T. Krishnamacharya is likely the man who’s had the biggest influence on the explosion of yoga in modern times. Born in 1888, he was by all accounts a legend. A Yoga Journal article written in 2001 by Fernando Pages Ruiz summed up Krishnamacharya’s immense contribution to yoga by saying:
You may have never have heard of him, but Tirumalai Krishnamacharya influenced or perhaps even invented your yoga.
Whether you practice the dynamic series of Pattabhi Jois, the refined alignments of BKS Iyengar, the classical postures of Indra Devi, or the customized vinyasa [of Desikachar], your practice stems from one source: a five-foot, two-inch Brahmin born more than one hundred years ago in a small south Indian Village.
And now, thanks to Svastha Yoga Teacher Barbara Coley in Auckland and the Mohans of India (long term students Krishnamacharya), Kiwi yoga students and aspiring yoga teachers have an opportunity to learn direct from this lineage of yoga.
1. What inspired you to start offering Yoga Teacher Training here in New Zealand?
This is the same training program that I attended in India with A.G. and Indra Mohan of Svastha Yoga and Ayurveda, in 2006. Not only did it have a profound effect on me, physically & also on a deeper level, I saw the effect it had on the other participants in the program, many of whom had been practitioners and teachers of various styles of yoga for some years.
I came away from that program feeling that more people should be aware of this approach, as it really does have the power to transform.
As my studio grew I had requests from students wanting to deepen their own knowledge and after discussing this with the Mohans, we decided to offer the training program here. I feel deeply honoured to be one of a few students around the world that the Mohans have endorsed to present their program.
2. Who developed the programme and what does it cover?
The program was developed by A.G. and Indra Mohan in association with their son Ganesh and daughter Nitya, both of whom are internationally recognised teachers in their own right.
Both A.G. and Indra Mohan were long term students of the legendary yogi, Krishnamacharya, Mohan for eighteen years. The Mohans have dedicated their lives to the study, practice and teaching of classical yoga as taught to them by Krishnamacharya and this program is an authentic presentation of that knowledge.
The program is registered with the International Yoga Alliance at the 200 hour level and is also the foundation for the advanced Yoga Therapy program offered by the Mohans.
It is a very comprehensive program covering:
Yoga Theory: Background & Origin of Yoga Philosophy and psychology of Yoga: Yogasutras of Patanjali an overview of the entire text, an in depth study of the second chapter (sadhana pada) & key concepts of the first chapter (samadhi pada) Sanskrit Terminology: familiarisation with key words and concepts to facilitate and retain authenticity in teaching and transmission Theory of asana practice
Asana: Fundamentals of movement & breathing, Foundation postures including the correct vinyasa & variations of each posture, and how to modify each posture to be inclusive of levels of ability. The concept of vinyasa krama (sequencing) and how to design sequences Suryanamaskara – the concept behind sun-salutation, the knowledge, skills and attitudes to make any asana practice into a suryanamaskara, the most important mantras for sun-salutation Guidelines for yoga and women – menstruation, pregnancy, menopause
Pranayama: The asana-pranayama link, theory of pranayama, important types of pranayama and how to practice these.
Meditation: The theory (the why) & practice of meditation (the what and how)
Sound & Chanting: Using sound in asanas, using sound for relaxation, using sound in meditation The role of chanting & important peace chants
Anatomy and Physiology: Basic applied anatomy and physiology related to the practice of asanas and Pranayama
Introduction to Ayurveda: The concept of the doshas and prakrti (ayurvedic constitution) Concept of the vegas (natural urges) Prana and agni Ayurvedic guidelines on food and some simple ayurvedic recipes for healthy eating Essential guidelines on ayurvedic lifestyle
Other Related Topics: Mudras and bandhas Origin and role of different labels of Yoga
Becoming a Teacher: Establishing a personal practice with guidance Ethical Guidelines for teachers Training to teach – hands on practice Managing & marketing your Yoga business
3. Who is the programme suitable for?
We have had a wide variety of participants in our programs to date, from Natural Therapists to Lighting Architects and a grandmother.
