Teacher training syllabus overview

Vajrasati teacher training syllabus overview - Plus how your hours are made up 

See also teacher training syllabus with pronunciations and translations


TERM 1: 5 BASIC STANDINGS, 3 BASIC STANDING FORWARD BENDS

TERM 2: 5 BASIC SEATED FORWARD BENDS, 9 FLOOR POSES
TERM 3: INVERSIONS AND VARIATIONS + 9 SUPINE/PRONE POSES
TERM 4: BACKBENDS AND TWISTS
TERM 5: BALANCINGS
TERM 6: PRANAYAMA
TERM 7: INVERSIONS, PARIVRITTAS, PARSVAS AND TWISTS + MANTRA
TERM 8: THE ‘LOST ASANAS’ MORE BACKBENDS AND MANTRA CONTINUED

TERM 1: FIVE BASIC STANDINGS AND THREE BASIC STANDING FORWARD BENDS
Tadasana / Parsvakonasana / Virabhadrasanas I, II and three / Uttanasana / Prasrita padottanasana

Also, variations including:
Parivritta Trikonasana / Parivritta Parsvakonasana / Padahastasana / Padangustasana / Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana / Urdhva Prasritta Padasana
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TERM 2: FIVE BASIC SEATED FORWARD BENDS AND NINE FLOOR POSES
Pascimottanasana / Janu Sirsasana / Marichyasana one / Ardha Baddha Padma Pascimottanasana / Triang Mukhaikapada Pascimottanasana / Dandasana / Paripurna Navasana / Ardha Navasana / Sukhasana / Gomukasana I and II / Padmasana / Baddha Konasana / Upavistha Konasana / Kurmasana

Also variations including:
Parivritta Upavistha Konasana / Parivritta Janu Sirsasana / preparatory stretchs / Swastikasana / Urdhva Mukha Pascimottanasana.
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TERM 3: INVERSIONS AND VARIATIONS PLUS NINE SUPINE/PRONE POSES
Salamba Sirsasana I & II / Salamba Sarvangasana / Adho Mukha Vrksasana / Pinca Mayurasana / Supta Virasana / Supta Baddha Konasana / Anantasana / Matsyendrasana and or over blocks variation, where more appropriate / Urdhva Prasarita Padasana / Jathara Parivartasana / Chaturanga Dandasana / Adho Mukha Svanasana.

Also variations including:
Supported Sirsasana and variations / supported Salamba Sarvangasana (chair or wall) plus variations in Salamba Sarvangasana / Adho Mukha Svanasana variations (walking up wall, pair work and work in threes) / Urdhva Prasritta Padasana.
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TERM 4: BACKBENDS AND TWISTS
Dhanurasana / Ustrasana / Eka Pada Rajakapotasana / Urdhva mukha svanasana / Bhujangasana / Salabhasana / supported Dwi Viparita Dandasana / supported Setu Bhandasana / Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 & 2 / Pasasana and surported variations / Marichyasana I and III and wall variation/ Bharadvajasana I and II and chair variation.

TERM 5: BALANCINGS
Floor: Vasisthasana / Bhujapidasana / Bakasana (including parsva and coming into pose from Sirsasana 2) / Eka pada bhujasana / Lolasana / Astavakrasana / Mayurasana
Ubhaya Padangusthasana (Urdhva mukha pascimottanasana)/ Urdhva Mukha Upavistha Konasana

Standing: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (all versions and variations including bent knee) / Vrksasana / Ardha Chandrasana (including Parivritta) / Virabhadrasana III (including wall and chair versions) / Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana (and wall variation) / Garudasana
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TERM 6: PRANAYAMA
Adho Mukha Svanasana / Sukhasana (also known as Swastikasana) / Virasana (full comprehension of the alignment of the spine and its relationship to the pelvis and sacrum / Supta Virasana / Supta Sukhasana (blocks for feet and lying over stacked blocks / Paryankasana / Ustrasana / Jathara Parivartanasana / Uttanasana (to chair or blocks) / Supta Baddha Konasana / Baddha Konasana / Salamba Sarvangasana (regular version to Adha Halasana and supported on chair version) to help prepare for Jalandhara Bandha / Purvottanasana / Parighasana / Padmasana (all preparatory and warm ups) including Bhadrasana / Siddhasana

BANDHAS: Uddiyana will be practiced as well as the Nauli
These asanas may or may not all be used during the Pranayama term depending on the pace of the sessions, as asanas will take an important although secondary role to the pranayama itself, although all effort will be made to teach the asanas in which Pranayama can be practiced as high lighted with a star.

