Detailed Outline of the Modules
Anusara Bridge Program
This 36-hour module is a review and refreshment of all that was covered in an Anusara Immersion and Teacher Training.
These hours are required for any student who completed their 200-hour training in a method other than Anusara. For students who completed their 200-hour training in Anusara yoga, these 36 hours will be a great review of the Anusara Method and Philosophy and will help all advanced teacher training students set a strong foundation and readiness for the rest of the program (while also earning 36 credit hours).
Teaching with a Theme
Teaching with a class theme is one of the hallmarks of Anusara yoga. Themes inspire both teacher and student by connecting the asana practice to a deeper meaning in yoga and life, yet after the Immersion and 100-Hour Teacher Training, teaching with a theme is often a challenge. In this module, we seek to share a group of simple but coherent methods to make our class themes authentic and powerful.
- Review theme, heart quality, and the main elements of a class plan built around a theme
- Practice ways to develop themes directly from personal experience and how to personalize the theme
- Review the main way that we “weave the theme/heart quality into the asana part of the class”, by relating theme to quality to Universal Principle of Alignment to asana
- Introduce other key ways to weave the theme into the asana part of class: mini-dharma talks, metaphors and imagery, storytelling, using an image from nature or the natural world,
- Introduce a suggested sequence for when to weave the theme into the flow of class
- Receive linear and graphic templates for creating a class plan with a theme
- Discuss challenges in teaching with a theme
- Share a compendium of great themes
Teaching with the Anusara Principles of Alignment
The Anusara Principles of Alignment are a key part of all Anusara Yoga classes and an integral part of the Level I Teacher Training (the 200 hours of the combined Immersion and Level 1 Teacher Training). At that level, the curriculum focus is on introducing the student teacher to the art and technique of teaching and cueing the principles of alignment in asana classes. What frequently happens is that, upon graduation from the Level I Teacher Training, the focus on cultivating a clear and powerful ability to teach with the Anusara Principles of Alignment is eclipsed, to a lesser or greater degree, by the many other factors and challenges that face new and even seasoned teachers of
Anusara Yoga such as learning how to develop an interesting theme and weave it into the asana part of class, how to talk students through the poses, learning to more keenly observe what all the students are doing and make skillful adjustments based on what we observe, honing the ability to sequence a class, and so on.
In this module, the curriculum focus is to review, overview, refresh and deepen understanding of the Anusara Principles of Alignment and focus on the how’s, why’s and when’s of practicing and teaching asana with the Universal Principles of Alignment, link the UPA’s to anatomy and kinesiology corollaries as well as to metaphor and poetic corollaries.
Sequencing is one of the most important skills required to teach an Anusara yoga class. Since we don’t have any prescribed sequences, we sequence asanas based on sequencing principles, which are in turn based on the biomechanics of the body and deep knowledge of asana.
The main topics covered in this module are:
- Key sequencing principles
- The two main ways to sequence an Anusara class: the “potpourri sequence”, and sequences that focus on a class of poses and that leads to an apex pose
- A review of the role of sequencing in creating a class plan (this will be a focus in the module titled “Teaching with a Theme”)
- The main part of the module is about how to sequence a class with a focus on the main classes of poses: standings, hip openers, backbends, forward bends, twists, arm balances, and inversions. We have suggested activities/exercises for the students to do to practice creating sequences.
- The other main topic of this module is sequencing for a class of beginners, a mixed level class, and an intermediate/advanced level class.
- Our last topic is Creating Course Curriculum – how to sequence a series of classes over a period of time.
Observation and Adjustments
The goal of this module is to deepen the ATT student’s understanding and practice of the art and skill of observation and adjustment in order to be more effective and confident in helping students organize their bodies in held postural alignment as well as in movement (vinyasa).
The outline of the content of this module is:
- Progressive Principles for “Seeing” our Students
- Remembering the First Principle
- Using a Basic Alignment Blueprint to Map Decisions
- Presence as Adjustment
- Verbal Adjustments
- Hands-On Adjustments & Progressive Principles of Adjustment such as Sensitivity & Stability
- Understanding Adjustments as Refinements/ Enhancements / Deepening
- Using clear and articulate language in tandem with adjustments –
- Using energetic and bio-mechanic intelligence
- Types of Adjustment & Principles of Adjustment
- Key Poses to Know How to Physically Adjust
In the Anusara 300-Hour Advanced Teacher Training, our main intention is to go deeper into the teachings and the practice of non-dual Tantra, the life-affirming philosophy that underlies all the teaching and practice of Anusara Yoga. We will focus on the reading and contemplation of the various texts possibly including: the Shiva Sutras, the Radiance Sutras (Vijnana Bhairava Tantra) and the Recognition Sutras (Pratyabijna Hrydaya)
Our main intentions for this module include:
- To begin with a brief review of the history of non-dual Tantra, focusing on a few main concepts to help us understand this amazing text.
