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If you love yoga and want to establish a serious self-practice, if you’re ready for some major breakthroughs and transformation, if you want to spend a month in a beautiful inspiring environment and become an inspiring yoga teacher, then this course is for you. Through Vikasa’s yoga teacher training, you will discover a pleasant physical challenge to compliment the spiritual awakening that is the Vikasa experience. Situated in close proximity to the sea-front, the path to renewed life begins here!
Vikasa means evolution when translated from Sanskrit. The Vikasa method is based on individual evolution and spiritual development. The concept of the “evolution of yoga” is centered on the notion that everything in the world evolves constantly. The primary goal is evolution, and yoga can be seen as a tool to facilitate that.
The Vikasa yoga method is an integral system of yoga based predominantly on classical Hatha yoga, with some influence from Himalayan Vinyasa and higher Taoism practices. A fusion of the three lineages allows for a very effective and complete system resulting in personal evolution. The method is based on universal rules of yoga that ultimately allows the practitioner complete freedom from any particular routine leading to an “intelligent freestyle” of practice. Emphasis is placed on the journey, or evolution of an individual.
Encouraging evolution leads to a natural progression of individuality where uniqueness is celebrated as a natural piece of the oneness you are a part of. This opposes the often found dissolution of identity and ego which can inspire conformity and unnecessary isolation. A careful distinction is drawn between oneness and conformity, oneness being the acceptance of what is, including all that is around you and inside you. Conformity is referenced to include unimportant religious practices and dogmatic systems. The system encourages function within an existing society, rather than against it or apart from it.
This allows for deeper connections with the spiritual and physical beings that surround us on a daily basis. Key principles and rules of yoga are taught, allowing the teachers of Vikasa yoga and dedicated practitioners to become free from any routines by gaining understanding, knowledge and insight into the methodology and the effects of practice. When individuality is inspired and oneness within community is celebrated, the teachings become inclusive of infinite possibilities.
Lectures and discussions on sequence of exercises in Hatha yoga classes occur throughout the course. You are taught the fundamental types of poses and movements which should all have some usage in each class: forward bends, back bends, twists, side-bends, inversions, hip openers, standing poses, and more. The teacher will also explain how certain sequences prepare for specific asana or types of practices so that the effect is most clear and healthy for the practitioners. The elements are demonstrated in a way which is coherent, clear, easy to understand, and also effective for the students in attendance. You will discuss how to move around the room, demonstrate in different positions, facing different direction, and being present to all the students in the class. Appropriate to the students in attendance the teacher can at need have the students watch, demonstrate, explain while making eye contact, and then practice the technique.
Asana is taught to be practiced both highly technical and mindfully intuitive. The principles of alignment are taught as the general grounds from where to start and then personal feedback from your own experience practicing is encourage to continue fine tuning your posture. A great deal of attention is placed on what kinds of sensations you could expect to experience in performing an asana well, not only in the terms of "stability and comfort" but again in musculo-skeletal functionality, dynamics of breath in relationship to each asana, distribution of weight to supporting elements, developing core strength, and observing the behaviors of the mind. Most importantly, you are encouraged to do a healthy exploration of your own body to move towards those qualities of "effortless effort" in breath and posture.
You will be given a full picture index of asana. The classes tend to focus on the "beginner's elements" but with an "advanced" concentration or intention for transformation as a process to observe. While techniques such as bandhas, dristhi, and others by no means are limited to use in asana, the course will cover them as a means to make them more vivid in use and obvious in action so they are more easily refined in pranayama and meditation practices. Bandhas are taught as actions with direct flow of breath and prana, organize musco-skeletal patterns, and create stability through the core of the body that allows exertion to be transferred efficiently into grounding. The Vikasa yoga level 1 asana catalogue consists of 222 asanas, complete with photographs and Sanskrit names.
