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Yoga Teacher / Practitioner
Vishwa: Universal Ayur: Life Veda: Knowledge
In Ayurveda, the healing wisdom of India, healing knowledge has a deeper meaning. It is not just the knowledge of what to do in order to heal but also the knowledge that can be gleaned from the process of healing. If no wisdom is gained from an illness (or life challenge) a cure cannot truly be claimed simply because symptoms have gone away. And the same can be said for any type of challenge. We often grow more from our challenges than from solutions; just as we learn more from questions than from answers.* And yet most knowledge (educational) systems are answer based systems, just as most healing approaches are symptom based. Neither require reflection nor even comprehension. If the answers memorized in the schools are correct, or if the symptoms go away with the pills, that is usually all that matters in the mainstream institutions.
Ultimately the life / knowledge in this yoga training gets back to the largely overlooked core-knowledge of all yoga practices; while also peeling back the blinders to a whole world of yoga practices beyond (but still richly including) asana, pranayama, meditation ...and the typical studio menu. This is easily possible as we get back to the once largely lost core of yoga: the Panch Maha Bhuta (Five Great Elements). These great elements are actually found in Medicine Wheels (yogic practices) found around the world; but very elaborated upon in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This knowledge is universal because there is nothing in life that cannot be viewed through one of these great universal (vishwa) elements. Thus, any challenge or goal we encounter in life can apply elemental knowledge to achieve yoga; harmonious, life-infusing results.
Of course this has great and immediate applications for the yogi in training, but also for those whom they may wish to teach; whether in groups or one on one. In groups it leads to classes that are unique and educational while also giving one's students many experiences of the elements that they can use beyond their yoga classroom. One on one, this training leads to devising yoga programs elementally/uniquely tailored to a client's* challenge; in such a way that knowledge, wisdom and virtue mark their true degrees of success in health, healing or goal achievement. ~Often in hindsight, solutions to challenges or symptoms from an illness disappearing seem quite secondary in relation to the personal development (wisdom) that is gained from going through such challenges with the help of the elements.
Much of the process we employ involves something called Elemental Spiritual Companioning (ESC) which can lead to healing and wisdom in itself, but ESC will also tell us what other yogic methods can be tried/applied and in various combinations, such as (but not limited to) the following elemental power tools:
Asana - but in relation to the bodies healing energy lines (most popularly known as Meridians from Chinese medicine). These lines correspond to the health of some key sets of organs, and each set of organs correspond to certain elements. (i.e. kidneys correspond to the water element). Therefore, we we will learn to do asana in a way that not only stretches, but also stimulates and strengthens the meridians, simultaneously, to improve the function of the organs / elements with which they correspond. Therefore the teaching of asanas will take on greatnew depths and the implications of this in healing will take on whole new dimensions. ~But not just with asana...
Meridian Body Work -Acupressure techniques such as Thai and Shiatsu Massage, Tapping, Reflexology, will also address energy lines and therefore elemental imbalances. Learning the massage will simultaneously help us to memorize the meridians. (...yes, whether you care anything about using massage or acupressure techniques or not, experiential meridian awareness is essential!)
Meditations, Pranayama, Pranic Healing, Elemental Life Schedules, Cleanses, Diet, etc. will also be techniques we use to balance the elements. However, it will be with far more understanding and precise application, rather than the average - usual -mostly generalized practices of yoga. Such general practices, though clearly helpful, are somewhat like taking a shower but not knowing where you really need to scrub. Overall we do feel better with a general yoga practice, but when you know why, where, when, how and how much then you take the applications of asana and meridian knowledge to the level of an adept; and thus can often work out long standing issues in your self or with a client.
The previous three paragraphs are a summary of our syllabus which can be found Here.
About Vishwa Ayurveda
Vishwa means universe or universal. By Vishwa Ayurveda we do not mean just the 5 great universal elements** but also universal ways in which the knowledge/science of life is used to create wholeness/yoga. In other words, we do not draw from only Indian wisdom and only Indian Ayurvedic texts. Instead we allow for global/universal knowledge on wholeness to be studied and integrated wherever and whenever we can; wherein we find that, if it is true, it can always be integrated.
This approach does not detract from Ayurveda, but is completely in line with Ayurvedic theory and philosophy. Nevertheless, to be more specific, I can tell you now that besides Indian Ayurvedic teachings we will often refer to Traditional Chinese Medicine; which is often so identical with the Indian system that only a trained eye could make a distinction. However, from the Vishwa Ayurveda viewpoint we would not call this a distinction, but simply a different angle; which usually helps to see more of the whole picture.