- To study the main teachings of non-dual Tantra through a text, including the two main movements of Tantric thought: towards the center/Heart, which is an introversive or inward current of awareness and practice, the main practice being meditation, and secondly, towards the surface, which is an extroversive expansion of the experience of the Heart into daily life
- We’ll learn about some of the main Tantric practices, such as meditation, contemplation, expansion, recognition, remembrance, and moment-by-moment awareness/consciousness of our patterns of action and thought in daily life
- As often as possible, we will apply the philosophy to our teaching of asana with a class them. to support that aim we will spend some time in this module exploring ideas and ways to do that.
Functional Anatomy as it Applies to Yoga
Assumptions/parameters that underlie this module:
- We assume that the average teacher trainee will have a middle to rudimentary understanding of anatomy.
- We are not training medical professionals.
- Healthy bodies, not therapy for injured bodies – this isn’t a Therapeutic Adjustments workshop.
- Possible basic assessment of the actions and pose variations a student needs, but no diagnoses.
- Asana geared towards the health of the body
- Non-dual Tantra as the Foundation of Anusara Yoga on both a physical and philosophical level.
- Present the main movements possible in a human body, for example, flexion, extension, twisting, and asymmetrical poses (one leg forward and one back).
- With each main movement, we’ll discuss and practice these primary teaching skills.
- Knowledge of the primary and secondary places of movement in these main classes of poses
- Key observation points and verbal adjustments to get into a safe pose
- How to teach a safe class. Main precautions.
- Study how the parts of the body work together.
- Key actions to teach
- Explain the anatomy behind the main movements of the body and behind the UPA’s by focusing on the anatomy of the major joints.
- How to deal with some of the most common conditions we face in class.
From the beginning and until the second half of the 20th century, the main practice of yoga was meditation. Today, most of us begin yoga with the asana practice, and asana practice remains the main practice of Anusara yoga. Meditation is a wonderful complement and support for our hatha yoga practice, and for many becomes the central pillar of our sadhana.
This module covers four main topics:
- An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, including definitions, the theory behind the practice, a discussion about why we meditate with the benefits that are experienced on all levels of our being/all the koshas, how to practice, and the relationship of meditation to our other main practices.
- We introduce and practice teaching a simple 3-step template for teaching meditation, which we call “Creating Space for Meditation”, and a more complex 4-step template for teaching meditation.
- An activity about sharing our experiences that would be appropriate when there is more time available, like during a longer workshop.
- Using a Class Theme to Create a Meditation Dharana
Pranayama is a foundation to a well-rounded yoga practice and has profound benefits on every aspect of being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. There have been several scientific studies to support the yogic claims of the benefits of pranayama. Many traditional yogic texts make robust claims for its benefits but more important than scientific studies or claims of old texts is the practice you do yourself.
This Module reviews the Pranayama techniques introduced in the Anusara Immersions. The trainees have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of Prana, the Subtle Body as well as teach the different Pranayama techniques and to develop their own way of expressing their experience and understanding of Prana.
Anusara Methodology and Co-Mentoring
Anusara yoga has a specific methodology, as described in the Anusara Immersion Manual, the Anusara Teacher Training Manual, in the Anusara Level 1 Teacher Training Curriculum, and on the ASHY website. Many of these elements have been covered in the other required modules, but a few that have not been covered will be a part of this module.
Our intention is that students will take this module towards the end of their 300-Hour Advanced Teacher Training because it is designed to summarize the Anusara methodology and it includes a co-mentoring program that will prepare students for the class assessment element of the Anusara Certification program. So this module has two parts:
Part 1 is a minimum of 12 contact hours with three main intentions:
To cover the main elements of the Anusara method that are not covered in the other ATT modules, namely:
- Coordinating major movements and actions with the breath
- Guidelines for verbal instructions, such as plain, active, explicit, linking, giving direction
- Postural demonstrations
- Teaching with a clear and succinct theme
We also will be reading beforehand and working with the book Courage to Teach”
This module summarizes all that we have been studying about teaching Anusara yoga, and introduces the principles and practice the skill of mentoring, which will prepare the students for Part 2 of this Module.
Part 2 is a minimum of 12 contact or non-contact hours – depending on how the Lead Teacher schedules it. In this module we apply all that we have learned about teaching a class in the 300-Hour Advanced Teacher Training by being part of a co-mentoring program where students will work together to prepare for the Certification Video Assessment. This part is excellent prep for teaching whether or not one is going on to certification. But those who are not going on to certification can skip this and fill in with Elective hours.