Are you ready for advanced yoga training?
reYoga’s advanced training curriculum consists of 8 weekend modules which run Friday evening (6-9:30pm), Saturday and Sunday (9am – 5:30pm). Students will have access to an online learning platform and content supporting the curriculum.
Tantra and Prana Shakti
There are essentially two foundational approaches to yoga. One is the steeped in mastering the mind – these are the teachings of the Yoga Sutra. The other is steeped in purifying the physical body and working with energy/lifeforce/prana – these are the teachings of tanra. Much of the modern approach to practicing yoga (all the styles of Hatha Yoga) is actually steeped in tantra, though this is lost on many.
Tantra is multi-branched and extremely complex. There are three paths with many lineages. Most of these teachings remain the purview of initiated students, though more of these teachings are being made available for the unitiated.
Tantra is a worldview, a philosophy that helps you understand – and ultimately appreciate – this amazing gift of life. Tantra emphasizes a non-dualistic way of being, where we move away from the notions of good/bad, right/wrong, evil/virtuous, etc., and learn to approach all of life’s experiences as opportunities to grow and move closer to your full potential. This can only be done using practices that purify the body, mind and spirit. Some of these you will be familiar with, others will be new to you.
The emphasis is on prana/lifeforce and how we first create a strong container for it in the body, work to enhance its animating forces, and finally direct these forces in a manner that heals you, those you love, and the planet. There is no better time to plug-in to these teachings than now with the world being mired in such darkness.
You will leave this module with a greater understanding of your being, of who you are and how to unlock the fullness of your potential in this lifetime. You will know that there is no preference between the classic teachings of the Yoga Sutra and those of tantra traditions, but that they are all tools in your journey to Truth and self-unfoldment. You will be inspired to lead your life from a place of inquiry and trustful surrendor, rather than analysis and judgement. The teachings of tantra can be very liberating indeed.
Text: Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Swami Muktibodhananda, ISBN 81-85787-38-7
Next offering: June 22-24, 2018
Subtle Anatomy (Kosha and Kundalini Shakti)
When you hear anatomy you likely think about the musculoskeletal structure, the systems of the body, and all the things that comprise your physical being. This is where a lot of modern yoga starts and finishes, working to manipulate the body using various poses and practices. Even much of therapeutic yoga tends to rely on physical techniques using bolsters and the like.
The yoga tradition teaches that you are so much more than your physical form. In fact, both the yoga tradition and Buddhism teach that attachment to the phyiscal form (thinking that you are your body) is one of the routes to suffering. You learn over time that you are not your thoughts, you are not your feelings, you are not your body, but so much more.
To get there you must first understand your subtle anatomy, those parts of your being that are beyond the building blocks of the physical form. The 5 sheaths – the koshas – and the domain of chakras, kundalini shakti are examined. Understanding these aspects of your self unlocks the gateway to your higher Being. You begin to realize that the physical form in all its amazing glory, is but a vessel for your soul. Work to perfect your body and your mind becomes folly as you realize that Truth is found in the domain of stillness. The subtle anatomy is the pathway in.
You will leave this module with a more fulsome understanding of your being; how focus on wellbeing and personal unfoldment can only be done with a fully integrated approach to practice and self-awareness. You will explore techniques and practices that awaken the part of you which is dormant, suppressed by external forces, awaiting its discovery. Once you’ve connected to the force of kundalini shakti, your life is forever changed. In time you become your own Guru, the master of your own destiny, driven by Truth alone.
Text: The Heart of Yoga, Developing a Personal Practice
T.K.V. Desikachar, ISBN 0-89281-764-X
Next offering: September 21-23, 2018
Advanced Pranayama and Meditation
The vehicle for life – and the practice of yoga – is breath. Absent a conscious use of breath the physical practice of yoga is mere exercise. There is an incredible science behind breath that yogis and the sages have understood for millenia. Modern science is only beginning to delve into research on the potency of breath.
There is intuitive widsom about the power of breath. Think of how your aggitated mind is quieted when you pause and consciously take 10 slow deep breaths. You become calm and centred, able to take your next action from a conscious place.
Yoga is about tapping into the potency of breath. You learn techniques to initially control the flow of breath when in physical practice for example. Then you use specific breath techniques to affect and balance the polarities in the body. Ultimately, breath is used to bring the mind to a quiet place where its roaming tendencies are abated.
