We will first immerse ourselves inward, into the Art of Skillful Practice. Not every practitioner is a teacher, but every teacher is first and foremost a student. We will practice every level of asana, breath work, mantra, energy locks, and meditation. For this inward journey we will voyage into self-observation, of our strengths, weaknesses, biases, and overall awesomeness.
The second major component of this Advanced Training will be the Art of Enlightened Teaching, in which we will hone the skills of passing the gift of yoga to others. A central theme of Enlightened Teaching is observation: recognising the unique aspects of the being in front of you. This course endeavours to embody the message of Krishnamacharya: Yoga is not a one-size-fits-all form. Every moment we practice or teach is an opportunity to listen more closely to others and to ourselves.
PART I - THE ART OF SKILLFUL PRACTICE
Also known as the Power of Play, this module is designed to shift the focus away from the skills of teaching and return our focus towards that which is most important: our own practice. While not every practitioner is a teacher, every teacher must be first and foremost a practitioner and student. The Art of Skillful Practice is inherently a journey inward, in which we examine ourselves: our strengths, weaknesses, biases and overall awesomeness.
A great challenge for making a self-practice effective is simply making it regular; ensuring that the ritual of self-care and self-love is as natural as taking a meal. Therefore this training will address the largest obstacles to regularity, and how we can make our practice not just beneficial, but also creative enough to keep us entertained.
Banyan’s background in circus and performance come through in all trainings, but especially this one. Expect a hearty dose of laughter, improvisational exercises, and AcroYoga to bring a splash of joy, pleasure, and unexpected depth into your self-practice.
PART II - THE ART OF ENLIGHTENED TEACHING
At the center of every altar lies a flame. No matter whether you’re in a church, mosque, or temple, the candle stands, wavering but patient, illuminating the space around it with its warmth of prayer.
Why is it that some yoga classes fill us with inspiration, and others are just ok? Why do we leave certain classes feeling exhausted, and others exhilarated? How can we maximize our impact on our students in the small amount of time we are together?
In this part we will focus on that which enlightens us and those around us: the flame. Known by many names: Agni, Kundalini, Shakti. Living fire is what enlightens us and wakes us up. The basics here are simple: if we understand how the fire works, we hope to use it to illuminate the lives of others: our students, our partners, and our family members.
A central theme of the Art of Enlightened Teaching is observation: recognizing the unique aspects of the being in front of you. This module endeavors to embody Krishnamacharya’s message: bring yoga to the student, rather than pushing the student towards yoga. We will resist the urge to oversimplify and practice a one-size-fits-all form, and instead see every moment we practice or teach as an opportunity to listen more closely to others and ourselves.
3OO HOUR BREAKDOWN OF TOPICS & YOGA ALLIANCE HOURS
Advanced Teaching Techniques – Recognize the Individual; Employ the Intention (126 hours)
Asanas: Standing & balancing poses, backbends, core, arm balances, inversions, hip openers, twists, forward bends, reclined and seated. More emphasis on inversions and advanced asanas, making them approachable for all levels.
“Bring yoga to the student,” - T. Krishnamacharya. Effective and creative use of props
Benefits of postures on levels physical, mental, and energetic. Relationships between asana, chakra, guna, and dosha
Modifications & variations for injuries, conditions, and body presentations
The art of skillful, advanced adjustments: observe, approach, adjust, and exit with skill and confidence
The Laboratory of Form: observe perfection in every body, and discover appropriate variations for each asana in time and space
Injury prevention, prehab and rehab
Master skillful, effective communication to demonstrate confidence and clarity
Teaching Methodology (25 hours)
“Enlightened Teaching” : Recognition of individual (body shape, guna, dosha, etc) and environmental (season, stress, atmosphere) factors, which ask for distinct methods. Safe and effective teaching methods which emphasize the individual perfection in all of us
Qualities of a Yoga Teacher – Expectations and Realities
Observation skills – “The quest for symmetry is bound to fail, but balance is here for the taking.” Recognition of breath, facial expression, and tissue presentation as signs of effective or ineffective practice techniques
Alignment principles – no two bodies are the same; no two poses are the same. Learn quick and easy ‘tricks‘ to discern how to most efficiently develop a student’s practice in short moments
The Art of Demonstration – how, and when to demonstrate effectively. Learn when demonstration is dangerous for teacher, and potentially harmful to student, and how to avoid potential harm
Effective, Advanced Sequencing – More than Movement (20 hours)
“ Brown Yoga” vs. Vinyasa Krama and Intelligent Sequencing: why most yoga classes fail
Templates for making your practices more effective
Thematic use of readings, music, lighting and class orientation for effect
Bandha, Breath, and Sound: the missing elements of efficient practice
The Power of Play: making your practice fill you with joy
Teaching all levels, in a single room
Anatomy and Physiology (32 Hours)
Unraveling the Mystery of Anatomy and Form: lessons from human dissection about interconnectivity, perfection in form, and a healthy agnostic view to the brilliance of anatomy
“What You Need To Know”: the most important principles of clear alignment and sequences
Physiological and energetic effects of asana, pranayama, meditation
Benefits & contraindications of asana, pranayama
In-depth, advanced exploration of subtle anatomy - chakras, koshas, bhandas, vayus
Employing the nervous system to affect direction of life: a nuanced perspective of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, and specific breathing techniques to “reset” your stress levels
When to Say When: injuries in yogic practices
Personalizing practice, for injury, chronic pain, and form, through use of props and variations
Pranayama (12 hours)
Myths and misunderstandings of efficient breathing
The signature of the breath, and its reflection on samskaras and the history of the soul
Diaphragmatic exercises and the nervous system/respiratory system link
Beauty and Anatomy of the Magnificent Lungs
Learn advanced pranayama techniques to attain your goal
Meditation (12 hours)
Basic to advanced meditation exercises from Yogic, Buddhist, and Vedantic traditions
Svadhyaya - reflection through meditation and journaling
Selflessness and the Joy of Listening
Who Am I?
Mantra – the Tantric yogi’s friend: practice, theory, and power
Teaching Meditation to all levels
History & Philosophy (26 hours)
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: mantra, meaning, and more
Bhagavad Gita, and the principle of Selfless Action
Tantra and living your yoga all day long
States of the Soul and Soul Desires
Mauna Yoga and the Power of Silence (this training will include at least one day in silence)
Live your Yoga (10 hours)
Ayurveda and the Daily Routine: listening to Nature and Self for direction
Seva and the role of service. Prison Yoga Project and more.
The mat is not the end: practicing yamas and niyamas with every breath
Tantra, awakening, and residing in the yogic state all day long
Career Development (5 hours)
Business Development: marketing, branding, etc.
Ethics and troubleshooting
Student first, teacher second: continued education
Insurance, Registration and Accreditation
Expanding your reach through social media
Teach What You Know: reaching your niche and remaining in passion and confidence
Private Instruction: mechanics, benefits and risks
Practicum (32 hours)
“To Master Something, Teach It.”-Yogi Bhajan. How teaching is the best way to learn
Practice teaching in small groups – alignment principles, adjustments, and observations
Constructive Feedback: self, group, and Banyan’s personalized feedback on your teaching in a safe, supportive environment
Teach the whole group multiple times throughout course and receive constructive feedback each time
Exercises in Distraction: managing disruptive elements in class
Advanced, Secret, and FUN Exercises in Instruction: challenging the teacher to do more with less
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