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Come join Kula Collective and awaken the power of your spirit while living in a conscious living community overlooking the incredible Lake Atitlan in the western highlands of Guatemala. This training will provide you with a strong foundation in yogic practice and philosophy and a fresh perspective on life. Step away from your life and come closer to your calling through connecting to your heart and embracing the oneness within all paths as the realization of the self.
During the training course, you will be accommodated at The Yoga Forest. The retreat center was founded as a sustainable living experiment, through a desire for living simply, greenly, and in communion with the surroundings.
Terraced into the side of a cliff, The Yoga Forest is a 25-minute hike up into the valley from Lake Atitlán. To escape to the lush tropical food forest, please travel with a backpack, organic soaps, a head torch, and a spirit of adventure.
Enjoy the peace and tranquility of mountains looking out over Lake Atitlán towards volcanoes San Pedro, Toliman, and Atitlán. Treat yourself in the tropical food forest and enjoy amazing views, comfortable beds, delicious vegetarian meals, yoga and permaculture classes, and friendly community living.
The Yoga Forest has many different accommodations.
Ganesh loft is built into the cliff wall. The loft is made with bamboo, cypress, and a palma roof, looking over the lake and volcanoes. It has a low to the ground queen size bed, antique Guatemalan furniture, Mayan fabrics, and Indian textiles.
Shiva yoga loft is an open aired bamboo loft in the beautiful yoga shala, next to the waterfall and cliffs. It’s a semi private space with a queen size bed for one or two people.
Looking out over Lake Atitlán and its surrounding volcanoes, cabaña indra accommodates up to four people, either in four large single beds or two king-sized beds. Using natural building techniques, it is constructed with a bamboo frame, cypress loft, palma roof, and natural adobe walls. The beds are comfortable, with warm feather duvets and pillows, and decorated with Peruvian shipibo fabrics and Guatemalan cushions.
The first naturally built cabaña at The Yoga Forest, cabaña rama was created using traditional Mayan bahareque building. Local hardwood and weeping bamboo framing are finished with an earthen plaster and earthen floor.
With wonderful views of Lake Atitlán, cabaña rama accommodates up to four people, either in four large single beds or one king size bed and two large singles. The beds are comfortable with warm feather duvets and pillows, and decorated with Peruvian shipibo fabrics and Guatemalan cushions.
The newest cabaña at The Yoga Forest, cabaña Lakshmi is a cypress lodge perched atop one of one of the highest points of the property. With amazing views of Lake Atitlán, Cabaña Lakshmi consists of two separate floors accommodating two in the lower room and four in the upper room.
The beds are comfortable with warm feather duvets and pillows. The rooms are colorfully decorated with Peruvian shipibo and Indian fabrics and Guatemalan cushions.
This teacher training program is the opportunity for you to immerse yourself in the magic of the forest as you uncover your true teacher, embracing incredible natural beauty and the power of the elements, allowing you to access the deep wisdom within.
This program has been carefully designed to incorporate 200 intensive hours using the Kula Collective signature structure of the Andean cross, allowing a transformative journey through the lower, middle, and upper worlds of the high Andean tradition. Each of the worlds has a different focus - knowledge and wisdom, work and service, and love and beauty.
This course will provide you with a holistic foundation of yoga including a brief introduction to the history and traditional paths and the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga before moving into a focus in anatomy and exploration of asana through the Kula basic flow and its asana analysis.
Once you feel confident with the Kula basic flow, you will begin to deepen your understanding of the self, through study of yoga philosophy, cleansing, and ceremony.
You will learn teaching methodology in order to enable you to create balanced and holistic classes to a variety of levels as you explore the Kula signature sequences and then creatively sequence your own classes.
Kula Collective’s yoga teacher training is a holistic program based on the understanding that to understand yoga you must first understand the self - body, mind, and spirit.
The chakana, or Andean cross, acts as the guide and foundational structure for the course, encompassing a lower world, middle world, and upper world that each focuses on different types of movement, diet, and meditation. The levels allow you to move up through the layers of your 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.
The Kula flow is a slow Vinyasa-based sequence with an emphasis on mindfulness, breath, meditation, and alignment.
The Kula flow is 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 which is the foundation of yoga.
During this training, you will dive deep into the four traditional paths of yoga.
The Kula flow is a philosophical journey through the eight 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 provides an experience to look inward and fulfill your soul’s purpose. It encourages you to find contentment in the present moment. When in the flow, you recognize that there is nowhere you need to be, there is nowhere you need to go.
Everyday, the teachings will flow through four arts:
At this 200-hour teacher training, the focus is on giving you the best foundational understanding of yoga possible in the time available. In asana, this means the emphasis on the correct alignment, muscular engagement, and breathing.
You will be introduced to Kula flow, a dynamic, slow Vinyasa sequence that is highly adaptable and contains many of the building blocks you will need to make your own sequences. Students in your class will benefit from this extra focus on anatomical alignment within asana, as well as the step-by-step guide to physical and energetic Thai massage-based adjustments.
Through this art of teaching, you will:
This 200-hour yoga teacher training will give you the opportunity for deep self-healing through personal discovery practices, group exercises, intentional discussion, and sacred ceremony.
The training also offers a wide selection of teachings on complementary health practices, including but not limited to Ayurveda, nutrition, massage, Thai massage, energetic healing, tai chi, chakra cleansing, herbal healing, and the yogic diet.
The art of healing component of the curriculum allows you to reveal your wisest self and to unveil your true calling as a healing practitioner and as sharer of an ancient wellness practice. Through this component, you will:
As you come together in the group training, you will explore the art to living well through examining both your own understanding of the art of living and that of the ancient sages.
