Module 1: October 24-27, 2013
Module 2: November 21-24, 2013
Module 3: January 23-26, 2014
Module 4: February 27-March 2, 2014
Module 5: April 24-27, 2014
Module 6: May 29-June 1, 2014
Kriya Yoga is an instrument through which human evolution can be quickened...the secret of cosmic consciousness is intimately linked with breath mastery.
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
A kriya is a conscious volitional action. Kriya Yoga teaches that all action, kri, is performed by the indwelling soul, ya. It is only through wisdom that you can understand when and how to act in the world. A sincere spiritual seeker who follows the path of Kriya Yoga with love and devotion and a desire for spiritual growth can attain Self-realization — even within one lifetime. This powerful yoga is a manifestation of the many yogas described in the Bhagavad Gita, but primarily it is derived from:
- Karma Yoga, which is detachment from the fruits of actions in the world, and more importantly, from the inner activity of the mind.
- Jnana Yoga, which is spiritual knowledge acquired by a disciplined intellect, creates freedom through detachment from the fruits of actions.
- Bhakti Yoga, or unconditional love, is awakened by gratitude and joy arising from the oneness with all creation, which is cosmic consciousness.
Within the practice of hatha yoga, kriya resembles Raja Yoga, which is a comprehensive method that emphasizes meditation, while encompassing the whole of Yoga. It directly deals with encountering and transcending the fluctuations of the mind. The practice, of Kriya Yoga emphasizes self-study, self-discipline and attunement to the Divine in order to gain greater awareness and wisdom. The following techniques are taught from a unique Kriya Yoga perspective: yoga asana, mantra, visualization, pranayama (breathing techniques) and tarka (self-reflection). Each of these practices is designed to aid in your progress along this consciousness-raising path. Through the study of Kriya Yoga you are empowered to express your unique spirit, thereby able to share it in uplifting and enlightening others.
The Kriya Yoga curriculum includes:
Advanced Asana: Theory and Practice – Do you ever look out into your classroom and think, “How in the world am I going to teach the same asana to all of these different bodies with such a wide range of needs?” Covering more than 30 advanced asanas – including twists, revolved poses, binds, arm balances and inversions – you will learn how to teach each pose to students of all levels of experience and abilities. Even if your own body is challenged by a pose, after this training you will possess a skillful and sophisticated understanding of each advanced asana taught via the krama, or stages of the pose. With a focus on assists, adjustments and vocal cueing, you will have a wealth of new techniques and tools with which to teach.
Therapeutic Application of Asana – A significant theme of this training is the use of asana as a therapeutic modality. Using Ayurveda as the guiding philosophy, you will learn therapeutic techniques as they relate to the doshas, elements and gunas. Through practice and study you will develop the skills necessary to create classes and private sessions geared to individuals as well as specific populations.
Astrology as a Tool for Teaching – Astrology, like Ayurveda, is a sister science to Yoga, showing you a map of your own personal karma. This training will cover basic astrological terms and symbols, and reveal how these planets, signs and houses reside within you. As a practice of svadhyaya, or self study, astrology is a powerful teaching and self development tool useful for understanding the timing and sequencing of your classes.
Kriya Ritual – Kriya Yoga is deeply rooted in rituals that allow the practitioner to bring deeper meaning and spiritual connection to daily life, as well as honor and acknowledge cyclical patterns over time. Kriya Yoga rituals are a way of consciously creating a specific vibration in and around your being. In Kriya Yoga, most rituals are performed internally through visualization. The rituals allow for you to use symbols that are meaningful to you. They are easily personalized to fit with your belief system. As part of this course, you will learn to make your own altar based on the vedic science of vāstu śāstra.
Daily Kriya Sadhana – Sadhana is anything that is an authentic means of accomplishing something; a yogic practice that attains your spiritual goals. Each morning during retreat begins with an early morning Kriya sadhana at 6:30 a.m. This 90-minute sadhana is your opportunity to practice self-study, develop spiritual discipline and fervency, and commune with your individual ideal of the Divine through asana, pranayama and meditation. A personal sadhana practice creates deep roots that allow you to ascend as you release any self-imposed limits. Sadhana is the path to true freedom and bliss.
Pranayama – Having an experiential understanding of prana as a vehicle for cultivating dynamic health and balance is the focus of your pranayama practice during this training. To further support your study, you will discover the appropriate use of bandhas not only in the context of pranayama but also yoga asana and meditation practice. You will practice multiple breathing techniques and learn benefits, contraindications and specific mudras to support your pranayama practice.
Meditation – Meditation is a tool for self-transformation. It is a turning inward of consciousness that leads to your inherent wisdom. Patanjali says in Yoga Sutra 1.2: yogaś-citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ, meaning that yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. In this training, you will learn meditation techniques such as visualization, mantra, breathing techniques and affirmations that give the mind something to focus on. The stillness that follows the practice is the meditative state. Throughout this program, you will experience a variety of techniques and learn how to teach and incorporate these techniques into your yoga asana classes and private sessions.
The Ayurveda portion of this 500-hour training offers a comprehensive education in the basic principles of Ayurveda in relation to teaching yoga; a great beginning for anyone interested in pursuing Ayurveda personally or professionally.