We aim to be inclusive of all who have a desire to deepen their understanding of yoga, whether this is with becoming a teacher in mind, or for personal development. You don’t need to be an ‘asana adept’ attend the program, or for that matter teach yoga, and we don’t expect students to have anything other than a willingness to learn and a commitment to the process.
4. What can students expect to get out of this teacher training?
On completion of the program, graduates will be entitled to register with the International Yoga Alliance at the RYT200 level.
Graduates will have gained an understanding and appreciation of the psychology of yoga, as well as developed a comprehensive knowledge of both the theory and practice of asana, pranayama and meditation. They will have acquired the tools to enact positive changes in their own lives as well as provide the same guidance to others, and have gained the ability to teach yoga in a safe, effective and confident manner.
We offer graduates who show an affinity with the practice and a passion for teaching the opportunity to apply for a position within Svastha Yoga New Zealand as a probationary teacher where they will be supported in making the transition from student to teacher.
5. What has been the response from graduates to date?
The feedback I have received from each of the graduates is that they got so much more from the program than they ever expected. It’s been personally rewarding to see them all embrace these principles and bring about positive change in their own lives and to see them now teaching and helping others on their paths.
Here’s what a few have had to say:
After years of personal practice I feel privileged to have taken part in the Svastha Yoga New Zealand study programme. I’ve gained considerably deeper understanding of the principles and philosophy of yoga. More importantly, my personal practice has new meaning and focus. Director Barbara Coley presented the programme with unending passion, instilling confidence in students with her enthusiasm for the lifelong benefits of regular practice and her desire to share that with others. – Donna Dean
If you decide to undertake the Svastha Teachers Training course, be prepared for change. Any worthwhile course should enable shifts in paradigms and that is what the Svastha course did for me. While undertaking this course I changed physically, mentally and spiritually and was able to take in the very core and true principles of Yoga most often forgotten about such as the impact of pranayama, chanting and the philosophy & psychology of yoga along with the importance of, and in conjunction with the physical aspect of practice (asana). This course is highly recommended for anyone embarking on an inner transformational change program. – Rachel Wotten
I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity to learn about Svastha yoga. It has enabled me to carry this through to all aspects of my personal and professional life and has certainly made a difference for me of which I am very grateful. I look forward to continuing on this path. – Amanda Hookham
The teacher training program has provided me with a sound knowledge of individual asanas, their correct application, preparation and sequencing. This has been complemented by the study of the yoga sutras which has given me an introductory insight into the origins of yoga, and encouraged me to reflect upon my daily actions, thoughts and practices and their effects upon my own body and state of mind, as well as my interactions with other people and the environment.- Monica Stoinescu
6. How does this training differ from other teacher training programmes available in NZ?
To my knowledge, this is the only New Zealand based training program that teaches the Yoga of Krishnamacharya, not as it applies to a particular style of yoga, but with the fundamental principle he taught that yoga is for everyone, but that it cannot be a standardised practice and must be adapted to suit the individual.
The fact that the program was developed by one of Krishnamacharya’s longest term students, and is fully supported by him is both unique and a privilege.
It’s important to note here that ‘Svastha’ is not a style or brand of yoga; it is an integrated approach to the practice of yoga with principles that are universal in application. These are fundamental principles that can be applied to any style or approach to yoga that the graduate wishes to explore and enables them to follow their own path.
7. Anything else you’d like to add?
Teaching Yoga is an incredibly satisfying and personally fulfilling path but it is important to be aware that undertaking a training program such as this requires a deep commitment on the part of the student. Participants in the program will need to devote a fair amount of their personal time for classes and home study; however the benefits to be gained are immense. As with anything, the more we give to the process the more we will receive.
This could be one of the most transformational experiences in your life, so if you would like to know more about the program you can view our prospectus here, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our next program commences in October 2010 and consists of 11 weekend intensives over a period of 5 months.
Participants also need to attend a weekly group practice where they will become familiar with appropriate teaching methods and have the opportunity for supervised practice. Three private sessions with the program director during the program will assist with the development and refinement of their personal practice.
The cost of the program is $4,600 which can be paid in installments and is inclusive of intensives, group practice and private sessions.
Applications can be submitted via the registration form on our website.