CURRICULUM



YOGA 101: THE TOOLS OF YOGA • 120 HOURS 
Course Instructor: Jody Kurilla 

 

Yoga 101 provides an overview of the tools of Yoga with a focus on the function of Asana in our practice. Each week begins with a discussion on Philosophy and Yoga, and the practical application of the many tools used in the practice of yoga: asana, pranayama, chanting, niyasa, visualization, & meditation. The main part of class focuses on the experiential learning process.

 

In the first semester the study of the function of classical asana with basic stance work and the movements of the spine within asana, forward bending, back bending, side bending, twists, and axial extension. Focus will be on the connection of the breath with the asana movements (vinyasa krama) and in held asana. As the course progresses, the techniques of Brahmana, Langhana & Samana will be taught as an experiential practice, leaving you with the effects of the practice for you to connect to and ponder in your own body and mind. After this course, when you are ready for Teaching Methodology, you will have embodied the asana practice along with Yoga’s many tools that work with the practice of Asana and Hatha Yoga.

 

TEACHING METHODOLOGY • 25 HOURS
Course Instructor: Jody Kurilla  

Systematic examination of the principles of skillful teaching, including but not limited to: how to “see” different body types, how to enter another’s energetic space and give adjustments, how to work with different personalities and bodies, how to sequence and structure classes, the correct use of props, ethics, and the teaching environment. Includes practice teaching sessions. Also includes a written dissertation on a topic of interest.

TEACHING APPRENTICESHIP • 8 - 45 HOURS

            Apprenticing with one or several approved teachers at the Yoga Shala. Apprenticeship involves observation, hands on work with students, teaching sections of classes, meeting with mentor regarding content of classes observed, and homework determined by the teacher.

ANATOMY • 35 HOURS

ANATOMY AND MOVEMENT - TWO COURSE SERIES • 35 HOURS
Course Instructor: TBD             

 

This series of anatomy classes is an introduction to the experiential anatomy of Body-Mind Centering®. The main tenant of BMCSM is that every part of the our anatomy from micro to macro has the capacity for awareness. Not only does the mind influence the body, the body influences the mind. In this work you build awareness of the body’s individual parts. When the different systems (bones, muscles, organs, etc) of the body are clear about their specific roles, the relationship between the parts becomes more fluid and efficient. Touch, drawing, models, movement and somatic experiences are used to facilitate and understand the fascinating and complex world of anatomy.

 

ANATOMY AND MOVEMENT 101: SKELETON & LIGAMENTS

              The skeleton provides the framework of our body. When the skeleton knows its role, the muscles can do less and movement will be more efficient. Ligaments guide the force of movement of the bones created by the muscles, and suspend our organs with our abdominal cavity. They are specific and precise. Embodying the skeleton and ligaments brings clarity, specificity and focus to one’s yoga practice.

 

ANATOMY AND MOVEMENT 102: ORGANS, NEURO-MUSCULAR SYSTEMS

                The organs, our contents maintain our daily functions, they provide breath, nourishment and elimination. They are round, three dimensional and provide postural support. We will locate and experience the organs and how they support the movement of our body and how our movement effects them. Embodying the organs brings depth and fullness, ease and satisfaction to our movement and lives. The muscles are vital, active, agents of change and through them we create movement. With over 600 muscles in the body, the range of possibility is great! We will investigate and experience governing principles of muscle action through study of their anatomy and movement. Embodying our muscles through intellect and experience brings both dynamism and ease, resistance and resolution, and an understanding of the coexistence of opposites.

 

In this course we build understanding and experience of our systems of communication. The nervous system organizes our experiences into patterns. It communicates between our inner and outer worlds. The fluids are the transportation system of the body, they lubricate every membrane. They include the blood, lymph, synovial, cerebrospinal, interstitial, and cellular fluids. The endocrine glands are the major chemical governing system and works intimately with the nervous system through our fluids and connects us to the universal.

 

How can we balance the Autonomic Nervous System with the Somatic Nervous System? How can we maintain our fluidity? How can balance our relationship between heaven and earth? We hold these questions and more in this series of classes.

 

Touch, drawing, models, movement and somatic experiences are used to facilitate our experience and understanding.

 

SANSKRIT AND PHILOSOPHY • 50 HOURS

 

SANSKRIT FOR YOGA PRACTITIONERS - TWO WORKSHOP SERIES WITH REVIEW • 8 HOURS 
Workshop Instructor: 

 

SANSKRIT I: INTRODUCTION

            Learning to read and pronounce the Sanskrit alphabet and its transliteration. By the end of the workshop, we will be able to read short words and verses in Sanskrit. With practice, we will develop familiarity to read important yoga texts.

 

SANSKRIT II: ASANA AND PRANAYAMA NAMES

                Learning to read and pronounce the asana and pranayama names with meaning. These include descriptions of actions, objects in nature and in everyday life, and names and stories of sages and gods.
Prereq: Introduction to Sanskrit 

SANSKRIT REVIEW

            A two hour class to review and answer any questions.

 

A PHILOSOPHICAL CONTEXT FOR YOGA - FOUR WORKSHOP SERIES • 42 HOURS 
Workshop Instructor: 

 

PHILOSOPHY 101: UPANISHADS

                We begin our exploration of the textual, historical, and cultural context for understanding the philosophy of yoga. We review the relevant sections of the Vedas, Upanisads, and the Puranas. We will then proceed to an overview of the darshanas, and a discussion of samkhya and its influence on yoga. We conclude with a discussion of Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita.
Prereq: Open to all. 

