Anusara School of Hatha Yoga “300 Hour Advanced Teacher Training”
ASHY’s current curriculum and certification program has three steps:
- The Immersion: a 100-hour course of study and practice of Anusara Yoga
- The Level 1 Teacher Training: a 100-hour course study about teaching Anusara yoga
- The Anusara Elements license – complete the 200 hours of Immersion and Teacher Training and receive the recommendation of the training teacher. Qualifies for registration with Yoga Alliance at the RYT 200 level.
- The Anusara Inspired license – complete the Immersion and Teacher Training, two years of teaching experience after the Immersion and Teacher Training, and complete the evaluation of a class by a Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher. Qualifies for registration with Yoga Alliance at the RYT 200 level.
- The Certified Teacher license: complete an additional 300 hours of Anusara workshops and pass a written exam and the assessment of a class video of a class by an independent assessor. Qualifies for registration with Yoga Alliance at the RYT 500 level.
New 300-Hour Anusara Advanced Teacher Training (ATT)
We’re all very excited about our new 300-Hour Advanced Teacher Training, which along with the Immersion and Level 1 Teacher Training will comprise an integrated 500-hour Anusara Yoga Teacher Training Curriculum. After one or two years of transition the ATT will be the educational program that will prepare us for full certification to teach Anusara yoga.
Preparation for the certification assessment is part of the ATT curriculum but completion of the certification process will be separate.
The primary objective for the Advanced Teacher Training is to provide a platform for Anusara teachers to continue their education and training in two main areas:
- Teaching a high quality Anusara yoga class – to further develop, refine, and expand on the teaching skills that were introduced in the Level 1 Teacher Training, thus preparing Anusara Elements and Inspired teachers to pass the written exam and class video assessment to become Certified Anusara Teachers, and expand on their ability to provide an inspiring experience of Anusara yoga for all of their students.
- Deepen our experience, understanding, and practice through advanced training in asana, deeper experience of other yoga practices such as pranayama and meditation, and continue our studies in various related areas, such as with an important Tantric scripture, anatomy, and more yoga that is intended for some important groups.
The ATT curriculum includes
- 11 required modules, each one consisting of a minimum number of hours of class time, totaling 156 hours of class time plus 12 non-contact hours
- The rest of the hours can be fulfilled with elective modules or more of the required elements
A qualified certified Anusara yoga teacher can schedule to teach all or part of the ATT. They can offer each module as a stand-alone event or combine them in any way that supports their community of students. Students can take the different modules from any qualified certified Anusara yoga teacher, then they will submit an application to ASHY listing their hours.
The 11 Required Modules:
Teaching with a Theme – Minimum 12 contact hours
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. We will:
- 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, story telling, 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 Universal Principles of Alignment – Minimum 12 contact hours
The Universal Principles of Alignment are a key part of all Anusara Yoga classes and an integral part of the Level I Teacher Training. At that time, we introduced the student teacher to the art and technique of teaching and cueing the principles of alignment in asana classes; however, that was only the beginning in our study, training and practice of this essential Anusara teaching skill.
In this module, we will review, refresh and deepen our understanding of the UPA’s 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 – Minimum 12 Contact Hours
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 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
- 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 – Minimum 12 contact hours
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). What follows is an outline of the content of this module:
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). We will review the key principles of observation, and for offering verbal and physical adjustments, and learn the most useful adjustments for all of the poses we commonly teach and then some.
Anusara Methodology and Co-Mentoring – Minimum 12 contact hours & 12 non-contact hours
Anusara yoga has a specific methodology, as described in the Anusara Immersion Manual and the Anusara Teacher Training Manual. ATT 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 also introduce a co-mentoring program that will support the trainees in the Anusara certification program. This module has two parts:
- One weekend of class in which we conclude our advanced look at teaching the Anusara method, and introduce and practice ways to mentor a partner about their teaching, and
- A minimum of 12 non-contact hours in which you and a partner observe each other’s classes, either live or by video, and offer feedback. In this co-mentoring program, students apply all that they have learned about teaching a class in the 300-Hour Advanced Teacher Training and prepare for the Anusara Certification class assessment.
Philosophy – Minimum 24 contact hours
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 philosophy. This first year of the implementation of the ATT, we will focus entirely on reading one of the most respected primary texts of the high Tantra era: the Pratyabhijnahrdayam or “Heart of Recognition”.
- We 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.
- Then we study the main teachings of non-dual Tantra through this text.
- 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
- Often, we will practice applying these Tantric teachings to teaching with a class theme.
About our text:
- The Pratyabhijnahrdayam or “Heart of Recognition” is an early 11th century text written by Kshemaraja, the main student of Abhinavagupta, the premier sage of Kashmir Shaivism. This text’s 20 sutras present the essence of the Pratyabhijna school of Tantra, while also offering an overview of the main teachings and practices of non-dual Tantra.
Functional Anatomy as it Applies to Yoga – Minimum 24 contact hours
- Main objective: be able to teach a safe class.
- Study how the parts of the body work together in the practice of yoga postures
- 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
- Key actions to teach
- Main precautions.
- 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.
Some assumptions that underlie this module:
- We assume that the average student in this training (an Anusara Elements or Inspired teacher) does not have a lot of anatomy knowledge, so we intend to make the content accessible and useful to these students.
- We are not training medical professionals or even yoga therapists. Our teachers are working primarily with healthy bodies, so this will not be a Therapeutic Diagnosis and Adjustments workshop.
Teaching Meditation – Minimum 12 contact hours
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
Teaching Pranayama – Minimum 12 contact hours
Pranayama is foundational to a well-rounded yoga practice and has profound benefits on every level: 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.
Women and Yoga – Minimum 12 contact hours
Teachers of Anusara Yoga – whether they are male or female – should be educated about and sensitive to:
- The physiological differences and changes that a woman experiences in her body through her life cycle.
- Ways to make intelligent and honoring class plans, that may include appropriate modifications and recommendations.
The curriculum of this module includes information, inspiration and practical guidelines on the following subject areas:
- Perspectives on how Anusara Yoga is a uniquely powerful hatha yoga method, the principles of which honor, at a physiological and philosophical level –the emergence of the feminine in the Yoga world and on the planet.
- History of Hatha Yoga as a body of practices originally developed by men for men.
- Honoring the Sacred Feminine; practical and inspirational ideas for how to bring the subject forward in our classes.
- Avoiding insensitive language that might exclude women, men or transgender.
- Ethical Considerations
- Physiological and hormonal considerations for each of these phases, and practical considerations about yoga during each phase:
- Ovulation and Menstruation (Moon Cycle)
- Postpartum and Nursing
Yoga for Seniors – Minimum 12 contact hours
The “senior” segment of the population is expanding rapidly and many are embracing yoga as a key element of their lifestyle. In this module, we’ll prepare to teach senior students through:
- Contemplations as we prepare to teach senior students
- Personal Contemplations
- Cultural attitudes towards seniors
- Benefits of yoga for Senior Students
- Psychology of senior students
- Adapting Teaching Techniques for a class of Yoga for Seniors
- When teaching asana to Seniors, what to emphasize
- Anatomy & Physiology considerations
- Opportunities and Outreach to create opportunities for seniors
- A long list of chair poses, poses done with the support of a wall, and a list of recommended resources
Total of Required Hours: 156 contact hours and 12 non-contact hours = 168 required hours
Elective Modules: minimum of 6 hours each (we chose this number because an ATT teacher can do it in one day if she chooses, and at the same time, each of us is free to add more hours, but for purposes of working with Yoga Alliance we needed to set a minimum number of contact hours.)
We’re currently working on the electives. If anyone wants to write one, let us know.