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Sushumna Yoga is a highly respected yoga school founded by Sonja Appel, who has over 25 years of yoga and pilates experience. It is accredited by Yoga Alliance USA (YA) (RYS 200) (recognized internationally).
Sonja has devised her own practice in yoga called Sushumna which is a carefully worked out vinyasa flow, that allows you to do the asana practice as a meditation and in the process, it helps to unleash your own innate, kundalini Shakti. The flow is spontaneous and Sonja mixes up the postures in interesting ways, with the help of inspiring music.
Sushumna Yoga is located in the leafy village of Assagao. The school offers a rich and diverse programme of workshops and teacher trainings plus high calibre drop-in classes. The school also conducts residential programs at different locations in Goa, India & abroad.
All of the rooms are based on double sharing. But if you would like your own room then that is possible at extra cost.
The level 1 teacher training of Sushumna Yoga is a combination of continuous assessment plus a written test. During the whole course, reading and small amounts of written work are set. Graduation from Sushumna Yoga School and Studio is not a given. All of the areas included in the course must be completed and passed by an individual before his or her certificate is issued.
Sushumna Yoga teacher training covers Asana, philosophy, Anatomy, and Physiology, Pranayama, Meditation, japa, Mantra, Kirtan, and includes a group mentoring.
The course aims to train dedicated yoga practitioners to teach confidently and safely from their own self-enquiry and experience. All students are encourage to find their own unique teaching style as the course unfolds. Below is a breakdown of the course:
Four key elements
Rigorous development of each students own Asana practice including essentials of Pranayama and Meditation
Comprehensive foundation in Yoga Philosophy and a good grounding in Anatomy and Physiology pertaining to yoga
Teaching expertise like articulation, presenting skills, and the art of adjusting
Essential insight into the Yoga business and setting up as a teacher
On graduation each student will receive:
Certificate of completion from Sushumna
Eligibility for Yoga Alliance (USA, RYT 200) (internationally recognized)
Eligibility for Yoga Alliance International (India based)
Unique points of Sushumna Yogas course:
Daily Mysore self-practice as taught by the late Shri K Patt bhi Jois, Mysore, India and Sushumna Vinyasa flow classes.
Course is not integrated with drop-in classes or other students not on the YTT training.
Video support for improving each students teaching skills.
Green juice fast days once a week and 70% living foods
Working with 5 experienced international and multi-diverse teachers
Encouragement in assisting / apprenticing after the course with experienced teachers.
Good basis in Hatha, Iyengar, Kundaluni Yoga and practical knowledge of yoga theraphy
The course aims to give each student:
An emboldened, self-aware knowledge that will enable each student to teach level 1, asana classes confidently and competently.
Awareness of safe practice for both teacher and student, through modification and sequencing of asanas to suit an individuals body.
Self confidence and belief in each students own ability to communicate and demonstrate
Understanding of risk assessment
Good grounding in the history of yoga
Insightful awareness of each students own practice: both an acceptance of its limits and tools to evolve
Experiential foundation of yoga philosophy and how to integrate this into your life
Good knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology and its application in the practice of asana
Awareness of the issues that can arise for you as a teacher
Professional and ethical framework from which to practice
Teaching methods that include lectures, experiential classes, small and large group work, led classes, exercises for learning and discovery, relevant films, review of homework and practice teaching time that will be filmed and given constructive criticism after viewing.
Sushumna Yogas 28 day intensive course includes 24 days of training with one day off every week or 2 half days per week. The in class contact hours together with the out of contact hours, which is for prerequisite reading, reports and home play all sums up to a total of 316 hours.
141.50 hours of the course hours is allotted for learning and / or rediscovering the techniques of yoga, 51 hours of this is allotted for teaching methodologies, then 30 hours is allotted for anatomy and physiology which deals mainly on the basics. Additionally, Yogic scripture, philosophy, ethics and lifestyle is allotted 46 hours and Group practicum and presentation skills are given 47.50 hours. All in all the whole course duration is 315 hours.
Below is a sample daily schedule for the whole course.
Before the course starts it is required for each potential student to read the 4 books listed below.
The Tree of Yoga by BKS Iyengar
Jivamukti Yoga by Sharon Gannon and David Life
Ashtanga Yoga by John Scott
Yogabody: Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Asana by Judith Hanson Lasater Ph.D
After reading each student is required to write their thoughts on the following:
What is your personal response of each book
The most valuable lessons for you
Detail on how this material is useful for a yoga teacher.
Each book report should have 350 words, in Microsoft word document format, written in English and should be sent to Sonja.
Also, fill up the application form and send it. If you happen to pass this stage, you will then be contacted by Sushumna Yoga and be instructed when you are required to submit your reading reports.
Director of Sushumna Yoga Studio and School, Sonja Appel will lead the Yoga Teacher training. Ms. Appel has great knowledge in all thing yogic and has 15 years of experience teaching and leading workshops in London, India, and Nepal.
Nana Sun has taught not only in India but in China and Rusia as well. Nana Sun will assist in the morning Asana sessions and is responsible on teaching Hatha Yoga and Pranayama & Meditation.
Aside from being a disciple of BKS Iyengar, qualified from the BKS Institute, Dr. Abhay Keste also has a degree in Homeopathic medicine and has two yoga centers in India. Dr. Keste will be teaching the Anatomy and Iyengar modules on the YTT.
Aside from having an experience of more than 8 years of practicing and teaching different lineages of yoga, Amrit Nam Kaur also has her own Kundalini Studio in Delhi; and will be responsible for providing insights into the Kundalini Yoga and healing modules of the YTT.
An experienced philosopher and astrologist, Anand Samalty is also a Pandit from the Shiva School of Kashmir. He is also the head of the Vedic Valley Institute in Goa and is responsible for teaching yoga philosophy, mantras, and kriyas at the YTT.
Sushumna Yoga is located in the beautiful village of Assagao, just a short distance away from Vagator beach.
"India was extraordinary. My experience with you and with the yoga there was extraordinary and did feel like it was someone else's life, which I catch glimpses of occasionally. I am trying to keep my daily practice, and am certainly lighter on my feet during the jump forwards/jump backs during classes at my gym - I think my teacher is jealous...lolI wanted to let you know that I have finished the Abundance book and the 40 day programme. I shall attempt this week to navigate the yoga alliance website and see what it involves. Thank you both again for such a life-changing experience."
April 2015, edited
"Dear Sonja, As I am witnessing another beautiful sunset in Morjim, I have had time to reflect on the last month I have spent with you and your team at Sushumna.I am currently full of gratitude and appreciation and wanted to let you know. I wanted to thank you personally, as I didn't last night, after the beautiful music and gifting ceremony.You and the great teachers and supporting team that you have around you have really created a life changing experience for me.Now that I have had a little time to reflect, I realise that at times by body and mind were in so much resistance to doing another day of yoga, another class, but with your strong, supporting and loving energy I kept going.I will never forget, everyone you brought together to create the training. Every aspect helped me to gain more awareness of myself.The variety, and support that was offered during the training was superb, the food, and how it was so lovingly prepared by Sam was deeply appreciated.My heart is fully of gratitude and appreciated for how you and Gitta put this all together. May Sushumna Yoga continue to prosper and grow. Giving us the abundace book, and continued study to work on is a wonderful tool. I will endeavour to make the changes in my life that I know I need to and with all the extra tools and you opening the door for me to Yoga, I hope I shall be able to make all of them all with ease. With much love and appreciated."
April 2013, edited
"I spent a month at Sushumna Yoga completing their 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training programme in March 2013. The content of the programme has been very carefully considered and has a great mix of theory and practice with outstanding teachers of the highest quality. The opportunity to immerse myself in the yogic experience combined with really tasty food surpassed my expectations and I would recommend it to anyone considering yoga teacher training.The resort is well cared for and clean and the staff are all really helpful. The swimming pool is large and just the place to cool off from the afternoon sun, although the beach is only 5 minutes walk away. The schedule is demanding but the teaching team skilfully push you to your limits whilst ensuring that you are supported by the group as you maximise your potential. This course is an amazing experience and will change your life . My advice is go for it. I am so glad I did."
March 2013, edited
"More than I hoped for! My experience at Sushumna was simply amazing. We were well taken care of, the 70% raw food diet tasted amazing and made you feel healthy and alive! The rooms were clean and well maintained, our needs and concerns were always quickly addressed. The staff was helpful and pleasant. Goa is paradise!"
March 2013, edited
"My experience at Sushumna Yoga Teacher Training was an unforgettable period of my life. I learned a ton about yoga, but also a ton about myself. I didn't expect the powerful emotion and vulnerability I felt throughout the course, however, it allowed me to grow immensely as a person in my time at Sushumna. The course was intense and required full commitment almost everyday in the month.Sushumna Yoga taught and exposed me to so many various types of yoga. One of my favorite modules in the training was Kundalini yoga with Amrit. The exposure to such a variety of styles and teachers allowed me to develop a wide range it knowledge about yoga and a strong appreciation for yoga, as so much more than a means of physical exercise; a true body, mind, and soul experience. I highly recommend this course, however, be prepared, it is not a vacation or a retreat. It is intense, but very much worthwhile!"
December 2012, edited
"Unique Yoga Teacher Training and location After completing the 4-week YTT 2012 at Sushumna's in November I felt I'd received unique, bespoke, experienced, diverse, real quality teachings that have lived up to all my expectations, and beyond, from day one. The marketing/sales/com team run by the amazing Gita was also incredibly professional, proactive, ethical and helpful from the start. Thank you Julie and Kelly. Although the course was extremely intense, sweaty and demanding physically throughout, the experienced teaching team run by the radiant Sonja was always available, mindful, and respectful of everyone's individual needs and challenges.The small number of students (9) has certainly made this mindful follow-up possible as much as it's contributed to the depth of first-hand authentic teachings directly received from India-born teachers, such as Anand, our Philosophy Teacher and a Brahman Master and Astrologer who runs his eco-health centre Vedic Valley next door. Having embraced a quasi ( save for dehydrated nuts) 100% vegan rawfoodie lifestyle a few months before enrolling for health reasons I also gratefully appreciated Sushumna's efforts to provide the actual volumes of fruits and veg this entails on a daily basis, and hence naturally enjoyed the deliciously inventive raw meals that I was indulged with by the French Chef's wizard team - Sam and Marissa.The resort is enchantingly beautiful, has filtered water available on site and natural ventilation in all the rooms along with a few lovely frogs. Great pool, beach is only a 5-minute walk - I only wish I had extended my stay at least one week before and one week after the training just to enjoy it all more, explore more and relax more. And Im so missing my daily coconut water and watermelon fuel!"
November 2012, edited
"Ideal, unique and holistic experience I enrolled in the 4-week YTT 200 hrs at Sushumna Yoga School this past November 2012. The curriculum, staff, teachers and resort exceeded all my expectations: I was greeted by a friendly and helpful administrative staff, delicious and accommodating food, knowledgeable teachers, and a place that fosters spiritual growth! From day one, my stay proved to be highly enriching; I must say, there is never a dull moment at Suhumna Yoga School.Would most definitely recommend Sushumna Yoga School for yoga holidays and retreats. It is a safe and welcoming environment that embraces people from all walks of life. I traveled solo this time around and there was never a minute when I felt I was alone in India. From Kelly at reception, to Sonja and Nana teaching classes, I met people that made me grow and want to return to Sushumna."
November 2012, edited
"More than I hoped for! My experience at Sushumna was simply amazing. We were well taken care of, the 70% raw food diet tasted amazing and made you feel healthy and alive! The rooms were clean and well maintained, our needs and concerns were always quickly addressed. The staff was helpful and pleasant.Goa is paradise! I can't say enough about the beauty of where Sushumna yoga is! The teachers were the best! All topics of yoga were introduced and one month is only cracking the tip of the iceberg that is yoga! Simply put, I feel we were spoiled; in a good way. And I would like to thank all the teachers and staff for making it the wonderful place and program it is!"
June 2013, edited
"Perfect to complement a perfect trip. Try this is you are looking for peace and relax. It is the best complement for your relaxing vacations."
January 2013, edited
"Become one with nature. This place is absolutely fantastic. There is so much greenery and the place just invites you in. I came for a yoga retreat with a group of people for 3 days and my experience was just lovely. The cottage had some ants and little insects but I guess that come with the nature package.I didn't need the ac as the fan and the weather was more than enough to keep me cool. Ample amenities but for some reason, the TV wasnt working. It was a bit of a let down but it was okay since I was attending yoga classes the whole day. Sonya, the owner and teacher of most classes was incredibly helpful and nice.The yoga classes were amazing and she was very hands on with the students, adjusting them where needed. The food was absolutely scrumptious. I never thought vegetarian food tasted so good. All in all, my experience was just lovely. It was the perfect place to get away from city life and just immerse yourself in nature and connecting with yourself."
March 2012, edited
"A wonderful experience, you guys should try it! We went there by group. The staff were very helpful and friendly. Yoga classes was great, with very useful information that could help us improve our knowledge. And the food was surprisingly good (considering we were not really vegetarian) we enjoyed eating everytime (I especially loved the zucchini one :) ) Just on the beach.Sushumna Yoga is a place where you can just sit down and relax feeling calmness. I'd like to thank everyone there, we really had a great time >Ms Sonja, Ms Gita, Ms Julie, Les, Ivan and everyone there at the Sushumna Yoga, Thank you so much for the wonderful experience!"
February 2012, edited