The following is presented by permission from Gabri, a current trainee in the Ozark Mountain Yoga Teacher Training Program. Trainees are required to journal their experiences from each weekend and use these notes for a final paper. Although there are corrections and clarifications to be discussed within her notes, it provides a good idea of the depth of the program and scope of study. Also something to consider is the Teaching, Training and Technique hours, largely classes, learning adjustments/anatomy and practicing teaching remain the largest parts of each intensive…
We began talking about Yoga philosophy. Dualism and Non-Dualism is important to understand because many yogic schools are dualism or non-dualism. Deciding between the two philosophies will help to formulate relationships, understand the purpose of life and make sense of the world around you. Dualism is the philosophy that believes in a higher being or power in the universe; that the spirit and the soul can be separated and perhaps another life exists beyond the realm of the body after death. And that the observer and the one being observed is different. The other philosophy, known as non- dualism practices that all are one, no power being higher than the other but equal and shared amongst everything in the universe. That the cosmos after the big bang gave rise to all atoms and compounds from the same mass, therefore all are one. Everything in the universe can be reduced down to one shared reality, arriving at a unity of life. They believe the soul, mind and body are all to become one through spirituality and education one can reach a level of consciousness where all merge together. These concepts are extremely important in a yogi’s path because the practices have vast differences and focus. A yogi does not have to pick between dualism or nondualism. It is my belief to learn and practice dualism and nondualist before deciding which to practice. And/or by practicing a both, may not pick either and simple pick and pull philosophies to incorporate that are consistent. It is very important to be tolerable to differences and accept different viewpoints of yogic teaching and not put walls between other yogis that follow different traditions; all should respect each other.
The Vedas were the first written yoga, and predates religion. Vedic tradition is to have moksha. Moksha is the liberation of consciousness (ego) and means to find release from the cycle of death and rebirth (samsara). The cycle involves cleansing of ignorance leading to self-realization and knowledge. Moksha is the main concept of Hindu tradition. Amaya is an illusion or dream like state; for example, to say I am angry is not the same as I am feeling angry. The Amaya is the anger or illusion of the reality blinding us to focus on the true content of reality. Yoga practices to shed Amaya and moksha. Yoga also involves Atha, which means now or beginning not later and builds the concept of being in the present.
In India during the 12th century most yogi teachers were called gurus. They taught mostly only nobles and people of higher power by making it less accessible to the public, the cast system was still very active. Gurus taught mostly Tantra. Tantra is the study of self-empowerment. The Tantra is to gain strength and power over natural being.
The concepts behind dualism begins with two main concepts, one) pakritti- are atoms and two) purusha is the energy that binds.
A brief of Yoga history we could say would be the division at vedic and the shramana time. The Vedic tradition follows hinduism closely and is more religious and is meant to draw on a collective society where all is one. The Shramana is more “alone in the study” and learns of ones own experiences.
The Hatha Yoga Project is a five year research project. This is taking place at the University of London. By collecting 20 of the most well renowned yoga philosophers, teachers, and researchers, will work together to edit and translate 10 Sanskrit texts of Hatha Yoga and other critical documents. This is groundbreaking research in the Yoga industry because it will rid ambiguity in translation. Some of them were Dr. Camillo Farmagatti, Professory Alexis Sanderson, Mark Singleton, Jason Birch, Domminic Goodall, Seth Powell, Debra Diamond, and Ruth Westob.
This project is supposed to give clarity to the yoga traditions and rid ambiguity. It can also answer many questions; Why did they put their foot there? Or Why do you inhale during this rotation? Etc. think the project is magical for those that are interested in history but also, Yoga teachers. These poses being explained will help me to better grasp what the initial reason for the pose was and how to instructor it to myself and to my students. However, I also believe that the evolution of yoga is just as important as the history. If you look at the future of yoga and how it has evolved even in the past 20 years, it has already changed so much from traditional views that it might not have a huge impact on all yoga; especially in the West, on yogis who don’t follow strong traditional/historic paths. Or especially the yogis that only use yoga as physical exercise. Yoga will need to evolve because people and technology also evolve. Now with better science and technology, looking for new poses or how to fix poses could be something we change from traditional. I hope that uncovering the texts will allow us to understand the past to allow a forward motion instead of create arguments amongst traditional vs. nontraditional yoga.
Hatha yoga is a forceful binding yoga and most yoga is some form of Hatha yoga. Asana yoga is considered energy gathering. Jnana is yoga of knowledge. We learned the history of yoga and the different branches that yoga took. We also practiced corrections of warrior stances and other commonly mistaken corrections. We learned how to be professional yet personable to the yogis. We practiced public speaking. We were given advice to video ourselves and talk out the sequences to ourselves. We were given many books to begin to look deeper into the 8 limbs and branches of yoga that history took. We learned about Patanjali’s yoga sutras, the eight limbs of yoga and some history of Buddhism and Hinduism.
Speaking from experience Bill gave us some helpful tips in creating our yoga classes and potentially stuidos.
- Teach what you know; it is helpful to have a peak pose in mind and relate all poses to build up to the peak pose
- Its nice to start seated, move to standing, and then end with seated
- You should do 10% of Shavastana for however long the class lasts
- Develop a home practice (try teaching to a camera to practice speaking)
- Develop a community
- Understand that yoga means to have discipline
- Take notes and videotape your home practice so you can create efficient classes
- Only demonstrate when you have to
- Always acknowledge the yogis during practice and at the door, be sure to ask them before you
start correcting their poses.
- It is good to organize your class with a chant, breathing exercise, Asanya, and then meditation
11. The primary sequence is a good goal to have
12. It is helpful to have a facebook yoga acount (hoots weet – posts for you on days selected)
The book light on law by Mr. Ganyar will have all contracts yoga teachers need and explain legality behind teaching yoga or opening a studio. The owner of a studio can hire everyone as independent contractors but it is the responsibility of the owner to handle insurance. If you are an independent contractor you must do your own taxes. For playing music one must be responsible and purchase a music license or for $29.00/ month you can play yogi tunes. Yoga Alliance now offers a $69.00/ year for music alliance.
In class we were told to have some short and long term goals. My goals are to pursue a 300 and 500 ERYT. I also plan to conquor the primary sequence this year, connect my breath better and find more peace during my meditation.
Words I learned:
Atha-now or beginning not later and builds the concept of being in the present Yog-to bind and is said like yoke.
Moksha- liberation from consciousness
Citta- thoughts/ mind stuff
Yog- to yoke to bind
Vritti- to turn
Amaya- illusion/ dream like state
Jnana- yoga knowledge
Purusha- energy that binds
Interested in learning more about the Ozark Mountain Yoga Teacher Training program? Visit Ozark Mountain Yoga Studio.