350 hour Smart Yoga Training Course
September 24, 2023 @ 8:30 AM – September 24, 2024 @ 5:00 PM
Learning to be a yoga teacher takes time. It is not a process to be rushed. This is a two-year course covers 400 hours of study, allowing time for practice, learning and assimilation.
Although trainees can gain provisional membership of Yoga Australia after the first year of training our recommendation is that most trainees will not commence teaching until the end of the second year of training, when they can register as level one teachers. Within the first year of training, besides engagement in personal practice and development, we aim to give trainees an overview of the yoga tradition and to build on that understanding in the second year as we move towards deepening personal practice and teaching skills.
The yoga asana and pranayama segment of this course is informed by the Alexander technique. Both David Moore and Caroline Blackshaw are Registered Senior Teachers with Yoga Australia and qualified and experienced teachers of the Alexander Technique. As such this course offers a particularly deep level of precision and insight into asana and its role and relationship to the other limbs of yoga practice.
David’s experience of training at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandaram with TKV Desikatchar and his teachers in the 1970’s was that only the Yoga Sutras were taught in a group class, and that the traditional practice of teaching asana and pranayama practice was taught exclusively one on one.. This course will schedule short one and one work with teachers during most sessions in order to be able to touch base with the unique individual requirements and learning style of each trainee. This is consistent with current practice in Alexander technique training.
Teaching of asana classes is the major area that yoga teachers are involved in today for the majority of the time and we aim to give the tools for teachers to be able to accurately assess their students and to be able to develop a type of practice that suits each person’s unique individuality.
The yoga tradition is much more expansive than the modern postural practice which is what yoga is popularly understood to be. This course will provide students with an understanding of and grounding in the historical, cultural, ethical, meditative and spiritual background and practices of yoga.
The yoga taught on this course is grounded in the teachers’ experience of a number of traditions:
- Patanjali Yoga
- Hatha Yoga
- Modern postural yoga from the traditions derived from Krishnamacharya
- Buddhist Meditation Tradition
- Modern secular mindfulness meditation
- Modern scientific understandings of anatomy, physiology, psychology and neurology
- Alexander Technique
The course has two main teachers, but for different subject areas we may also invite outside experts to provide their input to the course.
Training during a pandemic
Over the past two years our 2020-21 training was interrupted by lockdowns and we had to modify our training format. We also established a full year online post-graduate training for Alexander and yoga teachers which provided a mixture of online recorded sessions and Zoom group classes to embed and practice the material in the recorded sessions.
We now have many hours of these recorded sessions which will be an addition to our teacher training. Should we be shut down over the course of the 2022-23 training we will revert to online sessions supported by the recorded sessions, and we will also offer one on one online 20 minute instruction to make up for that missed during the normal programming.
David is a senior level teacher with Yoga Australia and the author of Smart Yoga: Apply the Alexander technique to enhance your practice, prevent injury and increase body awareness.” He attended his first yoga class in 1966 and since then has had a continuing engagement with yoga, meditation, Buddhism, Alexander Technique and a wide range of somatic disciplines.
He has practiced many different approaches to Hath Yoga, with his major influences being Martin Jackson with whom he trained in Iyengar yoga in Sydney and the tradition of TKV Desikatchar who he studied with in Madras.
For the past 23 years he has been training teachers of the Alexander Technique at The School for F.M. Alexander Studies, in a three year full time training course accredited by the Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
Caroline took her first yoga class in 1990 and was immediately hooked. Since then has been influenced by many teachers and styles, including Iyengar yoga, Satyandanda yoga, Viniyoga, Donna Fahey and most recently the Alexander Technique which focuses on finding ways to use the body with the least stress and strain.
Caroline established Yoga Hut in 2004 after completing her Diploma of Health – Yoga, with the Australian Institute of Yoga at CAE. She is a Senior Teacher with Yoga Australia and has an Advanced Diploma from the School for F. M. Alexander Studies as a teacher of Alexander Technique. Caroline combines both yoga and AT in her classes, enabling students to explore habits and patterns in their bodies, at the same time building strength and flexibility.
Caroline sees yoga as a wonderful tool to help enable practitioners to use their bodies well throughout their lives. Along with the obvious physical benefits she loves the sense of perspective and well-being yoga, Alexander Technique and meditation can provide for the regular practitioner.
Our yoga teacher training course consists of:
- An initial training in yoga foundations totalling 200 hours which is taught over the course of one year. Successful completion will allow graduates to apply for The Yoga Australia Provisional membership category is equivalent to the Yoga Alliance RYT200® standard and provides recognition in line with common overseas minimum requirements. Teachers with 200 hours training in the required curriculum areas can obtain Provisional membership with Yoga Australia, on condition that they continue their training to reach 350 hours of training (and therefore Full membership of the association) within a period of three years. Provisional members can teach yoga and qualify for yoga teaching public liability and professional risk insurance
- A Diploma in Yoga teaching totalling 150 hours which is taught over the course of the second year. (150 hours face to face) Successful completion of this will entitle graduates to apply for level one teacher membership with Yoga Australia
The course will be taught from our North Fitzroy studio with a five-day residential course being held each year.
The classes will be run on Mondays from 9am to 2.30pm for 28 weeks per year with a half hour lunch break. During the time put aside for individual lessons trainees will work for 15 to 20 minutes with a teacher. This will be unstructured time for other trainees which they can spend in practice and study.
9 – 10.30 – Individual lessons
10.30 – 12 – Asana practice session. Developing your practice, observation and teaching skills
12 – 12.30 – Break
12.30 – 1.30 – Meditation, pranayama, yoga philosophy
As the course is primarily practical and focused on individual needs, there will not be a distance education option offered, except to those who have already completed our 2,000 hour Diploma of Yoga and Alexander Technique Teaching with David Moore who will be able to attend our afternoon 12,30 – 1.30pm sessions via Zoom. (see below for details of our Recognition of Prior Learning.)
- Alexander Technique
- Pantanjali eightfold path
- Overview of yoga tradition
- Basic Texts – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Bhagavad Gita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, key Upanishads
- Anatomy and physiology
- Subtle anatomy and physiology
- Yogic lifestyle
- Develop their own underlying coordination and breathing, based on yoga and Alexander technique principles, as the basis of their own asana and pranayama practice.
- Understand the range of structural, functional and temperamental differences between people in order to be able to personalise yoga instruction.
- Understand the anatomical structures and physiological processes underlying movement and breathing as the basis for practicing and teaching asana and pranayama
- Understand and practice several different approaches to meditation practice
- Understand some common Sanskrit terminology
- Understand the place of modern postural yoga in relationship to the wider historical, cultural and spiritual underpinnings of yoga practice
- Study some of the key yoga texts – Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra
- Have a beginning understanding of traditional yoga physiology and energy fields
- Understand the ethical foundations of yoga practice
Successful completion and assessments
- Attendance of at least 85% of the face to face teaching classes
- Attend at least one yoga class a week with us in North Fitzroy or Brighton or another yoga school. Students are encouraged to explore classes offering different approaches.
- Keep a diary of personal practice
- Complete of all written assignments
- Complete practical teaching assessments.
Recognition of Prior Leaning
Students who believe that they already have the required knowledge or skills for parts of the course may apply for Recognition of Prior Learning for parts of the course. In that case they will need to supply evidence of existing competency in those areas. This will need to meet the Rules of Evidence in that the evidence will be
This evidence may be:
- Direct – written articles or assignments. Certificates and qualifications. Photos or videos or the applicants work. Practical demonstration
- Indirect – CV, written references, letters or other third-party verification and support.
Applicants who have the 2,000-hour Diploma in Yoga and Alexander Technique Teaching issued by the School for F.M. Alexander Studies will be able to claim RPL for the
- integrative practice and teaching
- Alexander Technique speciality
- Teaching methodology
They will still need to:
- Demonstrate a continued commitment to their yoga practice
- Participate in discussion groups regarding yoga philosophy, ethics and history as an essential assessment activity
- Complete all the written assignments regarding yoga philosophy, ethics and history
“Without adequate understanding of the historical unfoldment of Yoga, it is hard to imagine that we could arrive at a genuine appreciation of its spiritual treasures or could practice it meaningfully with ultimate effectiveness. A study of the history of Yoga gives us a broader picture than we can glean from most of the popular literature on the subject” Georg Feuerstein. “The Yoga Tradition P.91
Besides their self practice students should aim to spend at least three hours a week during school times on prescribed reading, and the assignments based on those readings.There will be several longer assignments. Students are required to have studied the required reading prior to the relevant classes.
There will one written or practical assignment each quarter – a total of 4 for the 200 hour foundation course and 8 for the level 1 course
- Smart Yoga by David Moore
- The Yoga Tradition by Georg Feuerstein (contains a full translation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra)
- Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Yogi Svatmarama (we will supply a pdf version of this book)
- Your Body Your Yoga by Bernie Clark
- Your Spine Your Yoga by Bernie Clark
- Body Mapping Manual by Fiona Bryant (you will be provided with a pdf edition)
- Anatomy of the Moving Body by Theodore Dimon
- Your Body Your Voice by Theodore Dimon
- Myths and Symbols and Indian Art and Civilization by Heinrich Zimmer
- Use of the Self by F.M. Alexander
- Bhagavad Gita translation and commentary by Eknarth Eswaran
- Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – translated by Edwin F Bryant
- Satipatthana Sutta –translated by Thanissaro Bikkhu – online version https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.010.than.html
- Manduyka Upanishad http://www.swamij.com/upanishad-mandukya-karika.h
- History of Philosophy in India Podcast by Peter Adamson
- Bhagavad Gita – Swami Mukundananda
- Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – comparative translations by John Henry Thompson
$6,950 or $3,576 per year which will be payable in four annual instalments of $868.75. The fees include GST
An application fee of $500 will be deducted from the first instalment.
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