Within our school when the question of training to become a teacher of yoga arises for a student, we encourage them to hold a lens or view of gratitude and to consider the question one about intention rather than attainment of a certificate. In proposing this frame for questioning we find that students are able to put down the many insecurities that emerge, including "am I good enough; I am not worthy; I am too young: I am too old... and so on. It also more importantly helps the student maintain an innocence in their practice.
The rationale for ‘innocence’ is beautifully summed up in the quote below.
“Why do you think it’s so constantly said in the Bhagavad Gita “act without looking to the fruits of action”? Why is it always taught “Never look for results, never expect”? Because as soon as you expect, you close the door to the spiritual world. You put yourself under the very laws that you’re wanting to escape from. This doesn’t mean of course that you must do nothing. What it means is that you must do your part but count and trust that the Work will do its part and give the result that corresponds to your need which you cannot know”. (J.G. Bennett)
In a pragmatic response to the pressures we all face in terms of financial commitments and the march of time, and in acknowledgement of the need to nurture an innocence in our students, what we are trying to do in our school is provide a pathway for students to deepen their understanding of the how Yoga becomes the teacher of yoga. In doing so we hope to inspire devotion to the art and science of the practice. Our program of study offers students a pathway that accrues credits toward registration as a yoga teacher though in structure and nature is not focused on this as an outcome.
The structure includes provision for an intake of new trainees at the commencement of each year - as some step away others can join. This design attribute recognises the evolution that students take through practice and time itself. The course seeks to encourage this process of integration within life style arrangements, rather than hinder it. This design facilitates maturity and authenticity in relationships as well as within the individuals themselves.
Subject material that is delivered within the curriculum areas is drawn from a catalogue of subjects developed over 20 years by the author. This subject material has been compiled, reviewed and updated regularly in response to the authors own ongoing training and development as a yoga practitioner and teacher. The subject categories hold a vast library of articles, multimedia resources including videos, group work lesson plans and powerpoint presentations that are incrementally made available to students as they progress in their understanding and practice.
If we meet each experience with an open heart and mind and fully enter into the power of our own presence, the "Work will do it's part". It is in this light that we are offering this learning pathway in the school. Any one who is interested to deepen their relationship with the art and science of yoga is encouraged to attend our information session on Saturday 22 April at 9am.
Practically speaking, when we are stiff in our hips and hamstrings our knees and ankles are ‘punished’. At some stage it is better to be accountable/aware of how to work with our hamstrings and hips so that the knees and ankles are able to get on with their work. It’s also the case in twisting poses that people twist into the flexible areas of their spine and in doing so completely miss the area that needs to be ‘accountable’: we are slipping around a stiffness and there will be consequences.
Our yoga classes for children have been running for 4 years and some of the feedback we get from parents and also teachers is amazing and encouraging. Children experience stress for lots of different reasons and yoga helps them to 'discharge' it through physical movements and also through breathing exercises and meditation.
When we go camping, we sit in awe of the magnificence of the mountain, the oceans, the sky. We go there because we recognize that some thing changes within us when we sit quietly within the wonderment of nature. We say "I am different", "I am happier", "I am energized", "I am more content". When we practice yoga we learn to sit in the wonderment of our embodiment. It is our microcosm of the macrocosm of nature. We recognize that being in the power of our own presence is a practice of being at one with the forces of nature.