Develop the skills to teach yoga asana and meditation, gaining a solid grounding in the classical yoga tradition, and at the same time deepen your spiritual connection to yoga and open yourself to profound inner transformation. In this four-week course you will establish a firm foundation of discipline that promotes physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual growth and build a strong base from which to teach others naturally and with confidence.
The Teachers’ Training Course (TTC) is a four-week intensive residential course, based on the ancient gurukula system of India where teacher and student live together. You will be in a traditional Ashram setting and closely interact with our experienced and dedicated teachers and staff who themselves are immersed in the yogic lifestyle. Connected to an ancient teaching lineage (guru parampara), passed down from guru to disciple through thousands of years, the curriculum is extensive and covers both theory and practice. Devotional practices, traditional to India, are an integral part of the Course.
A vegetarian diet, daily personal practice of yoga and meditation, as well as immersion in nature promote an atmosphere conducive to profound learning. The Course was designed by Swami Vishnudevananda in 1969 with the vision to develop successful yoga professionals and to spread peace in the world through them. A sincere desire to learn and openness to yogic techniques is required – a basic knowledge of yoga postures and philosophy is preferred, but not essential. Graduates of the course receive internationally-recognised certification which is recognised by the worldwide Yoga Alliance for the 200 hours standard for Registered Yoga Schools (RYS).
Students enjoy occasional cultural programmes that are offered during evening satsangs. Each week there is a day free of lectures. During this day students are required to attend morning and evening satsang. During free time, students can explore the Ashram’s vicinity or join our occasional day trips to places of interest.
A high degree of self-motivation is required for all aspects of the course. A basic knowledge of yoga postures and philosophy is helpful but not essential. A sincere desire to learn and openness to the teachings of yoga is required. The practice and especially the teaching of yoga demand a high degree of self-discipline and purity.
To ensure the success of the programme, participation at all classes are required. Attendance at all spiritual activities, satsangs, lectures and asana classes is mandatory.
Meat, fish, eggs, black tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, drugs are prohibited during the Course. A dress-code is followed. It is not possible to cater to personal dietary preferences beyond the yogic-vegetarian meals. Participants who do not comply with the Ashram rules may be asked to leave the Course.
The goal of the programme is to produce qualified and inspiring yoga teachers who are able to draw on their own practice and personal discipline in imparting the yoga experience to others.
The curriculum is based on the five points of yoga as taught by Swami Vishnudevananda, which can be understood as the practical application of the traditional four paths of yoga. The intensive daily schedule includes:
- Two satsangs
- Two asana classes
- Two lectures
- One hour of karma yoga
- One day a week is lecture-free.
- The twelve basic postures in depth
- Practice of classical advanced variations
- Precise and detailed corrections
- Prolonged holding of the asanas
- Deeper understanding of hatha yoga
- Practice of kapalabhati
- Daily practice of anuloma viloma
- Advanced pranayamas
- Use of bandhas
- Guide to meditation
- What is meditation?
- Why meditate?
- Concentration and thought power
- 12-step daily practice
- Effects of and experiences in meditation
- Mantra initiation (optional)
Yoga Anatomy and Physiology
- Introduction to the eight major body systems
- The effects of asanas and pranayama on the: cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and skeletal and muscular systems
- Yoga and physical culture
- Vegetarianism for physical, mental and spiritual health
- How diet affects the mind
- Principles of nutrition
- Healing effects of fasting
The six classical purification exercises for the eyes, nose, air passages, oesophagus and stomach, abdominal organs and large intestine. Explanation and demonstration of the exercises and their effects. Individual instruction.
- How to teach the 12 basic postures and breathing exercises to beginners and intermediate students
- Setting up of a proper environment for class
- General pointers on teaching a class
- The Basic Sivananda class
- Beginners’ course
- Advanced postures
- Yoga for children
- Yoga for limited mobility
- Yoga for pregnancy
- Detailed correction workshops
- In the second half of the training course, participants will teach each other under the guidance of an experienced instructor.
One of the greatest spiritual texts of the world, the Bhagavad Gita contains subtle and profound teachings and has a universality which embraces every aspect of human action.
- Study of both the text and Swami Sivananda’s commentary.
Karma and Reincarnation
- The law of cause and effect
- The law of action and reaction
- The law of compensation
- The law of retribution
- Destiny and self-effort
- Samsara, the wheel of birth and death
- Ethical and moral principles
- Body, prana and mind
- From control over the body to control over the mind and meditation
- Ashtanga: the eight limbs of yoga
- Antahkarana: functions of the mind
- Concentration and meditation
- The Absolute and its manifestation in nature
- Macrocosm and microcosm
- The seven chakras
- The awakening of cosmic energy
- Kirtan: chanting of devotional songs. Chanting opens the heart and purifies the mind. In devotional chanting correct pronunciation, devotional attitude and awareness of meaning are all-important.
- Sanskrit mantras, Indian deities and their cosmic meaning
- Arati and pujas (traditional Indian devotional rituals)
- Karma Yoga – selfless service: one hour daily in the Ashram community. You will be asked to do various tasks within the Ashram setting necessary for the smooth running of the community. Karma yoga helps to reduce selfishness and egoism, essential for spiritual progress.
- Basic concepts of Vedanta philosophy
- The seven bhoomikas or planes of consciousness
- Space, time, causation
- The three bodies
- The three levels of the mind
- Conquest of death
| 6:00 am
| 8:00 am
||Asana, Pranayama Class
| 10:00 am
| 11:00 am
| 12:00 pm
||Bhagavad Gita or Kirtan Lecture
| 2:00 pm
| 4:00 pm
||Asana, Pranayama Class
| 6:00 pm
| 8:00 pm
| 10:30 pm
|| Lights Out
Uniform and Manual: Two sets of uniform (yellow t-shirt and white pants) and a course manual are provided as a part of the course material and are included in the course fee.
Meals: Simple vegetarian meals are provided at 10am and 6pm.
Refund policy: please refer to the policy of each individual Ashram.
Language: Please make sure of language requirements before registering for the Course.
Things to bring: Please check the individual Ashram site for specific requirements. This will include comfortable modest clothing, walking shoes, sandals, toiletries, personal items, meditation shawl, yoga mat, meditation cushion, notebooks, pens, towels, water bottle and torch (flashlight). Most of these items can be purchased at the Ashram boutique.
Required Texts: These are not included in the course fee and can be bought from the Ashram boutique:
- The Completed Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnudevananda
- Bhagavad Gita – with commentary by Swami Sivananda
Apart from the required texts there are some recommended texts for the Course. These can also be purchased in the Ashram boutique (optional).
- Sivananda Training Manual
- Yoga, Your Home Practice Companion
- Meditation & Mantras by Swami Vishnudevananda