Teacher Training Weekly format

Students enrolling on the two-year Vajrasati Teacher Training course should be able to commit to the following regular study…
Vajrasati Teacher Training 80 week (8 x 10 week terms) course

Part I: teacher training workshop per week: 4 hours including:
Tutorial with course tutor (once a term) either before the session starts or at some point during the week in person or via skype to check in with how the course is going 15 mins

Meditation One of the traditional yoga practices (a chance to encourage a broad understanding of yoga as a principle that lays behind it’s different forms). 5-10 mins

Mantra to continue the broad based understanding of yoga. 5 mins

A short reading encouraging the students to input, on a rota basis, short pieces from sutras, articles, creative sources – either original or otherwise – that students consider exemplify the spirit of the yoga school, encouraging contemplation in this regard. The course tutor should then feed back the parts or whole that have clear connection with Vajrasati. In this way, it is possible for the tutor to re-focus misunderstandings and to encourage well-founded lines of thought. 5 mins

Feedback on how the meditation and mantra practice went, an opportunity to give suggestions where useful or necessary. 10 mins

Feedback on homework (see homework sheets for areas covered – asana, pranayama, mantra, meditation, anatomy, physiology, philosophy, yoga sutras, yoga traditions, class compositions, observation, adjustments, props, yoga therapy). This is done as a group, so the students can learn through each other’s work. All students are asked to share homework with the group (via copies of or email). 30 minutes

Techniques and practice Students teach and demonstrate the asanas / pranayamas from the term’s 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 (approx)
* Class observation: safety, appropriate adjustments (verbal and/or physical), props 1 hour (approx)
* Spirit of yoga: breath work, explicit or implicit reference to five yamas, applied yoga philosophy, vocal tone, projection and pitch. 45 mins (approx)

Part II: assessment 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. Students teach a class between them, composed of the asanas / pranayamas covered in that term. Feedback follows this, as illustrated above.

Part III: non-contact hours
Homework (see above and additional homework sheets enclosed) 2 hours (approx) each week

Personal practice including at least one 1½ hour class with certified Vajrasati Teacher Trainer (asana, pranayama, mantra). 8 hours (minimum) each week

Meditation practice 1 hour (minimum) each week

Reading from the reading list

Contact with assigned buddy Each student is given a mentor, who is a teacher who has been through the course.  It is expected you will have some form of contact with your buddy once a term

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The Buddha recited the poem:
‘Let not a person revive the past
Or on the future build his hopes,

For the past has been left behind
And the future has not been reached.

Instead, with insight, let him see
Each presently arisen state;
Let him know that and be sure of it,
Invincibly, unshakeably.

Today, the effort must be made;
Tomorrow, Death may come, who knows?
No bargain with Mortality
Can keep him and his hoards away.

— The Majjima Nikaya (The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha)