Some ten years ago when I started teaching at LMU, it was a 60 hr complete Vinyasakrama program. My book “The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga” was about to be published. Soon thereafter it was suggested that I could teach a 200 hr program. The 200 hr was what Yoga Alliance required for a Teacher Training Program. Even though I had no compulsion to register with Yoga Alliance it was suggested that many students who would take the program would be able to register with Yoga Alliance to enable them take a teaching career in Yoga. Soon I got enrolled as a E-RYT 500 Teacher and offered a 200 hour Teacher Training Program in Vinyasakrama Yoga. I wanted to include as many of the varied yoga related subjects that Sri Krishnamacharya taught me.
So the program was designed as complete 200 hr contact hour program to be able to cover a wide variety of yoga related subjects of Sri Krishnamacharya. I retained the 60 hour Vintasakrama asana vinyasa program. It consisted of 10 major sequences, three standing, four seated, two floor level and one inversion. The sequences were based of Sri Krishnamacharya's teachings. It has about 125 asana subroutines with a number of Vinyasas (more than 700).
One of the practices Sri Krishnamacharya taught almost from start was Pranayama, both amantraka and samantraka (with mantra). He would require me to do pranayama after asana practice without fail. Pranayama is the essence of Hatayoga. Hatayoga means pranayama, as ha is . prana, ta is apana and yoga here is union The union of prana and apana which is supposed to be achieved by pranayama. Patanjali also includes pranayama as an important anga of Raja yoga as pranayama is said to remove tamas and makes the yogabhyasi fit for the first step of meditation which is dharana. Of the 200 hrs 20 hrs was allotted to study and practice a variety of Pranayamas. What is equally important the participants were actually encouraged to try every pranayama and also encouraged to develop the habit of practising pranayama as a part of the daily yoga practice, just like asana practice. Most were able to do 80 pranayamas in one sitting taking about 40 to 45 minutes per sitting. Many participants would rate pranayama as one of the engaging practices which they had earlier missed in their yoga practice.
There is a 10 hour component of “Yoga for Internal Organs” . Yoga has a few very unique procedures which have very positive effects on the human system. Heart and the circulatory system, lungs and the respiratory system, stomach and the digestive system, bladder/kidneys and the urinary system, uterus and the reproductive system, the intestines and the colon, the brain, the spinal cord all can be accessed and stimulated by several yoga procedures like mudras, pranayama, inversions, asana vinyasas and meditation. In this course detailed discussions about how these procedures directly affect and effect the proper functioning of these organs also known as kosas.
Krsihnamacharya taught chanting of very many chapters of Yajurveda. He gave considerable importance to Mantra, mantra dhyana, mantra japa, mantra parayana and other mantra prayoga. The course included a 20 hour segment on mantras and meditation. In this the participants were taught a few chants like Patanjali prayer, atma suddhi mantras, pranayama mantras and others. They were also encouraged to practice meditation as enunciated by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. Almost all the participants practiced to dharana as the first step of meditation
Sri Krishnamacharya despite many odds, wrote a few books. I thought that it may be good to introduce Krishnamacharya's works directly by readings of a couple of his works, Yoga Rahasya and Yoga Makaranda. In this 20 hour program reading of these books were done and I added explanations as per my studies with my Guru.
Sri Krishnamacharya taught several texts. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Samkhya Karika of Iswarakrishna, Tarka Samgraha, the Bhagavat Gita, several upanishads as Taittiriya, Mandukya, Mundaka, Prasana, Chandogya, Brihadaranyaka, Kena, Kata,Yoga Yagnyavalkya, Hatayogapradipika, Siva Samhita, Gherunda Samhita, Suta Samhita and a host of others. He gave considerable importance to textual studies. So in this program I included a 20 hour study of Yoga Sutras--word by word and sutra by sutra .Yoga is a great adhyatma vidya or study of the self. While hata yoga deals with the physical and physiological aspects of an individual, YS deals thoroughly with the mental (of citta) and spiritual (adhyatma) aspects of the individual. Yoga sutra study is a necessary part of complete yoga study. The program also included an additional 5 hours of yoga sutra chanting
I taught this program for a number of years at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Last year I decided to stop teaching this 200 hour program because I found it increasingly difficult to stay away from home for such a long time. I found many of the would be participants many of them working Yoga Teachers had the same difficulty of being away from work for such a long time. The program was designed to have 200 hours (It could have been 150 or 250) as it would qualify for registration with Yoga Alliance. I was told that many participants who would undergo the program may benefit with a registration with Yoga Alliance. In all about 150 people completed the program but I found a very small percentage of the program participants really applied for Yoga Alliance registration. I am not very sure about why this happened . One reason could be that most people who attended the program were already Yoga Teachers having completed their TT course in some other yoga school and had already a teaching registration with YA. They had come to study the Yoga system of Krishnamachary the way I was teaching. I also found that except LMU other yoga institutions found it difficult to organize and run a program for 5 weeks and then most have their own TT programs.
So I decided to offer a shorter program for 2 weeks,but fairly comprehensive. I called it 100 Hr Advanced TT program in Vinyasakrama Yoga. The program had a 60 hour Vinyasakrama asana course The Advanced epithet is to indicate that it may not be suitable for absolute beginners. It has 20 hours of pranayama, yoga for internal organs and introduction to meditation. I was able to offer this program since October 2015, and three programs have been completed. One was at Saraswathi Vasudevan's Yoga Vahini in Chennai India. The second one was at Mini Shastri's Om Yoga in New Delhi in India during January this year and I am just completing the third program at my friend Ryan Leier's One Yoga in Saskatoon Canada.
Here is the picture with the participants taken during the One Yoga Saskatoon program
All the three programs went well and in all about 100 people have completed the program so far. The program at One Yoga in Canada will be over on My 1, 2016. I am also scheduled to do the same 100 hour program at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles in July/August 2016 and at Yoga Dhara in Madrid, Spain in September/October 2016 Here are the links
I am also scheduled to teach a 5 day program (15 hours Core Vinyasas and 15 hours of Yoga Sutra) ar Sara Doyle's Blue Point Yoga Center in Durham North Carolina in May 2016 Here is the link