Inspired by the teachings of Vanda Scaravelli, this immersion teacher training imparts a strong foundation in the core elements of Hatha yoga with an emphasis on health and well-being. You will learn to teach yoga safely and effectively, as well as being able to adapt it to individual needs. The training will emphasize the importance of learning through self-inquiry and the application of practical knowledge to become an effective teacher.
Banyan Tree Yoga has created the perfect place for relaxation, meditation, and yoga. After gaining many years of experience working in various respectable yoga retreats across Goa, it was time to make their vision of a friendly yoga come to life. During the monsoon season in 2013 they crafted, constructed, and built with their own hands and hearts.
This consists of ten eco friendly huts made from local sustainable materials, each with an en suite toilet and shower under the sky. Their shaded yoga shala offers a peaceful place to relax, recharge, and feel rejuvenated after a yoga or meditation session. They have a beautiful garden with many blossoming flowers and vegetable patches where they grow local vegetables to make their cooking even fresher. There is also a bonfire area for relaxation in the evenings with live music, surrounded by the cashew trees.
The clay and grass from which the roof is constructed, comes from their back garden and the walls are made from bamboo and nilgiri wood, which brings a beautiful play of light into the living space. Each hut has its own private veranda, double bed, and bamboo rack to hang your clothes.
Intense, powerful, and deeply inspiring, the immersion is suitable for people who wish to take the first steps of becoming a yoga teacher or for experienced teachers and yoga practitioners who wish to deepen their understanding of yoga, movement, and health. This training is intense, powerful, and intended to be deeply inspiring.
This course focuses on the practical application of anatomy in yoga and rehabilitation. It deals with common problems and dysfunction in the body as a way of learning and encourages hands on understanding. During this retreat, you will participate in eight key anatomy modules:
As well as these modules, there will be the following additional injury workshops:
In the immersion training, you shall receive an in depth understanding of individual asanas. This includes a thorough understanding of the principles for experiencing safety and health in yoga postures. You will learn about awakening the spine, grounding the body, and aligning with gravity, allowing the breath to become your leader and teacher, releasing tension, and held patterns in the body.
You will also learn how to make adjustments safely and effectively, how to teach asana’s with clarity to different levels of ability, how to combine asana’s both for safety and maximum release in the body, and how to translate your learned anatomical and physiological knowledge into guiding students into a deeper awareness of their own bodies.
During the course, you will explore exercises in enquiry, breath, and sound to help integrate and assimilate the ideas presented. Informing and developing your personal philosophy is the focus. The topics will include:
The breathing exercises are taught with an emphasis on receiving the breath with awareness. You will learn about receptivity to the breath, body part breathing, and hand mudra exploration. Also, you will learn about alternate nostril breathing, kumbhaka, viloma, brahmari breath, and Tibetan purification breath. Cleansing breath techniques, such as Kapalabhati, organ breathing, and recapitulation breath, as well as bandhas, such as the application and understanding in movement and breathing will also be part of your program
In the course, you will explore how the following tools and practices can improve your yoga experience and teaching practice.
Enrich your own teaching style and develop responsiveness to the environment. The topics will include:
Twice a week, there will be feedback evenings. There will also be some surprise events each week. On the first Saturday of the training, there will be an evening sweat lodge. Each Saturday after there will be three-hour workshops in the morning. The rest of the weekends are free.
Helen is a yoga teacher inspired by the teachings and students of Vanda Scaravelli, with Elizabeth Pauncz as her mentor and guide. She offers trainings in Chavutti Thirumal (massage by foot pressure), which has a strong influence on her teaching style. Goa has been her second home for many years and she has also enjoyed leading yoga seminars and intensives in Europe, the United States, and Scandinavia. She is passionate about spontaneous, intuitive movement and ecstatic dance, bringing lightness and joy to your movement practice.
Steve is an experienced bodyworker and movement teacher specializing in treating chronic tension, injury, and pain. He has studied soft tissue manipulation with KRI Jagadish in India, as well as sports therapy, structural bodywork, and energy healing. Steve has extensive experience facilitating sweat lodges and workshops. He has worked at many retreat centers around the world, where he is known for his lively and spirited style.
