We live in a rapidly changing world. On so many levels, everything that constitutes life as we know it is shifting and fluctuating. We are asked to “go with the flow,” to “ride the wave” and to “go inside” to find and maintain that place of inner permanence and peace. I have also heard that physical balance is an imperative to surviving this upheaval and that even our DNA needs to change or reboot in order to be in sync with the atmospheric shifts.
More and more people are turning to Yoga as a practice to help them find or maintain harmony in their personal reality. Yoga is attracting people from many walks of life, different religions and every imaginable type of profession. It has become popular as an effective remedy for “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” and is even used by war veterans in the United States. Many Yoga teachers are diversifying by exploring different aspects and angles of Yoga. Yoga Therapy, Yoga Nidra, Chanting Kirtan, studying Sanskrit scriptures and Ayurveda. Actually, Hatha Yoga is originally only one part of “Classical Yoga,” the ancient holistic, medicinal and therapeutic Ayurveda! It is evident that the Yoga Kula, the community of Yoga, has become an accepted reality all over the world, with no limitation of language, culture or time period.
WHAT DRAWS PEOPLE TO YOGA?
In my 2007 Yoga article in IbiCASA magazine, I stated that Hatha Yoga is a form that leads to the formless. I would say now that we as humans embody the formless, eternal light of life and our Yoga practice is one way that we honour that light and keep it alive and glowing. In return, that flame nourishes our spirit, our body, and every aspect of our being. We literally “shine” from the inside out.
WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO TAKE A YOGA TEACHER TRAINING?
If you are drawn to an intensive Yoga retreat experience, any of these factors may be in play:
- You are drawn to the movement and the mystery of energy.
- You are looking for healing.
- You want to improve your self-esteem
- You want to exercise your instinct and power of choice through Yoga.
- You love your Yoga practice, the balance and the comfort it brings and you want more.
- You want to express yourself more fully and with a purpose.
- You want to share/transmit your experience of Yoga.
- You want to continue improving your physical fitness.
- You want to know yourself better.
- You feel a spiritual calling.
If you are considering becoming a Yoga Teacher, it is worthwhile to look at the concept of service.
The whole foundation of teaching is service, or as it is called in Yoga communities, “SEVA” which comes from the root “to serve” or typically called “KARMA YOGA.” At the core of Yoga philosophy, Karma meaning “action” is one of the four paths to realization. Karma Yoga is selfless or righteous action. For me, teaching is how I serve others. I am fulfilled through service, because I feel it is my purpose and my calling.
PURPOSE OF YTTC
The TTC is designed to root you, the Yogi, in the practice and help you achieve the confidence you need to transmit your knowledge and love of Yoga to others. But the TTC is not the end of the road for a Yoga practitioner; ongoing challenges inherent in teaching and your choice to continue nourishing your practice and to use self-enquiry, together with life experience itself, are the living process that enables your teaching and yourself to evolve.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF YOGA PRACTICE
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the philosophical basis of Yoga and instructions for Self-realization, he stresses the importance of “Asana” which is broadly translated as “comfortable posture.” Some Yoga schools interpret this to mean Hatha Yoga postures. It also refers to a posture for meditation. Maybe we can also interpret “Asana” to include a “mental” or “psychological” posture or attitude!
ASANA = “COMFORTABLE POSTURE or ATTITUDE”
Clearly, a good Yoga practice goes way beyond physical fitness.
Yoga philosophy maintains that we are already inherently perfect, being part of a perfect universe; but it is our understanding of ourselves and the world we live in that needs purification. We need to transcend the “layers,” called KOSHAS, that cloud our vision and seem to hold us captive.
Finally the goal is to move beyond all these layers, into SAMADHI, the final stage of Patanjali’s 8 limbs of Yoga where the mind becomes still.
There is something pure and beautiful that flows like a river through the complexity of human life on Earth, and the intensely complex reality of inhabiting a human body. Through the practice and teaching of Yoga we aim to perceive this “something” and embody it, to reach our true human potential.
So what is Yoga for you? And is Teacher Training something on your Yoga path? Yoga may be for you a step on the ladder of your Self Realization, or it may be a resting place. Teaching might be a way to find your voice or a way for you to contribute to the global shift in consciousness. A seeker asked a Guru in India, “Which is the right path for me to follow?” The Guru said, “WHICH” path you choose is not as important as “WHY” you choose it.” Then he went on to say, “QUESTIONS” are more important than “ANSWERS.” For me, at this time, Yoga is a way of life, a loving guide, and a loyal friend. I imagine that the roots of my Yoga practice go much deeper and the purpose is more far-reaching than I can conceive. Spirit Body Yoga Teacher Training aims to inspire you to find the right questions that help you evolve, and satisfy the needs of the Soul in being of service to others.
I consider Training Yoga Teachers to be both the pinnacle of my achievements and at the same time an obvious path that I somehow managed to avoid until I was mature enough to accept it. For me, the training itself is a great teacher and I am an eternal student. I love nothing more. There is a prayer we chant in Sanskrit at the beginning of Yoga sessions that goes like this: “May we, teacher and student, be nourished together. May we be protected together. May we work together and our work bear fruit. May our knowledge be transformed into light. May we never lose patience with each other. OM. Peace. Peace. Peace.”