With various different styles of yoga out there, it can be challenging to find one that is suitable for you. Or maybe you have attended classes and practiced different styles of yoga, but are unsure of what to do for your yoga teacher training. In this article, we’re going into the specifics of the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training program.
So read on to find out what Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training is all about, what to expect during the course, duration, and more.
What is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training?
The Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training course is an intensive program based on Sage Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga, established more than 3000 years ago. Ashtanga Yoga is built on the Eight Limbs path as laid out by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. The yoga asanas you learn in the course are from the Ashtanga Vinyasa primary series. The Vinyasa yoga flows are a string of dynamic asanas stitched together to form harmonious transitions. Vinyasa yoga flows combine all types of yoga postures, that is, standing, seated, supine, prone, etc.
By the time you graduate from the 200-hour Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training you will be well-equipped to teach the beginner-level Ashtanga yoga primary series (the first series) and Vinyasa flows. As you progress or upon doing advanced programs, such as a 300-hour Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training program, you will move onto more challenging series.
Practitioners should note that the Ashtanga style of yoga is strengthening and physically demanding. Discipline and dedication is important to continuously show up and work on progressing effectively. Equal importance is given to mental and spiritual practices that help you grow holistically.
Who is an Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training course for?
If deep diving into the teachings of yoga to transform your life is on your mind, then look no further. You may have been practicing yoga for sometime but if you’re now ready to level up your practice, then the 200-hour yoga teacher training program is a perfect place to start.
An Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training course (200-hours, if you’re just starting out as a teacher) is for anyone looking to develop a holistic understanding of Ashtanga yoga, learn Vinyasa yoga flows, deep dive into yogic philosophy, meditation and pranayama techniques, adjustments and alignment, get teaching practice and more. The course, in a school like Sampoorna Yoga, will provide a well-structured approach to understand Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, how to adapt them in everyday life and how to progress through the different limbs. It is well-suited for anyone looking for traditional knowledge with a modern approach.
Apart from this, doing in-person yoga teacher training in India gives you a safe, comfortable and supportive environment to practice and grow. You’ll get to live in the beautiful beach town, Goa, in South India, with folks from around the world. So if you’re looking to make friends with similar interests, this one’s for you. Finally, if an international recognition by Yoga Alliance is your priority, then Sampoorna Yoga’s 200-hour yoga teacher training is right for you.
What does the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training course include?
The beginner-level 200-hour Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training course includes theory and practical sessions.
Yoga philosophy and knowledge: An introduction to yoga, its meaning and lifestyle, the four paths of yoga, obstacles in the path of yoga and how to overcome them and the three Gunas or qualities (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) are all covered in the course. Students will learn about the Ashtanga yoga system, Vinyasa yoga, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and the Eight Limbs of Yoga.
Practical sessions: Students will practice the Ashtanga yoga primary series, learn Vinyasa flows, pranayama, mudras and bandhas. There are also sessions on alignment and modifications, how to use props, and the art of hands-on adjustments. At Sampoorna Yoga, there are also two wonderful inclusions – yin yoga classes and partner yoga classes. This helps students cultivate trust as they practice with the support of other students.
Examples of a few Ashtanga primary series yoga asanas are Trikonasana, Virabhadrasana 1 and Virabhadrasana 2, Utkatasana, Paschimottanasana, Navasana, Purvottanasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana and Balasana. There are also two types of Surya Namasakar – Ashtanga Surya Namaskar A and Ashtanga Surya Namaskar B that are covered.
Pranayama and meditation: Apart from theory classes on the introduction to pranayama, students will learn about Prana, the power of breath, the science and anatomy behind breathing exercises and how they benefit the body. Also covered is the Pranic body and its spiritual significance on a subtle level. Practical sessions include learning Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing), Kapal Bhati (Frontal Lobe Cleansing), Bhastrika (Bellows Breath), Ujjayi (Victorious Breath), Brahmari (Humming Bee Breathing) and Surya Bheda (Right Nostril Breathing).
The meditation sessions include introduction and science of meditation, effects on the brain and mind, how to meditate, how to teach meditation and more. You will also practice meditations such as Chakra meditation, Kundalini meditation, Om, Nada and mantra meditation, among others.
Anatomy Sessions: Studying anatomy in a Biology class is one thing. Studying anatomy from a yoga perspective is a whole other experience. Interesting, unique and eye-opening, Sampoorna Yoga’s Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training program includes sessions on functional anatomy that help students understand key muscles, connective tissue, bones, nervous system and movements involved in specific postures, health benefits, contraindications and more. Students learn about the importance of alignment from a practical and scientific perspective, limitations and possibilities of the human body.
Being a teacher: There are several modules that focus on preparing you to teach your own students. So while you go through the practices yourself, you will also learn how to teach pranayama and meditation, how to sequence asanas together, learning to create your own Vinyasa flows, etc. You will also receive feedback from fellow students and share your feedback with others. With immense teaching opportunities, by the time you graduate, you will have the confidence to start teaching one-to-one yoga and even large groups of students. Modules also cover the lifestyle, ethics and professionalism of yoga teachers and how to start your yoga business. You’ll find your voice and style as a teacher with all the necessary qualities.
Certification received in an Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training
Many schools, like Sampoorna Yoga, are internationally registered with Yoga Alliance. Upon completion, you will graduate with a 200-hour yoga teacher training certification which allows you to register with Yoga Alliance as a ‘Registered Yoga Teacher-200 hours’ (RYT-200). The registration is optional, as the Sampoorna Yoga certificate will allow you to teach globally.
So if you’re ready for a strong, dynamic yet immersive experience over a few weeks, look no further than the 200-hour Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher training course. It’s a great place to start – whether you’re new to yoga or someone looking to level up their practice.