Working with the breath takes time, patience and perserverance. With mastery of the breath you are able to enter the domain on your higher mind, establishing a direct line to stillness and a glimpse into your soul.
Breath is the vehicle to meditation – the penultimate goal of practice. It need not matter if you can do a fancy yoga pose. Just as there are many breath techniques that serve a variety of needs, there are many meditations available to practitioners of the yoga and tantra traditions. Exposure to these techniques means you have the most potent tools in your yoga toolkit. They will never let you down.
You will leave this module with renewed sense of purpose, with a greater understanding of the potential of these practices to profoundly affect your life, and with a clarity on how to proceed as you move forward – both as a practitioner and a teacher. All of the techniques you will explore are time-tested through the Himalayan tradition. They enhance your yoga toolbox in unimaginable ways.
Text: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha,
Swami Satyananda Saraswati, ISBN 81-86336-14-1
Next offering: November 16-18, 2018
Subtle Healing Practices of the Yoga Tradition
One of the precepts of yoga that is lost on many modern-day practitioners and teachers is that the subtle is more potent than the gross. The notion of pushing the body hard or holding it in poses for inorindately long periods is not founded in science (or you might even say common sense) yet these are the two extremes that are popular in today’s practice. Yoga is not about extremes.
According to masters of Hatha Yoga and sages of the yoga tradition, what humans need most is more relaxation. The use of techniques that still and calm the mind are far more beneficial than those that are steeped in active physical practice. Of course there is a progression in yoga: you start with physical practice, then cultivate control of your breath as the body becomes purified, you then begin to journey into more subtle practices.
Yoga Nidra is gaining in popularity as people experience its tremendous powers. It can serve as a pratice to address the tensions created by your busy daily life, just as it can mitigate the effects of post traumatic stress. Nidra is an untapped gift of yoga that is making its way into the modern marketplace – and none too soon.
Vichara is a systematic approach to unveiling aspects of yourself that keep you stuck in patterns, belief systems and habits. These are often referred to as “vikapla”, the laws or rules you’ve internalized that keep you from realizing your full potential. Vichara can be done as a solo practice or working with a partner.
Sankapla Shakti – the potency of intention setting. Swami Rama, the grandfather of the Himalayan Tradition here in the West, stated that nothing good in life comes without Sankalpa Shakti. There are techniques to cultivate the laws or rules that lead you to your full potential. Sankalpa is more than wish-making or setting goals, it’s about aligning your intentions with your dharma – your purpose.
You will leave this module with these and other subtle tools that work on both the physical, mental and spirit levels of your being. These are gems of the yoga tradition that will accelerate your journey and help you remember your wholeness. These techniques will serve humanity in ways far more beneficial that fancy asana classes.
Recommended text: Yoga Nidra,
Swami Satyananda Saraswati, ISBN 978-81-85787-12-1
Next offering: March 2019
Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom
According to the ancient yoga tradition, your soul has four distinct desires:
- the desire for purpose, the drive to become who you are meant to be
- the desire for the means (money, security, health) to prosper in this world
- the desire for pleasure like intimacy, beauty and love
- the desire for spiritual fulfillment and lasting freedom
Learning to honour these four desires is the key to happiness, and to a complete and balanced life. But how can you discern what will truly satisfy your desires? How can you increase your capacity to fulfill them? What if your desires seem to conflict with one another? Is it really possible to live a spiritual life while also wanting material pleasures and success?
Yogarupa Rod Stryker’s Four Desire program addresses these questions. Using a number of specific techniques and guided meditations, you will embark on a powerful journey of self-exploration that will position you well on the path to self-mastery.
You will leave this module with three very important tools: a Dharma Code – the mission statement for the rest of your life; Sankalpa – an intention you will work with for the near to mid-range future; a Vikalpa – identifying a deep driving desire that acts as as sabateur to your freedom, fulfillment, success and prosperity. The Four Desires process is an invaluable tool that will serve you for the rest of your life.
Text: The Four Desires, Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom,
Rod Stryker, ISBN 978-0-553-80398-3
Next offering: TBD
Ayurveda – Yoga’s Sister Science
“To fully understand yoga, you must have some understanding of Ayurveda,” Yogarupa Rod Stryker.
