The Bhaktishop Yoga School and 300 Hour Foundations Teacher Training Program
Applications for the January 2018 program available in late May. Please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Whether you want to fulfill a lifetime longing to teach or simply grow your own practice, The Bhaktishop Yoga School is designed to enrich your practice and practical understanding of yoga. We've been registered with the Yoga Alliance since we opened in 2007 as a 200-Hour program, and we are considering removing ourselves from these registrations for political reasons. **See below for a statement and call for public comment on this decision.** Our Teacher Training Program is a purposefully inclusive, deeply devotional, immersion-based curriculum taught by an experienced community of teachers and practitioners with thriving healing arts professions in other fields. It is the perfect place to begin your illuminating journey into teaching, to bring needed change and healing into new communities, or to profoundly shift and grow your own personal practice.
Equity and Inclusion Commitment
In an effort to broaden the equity in the field of yoga, each year we will offer at least one Diversity Scholarship for a Person of Color to attend the program. We recognize that it is difficult to do the work of diversifying when some populations do not see themselves represented in the yoga practices, studios, and publications/media around them.
We believe that there is a deep need for diverse voices to teach yoga in all communities. We are also committed to supporting and cultivating the people, language and approaches that most effectively communicate yoga teachings and informed community-building work. Please inquire at email@example.com if you or someone you know are interested in these scholarships.
The community, business and teachers of The Bhaktishop are deeply invested in staff training, meaningful self-education, and building the knowledge, skill and human resource necessary to invest in a more equitable business model. We're creating conversations about race, inclusion, trauma-informed practices, and equity on a daily basis here, and aim to make use of these skills in a broader capacity in the yoga community.
Statement/Call for public comment on potentially leaving the Yoga Alliance
We are considering leaving the Yoga Alliance and their registration service at the end of 2019. I have personally been a member of YA since 1999, and have found absolutely no utility to the entity of the Yoga Alliance and its "governing body" over these 10 years as a registered school, other than in name only. It is my concern that they lack ethical oversight, compliance enforcement or accountability protocol for their schools or teachers, and thus we do not feel that they represent a significant source of credibility in the teaching of yoga.
According to the Yoga Alliance, no specific curriculum is required, nor is there any required assessment of a registered teacher’s skill. Ever. And there are no plans to change that. It is this massive omission that has gotten us where we are with modern yoga yoga right now-- trainings with arbitrary curriculum being taught to prospective teachers who don’t know any better, and the situation was borne of and is propelled forward by Yoga Alliance.
Instead of telling schools what should be taught and regulating that (and of course there is always the question: How do you regulate yoga?) Yoga Alliance simply requires that a certain number of hours be spent covering each of five areas of study, with no specificity given on how to fill those hours, nor any follow-up on whether or not a school, once registered, ever actually sticks to that curriculum. As listed on their website, registered 200-hour training (the level that 85% of their registered yoga teachers hold) must include 100 hours of practice, 25 hours of teaching methodology, 20 hours of anatomy, 30 hours of philosophy and ethics, and 10 hours of practice teaching. But, the content of each area of study is left up to the school and once submitted (in the loosest possible terms, believe me, these applications have no oversight) that is the last you hear of them except to tell you your dues are up and you have to pay again. As a school with high integrity we have always insisted on more than 200 hours in our basic training (ours is 300 hours at the Foundations level) a focus on safety and current science in movement theory, a strong basis in the lineage and philosophy of yoga, and also require continuing education and advanced study for our teachers rather than simply the ERYT-500 stamp from the YA.
We realize that this is controversial, and may cost us some students, but as they are simply an online registration body/directory and have offered little else since their inception, they offer nothing other than a logo after one's name or school with no real follow-through or follow up on curriculum, compliance enforcement of standards, ethics and beyond. But someone, somewhere, has to break the iron fist that this organization has around the throats of the yoga industry, simply because "they are the only thing available."
