Some students will become dedicated teachers and continue on the path of life-long study. By
working in the yoga field, they will be able to help people improve the quality of their lives,
disseminate a sorely needed sattvic influence, and be inspired and inspire others to seriously accept
yoga as a spiritual path. We encourage participants to respect their own integrity since personal
inspiration lies at the root of all yoga. In this spirit, we also facilitate those who may be drawn to
explore the path of bhakti in their individual practice.
Yoga Alliance does not formally certify students but rather keeps a register for anyone interested in
finding a certified teacher. The real value lies in the content of what is being taught. It is our
experience that even yoga practitioners who have been teaching for more than a decade still find
what we have to offer valuable.
That said, there are situations in which certificates are needed, for
example, when marketing, or when applying for a job as a yoga teacher. Certification is also
necessary for those who want to pursue further education and accreditation and register in
Quite simply, Yoga Alliance is currently widely recognized and has, to some extent,
managed to overcome sectarian disputes, such as a particular lineage claiming the monopoly on
Our online philosophy module is quite distinctive. One can study the basic ideas of yoga philosophy
in a classroom, yet through an online environment. This enables the students to receive the best
of both worlds. Since philosophy is mostly studied online, this affords more time for offering
maximum practical guidance onsite.
The philosophy module is also unique, as it presents a unified
understanding of the central ideas of Yoga-sutra and Bhagavad-gita, which despite their different
emphases, share much common ground. The philosophical ethos in modern yoga is mainly
influenced by neo-Advaita-Vedanta, as well as by Buddhism.
While there are historical reasons for
this, those lines of thought work better on their own and are not quite suited for understanding the
Yoga-sutra and Bhagavad-gita. To understand the central ideas of these texts, we need to approach
the traditional commentaries and see what kinds of possibilities open up.
The insights contained in
the commentarial traditions are quite remarkable. Furthermore, in living traditions, the theory is always
connected to practice. The online module will have a two-fold focus on introducing important
philosophical concepts and suggestions concerning how these can be practically implemented.
Hence we try to avoid ‘armchair philosophy’, which is not suitable to yoga’s practical approach. One
could, of course, study the module simply out of intellectual curiosity.
We introduce the basic techniques of mantra meditation, which involve personal (japa) and group
(kirtan) chanting. Despite its popularity, kirtan is rarely directly connected to a bona fide lineage
(parampara), although some branches of modern yoga do have strong Vaishnava influences.
Krishnamacarya and Iyengar are followers of Ramanuja, whereas Swami Kuvalyananda’s guru was a follower of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. While it would not be correct to say that our program is the first
to find its main inspiration in Vaishnava bhakti, what we offer is certainly exceptional.
The setting is highly conducive, and the instructors have vast experience in teacher training. It is also
somewhat rare that our presentation of yoga techniques does not require students to be aligned
with a particular modern yoga brand.
We share tools that work and can be used in many different
contexts. In addition, even though kirtan’s popularity is escalating in the yoga world, we propound it
as it is taught by an authentic line of teachers, thus offering students direct contact with a genuine
chain of spiritual transmission.
It is interactive, with three yoga teachers offering specialized guidance. We teach the correct
techniques safely, at a slow pace, and in great detail. We examine the exercises from various
vantage points rather than going through them mechanically. This is a pedagogically demanding and
rewarding approach, and suitable for whoever wants to go beyond surface learning. We also learn to
use props where appropriate.
As on any path involving physical exercise, yoga is not risk-free.
Competence in using correct techniques and methods of protection is essential for one’s own
practice, and even more so in your role as a teacher. This is also in pursuance of the ideal of non-
violence (ahimsa), which is an essential yoga principle.
This focus on safety and anatomy is further heightened when Emma, our specialist in prenatal and
therapeutic yoga, takes over. Her competence in these fields is a great asset. If teachers do not have
a realistic understanding of both the benefits and risks of intense yoga practice, they may
unwittingly end up causing harm to themselves and/or their students.
A central feature in asana practice is the use of the wall, which may be less prominent but
nevertheless really valuable. It initially aids practitioners in the experience of prolonged inversions,
which in turn are directly conducive to meditation. The essential point is that all the physical tools
and practices are meant to aid mental focus, and ultimately, self and God-realization.
When one performs the physical practices with correct technique and slow breathing, the change
that takes place in one’s state of mind is conducive to meditation. Although the physical aspects of
yoga are not in themselves enough to achieve the non-material goal of self or God realization, yoga
asanas, and pranayama support spiritual practice.
