The Four Cornerstones of Yoga
With both our ‘in person’ weekends and your ‘out of weekend’ study, our mission is to deliver comprehensive trainings so that you are ready to teach at the end of the course.
Every course is different, and the needs of you as a student will always dictate how and what we teach. Our syllabus is adaptable, which means that we focus on giving you understanding and confidence as a teacher rather than ticking off a checklist of ideas without fully understanding them.
Through the modules in the syllabus, we aim to give you an understanding of the four cornerstones of yoga, Awareness, Breath, Movement, & Rest.
You will explore these four cornerstones in their application to your own practice as well as learn how they shape what you teach.
Awareness means you will explore the meditative side of yoga, developing a mindful practice, and also bolster your knowledge to understand what really is yoga anyway.
- Traditional yoga meditation and modern developments.
- Developing a mindful practice.
- Practicing different types of meditation.
- How to teach meditation.
- What is yoga?
- The history of yoga.
- Modern yoga.
- Yoga philosophy.
You will explore the importance of breath in yoga, develop good breathing habits as well as look at traditional yogic breathing exercises.
Fundamentals of breath.
- Anatomy of breathing.
- Awareness of breath.
- Breath in yoga.
- Types of Pranayama.
- Theory & Practice.
- Teaching pranayama.
An important part of yoga, movement means that you will develop & improve your own physical practice in postures, as well as learn and understand the theory behind common types of movements in yoga, not only for yourself but also as a teacher.
Understanding the mechanics of movement.
- Fundamental Anatomy.
- Physiology of movement.
Getting inside the asanas.
- Anatomy & o postures.
- We cover 15 – 20 essential postures.
- You have space to learn more . . .
- Teaching the postures.
- Sun Salutations.
- Theory / practice.
- Dynamic movements in yoga.
- Teaching Vinyasa.
- Breath & Movement.
Often overlooked, rest is an important part of yoga and on the course you will spend time looking at and understanding what happens in yogic rest, so that you can competently guide others into states of deep relaxation.
The Physiology of Relaxation.
- Why we relax.
- Teaching relaxation.
- Yoga Nidra & Visualisations.
As well as the four cornerstones of yoga, you also develop your skills as a teacher and learn about the practicalities of teaching yoga.
- How to teach.
- Finding your voice.
- Opening and closing a class.
- Lesson planning.
- Theming a class.
- Peak Poses.
- Getting off the mat.
- Developing a course.
- Teaching experience.
Yoga as a business.
- Ethics / safety / preparation.
- Finding a niche.
- Marketing yourself.
- Teaching online.
In Between Training Weekends.
The course does not stop at the end of each weekend. As part of your course hours you are expected to complete one homework assignment each month. There is also an expectation that you will develop a dedicated self practice at your home, and you also have the optional of assisting Laurence at his public lessons.
- One 2 hour homework assignment each month. Practical / research based.
- Developing your practice at home, so that you feel confident in what you are teaching.
- Attending classes with other teachers, and reflecting on your experiences.
- Teaching at ‘real’ classes with Laurence.
- Getting real teaching experience
The above content will be delivered through specific modules.
History and Philosophy of Yoga
A discovery of where yoga comes from and the thinking behind it, Patanjali’s philosophy of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, including the Yamas and Niyamas, learning from teachers past and present and gaining insight into different forms and styles of yoga.
Anatomy & Physiology
in relation to teaching and practicing Yoga
Gaining a deeper understanding of the workings of your wonderful ‘Inner Space’. Even though we explore individual systems in the body (for example, the skeleton, fascia, the digestive system, respiration etc), we look at the body as a continuous network of aliveness, spending a great deal of time exploring the somatic / felt sense, especially relating to our spines. You’ll discover why your pinkie toe affects your neck, the jelly-fish concept, the wonderfulness of T12 and more. And most importantly, how your physical body dwells within your emotional, subtle and mental bodies.
There are dedicated anatomy-based workshops, however, you will find the anatomy weaves itself into all aspects of the course.
We also look at how to deal with some ‘common’ medical conditions that may present themselves in classes, such as arthritis, cardiac and respiratory issues and more.
Yogasana & Movement
Understanding the reasoning behind asana and ‘modern’ asana; questioning alignment ques by recognising, understanding and assessing different body types and abilities – why people look different in the same posture; learning gentle adjustments according to the individual’s needs, and understanding why asana isn’t the goal of yoga. You will often hear us say: it’s not what it looks like, it’s what it feels like. We encourage somatic movement, emphasizing internal physical perception and experience.
Breath and Pranayama
Looking into the subtlety and power of the breath and prana, and how the soft, quiet breathing from the Yoga Sutras can change our lives profoundly. We see how some ‘modern’ breath practices dovetail so perfectly with yoga breathing, and delve into safe and mindful ways to practice these various breathing techniques, including some pranayama practices.
