Fitting a Spiritual Yoga into an Athletic Model?
by Swami Nirmalananda
Our new Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) curriculum is reformulated from the last redesign, which happened 12 years ago. That one came after the previous 12 years of Teacher Training, a Divine Pattern recurring every 12 years. In Jyotish, yoga's sister science of Vedic astrology, this is a Guru cycle, the time it takes for the planet Jupiter (named Guru in Sanskrit) to orbit our solar system. This is a time where Grace shines brightly in your life, every dozen years: 12, 24, 36, 48, etc. Our Teacher Training is on the same sweet cycle.
I’ve simplified our curriculum in order to align more closely with other yoga organizations in the West. I served as the founding president of Yoga Alliance, helping to create standards and a teachers’ and schools’ registry in 1997. Our professional training easily qualified because it exceeded those standards, and continued for ten years to offer a more comprehensive education than the minimums required. Now the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) has created standards, which are again significantly fewer hours than Svaroopa® yoga therapists have enjoyed. This climate of streamlined trainings means we need to simplify, so we are.
Our YTT is now shorter, faster, easier and cheaper – but still deep and profound. As I streamlined the program, I kept my “eye on the ball,” it’s still about Core Opening, our tail-to-top technology that opens up your experience of consciousness within. Some poses have been simplified while others are moved out of basic Teacher Training into advanced programs or Yoga Therapy trainings.
Yet your yoga experience will be profoundly deepened by the Shaktipat Day included in each YTT Component. The Svaroopa® Yoga difference is clear when you receive Shaktipat initiation, as the dramatic changes in your body, mind and heart are instantaneous. While Svaroopa® Yoga poses provide reliable and gradual inner openings, This amazing gift of Kundalini awakening makes it obvious and tangible. You know where you’re going and why.
Is it possible to take a purely spiritual yoga and fit it into the athletic mold? Yes. That’s what I did when I taught in yoga conferences, so now I’ve done it with our Teacher Training. While Svaroopa® yoga is a spiritual science, it provides you with distinct and tangible physical changes. To place the benefits center stage and shine the light on them is easy.
Transformation means the underlying premise of our Teacher Trainings has been metamorphosized, like a butterfly in a chrysalis. The same DNA turns out an entirely different creature: a butterfly instead of a worm.
Previously, my approach was to present each pose in its fullness. Now our trainings are about the interlinking between the poses. This is actually how learning works. You don’t learn all 21 variations on AltLeg in your first yoga class. The basic AltLeg does so much for you! The tailbone release it provides makes your other poses improve, as does your inner state, an opening all the way into your essence.
We’ve always focused on this opening, but do you need 21 ways of getting it in AltLeg? No. You only need to learn them if you want to teach advanced classes or if you want to be a yoga therapist. Thus, our new Teacher Training gives you these opportunities without forcing them on you. You learn each variation only when you need it.
Applying this premise to the structure of our training turns our Eiffel tower into a geodesic dome.
Instead of a pointed structure reaching for the sky, we have a dome rounding into itself, with each triangle supporting all the others. Every pose supports all the others, and together they support you.
This streamlining ripples through our EYTS (Continuing Ed) and ATT (Advanced Teacher Training) programs, with the new formats beginning in July 2016. The full spectrum of Svaroopa® Yoga education we’ve been offering for decades is still available. You’ll be able to pick and choose your pathway through a variety of modules that fit your needs and interests, as well as your budget for both money and time. Now is the time to begin sharing yoga with the world!
Ourposes and practices are doorways to the Self. They lift you out of your suffering and reveal the blissful ocean of consciousness within. This is the purpose for which you were born.