Recognizing the well-being and peace of mind that
an appropriate practice of yoga provides, we also directly acquaint the course participants with
spiritual practices, particularly mantra meditation.
No, but it gets you started. However, many of our students have reported that after the initial
training, they were able to teach students who had been practicing longer than themselves. Still,
after the course, you should continue studying and learning, both for developing your competence
as a teacher and for your personal practice.
It depends on what you have already learned. All trainers have the experience that some of their
best students have already been active in the profession. A teacher is always a student, and learning
never stops. You may consult our teachers personally to assess whether what you have already
studied overlaps with our program or whether our course can help you upgrade and learn new skills.
Yes, but it is low compared to others. Considering the comprehensive module on philosophy aligned
with the availability of personal interaction with competent teachers, we are confident that the
the program offers essential skills for moving forward on the path of life-long learning.
Altogether, our three teachers have over fifty years of strong yoga practice. Janne is renowned for
his work in Slow Yoga and for conveying classic yoga philosophy in contemporary language. Emma is
a specialist in prenatal yoga and physiotherapeutic application.
Jan Simak is an accomplished student
of Mahayogi Gokulcandra (Jani Jaatinen). The teachers’ combined competence offers an opportunity
for abundant learning.
That depends on the particular health issue. Most practitioners have challenges of some kind, and
that is not an impediment to practicing yoga. That said, we do not advocate yoga as a cure for all
problems. One needs to consult competent medical practitioners, and their advice should take
Yes. However, to become certified, it is necessary to receive approval for yoga philosophy as well.
Without a solid understanding of what one is doing, practicing yoga is like driving a car with neither
map nor a destination.
The same goes for teaching it to others. There is a real need in the
contemporary yoga world for a clear understanding of the central ideas behind yoga, and our TT has
a particular focus on sharing these basics.
Yes. Yoga is open to matters related to faith. However, we do teach basics in bhakti yoga-like mantra
meditation and we introduce the central ideas of Bhagavad-gita.
Yet our major focus is to train students to develop professional competence in practicing yoga, which can be combined with any
worldview in line with yoga’s central ideals, such as non-violence and respect for each and every
Yes. TT is ideal for learning effective, safe, and advanced technical skills for one’s personal practice.
Whether or not one wants to share this with others is an individual choice. There is some training in
teaching skills, which is not obligatory if one does not want to become a certified teacher.
Hatha yoga is a type of yoga where physical exercise is the predominant tool for practice. Astanga-yoga refers to an eight-limbed practice that is predominantly meditative in nature. It is described in texts such as Yoga-sutra, Yoga Yajnavalkya, Bhagavata Purana, and Vishnu Purana. Hatha Yoga is designed for people who are not yet ready to do long meditative practices.
In modern yoga, the terms hatha yoga and ashtanga yoga are often used in a confusing manner, without reference to historical and traditional understanding.
Vinyasa in the context of hatha yoga refers to physical practices that are bound together with breath, sometimes incorporating movement from one posture to another.
After this background overview, we are now ready to examine your question more closely.
The morning practice consists of asanas. Asanas are part of hatha yoga. They are also related to two of the eight limbs of ashtanga-yoga. They are related to niyama, where the sub-topic tapas (austerity) can include the practice of physical postures. And, they of course fall under the heading of asana itself, the third limb. However, when we analyze how the Yoga sutra discusses asana, it becomes clear that the main reference is too meditative postures held for a long period of time. Asana-siddhi, or perfection of asana, is achieved when one stays immovable in one posture for several hours. In classic hatha yoga, however, asanas are expanded to include postures that probably no one ever did for hours on end. In hatha yoga, therefore, it seems that asana is more akin to what is described as tapas in ashtanga-yoga.
Since the question probably assumes the names used in modern yoga, we can note that in modern parlance hatha yoga tends to be used in reference to a calm and still practice, whereas vinyasa refers to the dynamic practice, and astanga yoga is used to refer to a series of practices where some postures are bound together with a series of movements, often referred to as vinyasa.
In our program, we start with a vinyasa type of practice in the morning asana class. We then proceed towards increasing the application of stillness. We use the vinyasa type of approach wherever it is appropriate. We specifically do not promote any modern brand of yoga. The training is meant to provide tools for practitioners to be used under a host of modern yoga types.
If there is an underlying concern, that the practice is physically demanding, then the answer is that the level of physical challenge is on moderate level. One should not come to the program unprepared. One needs to be accustomed to the daily practice of asanas.