So, we wonder your thoughts on how this might affect you and your decision to study here. Would you to continue in the program knowing that where you are currently in terms of hours could be completed by the time we exited the YA in 2019? Know that either way when you finish, you'd receive a certificate from us stating your advanced study happened here. I also wonder in general what your experience is in the wider world of yoga in terms of whether these letters after your name have been useful in gaining employ or credibility. If we were to join with other teachers and schools in the region and beyond to form a new body/association/coalition that had member oversight and an advisory board of skilled teachers and offered credibility through a different organization, would that be a fair or reasonable substitute after 2019?
Would you be willing to send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your thoughts on this? I would be grateful to hear them.
Our school has always upheld and exceeded the highest standards for teaching yoga teachers, and at 300+ contact hours alone in our Foundations Training, this program is the very embodiment of integrity, ethics and high teaching standards. If you have any questions about or wish to comment on how this decision might affect you or your decision to study here, please do be in touch at email@example.com
Founded on decades of experience and practice.
Founder and Director Lisa Mae Osborn and co-director Monicka Koneski bring to life decades of experience in the practice and teachings of yoga and movement. Together we share a common belief in the transformative powers of discipline, study, and devotion, as well as the curative powers of love, community and laughter. After years of collaborating, we have developed a comprehensive teacher training program with a relevant bhakti-based philosophy that reflects our own deep study, and is also rooted in current, intelligent asana practice, masterful teaching methodology, racial equity and inclusion practices, and more.
Our amazing staff of experienced, high-integrity teachers— Jeannie Songer, Danielle Hanna, Kate Busby and Molly Boeder-Harris—are all experienced in fields of study outside of yoga, including mental health therapy, acupuncture, trauma stewardship and Somatic Experiencing, and Ayurveda, all of which aid in our work within the deeply interactive fields of human connection. These integrative experiences helps us provide an intensive, loving, inclusive and safe environment in which to explore the difficult questions about yoga, to question the broader western yoga culture, and to bring the highest integrity possible to the process of learning about yoga. We will help you grow a deeper self-awareness, a reliable and personal self-practice, and pave the way for teaching yoga anywhere you choose with practical, useful tools and skills that can transform your life and the lives of others.
High-integrity teachers, deep skill, and a unique, varied curriculum
For 20 intensive and transformative weeks featuring 300+ hours of foundations study, you will explore different aspects of yoga, including Ayurveda, pranayama, meditation, and asana for your own personal sadhana (practice), as well as the devotional and mystical roots of these practices through the study of the sacred texts in philosophy. We will inform and share our findings with each other, reflect on our relationships to other bodies and spirits, as well as take in the classical and modern teachings in practical terms. We will discuss honest communication, equity and racial justice and inclusion, deconstruction of power-over modes of behavior in teaching, trauma sensitivity, and much, much more. Midway through the program, we sink deep into a retreat to the woods for three days of immersive study, as a treat and a revival of our spirits.
Once you complete our Yoga School Foundations program, we offer a mentorship program to help bring to life your unique voice and divine manifestation of wisdom on this path. Or, you can continue your lifetime journey into yoga with our Advanced Study Program. Whatever you choose at the end, the committed and capable hands of this incredible staff of teachers all guide you through a beautiful, rich program in which we can all grow together.