Every day, the training begins with silence in the practice shala as you prepare yourself for the days practice. Over the course of the training, you will be sequentially introduced to the techniques that will compose the 45-minute pranayama sequence followed by meditation. You will start by getting a foundational lesson on breath and it's relation to yoga practice and life and the qualities of breath that make for a calm and intelligent awareness. Each technique starts at its most accessible degree with explanations on proper progression to more advanced practice such as adding bandha and breath retention.
Flowing movements are taught as the beginning of disciplining the body and the mind and bringing those movements inwards towards an awareness of origin; of movements, spatial and physical relation to the earth, and expression and intelligence of the body / mind system. A variety of different themes are explored in Vinyasa practices such as joint freeing, synchronization with breathing and drishti, increasing range of movement, mechanical functionality, coordination, balance, full body Vinyasa, and accessing and realizing patterns of consciousness.
Chanting is taught as a means for exploring other aspects of the mind / body system and also as a means for connecting with higher ideals / energies / beings and more. Sanskrit mantras are used for the lead chanting practices while it is encouraged for you to also make a chanting practice with a mantra of your choice and for your chosen purposes. At request, George also provides "cleansed" malas for you and gives you a mantra personally. Vikasa’s philosophy teacher will also cover a variety of mantras, their meaning, and correct pronunciation.
Meditation is taught as a means for observing the activity and relation of the mind / body system and also to begin to draw identification inwards by withholding the senses and concentrating on an inner aspect. The "success" in this is taught from many different perspectives both practical such as that you actually sit down to practice, and also scientific and spiritual as in what results from deep meditation. Like all yoga practices, it is offered as a reminder that all practices are supportive and as one practice the foundational elements and incorporates principles of "yogic lifestyle" the more "inner" practices come naturally and effortlessly.
Differences in body structure are highlighted throughout the anatomy teachings that define limits in range of motion or action of certain joints and body parts. Many side by side comparisons are made of students for a very live and memorable experience. As an adeptly experienced physiotherapist, Michelle offers insights into preventing injury and exercises for rehabilitation. This is done intrinsically by teaching the mechanics of the body and simple and complex relationships of anatomy in yoga asana. A theme in this section is joint stability and co-activation of muscle groups which develops the philosophical purpose of practicing asana which is to perceive an underlying unity or balance in the nature of the body / mind system and lead to states of clearer perception as to the nature of being. The theory is followed by practical sessions on the various joints that are most prone to injuries in yoga. To perfect your understanding, the anatomy and physiology session also includes the basic physiology of the respiratory, digestive and cardio vascular systems.
A history of yoga is detailed by understanding the history of the region of the Indus valley and developing India. It is also discussed from a perspective of the origin of the Vedas and yoga as a mystical timeless source that exists for the benefit of all beings to enter the bliss of divine effulgence. Yoga history also carries into classical yoga texts. You will study the history and evolution of yoga philosophy, Patanjali's biography, the goal of yoga, the mind and its functional division, kleshas, and the eight limbs of yoga. Also a pivotal text in understanding yoga philosophy, the Bhagavad Gita is taught with many discussions and questions posed by both our philosophy teacher and the students. The background of Gita, Gita's relevance to modern world, karma, reincarnation, four classical approaches to yoga, the summaries of the 18 chapters of Gita are all discussed. There are many means of practicing yoga and that they exist to be used in each aspect of our life that it is natural to Vikasa that they should be included. You are taught that as a result of using any particular yoga practice, you will often discover yourself eventually utilizing others.
Self-inquiry, mindfulness, shadow work, traveling on an inner journey of self-discovery and self-mastery, learning to be at ease in and with oneself and others, learning to have a voice, be seen, be heard, acceptance, surrender and learning to listen to your own inner voice to discover your truest potential.
This broad topic is explored at many levels such as how to work professionally as a freelancer, in yoga studios, organize retreats, open a studio, and more. It also explores good ethics for yoga teachers in regards to relationships, respecting ideological beliefs or personal space, encourage the best out of people, and keeping non-useful personal issues out of the teaching space.
