Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Pranayama and more: Education in Yoga - Foundation Course Content
Centered Yoga and Yoga Alliance 200+ hour accredited
|Primary Elements||Secondary Elements||Minor Elements|
|Asana||Yogic Anatomy||Teaching Special Cases|
|Physical Anatomy||Diet, Food & Yoga||Ayurveda & Yoga|
|Philosophy||Shatkarma Kriyas||Karma Yoga|
|Your Practice||Going on to teach|
Asana is a typical starting point in yoga, and what you will primarily teach. As your awareness and understanding deepen in other areas, your asana and how you teach it will develop. The poses have the power to open up energy channels, build strength and flexibility, rearrange the nervous system, and detoxify the body's inner organs.
In addition to practicing asana, you will focus on specific poses. The Ashtanga primary series is our model, along with a number of other Hatha yoga asanas. Alignment, breath, inner focus, benefits, common mistakes, and variations are covered for each pose. You will learn from doing the pose and adjusting students in it, both in group and in private instruction.
All types of asana are covered: standing, balancing, forward bends, backward bends, twists, and inversions, totaling approximately fifty poses. Sun salutations are a major component of the practice, and both the Ashtanga (jump back) and classical Hatha yoga twelve-point will be studied.
The asana approach is two-fold:
1. You will learn in-depth the Alignment theory that comes from the Iyengar traditions. Regardless of the style or method you currently practice, these techniques and principals will put the physical and energetic body into optimal alignment. The method awakens the potential of the asana and allows the student to explore the deeper realms of the pose. The longer holds and slower movements also build intensive inward concentration and power.
2. You will also explore the moving approach of Vinyasa practice, which include traditional techniques of breath control, bandhas and linked movement. Adding alignment with linked breath-work, the practice becomes a pathway to a moving meditation. It cultivates wholeness, cleanses and unlocks blocked energy. The vinyasa element of jump back and jump through will also be studied.
The course will alternate between exploring detailed Alignment and the moving Vinyasa flow approach. The Asana teaching will also emphasize and encourage the exploration and growth of your individual practice, as we often will break into guided small groups and offer support for you to work into your edges and your own psychic knots and sticking points.
In Patanjali's eight-limb system (Ashtanga), Pranayama is the fourth limb, after asana. Its importance is acknowledged in many classical texts, though today it is typically misunderstood and taught badly. It is a subtle practice that has tremendous effects on the nervous system and the mind.
The training in this course is grounded in the classical teaching of Sri O.P. Tiwari (Kaivalyadhama, India), one of the few authorities on Pranayama. You will learn and practice the preparations for Pranayama together with six of the classical techniques. You will be guided daily and observed carefully as you build a personal practice. Upon completion, you will understand the nature of the inhale, exhale, and retention; the correct performance of each Pranayama; and how to guide someone in basic breathing. You will also study the breath and its mechanisms.
We take a detailed, thorough approach to anatomy and physiology. During the course you will methodically go through the anatomy of the human body as it relates to asanas, vinyasas, and pranayamas. In addition, we will explore at length the nervous system, the musculo-skeletal system, knee and hip joints, the pelvis, the spine, the circulatory system, and other topics.
Yoga is summed up in the Bhagavad Gita and laid down in the sutras of Patanjali. Understanding these texts will open your practice and give you the basis to teach. Other classical texts, such as the Hatha Pradipika, from which Hatha yoga has grown, the Gheranda Samhita, and the Upanishads will be presented as well. To elucidate the material further, we will also refer to other philosophies, in particular the teachings of Buddha.
An injury will cause pain, but not every pain is the result of an injury. When the practice is done properly, certain pains come as a result of the body opening up, changes in the nervous system, an inner reorganization, or perhaps the release of past actions. Improper activity, whether in practice or not, will cause injury. We will go over how to deal and work with both cases. We will also spend time in group and partner formats, learning how to use the ancient wisdom of Yoga for Healing and Therapy. Special workshops on understanding life and health from the perspectives of the yogic traditions, using the physical, energetic and the mental bodies. There will also be guest presentations and workshops on Nutrition, Ayurveda, and current perspectives on Yoga Therapy.