Ayurvedic / 5 Element Yoga Training Philosophy
As elemental imbalances are discovered in a client an elemental yoga teacher can apply various yogic techniques to bring them back into harmony using the approaches mentioned above, though not limited to them. As one gets familiar with the elements they can come up with a myriad ways to apply 5 element principles to create unique, individualized healing and yogic development plans. But often what is more important are the life enriching insights gained in the process; wherein one's challenges (troubles, illness, etc.) become less of a hindrance and more like stepping stones to reach the greatest gifts that life has to offer. This is also what Ayurveda implies.
Every challenge in life is an opportunity to develop our virtue and grow in wisdom!
Those who make the most of these opportunities are called Yogi's.
[* A Client may be an individual or group. The process can even work very well in assessing a work team in a classroom or corporate environment.]
[**Elemental imbalances are based primarily upon the Indian system referred to as the Panch Maha Bhutas (Five Great Elements): Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space.]
200 and 300 Hour Training Options
For those coming for their first 200 Hour Yoga Training...
This is an RYT 300 training. This means that it offers 300hrs that you can register with yoga alliance to be an RYT (Regsitered Yoga Teacher) with
that organization; which some people think is important. However, if you have never had a training before and are interested in registering with Yoga Alliance, they will only allow you to register as an RYT 200 (Registered Yoga Teacher - 200hrs training) ~ even if you take over 1000 hours of training. This is because they want you to take a 200 hour training before you take a 300hr training. It really makes no sense in terms of our trainings and most people speculate they do it because it is more lucrative for them. Nevertheless, we just want you to know that we can only grant you 200hrs of training, if you have never taken a yoga training before, and even if you take 500 hours with us. On the other hand, regardless of the terms of Yoga Alliance, if you put in more hours we will record them on the certificate that we give you; and this is likely to be more impressive to any potential yoga employer than any Yoga Alliance credential. And like most graduates these days, you may not ever even want to register with Yoga Alliance anyway. Or, like most people, it is likely you will stop renewing your costly mebership with them after about a year or two. (Scroll to the bottom of this page to read more about YA).
For those who have already had a 200Hr Yoga training...
it is doubtful that you will find any other program that both re-ignites and deepens upon the training you have already had. The Vishwa Ayurveda program for most people is like going from a very generalized 200 hour yoga training focus (like undergraduate school) to a very particular focus (like graduate school). And yet perhaps the best name for this next level of education is Elementary School; as we find that the 5 simple elements of creation are able to lead us to the limitless depths of the universe. The most common comment we get is... "This is far more than I ever expected!"
About Yoga Alliance
You do not need to be registered with Yoga Alliance to teach yoga; nor is there any kind of license needed to teach. In fact, you can teach yoga without even having a certificate; but it is for this reason that Yoga Alliance came into being; which was probably a good idea at first -so that people without any training are not out there hurting unsuspecting students. But, unfortunately, YA hasn't really curbed that possibility much at all. Most of their work really just seems to be around collecting dues; and fishing for copies of certificates from new yoga training graduates. With this copy they confirm to potential employers that you have a certificate and are a yogi in good standing; but being in "good standing" really just means that you have paid your membership dues. And, Yes, presenting your certificate to an employer is something you could do yourself. But YA wants you to believe that they should do that for you, and that you should pay them about $115 to set that up; and then about $65 a year thereafter. ~Many new training graduates do register with YA for this, but after a about a year or two of paying their dues to them they realize that they can just show any potential yoga studio employer their yoga training certificate themselves; and thus stop paying these useless fees. My estimate is that probably more than 70% of the places that hire yoga teachers do not care if you have registered a certificate with Yoga Alliance. But honestly, at present i cannot think of any place where yoga is taught that requires it; not even the YMCA. Nevertheless, I assume there must be some health club employers somewhere (and maybe even some yoga studios) that do require you to be registered with YA. But usually such places do not specialize in yoga and have no way of assessing if a yoga teacher has any skill. Therefore they might want to see if you are a card carrying Yoga Alliance member. Nevertheless, this still doesn't actually prove a teacher has any skill. Thus, most reputable places that hold yoga classes (including the YMCA) require a teaching audition; wherein you will teach a class while being observed by another yoga teacher, or fitness instructor, with a trained eye. They do this because they know this is the only way to tell if a teacher truly has any skill.
On the other hand, i have seen many teachers who are registered/approved with Yoga Alliance and yet seem to have no real grasp of the practice or teachings at all. Nevertheless, they remain as approved RYT's (Registered Yoga Teachers) for as long as they keep paying their annual fees. Thus, with Yoga Alliance money is the determining factor as to whether someone qualifies as a yoga teacher, not any actual skills.