Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga which is popularly known as Ashtanga Yoga is a style of yoga derived from one of the classical yogic texts called “Yoga Kuranta” by Yogi Vamana. The style was rejuvenated by Sri T. Krishnamacharya, the master of B K S Iyengar as well as Sri K Pattabhi Jois in Mysore. Following the master’s path, Pattabhi Jois has taken this beautiful style to the hearts of yogis around the world. Later, his grandson, Mr. Sharath Rangaswamy is following the tradition of Ashtanga Vinyasa.
Ashtanga Yoga is a practice of sequenced postures with its flow and grace. The postures are derived from Hatha Yoga and classified into six different series of practices which makes the practitioner to embrace the sublime layers of the mind with the graceful flow of the practice.
The primary series of Ashtanga Yoga is the focus of the Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training here at Samyak Yoga. The participants will get the opportunity to taste the glimpses of Intermediate series too in the last week.
The main goal of this course is to inculcate the personal practice of the complete primary series of Ashtanga Vinyasa, bring out the hidden Yoga Teacher in the practitioner who can teach the complete Ashtanga Primary series, as well as Vinyasa Flow, Shivananda and Hatha Yoga too.
In the evening intensive flow classes, we introduce other major styles so that you will be able to incorporate the major styles such as Hatha Yoga, Shivananda, Vinyasa Flow etc and become a complete teacher of Yoga with specialization in Ashtanga back home.
This course focuses on the practice and teaching methodology of the Primary Series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. The Primary Series includes over 70 asanas (postures), linked sequentially by Vinyasa (breath-initiated movements between the asanas). The course begins with detailed instruction of the Primary Series’ practice and then continues with a morning Mysore style or Led Primary Series class for the remainder of the course.
To practice a particular pose into its deep, one needs to know intelligent way of using the muscles, the appropriate way of breathing, meditative state of the mind and spiritually rooted soul. Practice of postures is a moving meditation. In the session “Teaching Methodology” we try to explore the concepts on which a particular posture is developed, how it can be practiced into a deeper level, the benefits and contra indications. We also discuss the usage of props, the balance between the strength and flexibility and so on.
The Sanskrit names of the postures are explained elaborately and how to teach an Ashtanga Yoga Led class effectively is evaluated in detail. The benefits of the specific sequencing and the principles of Vinyasa (the movements between postures), Ujjayi Pranayama (the sound induced breath), Drishti (the gaze) and Bandhas (the three locks or seals) are included as essential elements of the practice and teaching of Ashtanga Yoga during the course.
Intensive Vinyasa Flow
The evening session explores the different sets of Vinyasa flow. A variety of Vinyasa flow including standing, sitting, twisting, back-bending, hip opening and inversions will prepare the aspirants to explore their inner potentialities. These evening practices explore the theme based practices which in turn aids the participant to cater the need of his/her students back home as a teacher. The participants will also have an opportunity to practice the glimpses of the second series (Intermediate series of Ashtanga Vinyasa) in the last week.
Beauty and perfection of every Asana depends upon two factors; one being the flexibility and the other is the alignment of different body parts involved in the posture. Flexibility can be achieved with regular practice and for understanding the posture one would need a good understanding of the posture and fine tune the subtle movements required to land in a perfect position.
Art of Adjustments is one of the significant fields where Yoga teacher has to work constantly to grow and to keep his/her class unique. Hence we try to explore it with every detail. The importance of encouraging students to continue with a regular practice and preparing them for Mysore style is emphasized.
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As a teacher it is most important to know the integral aspects of Yoga postures, its limitations and benefits which in turn will help notice the common mistakes in a posture performed by a student and accordingly make the subtle changes required.
To develop the teaching skills we have sessions named ‘Group class’ which is one of the inevitable parts of the training. Starting from day 2, you will be leading a practical class for a group of fellow participants every day based on the Asanas learned by you. This builds the confidence, tones up the teaching skills and other required criteria to be a teacher. This class will always be supervised by one of the main teachers and there will be a feedback session after every group class session to improve the quality of the participant’s teaching. After building the confidence, skills and other required criteria, you will be taking a class for the whole group in the last week. This prepares you to get ready to teach once you go back.
