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Costa Rica’s richness of nature, ocean, and sunshine will support you as you will journey through the Kula Collective's 200-hour yoga teacher training by the beach near Playa Hermosa. This immersion course allows you to eat, sleep, breathe, and yoga. From the moment the sunrise meets the jungle, your day will flow between and so much more. Deepen your practice through this holistic and powerful journey.
At Vida Asana, you will be staying in comfortable rooms, each with their own bathroom. Vida Asana's open-air jungle yoga shala allows nature’s symphony and natural beauty to create the perfect meditative backdrop to your practice. Vida Asana has a beautiful pool, spacious sundeck with lounge chairs and umbrellas, and many hammocks.
On the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, you will explore the natural rhythms of the space between the jungle and ocean. The continuous cycle of the waves matches the cycle of breath, as you connect to your own life force and release that which stagnates the flow. You will explore yoga, surfing, and your own spirit in this tropical paradise.
The Kula Flow is a slow Vinyasa-based sequence with an emphasis on mindfulness, breath, meditation and alignment. Vinyasa means to intellectually place or arrange in a special way. Kula Collective will make sure that you have a solid foundation and understanding of the poses with equal importance on the transition from one posture to another.
Kula Collective understands that the physical practice is a vehicle to the mental as well as emotional work that comes up and helps you to reflect on how you move through your lives, encouraging fluidity and awareness. When you align the body, you can easily access the alignment of the mind and spirit. Since Vinyasa is not derived from any one lineage, as a collective you will have to come up with a creative sequence rooted in multiple traditions.
The Kula Flow has roots in Ashtanga, Sivananda, Kundalini, Hatha and Iyengar. The intention of the flow is to give you an opportunity to access the stillness of the mind, preparing the body for meditation or the foundation of yoga. It is important that the practice has an intention based on a yogic philosophy that can be weaved throughout the class while still giving you space in your practice to explore any resistance that may surface so you can ultimately find lightness in your body and mind. You will dive deep into the 4 traditional paths of the following yoga:
The Kula Flow is a philosophical journey through the 8 limbs of yoga inspired by the teachings of the ancient sage Patanjali. Sutra literally means to thread, so you will experience this weaving of these important concepts throughout the class, leaving you with a better sense of yourself.
The Kula Flow will provide an experience to look inward and fulfill your soul’s purpose. It will encourage you to find contentment in the present moment. When in the flow, you will recognize that there is nowhere you need to be and go. This moment will be entirely perfect exactly as it will be.
It is through the experience of yoga in the daily flow that Kula Collective understands the infinite nature of your being where you will reach beyond the boundaries of individual lives, experience and touch the unity that is yoga. Each morning you will wake in silence to meditate as the sun rises, flowing into the internal experience of pranayama and asana as well as living a daily intention through the practice and discussion.
The classes will be held in beautiful and inspiring spaces. They will be led by an open and informative guide that encourages interaction as well as group participation. You will spend the day communicating from the heart, discovering new parts of yourself and the world, releasing the Guru within.
The Chakana will provide the backbone of your experience alongside the yogic and Quechua Chakra system which will lead you through the lower, middle as well as upper worlds of study and self-discovery in the 3 cycles of the program. Each cycle will progress on the last, leading you through a medicine cycle of learning and healing.
You will take the eight day of the cycle off to rest and finish at lunch on the fourth day for a half-day of self-sadhana (spiritual practice). You will meet on alternate evenings for Satsang, traditional Indian gathering, sacred sharing circle and you will open as well as close each cycle with a sacred ceremony.
Each morning will be spent to share daily intention and philosophy through Kula Collective's art of living component followed by comprehensive lectures on yogic theory and holistic healing practices in art of healing. The afternoon will be devoted to the art of sharing yoga, interactive workshops that break down the art of teaching and practice, giving you the opportunity to teach right from the first class.
For the first half of the training during both the morning practice and the afternoon workshops, you will share the Kula Flow, Kula Collective's unique sequence. During the second half, you will cover creative sequences that build upon what you have already learned.
Throughout all, you will create sacred space for sharing and celebrate your connection through Bhakti yoga (the yoga of devotion) in the form of traditional Indian Kirtan and sacred medicine songs from around the world.
You will follow the yogic and vegetarian diet which purifies your practice from the inside out, eating your meals with the same reverence and mindfulness that Kula Collective applies at each step. You will meditate as you breathe, bend, dance and laugh your way through the experience. Kula Collective allows their practice to be a ceremony, each time.
