Fundamentals of Yoga Education
For the Yoga traditionalist, it is mostly accepted that Yoga has to be learnt and implemented in an experiential manner. Sitting in a meditative pose like Padmasana and allowing the mind to wander, or lying down in Savasana with the body still is not enough. We are going to repeat the mistakes we committed while teaching moral science to kids in schools. Such mechanical efforts do not reach up to the subconscious to influence attitude and subsequent behavior. Yoga is being taught nowadays just at the physical level, performing some exercises on top of a rubber mat.
In the Yoga system, the human being means more than the physical body. For us today, man is much less. Earlier, man was the Purusa (spirit); today man is just a physico-chemical machine. Yoga studies man and his mind in depth and recognizes that the so-called normal mind that we study in psychology is indeed an abnormal one. Buddha called all worldlings deranged.
We suffer from excessive attachments and involvements in our daily life. Therefore we lack clarity and understanding. Life becomes confusing and conflicting. Cultivation of a correct perspective is a very worthwhile objective. To disentangle the mass of events before us and to see them as they are, without undue impatience, emotion, prejudices and hardened opinions and beliefs, is itself the solution of a problem. This is the true objective of Yoga Education.
While dealing with Yoga, we must establish a conditioned state of mind that is quiet, introverted and peaceful. Introversion should end in self awareness. Noise and external distractions or even use of strong suggestions should be avoided. The student should be left to himself or herself so that he or she probes and searches within himself or herself to become established in the art of self management. This is even truer in what is passed off as Yoga Therapy . There are no specifics in Yoga in treating diabetes, blood pressure, etc. It is happening at the higher levels first, like the will to improve, the introversion, the application of the mind to certain given areas, concentrating on sensitive zones etc. If efforts were made to initiate the learner or the parent or the teacher or the community into the underlying principles of Yoga, a more permanent and worthwhile job would have to be done.
But of course, Yoga techniques should be given due importance in the Yoga program. It should consist of simple meditative and cultural poses or Asanas (postural training), simplified Pranayamas (breathing exercises) preceded by learning a good breathing rhythm, simplest Kriyas like Jalaneti (cleansing of the nasal passages with saline look warm water), Vamandhauti (stomach lavage), Kapalarandhradhauti and Karanarandhradhauti (yogic massage techniques), Trataka (gaze fixation), Kapalabhati (cleansing technique of the frontal brain) etc. For the beginners, difficult postures should be avoided as also advanced techniques like Nauli (stomach massage technique, Basti (yogic enema), etc. or Pranayamas with long duration of Sunyaka (external breath suspension) or Kumbhaka (internal breath retention). Simple Bandhas like Jalandhara, Uddiyana may be introduced gradually. Psychosomatic techniques like Mudras (psychic gestures), for example Yoni Mudra (symbolic gesture of closing the sense organs) and some Bhavanas (cultivating a feeling or attitude) from Yoga Sutra would be desirable.
Those interested in learning such techniques and then developing the skills to teach them can attend a
Yoga Teacher Training Course
. The aspirants to Yoga Teachers should give preference to a course which allows them to stay residential and have a full immersion experience. This is usually possible on a
Yoga ashram or Yoga retreat
. The aspirants will first learn how to perform the techniques and then will learn the right methodology to teach them. A healthy routing will be followed throughout the day, starting with morning Dhyana (meditation) and then practices of Hatha Yoga (asanas, pranayamas and kriya). Lectures on Traditional Yoga texts will be examined along the day. Relaxation can be performed after lunch and other disciplines such as anatomy and physiology should also be part of the program.
Besides this, simple explanatory talks on psychophysiology and simplified version of Patanjali Yoga Sutra with selected sutras of chapter I and II would also be part of the program. A personal diary of experiences attained in psychosomatic practices could be jointly gone over by teacher and pupil. This is the traditional way or learning and teaching Yoga. These are the fundamentals of Yoga Education.
Daniel Fonseca is the Co-founder & Headmaster of Wise Living Yoga Academy –
Yoga Teacher Training Thailand
and has been conducting Yoga Teacher Training courses & Workshops in India, South Asia (Hong Kong, Thailand, Bali) and South America (Brazil) along with his wife Jeenal Mehta. Contact the school now to undertake your
Yoga Certification Training in Thailand