List of Pranayamas on syllabus:
LYING DOWN:
Rechaka/ Puraka (inhalation exhalation)
Ujjayi (victorious) Rechaka/Puraka
Ujjayi: deep inhalation, extended exhalation
Ujjayi: extended inhalation, deep exhalation
Viloma (anti hair /against the natural order) inhalation, deep exhalation
Viloma: deep inhalation, viloma exhalation
Viloma: inhalation and exhalation.

SEATED: All thus far can be practiced, then
Ujjayi: extended inhalation with Sahita Antara Kumbhaka (intentional, deliberate internal retention) without and then with Mula Bandha
Ujjayi: deep inhalation, extended exhalation with Sahita Bahya Kumbhaka (deliberate external retention) without and then with Uddiyana (flying up) Bandha
Ujjayi: extended inhalation with Sahita Antara Kumbhaka, then extended exhalation with Sahita Bahya Kubhaka, first without then with bandhas.
Viloma: inhalation with Sahita Antara Kumbhaka, deep exhalation
Viloma: deep inhalation, Viloma exhalation with Sahita Bahya Kumbhaka
Viloma: inhalation then Sahita Antara Kumbhaka with Mula Bandha, Viloma exhalation with Uddiyana Bandha.

(Please note that external retentions are on the whole necessarily shorter than internal ones)

Also BHRAMARI BREATH. Also done within the context of Sanmukhi Mudra

DIGITAL PRANAYAMA
Inhalation/ exhalation (Rechaka and Puraka)
All possible variations: digital in, open out; digital in and out and so on
Anuloma Pranayama alternate nostril exhalations (along with the hair)
Open nostril inhalations followed by various stages of exhalation with digital control, i.e.: deep inhalation then exhalation through both nostrils digitally controlled. Then deep inhalation with exhalations done through alternate nostrils. Then deep inhalation followed by Sahita Antara Kumbhaka; digitally controlled exhalation through both nostrils, then continuing but with exhalations through alternate nostrils.
Sahita Bahya Kumbhaka is introduced after both nostril exhalation, alternate right nostril exhalation then left nostril exhalation.
Then Antara Kumbhaka is done with Mula Bandha, followed by Bahya Kumbhaka with Uddiyana Bandha through alternate nostrils.
The whole process is then repeated but the inhalations are done using Viloma instead of Ujjayi

Pratiloma Pranayama: alternate nostril inhalations (against the hair)
The practices above are applied to inhalations i.e. the inhalations are digitally controlled whilst the exhalations are through open nostrils.
So:
1/ both nostrils
2/ alternate left and right
3/ both nostrils then Antara Kumbhaka without then with Mula Bandha and both nostrils blocked
4/ As above but inhalation through alternate nostrils
5/ Then Sahita Bahya Kumbhaka is introduced after a Pratiloma inhalation/ both nostrils then alternate nostrils
6/ Then internal retention (antara) open out (no retention) then Pratiloma in (no retention) and open out followed by external retention (bahya), in other words alternate retentions
7/ Finally retentions on each in and out breath.

Note it is not advised to use Viloma techniques for Pratiloma as they can cause strain.
Surya Bhendana and Chandra Bhendana are the same as above although one nostril only is focused on i.e left (Chandra) right (Surya). We will not cover these practices in this syllabus

NOTE all these practices are included on the syllabus as a means of basic introduction although it is advised that students concentrate on developing and perfecting the basic practices in their own practice at home, without retentions before going further.
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TERM 7: INVERSIONS, PARIVRITTAS, PARSVAS AND TWISTS + MANTRA
Salamba Sirsasana / Salamba Sarvangasana (including from chair, wall, lifts explained) / Paravritta Trikonasana / Paravritta Parsvakanasana / Paravritta Janu Sirsasana / Pasasana / Sphinx pose (variation of marichyasana III from lying on one side) / Parsva Upavistha Konasana.

Also bridging and alignment poses Adho Mukha Svanasana / Uttanasana II as well as unrevolved versions of the poses as preparation.

MANTRA: The philosphy and meaning of mantra / mantra as a tool for yoga: directly seeing, being with the true nature of resistance and techniques that best exploit that insight.

The practicalities of Mantra, ie: room order, relaxed atmosphere and students’ enthusiasm (including understanding why and inspiration by example) / The yamas and Mantra / individual Mantras and meanings / voice tuition /

In both terms 7 & 8, Mantra is introduced both as a legitimate independent practice and as a part of an asana class at the beginning or the end.
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TERM 8: THE ‘LOST ASANAS’ MORE BACKBENDS AND MANTRA CONTINUED

All variations of Viparita Karani (Inverted, a particular type of practice , ordinary legs up, legs apart, squatting Setu Bandha on wall

Chair work: Salamba Sarvangasana / Setu Bandhasana / Hip Stretches / Groin Stretch 1 & 2 / Prayer Shoulder Stretch.