Through the study of the yoga sutras, modern yoga’s foundational text, as well as the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads, you better come to understand the true nature of the self and your place in the world.
Through the discussion of the art of living, you will:
This 200-hour yoga teacher training places an emphasis on the experiential face of yoga by living your practice as a group - beginning and ending each day with a form of meditation and daily connection to your asana and pranayama.
Each morning, you will wake in silence to meditate as the sun rises, flowing into your internal experience of pranayama and the Kula flow - the unique sequence. As you continue to expand through your teaching, you creatively work with this flow and feel what it is to open up your boundaries as you are guided into deepening your personal practice through meditation, pranayama, and asana.
You will follow the yogic, vegetarian diet, which purifies your practice from the inside out. You will eat your meals with reverence and you open and close your space with Om, the universal sound. You meditate as you breathe, walk, dance, and laugh your way through your experience and you allow your practice to be a ceremony each time.
Through this art of practicing and embodying yoga, you will:
Asana, pranayama, and kriya techniques will be taught and practiced. You will practice teaching them to your peers. There will be time to develop your own asanas, learn about the benefits, checkpoints, and contraindications, as well as to teach and assist your peers during the group teaching sessions. Group teaching means that you as a group form a circle and each participant demonstrates and teaches one asana while the others either perform the technique or assist their peers.
A variety 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, and how to assist your students in the pose.
Categories of asana include standing and balancing asanas, forward bends, back bends, side bends, twisting poses, crouching and 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.
You will learn the form, benefits, and contraindications of the various pranayama techniques, as well as when to incorporate them into the class and how to introduce pranayama techniques.
The techniques include abdominal breathing, the three-part breath, ujjai pranayama, brahmari pranayama, anuloma viloma, and kapalabhati 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 breathing techniques, it is necessary to teach and learn mula bandha, jalandhara bandha, and uddiyana bandha. The latter is 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 types of kriyas, their benefits, primarily for their own practice, and later how to introduce the kriya to a class. The types include jal neti, jal kapalabhati, agni sara, and tratak.
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 the 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 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.
This section will introduce yoga psychology and philosophy through the discussions on Patanjali’s yoga sutras, chapters one and two. The trainers will present sutras and also use pairwork and group work discussions to give you the opportunity to explore how these sutras relate to your practice and how you live your lives.
Patanjali’s eight-fold path is the climax of the chapter two and the trainers will offer concrete examples of how to implement yamas and niyamas in your daily lives. You will have the opportunity to discuss your understanding and experience with these yogic guidelines.
You will also be guided to see the interrelationship of all of the ten 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.
There will be a presentation and comparison of yogic and Ayurvedic concepts of nutrition as well as those of daily cleansing ritual, self-massage, and other practices.
As a natural extension to the ten 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 the 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 also model the importance of language used to describe entry and maintaining and exiting poses.
The theoretical discussions of methodology (pedagogy) aim to explore how to become a transformational facilitator or a teacher rather than just an instructor. This includes such topics including the art of sequencing, creating a safe space, establishing a student-centered class, managing group dynamics, language and cuing, the ethics of assisting, and creating a yogic environment for learning. You will also discuss qualities that will be instrumental to you as a teacher.
In the 20 hours of anatomy and physiology class, you will be learning both about the physical system and the subtle body.
In physical anatomy class, you will learn anatomy and how it relates to yoga. The subjects will include the study of the skeleton, muscles and joints, the cardio-vascular system, the respiratory system and the endocrine system, and how they are benefited by yoga.
In the subtle anatomy class, you will explore the yogic teaching regarding the three bodies, the physical body, the astral body, and the causal body, as well as the five corresponding sheaths, and the yogic techniques that purify each sheath.
The concept of nadis and chakras will also 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 and chanting to purify the chakras. It will also complement the discussion of the ida, pingala, and shushumna nadis that is intrinsic to any discussion of pranayama and the bandhas.
In the first half of the program, you will be gradually introduced to teaching by teaching your 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 each teach two classes to a peer. Each class will be 90 minutes long. You will get 15 minutes of feedback from your peers and from the trainer.
The first round will be a set Kula flow sequence, the second round will be a beginners or intermediate level class where you are required to create and sequence your own class holistically around a theme of your choice.
The program is a 25-day course, using the chakana as the foundational structure. This means the course is separated into lower, middle, and upper worlds. The lower world represents the physical, the middle world reflects the mental and emotional, and the upper world involves the energetic or spiritual realm, leading you on a true journey from the head to the heart. Uncover and let go of the layers and step into a more awakened state of being to sit in the seat of your soul.
You will spend eight days in each world, broken down into two half-cycles of three days, with a half-day on day four to apply these practices to modern day living, and a full day off on day eight to live your spiritual practice.
For full school days you will follow the detailed schedule below. On half days, 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, with the rest of this day free. You will meet the group for evening gathering every other day.
The training will consist of 25 days, 18 full training days, three half days, and two full days off, plus opening and closing on the first and last days.
This teacher training program will be held in a small Mayan village of San Marcos la Laguna, near Lake Atitlan in the western highlands of Guatemala. It has become a Mecca for international travelers attracted by its beauty, tranquility, and diverse options for spiritual exploration and therapy.
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During the training course, you will be served three meals per day. The food served during the training course is sourced from the organic gardens and local producers.
There is professional massage, wellness counseling, and various therapies available in The Yoga Forest for an additional cost.
Please book your flight to arrive at La Aurora International Airport (GUA). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request.
Private shuttles are highly recommended and can be arranged for a direct service from Guatemala City to San Marcos La Laguna for a cost of 110 USD.