Build, Unite, Integrate, A Trilogy to Deepening the Fundamentals of Yoga
The design of the curriculum is meant to take people into a deeper introductory understanding of the open ended apects of yoga and the way it relates to everyday life. Although each course can be attended seprately, it is recommed to attend all 3. There will be 2 consecutive programs running simultaniously from February to June. Weekday evening, and weekend courses. Students with challenging schedules may mix their attendance depending on the availability for each session.
These three courses are also designed as a preparatory program for our 300 hour teacher trainings.
Course 1 － Building Your Asana Foundation
In this course we will focus on developing stamina, strength, and suppleness in our asana practice. We will start by learning how our body works with the introduction of basic anatomical terms. Gradually, we will deepen our practice by experimenting with the dynamics of the yoga postures and different types of yoga styles. Each session will incorporate meditation, pranayama and asana exercises. This course will prepare participants physically and mentally for more challenging yoga practices.
Week 1: Body awareness [February 1 or 6]
In this session we will examine our bodies and learn about the basic functions of our muscles, joints, nerves, ligaments and bones. We will learn about how our physical structures influence our asana practice while we practice fundamental poses.
Week 2: Developing strength 1 [February 8 or 13]
Our legs serve as the foundation of our physical bodies. In this session, we focus our attention on the lower half of our bodies. We will practice postures, which develop strength and stability in our legs. At the same time we will explore how subtle movements can change the dynamics and benefits of certain standing postures.
Week 3: Developing strength 2 [February 15 or 20]
This week, we will focus our attention on the upper half of our bodies. We will learn how to engage our core. We will observe how this activation influences our practice in chest, shoulder, and arm strengthening postures.
Week 4: Developing suppleness 1 [February 22 or 27]
A balanced practice involves strengthening as well as stretching. This week, we work on lengthening our muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves, as well as opening our joints in the lower half of our bodies. Postures may be presented though a variety of ways including restorative, Yin, or vinyasa approaches.
Week 5: Developing suppleness 2 [March 1 or 6]
This week, we will continue to stretch. Focusing on the upper half of our bodies, we will open and create space in our chest, shoulders, and heart.
Week 6: Developing stamina 1 [March 8 or 13]
This week, we will integrate postures and ideas, which have been introduced throughout the course. Our practice will be one, which addresses the entire body. We will move in such a way, which encourages awareness of posture alignment, breath and mind.
Week 7: Developing stamina 2 [March 15 or 20]
In this second Stamina building session, we continue to focus on an integrated practice, which cultivates awareness of body, breath and mind. We will address the same concepts mentioned in the preceding week. This time however, we will approach our practice in a way, which contrasts that of the week before. We will end our session with a short Question and Answering period.
Course 2 － Yoga Means Union. Union Between What?
What does Yoga mean to you? There is no right or wrong answer. In this course, we will practice asana, pranayama, meditation, body movement, creative communication and other self-inquiry exercises to begin to experience and explore the meaning of yoga. Some group discussions and creative exercises may bring a completely new perspective into your practice. The course will delve into self inquiry, moving closer to answering the questions on how to attain a deeper understanding of personal potential. We will explore how to let go our conditioned egos and unleash our creative juices as we move toward this personal inquiry. We will deepen our Yoga practice as we broaden our understanding of how our physical experiences connect with our conditioning.
Week 1: Body movement [March 22 or 27]
“Let go” is the motto for this session. In order to move inwards, we must first shed our physical inhibitions. In this session, we will let our bodies express itself freely. We will let our bodies experience. We will end the session with a deep reflection on how our physical experience connects with that of our emotional.
Week 2: Expressing that which is within [March 29 or April 3]
This week, we will continue to let go of our inhibitions by taking part in self-inquiry exercises, which are fun and liberating! These exercises encourage us to be spontaneous at the same time, truthful and honest with ourselves. These exercises will be conducted individually, in pairs and in groups.
Week 3: Body and mind connection [April 5 or 10]
This week’s inquiry begins with a reflection on the myriad of things which our bodies intake on a daily basis. During our asana, pranayama and meditation practice, we will bring our awareness to our physical conditions, our emotional states, and our energy level. We will record our experiences in a journal so that we may become more aware of gross or subtle changes in our daily lives. We will begin to “connect the dots” between our bodies and minds to create a holistic view about ourselves.