Ru M. Jahn
Rupert is a yoga and qigong teacher with a passion for Toltec teachings and philosophy. He has facilitated many movement and meditation retreats and has recently co-created the Shala 142 retreat space in Goa, dedicated to yoga and shamanic practice. He is also a bodyworker combining sound vibration with massage. The focus of his light-hearted cheerful approach is the release of physical and emotional tension.
Gary Carter is one of the foremost anatomy of movement teachers in the world of yoga, Pilates, and movement. He teaches yoga, dissection and anatomy courses, trains athletes, and has been active in raising the standard of knowledge in multi-training disciplines for many years.
Ira is a friend of the Yoga Health Mandala team. He is a master scholar and Sanskrit expert and has studied the Bhagavad Gita for over 30 years. His extensive travels in India since the late 60’s give his presence and lectures on Vedanta a witty and undeniably beautiful quality of depth. He helps bring these ancient teachings into life and into the present moment.
This yoga teacher training will take place in North Goa, India.
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During this yoga teacher training all food will be vegetarian and vegan on request. It will also be organically sourced when possible.
The Yoga Health Mandala offers body work sessions at an additional cost. The sessions are a unique combination of different massage techniques and energy healing, suited for your personal needs. They recommend local favorites to choose from, as well as inviting friends of the Yoga Health Mandala to give sessions at the Banyan Tree in the therapy rooms on site. Treatments offered range from massages by foot pressure, cranial sacral sessions, and Thai yoga massages.
Please book your flight to arrive at Goa International Airport (GOI).
"Spending one month in Goa with Helen, Ru, and Steve was one of the best decisions in my life so far. A yoga immersion so deep, so full, so true, so touching, nourishing, fascinating, and wrapped into a great amount of humor, fun, and love. I am grateful to have been part of this process, group and personal wise, to have witnessed so many changes in people's and my own way, view, and perception of moving and movement. Creating space and finding connections within my body structure, getting in touch with all the fluid system and more aware of what the fascia mind is, made me realize that yoga asanas can just unfold. Undoing. Non-doing. Grounded. Listening to the bodies own intelligence. Vanda Scaravellis approach to yoga is a real gift and art of change. The team of Yoga Health Mandala is definitively simply amazing; the three teachers form a dream team, everyone contributing with their knowledge and experience, a very important part which creates a round circle flowing, floating, and carrying all participants."
Yoga Health Mandala website, edited
"My month immersion with Yoga Health Mandala brought yoga home to me via the poetry of engaging the body in a path of inquiry rather than a goal oriented asana practice. I had always believed yoga required a secret key I could not find because I was not flexible enough nor always able to meet nor agree with the guidelines nor philosophy. This course handed me the key through transforming yoga from a doing to an open ended goal free journey of opening. This is yoga training for the future, a mature approach that liberates students from dogma, certificating them as potential teachers of inquiry led practice. I can recommend it from my heart."
Yoga Health Mandala website, edited
"This teacher team’s knowledge is one thing to rave about. I never thought I would ever eagerly anticipate anatomy lessons as much as I did with Steve’s; even less being German and not a native speaker. This teacher training met and surpassed every idea I had about deepening my knowledge through a teacher training. The emotional chemistry between Helen, our great loving yogini, Ru, master of spiritual fanciness, and fascia guru Steve, their expertise presented with a superb sense of humor and understanding, their holding of space (4 weeks of intensive training in a group of strangers can become quite enduring), the visible joy of teaching, all combined more than confirmed my intuitive decision to participate in their first teacher training in 2014. I never doubted it for a second, though. I cannot think of a better teacher team and a better teacher training, to be sincerely honest. I would love to see more German yoga practitioners attending the future teacher trainings; there are just too few of us in Germany. Whenever I am away from my own students there is noone to step in and teach because there is no other yoga approach that even comes close to the way in which Vanda Scaravelli worked. It is a blessing and there can always be many more of us."
Yoga Health Mandala website, edited