Lisa Mae Osborn, Director and Creator
I've been teaching for more than 20+ years, and created this deeply powerful yoga school and training program as an answer to the longing for clarity, community and connection that many of us feel, as well as a means of maintaining integrity and inclusivness in the rapidly shifting culture of yoga, wherein some of the traditional teachings are being swallowed up by fad and fashion. I am deeply committed to substance over theater, to practice over performance, and to bringing to light the ways that classical paths of practice are still relevant, if not essential, to modern lives in a lively, practical way every day. I question cultural appropriation in this realm almost daily, and hope to offer a perspective that challenges the commodification/commercialization of modern yoga culture, all the while existing as a model of a business owner that does run a yoga center and training program on yogic principles. I share the practices of asana through modern and informed mechanical wisdom and skillful, time-tested Teaching Methodology gleaned from decades of experience and my own amazing teachers, as well as deeply grounded philosophical teachings from a place of practical and reverential experience. I have a commitment to ongoing, systematic training in Equity and Racial Inclusion and am deeply committed to the study of un-learning patriarchial and supremacist models of communication. This informs every fold of my teaching, this program, and this yoga center. This teacher training program is the real thing; a refuge, a sangha, and a place to learn and grow together. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions. You can also see my other life as an Acupuncturist at www.sassyneedles.com
Monicka Koneski, Co-director
Monicka is a movement theory specialist, a Licensed Massage Therapist and a deeply integral part of the programming and curriculum planning for the 200 and 300 Hour teacher training programs, and offers her skills and wisdom in multiple capacities. She is fluid, well-practiced and exquisite in her detailed teaching of Anatomy and Kinesthetic movement, and adds enormous depth to the program with her contributions to embodied Asana, Teaching Methodology, Philosophy, one-on-one Mentorship, and more. She has been teaching yoga for over 10 years and studying the body and human heart for a lifetime (or beyond.) Her commitment to excellence, inclusion, and quiet grace bring real depth and sincerity to these teachings. Please see more about her work here: unfurlmassagetherapy.com
At The Bhaktishop, we welcome all teachers, students, and seekers on the path to join us as we embark on this exploration together, scratching the surface of the vast ocean that is yoga.
This program currently fulfills the 200 hour registration level with Yoga Alliance (though we will be considering exiting that directory at the end of 2018, see statement above), though the program logs more than 300 hours of study in the Foundations Training alone. These hours are the perfect place to learn how to teach beginners, as well as to grow and stabilize your own personal practice. Yoga is a lifelong practice; five months will only begin to open the doors for us. But you have to start somewhere, and you're best served to start at the beginning.
Learn, practice and teach some of the most relevant and classical hatha asana, as well as understand how to incorporate modern bio-mechanical anatomy principles as they are applied to asana. Explore japa meditation, learn basic pranayama techniques, work with mantra, chanting, and kirtan, skillfully prod each other anatomically, learn the daily self-care practices of Ayurveda and their effect on your body and health, understand trauma-informed awareness and best practices for teachers, and learn to read and understand yogic philosophy from these mystical traditions both ancient and modern. Practical, experiential, and devotional, our program invites you to step into the mystery without losing the magic, and understand how to integrate and align with your own empowered way of sharing yoga.
Requirements for the program:
*First and foremost, a great love of yoga, and a deep desire to share that love with others, in addition to a deep desire to dive into your own practice fully.
*A willingness to be inclusive, to have the courage to confront blind spots related to racism and culturally dominant communication paradigms, and to deeply investigate your own possible collusion with and contribution to the lack of equity in all parts of your life, including conversations about why we don't see the representation we might be capable of in traditional white-oriented yoga centers (including this one!)
*At least a year of relatively recent practice in asana techniques is recommended, and that you have spent at least 3 of those recent months practicing with us at The Bhaktishop. The teachers you study yoga with really matter, and there must be a relationship in place that resonates deeply for you to get the most out of the program. Your teachers transmit their integrity directly to the student; please be sure that we are the people you want to study with.
*Yoga is largely about community, and therefore as participants in Yoga School you will show up often; take classes weekly, perform the tasks of the program in a timely way, and attend all classes. As students and teachers, it is vital that we commit to what we are choosing.
