence. This is why, especially there; they turn to alcohol abuse and become addicts of many descriptions. The answer to all human problems can be eliminated through training the mind and mastering meditation, which can also take many years of practice.
You will be learning and practicing in great detail pranayama, which is an intrinsic essential component of Hatha yoga. Breath is life, therefore the study of pranayama gives you more life, better concentration, more energy, and can help with sleeplessness. Not only does it feed the brain, every cell and tissue of the body is revitalized and reenergized.
There are two free days during the course.
Students will be assessed throughout the course as well as will take a two hour written exam. If you have satisfied the examiners at the end of the course, you will receive a Sunra teaching diploma recognized by Yoga Alliance. If however they feel you are not quite ready yet to teach, you will receive a diploma stating you have completed the course and need further time and study to become a teacher.
This retreat will take place in Gozo Island, Malta. The island is a masterpiece created by nature, with its pristine shoreline, untouched country trails, baroque architecture, and seven thousand years of culture. The government has a project in place to make it an eco-island with a view to complete the project by 2020 and it is fast becoming a tourist attraction in its own right.
Brunch and dinner are included in the price and a delicious range of veggie meals will be offered.
Please book your flight to arrive at Malta International Airport (MLA). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Sunra Yoga will pick you up from the airport.
Gozo is easily accessed by a twenty-minute ferry ride that runs every day from the port in Malta, half an hour from Malta International Airport (MLA).
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