Week 4: Group discussion- Why self-inquire? [April 12 or 17]
At times, introspection may be challenging. This week, we will support each other while discussing topics, which will help us to better understand ourselves and others. In pairs and groups, we will try to come out of our comfort zones and share our thoughts in an open environment whilst cultivating understanding and compassion for different perspectives and points of view.
Week 5: Who am I? [April 19 or 24]
We start this week’s session with asana and pranayama practice to prepare us for meditation. There are many different meditation techniques being practiced around the world. We will use our meditation practice this week to help strip away the layers needed to develop a deeper understanding into the observation of the personality structure.
Week 6: Creative communication [April 26 or May 1]
Effective communication is an important part of daily living. It is often possible to misunderstand, twist, deceive and compromise while communicating. In this session, we will learn about different ways to communicate. We will find ways to better communicate so that we may decrease these situations. We will learn how authentic communication can cultivate healthy relationships with others.
Week 7: Connecting the dots [May 8 or 10]
This final session we will integrate the practice of asana, pranayama, meditation, and self-inquiry now with understanding of who we are, and who we are not. We will end with a discussion of some ideas, which were presented throughout the course. A Question and Answering period will also follow, where participants will be encouraged to ask questions and share their experiences.
Course 3 － Extending Your Yoga Practice. Brining It Into Your Daily Life
This course is designed to integrate Yoga practice in our daily lives. Topics will include: creating your own self-practice, diet and nutrition, environmental awareness, and basic yoga philosophy. We will practice asana, pranayama and meditation exercises, while also exploring how to practice Yoga off the mat. Once we integrate Yoga into our daily lives, we may begin to notice changes in our journey. Throughout the course, we will witness and experience changes which may help us to go beyond our limitations and boundaries.
Week 1: Creating your own self-practice [May 15 or 17]
Living in a busy city and working busy schedules makes it difficult to attend regular Yoga classes at times. However, one can continue with practice where ever they are. This week, we utilize some tools to help us develop our own self-practice, which caters to our own individual needs. The practice will include postures we can easily achieve and other that challenge us. Participants will be encouraged to continue the home practice throughout the entire course.
Week 2: Pranayama and meditation [May 22 or 24]
This week we will practice different pranayama and meditation techniques and learn about their effects. We will learn how to use these to build intelligent self －practices, which cater to our conditions and circumstances.
Week 3: Diet and cleansing-toxins [May 29 or 31]
The things that we eat, the air that we breath, the cosmetics that we use, the thoughts that we think all effect the level of toxins in our body. Toxins are chemicals, which get stored in our body’s fat because it is not recognized as useful. This week, we use yoga postures to help rid our body of toxins. We also consider and discuss ways to be decrease the level of toxins in our body through our lifestyle.
Week 4: Connecting with nature [June 5 or 7]
Throughout the course, we have focused our attention on ourselves. This week, we bring out attention to our environment. Everything that exists comes from nature. Mother Nature has provided life for humans since the beginning of time, yet we often neglect to consider the implications of our actions on the planet. In this session, we will be introduced to a very realistic view of our current environmental situation. We will consider our role in nature and discuss how we can contribute to it so that humans may live on Earth for generations to come.
Week 5: Basic yoga philosophy- ideas behind our practice [June 12 or 14]
This week, we will read and examine some ancient Yoga texts to discuss basic Yoga philosophy. Concepts from texts such as the Sutras of Patanjali and the Baghavad Gita will be considered in group discussions. We will look at the messages in these texts and consider their place and validity in our lives and in today’s society.
Week 6: Yogic inspirations in our time [June 19 or 21]
Yoga is about being present here and now. Last week, we considered Yogic perspectives in ancient times. This week, we learn that in every moment, there is something to be realized. If we are open to it, we can see that every person we meet can be a teacher and every experience we encounter can be a life lesson. We will look at modern day materials such as books, movies and artwork, which inspire us to live fully in this moment.
Week 7: Union [June 26 or 28]
In this last session, we will merge all of the ideas, which have been presented throughout the entire course to allow us to develop a complete and holistic view of who we are. Our experiences from this course will be our tools, which will guide us into a life of integrity, into a life of liberty.