2018 Program Dates TBA January 26, 2018 start date
We are together for 20 deep and study-packed weeks, so you can immerse in yoga like never before. We meet often 4 or 5 days a week, and the core studies are loosely as follows:
- Tuesdays/Thursdays from 6:00-8am for asana, anatomy, pranayama and meditation
- Friday nights from 5:30-8pm, Topics and discussion in philosophy
- Saturday afternoons from either 3-6:30pm or 3-7pm (about 15 Saturdays) and Sundays from 3-6:30pm or 3-7pm (about 15 Sundays) Anatomy, Equity and Racial Justice, Ethics, Yoga and Psychology, Ayurvedic Lifestyle, un-doing Power-over Dominance modes of commuication, Teaching Methodology, Assisting and Adjusting, Trauma-Informed Teaching and Best Practices, Sequencing and Class Themes, Incorporating Philosophy into Asana classes, Practice Teaching, Sanskrit, Subtle Body Dynamics, Restorative yoga, The Bandhas, and much more.
- Breitenbush retreat: 3 nights in April, 2018
Classical and Modern Hatha Asana and Pranayama
Start from the beginning with Classical Hatha Yoga Asana and Pranayama, because only when you understand the roots of these practices can you start to break into more creative and expressive practices. Our asana classes focus on your own personal practice and understanding, as you experience alignment and openness in your own body. We expect each student to be participating in their own personal practice for at least 30 minutes each day based on what we are practicing in asana classes. This is the foundation for teaching yoga; your mat, with you on it.
Beginning with preliminary poses, solid standing poses and slowly building to more complex actions like twisting, seated asana, and arm balancing. When all these tools are in place, you begin to understand the sequencing of a class.
Explore Classical Pranayama techniques from the very beginning as they are described in texts, like the Hathapradipika and the Gheranda Samhita with Danielle. Explore both their subtle body implications as well as their physical effects on the body, and learn to fly with the subtleties of bringing your attention to the present moment, which is what Pranayama is all about. The how and why of breathwork, as well as how to introduce and teach it to students is a critical part of understanding how to share yoga.
We aim to give a foundational, conceptual orientation to the philosophy, starting with India’s Vedic wisdom through The Upanishads. From there, learn to study The Bhagavad Gita and explore deeply the questions that arise with the study of one of India’s most sacred texts. Go on a journey through lineage and explore the writings of T. Krishnamacharya, the founder of the lineage we come from in hatha yoga, as well as a more specific Bhakti yoga text, The Joy of Self. Finally, move on to The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and take a deeper look at how this text shapes the way you not only practice daily, but share yoga with others.
Led by Lisa Mae, our philosophy classes are held discussion-style, so that you can ask, share, and participate in these books and lessons, and have them come to life before your eyes as practical and useful. These are living, dynamic books with so much to offer, and we try to facilitate each student’s growth process and resonance with this wisdom. We teach you about context; how to know what you are reading, understand what you are saying, and how to identify the ways that different translators interpret things. These courses are illuminating, challenging and rich, and really help to unpack the complex field of Yogic Philosophy and apply it to YOU.
The cornerstone of the yoga practice, this dive into meditation helps you establish the habit and create the container for what we hope is a life-long relationship rather than a passing fling. Spend these months exploring japa mantra meditation with a japa-mala as a tool for focusing the mind and as a foundational bhakti yoga practice. Meditation doesn’t work if you don’t do it, so we practice together to encourage you to sit down, turn your mind off, and discover meditation for yourself. Kirtan will also feature as a means of meditation on a regular basis during Yoga School.
Learning the sounds of the language of yoga is critical to a continuing yoga student’s understanding of the tradition. Learn the alphabet and pronunciation of the Sanskrit sounds and their mouth positions, as well as explore mantra, some of the history of this beautiful language, and the vibrational character and depth of this incredible language.
Study the human body as an incredible organism to better understand the ways that asana, subtle body practices, and meditation have effects on it. Learn about the ways the body can and cannot move in space, the anatomy of asana, subtle body and nadis, mechanics and kinematics, the potential for injury as well as soaring in the asanas, proper use and application of the mysterious bandhas, seeing different bodies in a class, using props and modifications to serve all levels of students, and a deeply personal exploration of your own anatomical graces and limitations. This vast and often intimidating subject is illuminated with ease, embodiment and simplicity (and more than a little bit of humor!) with Monicka.