Tantric & Hatha Yoga Elements
The juicy stuff of Yoga: Learning some Kriya from the Hatha Yoga tradition, getting in touch with your Bandhas, discovering the Pancha Koshas, understanding the Vayus, experiencing the vibrancy of the Chakras, the balancing of your Nadis… and inviting Kundalini to stir (perhaps even awaken).
Meditation and Guided Relaxation
In order that we might stop the whirlpools of internal chatter in our mind having power over us, we practice, compare and contrast meditation methods and techniques from different traditions. These include sense withdrawal, concentration, mudras and mantra, all of which can take your practice to the deeper levels.
Besides keeping you in balance in life, deepening your self-practice is also the key to your teaching. There will be times on your training and teaching career, and in life it’s self, that you may feel overwhelmed, and it’s these times that your own practice is so important. We spend precious time developing your intuition in your practice, so you become your own ‘guru’: listening to the beautiful song of your body, breath and mind.
We explore how to take yoga ‘off the mat’ and find out things of interest to you. Time is put aside on the course for research days, where we spend time with books and practice to develop your specific interests.
Relaxation & Yoga Nidra
Explore different relaxation techniques, so enabling a complete letting go in Savasana and in life. This includes the powerful meditation technique of Yoga Nidra (psychic sleep meditation) so that you can not only experience the power of using visualisation techniques, but also gain the tools and understanding to lead these meditations yourself.
Professional Practice & Yoga as a Business
This includes: Planning and Teaching Classes, Self Evaluation, Teaching as a Vocation, Health and Safety/Emergency Action Planning, Risk Assessments, Safeguarding, Legalities and the Business of Yoga.
By the end of the course you will have the tools to start up your yoga business and be a safe, relaxed, happy, confident & professional yoga teacher, teaching in a style of your choice.
Sometimes being a Yoga Teacher can feel very lonely, and as much as we try to prepare you for all eventualities that may arise when you start your teaching journey, inevitably something else may happen! We offer post qualification mentoring and support, where you are always welcome to contact us regarding any challenges that may arise in your teaching career.
We invite you to workshops and teacher get-togethers, and have a dedicated wats-app group for our teachers to share experiences and ask questions, so you never need to feel alone – you are always supported by like-minded yogary-folk.
We do require that you complete and log a minimum of 20 hours Continual Professional Development per year. Even though we do offer CPD, you do not need to complete this with us, as we’d be happy if you find workshops and courses that further your own interests. The details of CPD will be discussed on the course.
How we Track Your Progress.
There is no scary ‘final assessment task’ on the course, rather we monitor and assess your progress on an ongoing basis throughout the course. We consider every aspect and are here to support and guide your progress with regular feedback and mentoring to help you develop and grow. You are required to keep a personal journal, as there will probably be times when you might feel overwhelmed, and your journal, along with the mentoring, will show you how your journey is progressing. The main things that we consider and look at during your ongoing assessment are . . .
Development of your personal practice as training progresses:
Enjoying your personal practice is an important part of being a successful yoga teacher and we love to see the development of your personal practice throughout the course. you will need to participate in group discussions, and develop an ability to share your experiences with fellow trainees and course tutors. We recommend that you set aside minimum 4 hours per week for your own practice and study, and it’s important that family and friends understand this commitment too!
h’om’e work and assignments:
Each month you will receive a 2 hour homework assignment that you are required to complete in between the training weekends. These will not be lengthy written assignments as we appreciate you have a busy life. However these assignments will contribute to your assessment and are an important part of your journey.
At East of England Yoga School we spend a good deal of time developing your teaching skills, so by the time you start teaching professionally you will be well prepared. As part of your ongoing assessment you will be asked to submit a written plan for yoga course of your own development and/or a piece of reflective work. Alongside this you will also be asked to teach more than one class to members of the public during the course, which we will observe (don’t worry its not as scary as it sounds).
The choice of what you teach is yours. It is wonderful to see the different styles of teaching emerge.
Other Assessment info
We also ask that you observe and assist in classes, preferably with Brenda, Laurence and Ali if possible, or with your regular yoga teacher. This will be discussed on the course. There is an expectation that you attend and log at least 10 classes outside of your training to broaden your experience and knowledge of different classes and teaching styles.
Qualification is achieved with 100% attendance of modules, successful and mutually agreed completion of the ongoing assessment process, and the course fees paid in full.
We appreciate that despite our best endeavours, significant life events can sometimes interrupt the best laid plans. Therefore if you have good reason to miss a module, you may arrange with the tutors to complete the work outside of course hours. This may incur an additional cost to the student of £150 / day.