You will learn the core concepts and principles of Ayurveda, including its history, philosophical approach and practical applications. Upon successful completion of this training, you will be able to incorporate Ayurveda into your yoga classes and workshops and give your students a deeper understanding of their true nature and constitution as well as how the basic concepts of Ayurveda relate to their daily life. In addition to expanding your teaching repertoire for group classes and workshops, you will be able to offer private yoga sessions and develop personalized yoga practices to suit your clients’ unique constitutional circumstances.
The core Ayurveda curriculum includes:
- The essential ayurvedic building blocks (five elements, 20 guṇa, tridosha) and road maps (vayus, nadis, mahaguṇa).
- Yoga asanas from an ayurvedic perspective.
- Yoga as a complementary and supportive practice to an ayurvedic lifestyle.
- Dinacaryā and rtucharyā: daily and seasonal routines for optimal health and well-being.
- Basics of ayurvedic nutrition as an approach to cooking, digestion and right eating.
- Vedic mantras for improving health and longevity and creating abundance.
- Ayurvedic psychology and the role that the mind plays in creating and maintaining health.
After successful completion of this training, you will be able to:
- Create yoga classes that balance the doshas.
- Design transformative workshops and other programming from an ayurvedic perspective.
- Apply ayurvedic principles in private yoga sessions.
- Discover the power of yoga asana, meditation and pranayama for addressing common imbalances.
- Develop seasonal flows and sequences for the transition between seasons.
- Understand the significance of the doshas for teaching according to the time of day, seasons and stages of life.
Hanna Somatic Education
During this training, you will learn a series of Hanna Somatic exercises that you can use in yoga classes and private sessions to help your students release chronic tension. Hanna Somatic Education is an effective form of mind-body training and movement re-education that trains the brain to let go of chronic muscle tension. This series of mindful movements will enable you to help yourself and your students release tension without stretching.
By learning to regain both awareness, sensation and motor control of muscles – an educational process that can only be achieved through movement – the brain can remember how to relax and move the muscles properly…Chronically tight muscles have learned to stay contracted due to repeated and reflexive response to stress such as accidents, injuries, surgeries, repetitive tasks and on-going emotional stress.
History of Yoga
You will study an overview of the history of yoga and correct some common misperceptions of yoga. Such questions as “How did yoga come to the west?” “What does the American physical practice of yoga have to do with ancient India?” and “What are the different types of yoga and what do they have to do with modern yoga practice?” will be examined.
The intention of this exploration of the history and philosophy of yoga is to connect to the ancient roots of your modern yoga practice. You will study and read some of the primary yogic texts in a way that brings them to life and makes their wisdom relevant for you. The Upaniṣads, the Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā, and excerpts from both the Yoga Sūtras and the Haṭhayōgapradīpikā will aid in your understanding of the development of yoga.
Samhkya: The Philosophical Foundations of Yoga & Ayurveda
Samkhya is one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy and forms the philosophical foundation for Yoga and Ayurveda. The primary concern of Samkhya is classifying and describing the categories of existence thereby providing Yoga and Ayurveda the means to relieve suffering through various physical and metaphysical methods. According to this philosophy of life, existence is divided into two primary catagories: prakṛti (nature or matter) and puruṣa (spirit or consciousness). Prakṛti is further divided into three mahaguṇa (dynamic qualities): sattva, rajas, and tamas. An understanding of Samkhya philosophy is essential for without it your knowledge of Yoga and its application remains incomplete.
As a yoga teacher, you understand the significance of the relationship between the body, breath and mind. Part of this training also dives into exploring the unique relationship between breath and sound, or energy and consciousness. The study of Sanskrit is a powerful pranayama and meditative practice in and of itself. Your Sanskrit studies will include
- Understanding how and why Sanskrit sounds are energetically healing.
- Learning proper pronunciation of Sanskrit through study of the five mouth positions.
- Introduction to select Mantras.
- Develop a practice of silent conscious listening.
- Reading the Devanagari and transliterated script.
- Light homework exercises to support the course material.
Anatomy & Physiology
Dr. Sarah Hjersjo, D.C., C.C.S.P., instructs the anatomy and physiology component of your training providing expert understanding of the larger structures and systems of the body. Her experience in the study of osteopathic medicine and yoga, and passion for anatomy and physiology make what can be a dry topic both fun and interesting!
TEXTBOOKS AND MATERIALS:
On the first day of training, you will receive an Ayurveda & Kriya Yoga Advanced Teacher Training manual. The following texts will be read and referenced throughout the training:
- Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation by Stephen Mitchell
- Upanishads by Eknath Easwaran
- Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Swami Muktibodhananda
- The Book of Ayurveda: A Holistic Approach to Health and Longevity by Judith Morrison
- Yoga & Ayurveda: Self-Healing and Self-Realization by David Frawley
In addition, you will also need the following support materials:
- Two (2) notebooks - One for notes and the other for use as a spiritual journal.
- A yoga prop kit containing:
- One (1) yoga mat
- Two (2) rectangular bolsters
- Four (4) Mexican-style yoga blankets
- Two (2) blocks
- Two (2) yoga belts (8-10 feet long)
- One (1) eye pillow