Ethics, Trauma-informed Teaching and Psychology in Yoga
Missing from most yoga school curriculums, we value these subjects enromously. In Ethics, you explore the implications of teaching and sharing yoga with students, because in practices where people are opening to learning more about their true selves, anything can happen; this class is where we begin to look at how to handle those situations. The basic nuts-and-bolts of the do’s-and-dont’s list, this class generates serious discussion as well as peals of raucous laughter! To continue that study, you explore the basis for psychology in yoga, such as boundaries and scope of the teacher, your own emotional literacy, transference and projection, spiritual bypassing, personal growth and some other vital ways to keep yourself and your students grounded and safe in the classroom. Jeannie, our resident Mental Health Therapist, shares these subjects with ease and accessibility. Trauma-informed best practices are a keystone in making yoga classes safe, inclusive and accessible. Molly Boeder-Harris brings her lifetime of experiences, current research, and professional work with The Breathe Network into this invaluable resource for teachers in sharing the language and practices of the healing powers of yoga.
So, how do you ACTUALLY teach a class? Explore how to sequence intelligent, safe, creative asana classes for beginners and beyond that you can expand in numberous ways for varied levels. We utilize partner or small group work from the start, stretching into teaching, using language, tone, precise cues, and intention. These classes also cover many other parts of teaching yoga, like incorporating Pranayama techniques, meditation, chanting and mantra into your classes, skillful incorporation of anatomy and alignment, use of props, and more. We also share the why and how of verbally and lightly adjusting and assisting students in asana. We will also discuss equity and racial inclusion, why some groups are missing from representation in traditional white-dominant spaces, and what our responsibility is in relation to that.
Ayurveda, Yoga and Lifestyle
Focus on the beauty of Yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda, and how it serves our growing awareness of ourselves as lifelong students of yoga with amazing Danielle. Explore diet, pranayama, sat-karmas, seasonal lifestyle choices, appropriate asana, self-care and much more in these sessions. Instrumental to understanding yourself and understanding how to better serve your students, this is a one-of-a-kind program.
+ Rounding It Out
You are required to observe your Yoga School teachers as we teach 2 classes during the program.
You will also teach one of your own classes to the community, as a by-donation class. These will be attended by us and your peers, for feedback and cheerleading.
+ Reading List
All these texts are readily available and are also cheap if you buy them used from Powell’s or Amazon.com. We will also furnish a supplemental reading list if you are interested, once you join the program. The following books are required for the program:
- The Deeper Dimensions of Yoga- Georg Feuerstein
- Light on Yoga- BKS Iyengar
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Edwin Bryant
- The Upanishads- Ecknath Easwaran’s translation
- The Bhagavad Gita- Graham M. Schweig
- The Joy Of Self- Swami B.V. Tripurari (available through us at the Shop)
- Trail Guide to the Body, 4th Edition (Main text only)
- Mastering Muscles and Movement, David Campbell (available through us at the Shop)
- Light on Pranayama- BKS Iyengar
- Yoganjalisaram by Krishnamacharya, (available through us at the Shop)
- The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Dr. Vasant Lad
- Ashtanga Yoga Primer by Baba Hari Dass (available through us at The Shop)
+ Fees for the Program
The cost for the entirety of Yoga School is $3200. This includes all core required curriculum, 3-night retreat to the woods, and all materials for the course.
This price does not include your books, the cost of CPR certification, which is mandatory, or a $25 application fee, which is payable at the time your application comes in.
Payment plans are available, and there is a small cash/check discount. Please contact Allie at email@example.com for info on payments and plans.