You will be taught the current best marketing strategies to make a presence. Vikasa will explain marketing through the networking by teaching free or public classes, visiting studios, attending yoga events, print business cards, flyers, posters, and making an internet presence through a website, the use of Facebook, and other relevant social media.
The methodology and practice portion of the yoga teacher training is taught by Vikasa's very own founder, Kosta Miachin.
Kosta’s journey into yoga has taken him to the far reaches of the world, from remote Himalayan ashrams, to his initiation by a master monk in a sacred Sak-Yant ceremony in Thailand. His passion has lead him to search out for his own personal development throughout the world. Kosta's years of worldly experience have led to deeper understanding of yoga as a personal journey and spiritual evolution.
Hailing from Hong Kong, Michelle uses practical examples and an easy to understand approach. Michelle reveals the anatomy of the human body, from muscle to bone to spine and how these spinal structures can cause obstacles in asana practice.
Through yoga Alicia discovered how to truly connect with, and balance her mind, body, and soul. Yoga is now allowing her to share the message of a healthy and happy way of life with everyone who wants to share her interest! Alicia has a strong meditation practice combining Vipassana Buddhist meditation and chakra balancing techniques. She guides her students to manage stress, develop self-awareness and takes them along the pathway to discovering who they truly are.
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As part of the stay at Vikasa Yoga Retreat, you are provided with excellent vegetarian food and with as many organic ingredients as available. Vikasa serves wholesome health-conscious meals in buffet style from 9:30 -11:30 and 18:30 - 20:30. Both meals are complimentary for every yoga vacation guest. Kickstart your day to an amazing brunch. A freshly squeezed juice, tea and coffee, a sunny side up or vegetable omelette, wholegrain toasts, oatmeal or muesli with yogurt, or chia seeds pudding, superfoods, veggies with speciality in-house organic dips, vegetarian sandwiches or pancakes, and of course a variety of fresh-cut tropical fruits. Dinner includes a hot soup, typical local dishes with tofu, brown rice, two or three vegetarian dishes, fresh salad, dahl, and always one seafood dish. For dessert, they serve fruits, occasional delectable mango sticky rice or other uniquely Thai savouring. Their homemade signature tea is a perfect finish to your meal.
“Central” as the locals call it, is the largest shopping mall, movie theater and restaurant complex on Koh Samui. Large chain stores as well as local designer boutiques can be found here. Central boasts some of the best western food on the island. So, feel free to get your fix of comforts here including sushi, pizza or even Belgian beer.
Koh Samui is loaded with fun activities to keep you entertained during your stay. Take a break from the yoga and health oasis of Vikasa, and venture out into the wild of Koh Samui. You’ll find everything from bungee jumping to jet packs to remote jungle hikes or the infamous lady boy drag queen shows. Don’t miss the two “walking street” street market festivals, every Friday and Sunday in Chaweng and Lamai areas respectively.
Koh Samui is home to many wild animals and insects. Sighting wild animals can be fun and exciting. Always be sure to use caution, respect and common sense if you should encounter wildlife. At Vikasa, we have the utmost respect for our local flora and fauna. Koh Samui has a unique ecosystem full of exotic creatures.
Some of the animals you may see during your stay include:
Vikasa offers spa treatments at Vikasa Spa. They are available at an additional cost. The Vikasa Spa offers a range of comforting services that will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Vikasa Spa specializes in authentic Thai massage, as well as offering Swedish and Indian styles as well. Vikasa Spa uses quality organic and locally manufactured products for the scrubs, facials and skin treatments. The spa is open-air and constructed on a stunning ocean cliff-side. For a unique experience, enjoy one of Vikasa’s special treatments such as manual lymphatic drainage massage or a detoxifying herbal Thai compress treatment. Vikasa’s signature Thai yoga massage emphasizes the assisted stretching that is a smaller part of most Thai massage and enhances your yoga training by increasing flexibility.
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