This is a practical course, in which you will learn chiefly by doing. The first ten days you will work with your fellow trainees on teaching assignments. The effort of explaining and showing something to someone else serves to embed it into your consciousness. From the eleventh day onward, there will be other (non-trainee) students in class. You will progress from observation to assisting to adjusting to private instruction to group instruction.
As your practice is your foundation, you will practice daily Asana, Pranayama, and Meditation. The other elements of the course will gradually be added to your practice. What you build as your practice you will understand and then be able to teach. Your practice will be deepened, cleaned up, and encouraged. What you ultimately practice integrates your personality, develops your mind, and eventually leads to higher states of awareness.
Awareness and understanding of the vital layer of the body can greatly advance your practice. You will study it and then integrate it in to your practice. The identification of energy lines in practice receives a lot of attention, along with chakras, nadis, vayus, koshas, to be learnt and understood in the light of the process of yoga.
In the Vedic system virtually all activities commence and conclude with a chant. In addition, one can increase the feeling of devotion (bhakti) through chanting sessions known as kirtans. Beginning with the simple but powerful Om, chants permeate the practice.
Usually a yoga class begins with a chant. There are some classic chants you will learn, some standard slokas you will become familiar with, and also a few bhajans you'll enjoy during our lively kirtans. The differences between all these will be explained.
Diet, Food and Yoga
When it comes to food, much confusion surrounds what, when, and how much. We will focus on this controversial topic from the vantage point of its effect on the body and mind, both in the gross and the subtle.
Food is one of the biggest influences on our practice. Eating well is not just a matter of good health; it affects and nurtures the nervous system and mind.
With a new understanding of food and its effects, you may be inspired to make positive changes in the way you eat. The food at Samahita Retreat is healthy, nutritious, and tasty. All meals are vegetarian, but fish and eggs will also be served from time to time.
Shatkarma Kriyas are cleansing and purification practices that prepare you for deeper practice. All six kriyas will be presented; five will be practiced and learned.
Concentration and Meditation
These are the sixth and seventh limbs of Ashtanga. Building concentration of mind should be developed in all practices. You will learn how to harness the mind while practicing asana and pranayama. It then will become a direct practice when you sit for meditation.
Meditation cannot be "done"; it just happens. But when is that? You will have your own experience.
To help the process along, you will learn meditation techniques, external to internal, which will engage the mind through concentration. Your growth in this area will reveal itself in your practice of the other seven limbs. Progress in Asana and Pranayama is essential, and directly affects concentration. Observing Yama and Niyama (i.e., living yoga) aligns our being, which can then bring about meditation.
How can we stimulate the chakras? How do we energize them, work with them, and benefit directly from their opening? We will tune into the subtle, pranic body in this practical way, focusing on the chakras as both an art and a science. Chakra exercises will be brought in to our daily practice, turning your attention inward.
Going on to Teach
How to put together a class, what classes to teach, how students will find you, where to teach, and the difference between privates and group classes.
Teaching Special Cases
Not everyone falls under the category of average health. Different approaches, as well as compassion and patience, are needed for children, people with disabilities and overweight cases. Simple approaches will be taught and where possible even practiced. Some cases will also be simulated.
The language of yoga is Sanskrit. It is the oldest language still in use today, and it is the basis of many other languages. All language is simply vibration, and Sanskrit possesses the highest vibration and the best organized. Hearing and chanting Sanskrit has an extremely positive effect on the state of your mind. You will learn the alphabet, numbers, pronunciation, and the chanting of all pose names, slokas, and sutras-all taught in a light and enjoyable way.
Ayurveda & Yoga
Ayurveda, yoga's sister science, is not well understood. We present it during the course from an informative point of view. What is its relevance and connection to yoga? What are the different doshas?
How can ayurveda benefit you?
Our overview aims to correct misconceptions about ayurveda in the hopes that you will be equipped to inform others and see if it is something you would study further.
Translates as the yoga of action but typically taken to mean selfless service. We typically have a program to work on for each course under the work of Centered Foundation. In the past we have worked as a group on some of the local schools for young children here that do not receive enough care or financial support. It is a great task for the group and causes a lot of positive change in these young kids lives. It's amazing to see the school change as we go to paint it, add new grass, clear up their play frames and more. On occasion we also get out and help Mother Nature by cleaning the beach.
If you have specific questions regarding the training you can email us.