During the training you will wake up while the sun rises and experience the beauty and serenity in the midst of a tropical setting. You will end with meditation or Satsang (wise gathering) to contemplate and reflect on your sadhana (spiritual practice) of the day. Living with the rhythms of the earth and embracing the fullness of the practice, you will grow into yourself and life.
For full school days, you will follow the following detailed schedule. On half days (fourth day of each cycle), you will open with a morning's rest, Restorative / Yin class and a workshop to deepen your understanding of the Chakras associated with the 'world' you are working in and the rest of this day will be free. You will meet for evening gathering every other day.
Kula Collective's yoga teacher training is a holistic program based on the understanding that to understand yoga, you must first understand self, body, mind and spirit. The Chakana, or Andean Cross, will act as the guide and foundational structure for the course, encompassing a lower world, middle world and upper world that each focus on different types of movement, diet and meditation.
The levels will allow you to move up through the layers of our self-understanding, to reveal the wise and light-filled beings that you are. Kula Collective brings to life the ancient teachings of yoga through accessible spiritual lessons, a solid foundation in yogic philosophy and a daily yoga practice called The Kula Flow. Every day, the teachings will flow through each of the four arts including art of teaching, art of healing, art of living and art of practice.
The Yoga Alliance has set a widely-accepted international standard for yoga teacher training (YTT) programs which includes a minimum of 180 contact hours across five areas of teaching: techniques, philosophy / lifestyle / ethics, teaching methodology, anatomy and a teaching practicum.
Asana, pranayama and Kriya techniques will be taught as well as practiced. Then, you will practice teaching them to your peers. There will be time to develop your own asanas, learn about benefits, checkpoints and contraindications as well as to teach and assist peers during group teaching sessions. Group teaching means that you will form a circle as each participant demonstrates and teaches one asana while others either perform the technique or assist their peers (contact hours: 100).
A variety of asanas from the following groups of asanas will be taught including gentle beginner and intermediate variations. You will be taught how to enter and exit a pose, how to use the breath in the asana, checkpoints for alignment, benefits and contraindications for the asana as well as how to assist students in the pose.
Standing and balancing asanas, forward bends, back bends, side bends, twisting poses, crouching as well as seated poses, poses on the abdomen, poses on the back, inverted poses and meditation poses.
You will also learn how to adapt the techniques for specific ages, levels, some ailments and in the case of pregnancy. You will learn warm-up techniques and relaxation poses including the importance of deep breathing in relaxation to prevent muscle fatigue and the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles.
IAs a teacher trainee, you will learn the form, benefits and contraindications of the following pranayama techniques as well as when to incorporate them into the class and how to introduce pranayama techniques including abdominal breathing, the 3-part breath, Ujjayi pranayama, Brahmari pranayama, Anuloma Viloma and Kapala Bhakti pranayama. You will learn how to perform these pranayamas with the bandhas and with relatively short breath retention (Kumbhaka) when appropriate.
In order to perform the retention in the above breathing techniques, it is necessary to teach and learn Mula Bandha, Jalandhara Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha, the latter also being instrumental to Kriyas such as Nauli. The purpose of the bandhas will be discussed in its relation to the uniting of Prana and Apana to channel them into the Shushumna Nadi.
You will learn the following Kriyas, Jal Neti, Jal Kapalabhati, Agni Sara, and Tratak as well as their benefits primarily for their own practice and later how to introduce the Kriya to a class.
In the theory section, the goal and paths of yoga will be discussed, thereby leading to the concept and techniques of meditation. Guided meditation will be explored, including creative visualization, meditation using yantra, mantra, ideation, Ishta Chakra and the withdrawal of the senses from external objects. You will be guided in choosing a mantra for meditation.
You will explore the idea of mantra as a mystical energy encased in a sound structure in relation to both Saguna (Nama) mantras and Nirguna mantras such as Om. You will learn to chant and present yogic mantras for the beginning and / or ending of yoga classes (such as the Shanti mantra or the Jyothi mantra). Bija mantras for purifying the chakras will also be explored including the timing and procedure for using these mantras in meditation.
During the transformational experiences evening program, you will delve into the practice of both Nama and abstract Kirtan as well as Vedic mantras such as the Gayatri mantra, the Mahamrityunjaya (healing) mantra, the Shanti mantra, the Loving-kindness mantra and the Akhanda mantra. Transformational experiences will also include some rituals, sharing, healing circles and creative movement.
