Opening Circle

Faculty will provide a preview of material to be covered and activities in the coming week. Faculty will identify and define the teaching methodologies to be used with trainees over the course of the coming week.

Through assessment and journaling, trainees will assess their own learning, and identify areas where further study is desired. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions about past and future material and activities.

Asana Foundations

Faculty will demonstrate and lead trainees in practicing a group of asanas. During and following practice, instructor will facilitate an analytical discussion of how to practice the asanas with correct alignment. Trainees will gain an understanding of key principles of alignment for safe practice. Each week will focus on a different group of poses, for example …

  • Sun Salutations and opening warm up
  • Open Hip Poses, external rotation
  • Square Hip Poses, neutral rotation
  • Arm Balances and Inversions; Deeper Quad Stretches
  • Backbends
  • Forward Folds
  • Inversions and Closing Poses

Trainees will be able to demonstrate poses with correct alignment, identify common errors for each posture, and list ways to move toward proper alignment.

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The Whole of Yoga

Faculty will facilitate discussions of the yogic way of life, including philosophy, lifestyle, and ethics. Instructor will reference readings including classical yoga texts. Topics to include, for example,

  • Yoga history; traditions to modern day practice; ethics for yoga teachers
  • The Four Paths of Yoga, The Eight Limbs, Intro to Meditation (witnessing)
  • Yoga sutras and the nature of mind. Meditation and stilling the mind
  • The Workings of the Universe; The Three Gunas
  • Prana, Nadis and Chakras
  • Mantra, Chanting and Meditation
  • The Five Koshas (The Five Sheaths); Yoga Nidra
  • Yoga and Ayurveda – Doshas and Lifestyle
  • Yogic and Ayurvedic diet; Shat Karmas (cleansing techniques)

Learners will be able to speak knowledgeably about the history and traditions of yoga, as well as its adaptations in contemporary practice.

Mythology of the Asanas

This fun, enlightening and heartwarming class will bring new meaning to your practice by taking you beyond the physical sensations. Thousands of years ago, yogis created each pose to look and feel like something or someone as a way to connect to the universe. Behind each physical shape, there is an ancient story with a lesson and energy for us to experience and explore.

Learn why Ganesha threw a tusk at the moon and why we become the lotus flower when we meditate. Discover what we must fight in our warrior poses and why we surrender in child’s pose. Develop a deeper connection to self through the energetics of the poses, and fall more in love with your practice by embracing the notion that since the beginning of time, we are all divine spirits having very human experiences.

Expect to develop a new, more meaningful connection to your practice as we share our own interpretations of the stories and experience new sensations as we explore the shapes.

Asanas – Going Deeper

With the guidance of the instructor, participants will explore this week’s asanas in greater depth, identifying critical elements of alignment to promote safe practice. Participants will begin to develop a relationship to both the form and the function of the various categories of asana.

Trainees will observe and experience how each category of asana shares a common foundation. Trainees will begin to develop the language to reinforce and build on those common foundations.

In this module, trainees will:

Explore the benefits of individual poses and families of poses
Identify contraindications to various poses
Experience poses from an anatomical perspective
Examine the preparatory and follow-up poses for each asana
Recognize the foundational building blocks of each pose as springboard for variations

Anatomy & Physiology of Yoga

This module includes focus on the anatomy involved in a group of yoga poses. Faculty will teach the effects of specific yoga practices on the workings of the body. We will cover the basics of anatomy and what muscles are strengthened and stretched in each asana.

Focusing on a group of asanas, instructor will use visual aids and demonstrations to show how the body is affected by asanas, vinyasa, and pranayama. Learners will also practice the postures involved as the instructor helps them form an awareness of the effects on their own physiology. Learners will learn how to approach the practice of yoga with an awareness of the anatomy and physiology involved, and use that knowledge to maximize the benefits of practice and prevent injury.

Learners will be able to describe the involvement of anatomy in asanas, pranayama, and other yogic practices, as well as the immediate and long-term effects of yoga practice on the anatomy and physiology.

Pranayama & Meditation

Faculty will demonstrate and lead trainees in practicing various pranayama and meditation techniques. Learners will incorporate some of the more basic breath and mindfulness techniques into their yoga practice.

Mentorship

Students will identify a mentor, learning goals for their mentorship, and a schedule.

How to Teach Yoga

Faculty will teach, demonstrate, and facilitate discussion of how to teach yoga.

Topics will include creating a space that is conducive to practice and learning; communication skills; time management and prioritization; active and passive voice; principles of demonstration, observation, assisting and correcting; common issues with alignment; adjustments; different learning and teaching styles; and how different students learn.

Participants will also learn about reading the room, reading the bodies’ response to adjustments, and maintaining an ethical and respectful space.

