Asana, pranayama, meditation and kriya techniques will be taught and practiced. Trainees will then practice teaching them to their peers, both one on one, and in a group setting. There will be time to develop one’s own asanas, learn about anatomical alignment, benefits, checkpoints and contraindications, as well as to teach and assist peers during group teaching sessions.
Contact Hours: 100
A variety of asanas from the following groups of asanas will be taught including gentle beginner and intermediate variations. The trainees will be taught how to enter and exit a pose, how to use the breath in the asana, checkpoints for alignment, benefits and contraindications for the asana, and how to assist students in the pose.
Categories of Asanas:
Standing and balancing asanas, forward bends, back bends, side bends, twisting poses, crouching and seated poses, poses on the abdomen, poses on the back, inverted poses and meditation poses. Trainees will also learn how to adapt the techniques for specific ages, levels, some ailments, and in the case of pregnancy. They will learn warm-up techniques and relaxation poses including the importance of deep breathing in relaxation to prevent muscle fatigue and the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles.
Teacher trainees will learn the form, benefits and contraindications of the following pranayama techniques, as well as when to incorporate them into the class and how to introduce pranayama techniques. Abdominal breathing, the three-part breath, ujjai pranayama, brahmari pranayama, anuloma viloma, and kapalabhati pranayama. They will learn how to perform these pranayamas with the bandhas and with relatively short breath retention (Kumbhaka) when appropriate.
In order to perform the retention in the above breathing techniques, it is necessary to teach and learn Mula bandha, Jalandhara bandha and Uddiyana bandha, the latter also being instrumental to kriyas such as nauli. The purpose of the bandhas will be discussed in its relation to the uniting of prana and apana to channel them into the shushumna nadi.
Trainees will learn the following kriyas, their benefits, primarily for their own practice, and later how to introduce the kriya to a class: Jal neti, jal kapalabhati, agni sara, and tratak.
In the theory section, the goal and paths of yoga will be discussed, thereby leading to the concept and techniques of meditation. Guided meditation will be explored, including creative visualization, meditation using yantra, mantra, ideation, ishta chakra and the withdrawal of the senses from external objects. Students will be guided in choosing a mantra for meditation.
We will explore the idea of mantra as a mystical energy encased in a sound structure in relation to mantras such as Om. Trainees will learn to chant and present yogic mantras for the beginning and/or ending of yoga classes (such as the the Shanti mantra or the Jyothi mantra). Bija mantras for purifying the chakras will also be explored including the timing and procedure for using these mantras in meditation.