Who says going on a Yoga Therapy Teacher Training course (200-hour) is easy peasy? It is full-stop from Monday to Saturday (including) from 6.30am to 7pm. This is what we learned in our 200-hours of YTTC. I studied at Abhijna School of Yoga and Meditation in Varkala, Kerala, India.
YOGA THERAPY TEACHER TRAINING COURSE OVERVIEW
1. HEALTH AND DISEASE ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA
It covers the basic principles of Ayurveda: the view of health and disease according to this ancient wisdom of india. We got introduced to the Dosha Concept and its humors (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) and the five element theory. There is an understanding on how disease manifests on each body type and how changes in lifesytle, diet, yoga asanas and pranyamas which will help prevent/diminish the manifestation of disease. This is an important foundation for the yogic management of common diseases.
2. ASANA METHODOLOGY
This subject includes understanding the “Core Principles of Asana Practice” and how we can sequence and draw yoga postures for classes. We learned how asanas (yogic postures) have a deep therapeutic effect.
With the help of a Health Assessment Foundation we learn how to tap into the patient’s requirements and limitations.
At the end of the training, we can teach a yoga class. This includes both series and being able to sequence for diseases in all fieds of yoga (asana, pranayama, meditation, cleansing techniques, mudras and bandhas) where applicable.
3. MUDRAS ( YOGA GESTURES)
Using mudras to heal physical aw well as emotional problems. We learned: Chin, Jnana, Shambavi, Nasikagra, Prana, Kerchari, Shanmukhi, and Kaki Mudra.
4. THE YOGIC DIET
We got introduced to the Sattvic and Yogic Diet. Also to understand the relationship between food and our emotions. Everything that we eat is food for our body/mind system. Food is the source and creator of prana (life force) that maitains our physical, mental, emotional, vital and subtle bodies and brings us vitality and health.
The types of foods we choose to eat will reflect the level of our consciousness. The discipline of yoga suggests a pure vegetarian diet, which facilitates the development of sattva. Sattva is a quality of love, awareness, connection, and peace with all sentient beings. And as we combine it with Ayurveda, we have the guidelines for an ayurvedic diet according to each body type or dosha.
5. YOGA PHILOSOPHY
The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are 196 Indian sūtras (aphorisms) that constitute the foundational text of Rāja yoga. The sutras spell out how the mind works and how is it possible to use the mind to attain liberation. It is a roadmap of human consciousness.
6. CASE STUDY
Throughout the training, we worked on our case study. We could choose a family member, friend or co-worker who has a particular disease or group of diseases. We had to research this desease and apply what has been learned during the course in order to deliver the following:
- Proposed Yoga Therapy Sequence (In weeks of progress for minimum 1-2 months)
- Proposed Pranayama Practices (also in weeks)
- Proposed Mudras
- Proposed Bandhas (If applicable to the disease in study)
- Proposed Meditation Practices
- Proposed Yoga Nidra (Specially Visualization for the particular disease)
- Proposed Lifestyle changes.
TEACHING PRACTICUM: LEADING A 1.5 HOURS YOGA THERAPY CLASS
As final teaching practicum, we taught a 1 1/2 hour led yoga class. It included all elements we learned in class such as the allopatic as well as ayurvedic nature of the case study and its approach through yoga and ayurvedic practices.
7. STUDY OF ASANAS
Two main styles of yoga therapy are taught:
- Pawanamuktasana Series from Bihar School of Yoga and
- Iyengar Yoga Series, which include foundation postures for sequencing according to the disease
We also learned particular sequences given by Iyengar for certain diseases related to Cardiovascular, Imune, Nervous, Digestive, Respiratory and Urogenital systems. Along with study of asanas, we got introduced to safe cleansing sequences as Laghoo Shankaprakshalana, TTK Solution, Trataka and Jala Neti.
8. RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
Relaxing the body-mind system is of primary importance for the Yoga Therapist, as it allows the healing process to happen in the unconscious mind. Several relaxation techniques are given such as Yoga Nidra, Chakra Breathing and Healing the Body Mind.
9. STUDY OF PRANAYAMA (BREATHING EXERCISES) & BANDHAS
In-depth study of Pranayama or vital energy as a healing technique. Practices as Full Yogic Breath, Bramhari, Nadhi Shodhana, Bhastrika, Kaphalabhati, Ujjayi, Sheetali and Sheetkari among others are introduced to the practitioner. The study of Bandhas include Moola, Uddhyana, Jalandhara & Maha Bandha.
10. ESOTERIC STUDY OF YOGA
It includes the study of Nadis (Ida, Pingala and Sushumna) and their function in our body/mind system; the study of the concept ofKoshas or subtle layers of the body (a human being is capable of experiencing five dimensions of existence and they range from gross to subtle); the study of five Pranas or five primary forces, known as pancha prana, which operate in the physical body at all times. Understanding the chakras and their relationship in the human body-mind system as well as the pranas and koshas.
11. YOGIC ANATOMY
We teach psychic physiology of yoga. The program does not contain any elements of functional anatomy or structural yoga therapy. The course includes the ayurvedic approach to health and disease and sees the body as a unity. Daily reading assignments on the book yogic management of common diseases are an important part of the program.
12. YOGA NIDRA AND MEDITATION TECHNIQUES
Includes techniques for attentiveness, techniques to ease you out, tecniques for breathing, for quieting the mind, and for awareness. Several Meditation techniques are practiced everyday under the guidance of the teacher.
As I said, full-on and every day was packed with practicing, studying and revising. But at the end, when you hold your certificate, it is all worthwhile…
Thanks Ellie for teaching me so much and always beeing there for all my questions. I take away so much.