Trainees will be able to plan and teach a yoga class that is informed by principles of teaching yoga that have been developed by master instructors. Trainees will have a plan for how to launch their yoga teaching careers or share their knowledge of yoga in other ways.

Practice Teaching

Trainees will get the opportunity to teach, in pairs, small groups, and to the entire group.

Fellow trainees and instructors will provide oral and written positive and constructive feedback. In addition to in-class practicum, trainees will be required to teach students outside of the class and journal on the experience for at least 4 hours.

Trainees will be able to identify their own strengths and weaknesses as a yoga instructor. Trainees will complete the module with a plan for how to continue their professional development after training is complete.

Through the Eyes of a Beginner

During this module, faculty will teach yoga as if to people who have never taken yoga before. By bringing a beginner’s mind to the practice, participants will deepen their knowledge of the asanas.

After the practice, trainees will discuss their reactions to the teaching, and talk about how teaching to beginners is different from teaching experienced practitioners. Instructor will identify common mistakes beginners make and the most effective ways to help beginners develop their practice.

In consultation with the instructor and one another, trainees will plan how they might teach a yoga class to beginners. By the end of the training, trainees will have a complete, reviewed class plan for teaching a beginner yoga class.

Trainees will be able to list differences between teaching beginners and leading experienced practitioners; list common mistakes made by beginners, and ways to facilitate safe practice; and plan and lead a class that is appropriate for beginners.

Vinyasa Flow – Structuring a Class

Trainees will participate in vinyasa flow practice, and discuss how to structure an effective class.

In consultation with the instructor and one another, over the course of the training program, trainees will plan how they might structure and sequence a level 1 or 1-2 Vinyasa Flow class. By the end of the training, trainees will have a complete, tested class plan for teaching a level 1 or 1-2 Vinyasa Flow yoga class.

Trainees will be able to develop and implement a Vinyasa Flow class plan that is informed by what they have learned in yoga teacher training.

Teaching Arm Balances

Missy Hebson

Missy Hebson

This 2.5-hour workshop will cover mechanics of teaching some of the most challenging poses to students. Students will practice breaking down poses to maximize students’ success. During the class, students will discuss questions such as the following:

  • Can you teach an arm balance even if you cannot execute it?
  • How can you modify arm balances for those who lack the strength?
  • How can you coach students to work up to mastering arm balances?

… and more.

Leveling a Class

There is no such thing as a yoga class in which all levels of experience are the same, regardless of the level or given class title. Whether students are differently-leveled due to injuries or conditions, age, experience, or strength and flexibility, a skilled teacher will challenge and inspire each practitioner in the room, while ensuring the practice is safe and accessible to all.

This workshop prepares trainees to modify a traditional vinyasa flow class to an array of different levels. In this workshop, you will

  • Learn how to “see” your students and identify levels
  • Modify sun salutations for beginning to advanced practitioners
  • Adapt individual poses as well as sequences for various levels
  • Examine foundational building blocks of individual poses as springboard for variations
  • Explore the progression of poses, bridging basic poses to higher-level poses
  • Identify alternatives that resemble full poses
  • Utilize props to make poses available to injured or less flexible practitioners

Your Teaching Identity

Yoga teachers are much like chefs. We’re all working with the same ingredients, but how we mix it up and serve it up is completely unique.

In the first half of this module, Pam will use various exploratory exercises, guided meditations, and practice teaching sessions to help you find and take comfort in your own unique voice and teaching style.

The second half will cover class-prep strategies, sequencing tips, playlists, social media, and marketing tools to help you teach and attract students in a way that is authentic to you.

Anatomy & Physiology Mini-Intensive

Trainees will seek to understand the anatomy of the body in order to make practice safer.

Learners will be able to use their anatomical knowledge to more effectively cue yoga poses and sequences, and adapt teaching to students with injuries or other issues.

Pranayama & Meditation

Faculty will demonstrate and lead trainees in practicing various pranayama and meditation techniques. Learners will incorporate some of the more basic breath and mindfulness techniques into their yoga practice.

Summative Activities, Evaluation, Reflection & Q&A

Trainees will spend a half-hour participating in summative activities designed to help them recognize and evaluate the teaching methodologies they have seen and applied.

Trainees will participate in evaluations (e.g., quizzes) to assess their learning, identify where further study is needed, and make a plan for remedial study, if needed. Discussion will focus on the instruction trainees have received: what was positive, what could have been better, and how it could be improved. Trainees will participate in exercises that will help them identify the teaching methodologies used and draw conclusions that they can apply to their own yoga practice and teaching.

Trainees will gain a deeper understanding of the effects of different teaching methodologies, and will use that knowledge in planning and executing their own classes as well as their own continued professional development.