All versions of Utkatasana / Krauncasana / Malasana

Back arches reviewed/introduced: Urdva Mukha Svanasana / Bhujangasana / Dhanurasana / Urdhva Dhanurasana

Also continued, Mantra and introduction to how to use yoga techniques in meditation

 

 

How your hours are made up 
Vajrasati Teacher Training 88 week (8 x 10 week terms) Course
 
 
 
A Tutorials: every student will have one 15 minute tutorial per term to see how they are getting on on the course. The Tutor will ask for direct feedback and take appropriate action during proceeding training sessions where students need assistance.
15 minutes per term
 
B Arrival: once or twice per term – we'll have tea and 'reporting in' (an update of how we have been with an emphasis on our relationship to yoga practice both on and off the mat), with a view to deepen our trust in each other; an essential prerequisite for the letting go that yoga practice ultimately requires).
15-30 minutes per term
 
C Mantra: a regular mantra practice to continue the broad based understanding of yoga.
5 minutes
 
D Meditation: one of the traditional yoga practices and one that underpins all other aspects of yoga a minimum of 5-10 minutes (20-25 if there is not a reporting in session as above)
 
E A short reading:  students share a reading on a rota basis, short pieces from sutras, articles, magazines, websites or original work,that students consider as exemplifying the spirit of the yoga are read aloud to the group.  The course tutor will then feed back the parts or whole that have clear connection with Vajrasati yoga. In this way it is possible for the tutor to re-focus misunderstandings where needs be and to encourage well founded lines of thought. 5 minutes
 
 
F  Feedback: a chance for students to feedback on how the meditation and mantra practice went and an opportunity for tutors to give suggestions where useful or necessary  
10 minutes
 
G Homework distributed: (see homework sheets for areas covered – asana, pranayama, mantra, meditation, anatomy, physiology, philosophy, yoga sutras, yoga traditions, class compositions, observation, adjustments, props, yoga therapy) and previous weeks work fed back on. This is done as a group so the students can learn through each other's work. All students are asked to send e-copies of their own work to share with the group and to bring a hard copy for the tutor (this is not required where the work is an anatomical drawing in this case only the tutor need have a copy)
30 minutes
 
H Techniques and practices:                                                         In turn, students teach and demonstrate the asana and pranayama from the term syllabus to the rest of the class. Students then feedback their direct experience of the teaching followed by the Teacher Trainer’s critique covering these areas:
·      Technicalities: alignment; anatomical references, ‘how and why’; clarity of language; teaching qualities (enthusiasm, confidence, appropriateness) 1 hour (approximately) 
·       Class observation: safety, appropriate adjustments (verbal and/or physical), props
        1 hour (approximately)
·      Spirit of yoga: breath work; explicit or implicit reference to 5 yamas; applied yoga philosophy; vocal tone; projection and pitch
45 minutes (approximately)          
 
Sub-Total 322 hours (over 8 x 10 week blocks)
 
A ‘real life’ yoga class is taught at the end of each term (week 10) where members are the public, including graduates from the course, are invited in for the students’ assessment where, between them, the students teach a class composed of the asanas and pranayamas covered in that term. Feedback follows this as illustrated above.
 
Additional contact hours
 
 
 
·      Regular class attendance with an experienced Vajrasati Teacher (all experienced teachers will have a minimum of 5 years teaching within the school post graduation)
·       one or more sessions per week. Minimum 1 ½ hours. Total 120 hours minimum
 
                                                                                                                                                                     
·       At least one  Yoga day or half day, every two months min 5 hours per term. Total 40 hours minimum
 
·      Buddy meetings: graduates and trainees are buddyed up and meet up to discuss the training at least once a term minimum 1 hour. Total 8 hours minimum
 
Final assessments and written test
 
Written test 1 ½ hours
Personal assessments up to 3 hours
Group assessment 2 ½ hours
Personal assessment feedback min 2 hours Total min 9 hours
 
Grand total contact hours for whole training period-494 hours
 
Non-contact hours
 
Homework (see above section f and homework sheets)
2 1/2 hours (approx) each week. 61 homeworks divided over the course Total 152.5 hours
 
Personal practice 8 hours per week including at least one 1½ hour class each week with certified Vajrasati Teacher Trainer (asana, pranayama, mantra)
8 hours (minimum) each week
Total 840 hours
 
Meditation practice
1 hour (minimum) each week
Total 80 hours
 
Reading from the reading list min 1/2 hour per week (not including research for homeworks and current terms syllabus)
Total 40 hours
 
Grand total non contact hours: 1,092.5