Kula Collective's program attributes quite a bit of emphasis to this section, as they believe that Western students of yoga tend to focus more thoroughly on the physical aspects of yoga such as alignment, health benefits, etc. than on the philosophical base and framework of yoga including the practice of yoga off the mat. This section will introduce yoga psychology and philosophy through discussions on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras chapters 1 and 2.
You will present sutras and also use pair work and group work discussions to give you the opportunity to explore how these sutras relate to the practice as well as how they live their lives. Patanjali’s 8-fold path is the climax of chapter 2, and you will offer concrete examples of how to implement Yamas and Niyamas in daily lives. You will have the opportunity to discuss their understanding and experience with these yogic guidelines.
You will also be guided to see the interrelationship of all of the 10 principles as well as the interrelationship of the different paths of yoga. The paths (Bhakti, Karma, Raja and Jnana) will also be introduced in both a philosophical and practical light (contact hours: 30).
Kula Collective will present and compare yogic and Ayurvedic concepts of nutrition as well as those of daily cleansing rituals, self-massage and other practices.
As a natural extension of the 10 principles (Yamas and Niyamas) as well as the discussions on teaching methodology, you will flow into a discussion of professionalism and ethics in the teaching profession in general and the yoga profession in particular. Kula Collective will present their Statement of Professional Standards and discuss as a group the importance of having and maintaining codes of professional standards.
Practical teaching methodology includes how to demonstrate, observe, cue and assist students. This will be integrated with the techniques class. You will model the importance of language used to describe entry, maintaining and exciting poses.
For example, in the forward bend, the image of “surrendering the body to the force of gravity” is a useful and gentle image as is “inhale release slightly, exhale and sink into the pose, feel the pulse of the pose” as opposed to “pull” or “push” style language.
Theoretical discussions of methodology (pedagogy) aim to explore how to become a transformational facilitator or teacher rather than just an instructor. This includes such topics as the art of sequencing, creating a safe space, establishing a student-centered class, managing group dynamics, language and cueing, the ethics of assisting, and creating a yogic environment for learning (including the dress of the teacher, yogic colors, the direction of the class etc).
You will also discuss qualities that will be instrumental to them as teachers (contact hours: 25).
In the 20 hours of anatomy and physiology class, you will be learning both about the physical system and the subtle body.
This class aims to teach you about anatomy and how it relates to yoga. The teachers and you will be guided by resources such as Anatomy and Asana as well as The Anatomy of Movement. Subjects will include the study of the skeleton, muscles and joints, the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system as well as the endocrine system and how they are benefited by yoga.
Subtle anatomy is the yogic teaching regarding the 3 bodies, the physical body, the astral body and the causal body as well as the 5 corresponding sheaths and the yogic techniques that purify each sheath. Further, the concept of nadis and chakras will be explored. The shape, location, associated glands and characteristics of each chakra will be explored.
This subject will be complemented by the practical meditation sessions and chanting sessions which will explore meditating as well as chanting to purify the chakras. It will also complement the discussion of the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna nadis that is intrinsic to any discussion of pranayama as well as the bandhas.
In the first half of the program, you will be gradually introduced to teaching by teaching peers each pose or mini-sequence in the techniques class. This will progress towards teaching one pose or mini-sequence to the whole group ‘Group Teaching’. In the second half of the course, you will teach 2 classes to a peer. Each class will be 90 minutes long. You will then get 15 minutes of feedback from your peers and the trainer.
The first round will be a set of Kula flow sequence, the second round will be a beginner or intermediate level class where you will be required to create and sequence your own class holistically around a theme of your choice (contact hours: 22 including 5 hours of teaching a partner, small group and classes)
This unique YTT course includes optional surfing adventures. You may find your balance on and off the mat. Regardless if you surf or not, you may enjoy the cleansing of the ocean breeze and waves.
Kula Collective will also take trips deeper into the jungle as well as engage in ocean-side reforestation projects to give back to the sacred lands that hold you through this journey.
Vida Asana is conveniently located 90 minutes from Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), just outside of Jacó on beautiful Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. Situated between the lush tropical beauty of the jungle and world famous beaches of Playa Hermosa, the location provides easy access to a variety of activities, excursions, restaurants, and shopping, yet offers a peaceful jungle setting to repose.
Please book your flight to arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).
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