You will be asked to design a yoga class module based on what you have been practicing under the guidance of a teacher. By practicing the class modules, you will be able to teach your class back home effectively with creativity catering the needs of different types of people coming to your classes.
We will have an introduction to Yoga anatomy, in which we will discuss the anatomical aspects of Yoga practice. It is important to know how to engage/relax the muscles, deepening the stretches yet not injuring ourselves physically and so on. It is also important to understand the structure of our respiration to improve the quality of the breathing by pranayama techniques. A whole new world of Yoga Anatomy which improves the quality of our Yoga practice will be explored during the Yoga anatomy sessions
Sessions on Yoga Philosophy including The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the history and fundamentals of Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition, Vedic chanting with their meaning, Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, the sourcebook of Hatha Yoga style, Chakras and their psychological influence, the philosophy behind the practice of Bandhas and Mudras etc. are discussed in detail.
A variety of meditation techniques are taught to gain control over the mental fluctuations. Maintaining a holistic lifestyle & vegetarian diet, which is conducive to yoga practice, is offered throughout the course.
This teacher training explores the depth of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice by revealing its teaching techniques.
06:30-08:30 – Ashtanga Vinyasa (traditional practice)
10:00-11:00 – Lecture I | Pranayama
11:00-12:30 – Teaching Methodology
12:30-01:30 – Group Classes and Feed back session
04:30-6:00 – Vinyasa Flow (Practice)
06:00-6:30 – Kirtans (Singing)
06:30-7:30 – Lecture 2 | Yogic Cleansing
Additional reading/ Homework and Examination
You are supposed to make the notes of the significant points that you have been gaining during the course. It does include the theoretical sessions, practical sessions and even the discussions we might have during the meal breaks. The learning does not have breaks… This might take half an hour per day. These notes will be a handbook for you back home while you will be teaching yoga. We will have a glance every day during the breakfast break so that you can have the notes back for the theory sessions.
The teachers will always be available for all the questions that you might have during the course. The meal breaks can be used to have the discussions while after the evening session, you can discuss about your personal practice of yogic life individually with the teacher.
You will also have the examination where in your practical teaching is examined while the written test at the end of the course is to know the intellectual understanding of the contents of the training.
Yoga Teacher Training Course Manuals
Each student will be provided with two detailed & comprehensive Yoga Manuals, i.e. Theory and Practical manuals, which will be used throughout the Yoga Teacher Training and provide for an invaluable tool of reference for the students’ career in teaching Yoga & deepening their personal practice.
Highlights of the Theory Yoga Manual include Chanting and the meaning of the mantras with connotations, Meditation Techniques & the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in Sanskrit with English transliteration and meaning too, Pranayama & Kriyas Practice and Guidelines, Yoga Anatomy, Nadis, Chakras, Layers of human body and their connections with Koshas, Mudras and etc.
Yoga Alliance, USA & Ashtanga Samyak Yoga:
Samyak Yoga is a Registered Yoga School in Yoga Alliance as “Ashtanga Samyak Yoga”. Our teacher trainings are internationally approved and it is certified by Yoga Alliance USA. Yoga Alliance is an organization which governing the quality of the trainings and teachers in U.S and around the world.
Kindly search for “Ashtanga Samyak Yoga” while registering yourself with Yoga Alliance after the completion of the training.
Know more about Yoga Alliance visit Yoga Alliance website
Preparation for the Teacher Training
A good Yoga practitioner is a good Yoga teacher of too. Most important thing in yoga teaching is “sharing”. Sharing the knowledge whatever we got to the students, so they can progress practice and live a healthy life. This training will give a strong foundation for the future teachers to improve their skills in yoga and will help to start teaching students with a small group. A strong foundation is always necessary to get into this training and understand the whole picture of this course.
We suggest the students to read minimum these articles, books before coming to this program. It will give a basic understanding about the subjects which they are going to study in this course.
Suggested Reading List
Light on Yoga – BKS Iyengar
Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – BKS Iyengar
Ashtanga Yoga, Practice and Philosophy – Gregor Maehle
Prana Pranayama Prana Vidya – Swami Niranjananda Saraswati
Autobiography of a Yogi – Paramahamsa Yogananda