 

PHILOSOPHY 102: BHAGAVAD GITA

                  A chapter of the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita will form a basis for our inquiry into the Yoga of knowledge, of action, and of devotion. The text brings to the forefront the conflicts and interrelationships between the idealism of the Upanisads and the social complexities of the world we inhabit. A detailed discussion of the gunas in the last few chapters provides a description of the composition of the world. The class will provide a historical and cultural context for the text and an investigation of the questions it raises for yoga practitioners and philosophers.
Prereq: Open to all. 

 

PHILOSOPHY 200: YOGA SUTRAS

                  An investigation of the important ideas, concepts, and verses in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras providing us with a guide for navigating the text. Our studies will include excerpts from important classical commentaries, as well as word-by-word analysis (including Sanskrit pronunciation and English meaning) of the important verses.
Prereq: A previous philosophy class; and a regular yoga practice.

 

PHILOSOPHY 300: CLASSICAL TEXTS

                  A study of the classical texts relevant to the practice of yoga techniques of posture, breath, and meditation including the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita, Siva Samhita, Yoga Yajnyavalkya, Siddha Siddhanta Padhati and the Yoga Upanisads. We will discuss the influences of other yoga traditions and texts including the siddha, saivaite, and the Tibetan tradition. We conclude with a survey of more current influences on the philosophy and practice of yoga.
Prereq: A previous philosophy class; and a regular yoga practice.

 

EXPLORING THE TOOLS OF YOGA • 36 HOURS 
Workshop Instructor: Chase Bossart 

 

LEARNING APPROPRIATE RATIOS FOR PRANAYAMA 

                  Pranayama is a cornerstone of the practice of yoga. Since the mind, body and emotions are so deeply connected to the breath, changing the way we breathe can powerfully influence how we feel. In fact, it’s amazing how much can change in only 15-20 breaths. And yet, the breath is quite subtle. It has a will of it’s own which we have to respect and learn how to work with if we are to obtain the desired effects (and not the opposite effect!). The 2nd Chapter of Patanjali’s yogasutra states that the practice of pranayama consists of: the location where the breath is controlled, the number of breaths taken and the duration of each part of the breath. We will learn how to sequence the length of each breath so that we can comfortably reach specific breathing ratios and feel their effects. We will focus on understanding the principles underlying the sequencing of breathing ratios through numerous practical examples. This is a practical, “how to” workshop, that will be useful for practitioners and teachers of all levels.

 

BEYOND SEQUENCING: COURSES PLANNING FOR FUNCTION BASED YOGA PRACTICES

                  This workshop will explain how to deliver different effects through different practices and will also explain how to properly prepare a person to safely achieve a particular pose. By understanding the requirements of a particular pose, one can see clearly how to prepare each individual body part so that the practitioner can safely and effectively achieve the pose.

 

ART OF MEDITATION, PART I 

                    Meditation is one of the most important and potent tools in yoga. In many ways, it is the crown jewel of all yoga practices. Yet many people experience it as one of yoga’s most diffi cult and confusing tools. These difficulties, however, can be greatly reduced through proper sequencing of the meditation practice. When properly constructed, a meditation practice gradually develops the attention and mental stability required to stay with the focus. This happens naturally as the practitioner moves through the different steps of the meditation. Learn the principles of proper sequencing of meditation practices and develop these skills through numerous practical examples. This practical ‘how to’ workshop will be useful for practitioners and teachers of all levels.

 

ART OF MEDITATION, PART II 

                    Meditation is one of the most important and potent tools in yoga. In many ways, it is the crown jewel of all yoga practices. What we choose as a focus for our meditation practice will naturally have a profound influence on the experiences we have in meditation and hence its effects on us. The location where we place our attention is the gateway that leads us to these experiences, and not all experiences are equal. Moreover, over time we gradually assimilate the qualities or characteristics of what we link to. A correctly chosen focus can be hugely beneficial while one poorly chosen can actually harm us. This practical ‘how to’ workshop on how to select objects for meditation will be useful for practitioners and teachers of all levels.   

 

       

YOGA SUTRAS • 78 HOURS 
Workshop Instructor: TBD

The true meaning of yoga is a life well lived with deep contentment and satisfaction. It is not realized on a mat or in a difficult posture, though they can play a role. Rather, the true meaning of yoga is practiced, moment by moment, as we move about the world in our daily lives. It is demonstrated (or not) in our interactions with friends, colleagues and family members & in how we respond to situations. The real power of yoga lies in the profoundly positive ways it changes every aspect of our human system and the amazing ramifications of that on how we experience life.

 

CHAPTER 1 (3 weekend workshops)

            Patanjali’sYogasutra, composed over 1700 years ago in India, is one of the most authoritative texts on yoga. It’s concise presentation of how to bring yoga off the matt and into daily life is considered an ‘owner’s manual’ for life and has guided the practice of countless generations of yogis. This series of workshops will examine chapter one in depth, sutra by sutra and word by word. Along the way, we will cover foundational concepts of Yoga as a topic, as a practice, and most importantly, as a teaching to be embodied each moment of each day. Each session will include short a asana and meditation practice, instruction in chanting of the Yogasutra, and lecture and discussion. Workshops may be taken separately and need not be in order.

 

CHAPTER 2 (3 weekend workshops)

            The real power of yoga lies not in the strength/vitality it gives the physical body, but rather in the profoundly positive habits/ behaviors, improving our relationships, and bringing forth profound spiritual experiences. The 2nd Chapter of Patanjali’s Yogasutra explains how yoga brings about these changes in our lives in a very practical and realistic way.

 

ELECTIVES • 8 HOURS

Workshop electives will vary. Some examples include: 

 

WORKSHOPS with GARY KRAFTSOW, SRIVATSA RAMASWAMI, JAI UTTAL, SHARON SALTZBERG, PETER STERIOS and many other world renowned teachers.

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