If this statement rings true to you, you are in the right place.
Understanding yoga as a holistic system for overall wellbeing – physically, mentally and spiritually is the starting place. Ayurveda gives you more technologies to assure success in your spiritual pursuits. It is the medicine side to your personal unfoldment – the medicines being your diet, your lifestyle and your thoughts. If any or all of these are not aligned with your true nature, you will fail in your pursuits.
The study of Ayurveda assists you in identifying your imbalances, how they present and how to mitigate them. Simple lifestyle and diet changes can make a world of difference. There is not one-size-fits-all in Ayurveda, we are all truly unique. Thus, fad diets will affect each of us differently – some favourably, others not so much. Even yoga practices, particularly those with static sequencing can be harmful rather than helpful.
You must know what your needs are then live and practice accordingly.
You will leave this module with a deep understanding of your own constitution, the factors that influence it favourably and unfavourably, practices that support aligning your current condition to your true nature, and the ability to identify imbalances (physically, mentally and spiritually) in yourself and others. You will be well on your way to applying yoga and Ayurveda practices in a manner that is truly healing.
Text: Yoga & Ayurveda, Self-Healing and Self-Realization
David Frawley, ISBN 0-914955-81-0
Next offering: TBD
The Yoga Sutra and the Psychology of Yoga
The Yoga Sutra teaches us first and foremost that yoga is a practice of the mind – not so much the body. This premise seems lost of most modern-day practitioners and teachers. Unveiling the multi-layered teachings of the Sutras helps you to better understand the workings of your mind. The text is largely a roadmap for the mind and its mastery, but it takes the right teacher to expose much of this roadmap.
The Yogs Sutra presents three paths to mastery of the mind, the one which most of us focus on is the 8-limbs. The understanding and application of these limbs is limited. How many yoga classes have you attended where meditation was the culmination of practice, for example? Probably very few, and yet it the 8th limb. Most teachers and practices focus almost exclusively on the 3rd limb (asana) which has limitations – and caneven be a bit of a trap.
You will leave this module with a clearer understanding of your mind. You will have a variety of techniques to assist you in your personal unfoldment. You will be inspired by the timeless teachings of Patanjali and will want to continue studying. You will know that despite society’s progress, the conditions of the mind are the same today as they were some 2000 years ago when the Sutras were first taught by Patanjali. You will have agreater appreciation for yoga and you will begin to approach your practice – and your life – differently.
Texts: The Secret of the Yoga Sutra; Samadhi Pada,
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, ISBN 10: 0893892777 ISBN 13: 9780893892777
The Practice of the Yoga Sutra; Sadhana Pada,
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, ISBN-13: 978-0-89389-279-1
Supplementary (optional)Text: Four Chapters on Freedom, Commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,
Swami Sayananada Saraswati, ISBN 81-85787-18-2
Next offering: TBD
Wise Progression – Advanced Sequencing and Assisting
There are many approaches to sequencing practices/classes. Many modern-day systems rely on a set sequence that is taught exclusively without deviation. Others provide more diversity but sometimes lack an integrated approach to movement, breath and mind.
reYoga draws on the expertise of Hatha Master Yogarupa Rod Stryker and teaches an approach to sequencing draws from the Master Krishnamacharya’s teachings and equips practitioners and teachers alike with a skillful toolkit to draw from. Your needs vary from day to day, year to year and from one stage of life to another. This applies to your students as well. So, there is really no single class or sequence that meets everyone’s needs. The more tools you have to work with, the more likely you will be able to practice in a manner that meets your – and your students’- needs. This is something that set sequences fail at, unfortunately.
You will leave with module with a renewed zeal for sequencing group classes and individual practices to meet an endless variety of themes and approaches. You will appreciate that there is doing yoga and there is being yoga – you will strive for the latter. You will understand that there must be balance in Hatha Yoga – not continual flow, not continual power, not creating too much heat, not being too much static, but overall balance. You will know that there are times to sequence to enliven, to rest, to release, to expand, to integrate and to balance. The options become endless. You will understand the importance of efficiency; there is no need to waste energy on doing too much, that is contrary to cultivating the state of yoga.
Text: none required
Next offering: TBD