+ Danielle Hanna, Masters in Ayurveda
Ayurveda is Yoga’s sister science, and compliments a healthy, balanced yogic lifestyle perfectly. Danielle, a perpetual student of both studies, will share her gifts and personal practices in these workshops, ranging from daily purifying practices, classical Ayurvedic texts, seasonal-appropriate asana and pranayama techniques, and of course, food. Self-care is vital on the path of practice, and these elements contribute to that integrity.
Danielle is currently an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor, finishing her Masters of Arts in Ayurveda in December of 2015 from the Mount Madonna Institute College of Ayurveda in California. She is a diligent student of yoga, philosophy and Ayurveda, and is deeply committed to learning and ongoing study in these fields. Learn more about what she does at www.livingartsayurveda.com
+ Kate Busby, Masters in Oriental Medicine
Kate brings her compassionate communication skills to the program with deep work in both Asana, Anatomy and Teaching Methodology. She is one of the Yoga School Mentors, and an integral part of our teaching team. She has been at it for more than 15 years in committed practice, and her eagle-eye for detail and clarity is especially welcome to students seeking inquiry and self-awareness. She is in dedicated ongoing study in yoga through regular trainings in anatomy, biomechanics and alignment, as well as yoga philosophy, trauma stewardship and the more subtle components of practice, including meditation, somatic experiencing and pranayama.
+ Josh Michaell, Licensed Psychotherapist in Transpersonal and Yoga Psychology-based counseling
Learn the beginnings of how to fall in love with Sanskrit with Joshua Michaell, a senior teacher with the American Sanskrit Institute. Sanskrit is integral to the practice of asana, and it is an essential tool for harmonizing and balancing the mind. Josh is an expert, an incredible teacher, and so much fun you won’t be able to stand it!
Knowledge of Sanskrit, even at the most beginning level, makes it easier to grasp the subtleties of yoga philosophy, whose body of teachings are written in this language of light and sound. Through experiencing Sanskrit sounds, feeling their force and power, and the unique way they vibrate, our practices and understanding can move to new depths. Joshua Michaell is a senior teacher with the American Sanskrit Institute, and leads Sanskrit, Yoga Philosophy and meditation workshops throughout the U.S. and internationally. Joshua is also a licensed MFT counselor with a Transpersonal and Yoga Psychology-based counseling practice based in San Francisco, California.
+ Jeannie Songer, Mental Health Therapist
A long-neglected piece of teacher training curriculums out there is the Psychology of Yoga and the Ethics of Teaching. We aim to bring this topic to light in our program thru a deep look into the ways our psychology can contribute to our skills (or our downfalls!) in teaching. Jeannie also lights up the practices of restorative yoga for you as well with her deep insights into the power of rest.
We are delighted to have Jeannie Songer, our resident mental health therapist with a Masters in Counseling as an integral part of our staff, to fill in these vital holes in teaching curriculum. She brings questions and answers about emotional literacy, transference, projection, a trip into your own psyche and the implications of the teacher-student relationship. These classes will also highlight a code of ethics for teachers, a theory about the many types of students that seek out yoga, as well as the many kinds of teachers, and how to be the most effective at your teaching practice. Jeannie is a joy to work with and is a friendly and approachable presence in presenting somewhat difficult topics. She is also trained and certified in Judith Hanson Lasater’s Restorative Yoga methods, and brings the sweetness of pure rest to light in this program.
+ Molly Boeder- Harris, Trauma-Informed Yoga Specialist
Molly is the Founder and Executive Director of The Breathe Network and a certified yoga instructor formally trained through YogaWorks. Her experience and trainings have informed the way she connects the practice of yoga with trauma resilience, while revolutionizing her own healing. After a decade of direct advocacy work with trauma survivors, Molly completed two years in her 3-year certificate training in Somatic Experiencing (SE) - a body-oriented therapeutic approach to healing trauma. She strives to synthesize the complementary benefits of both yoga and Somatic Experiencing in her teaching and training.
Molly brings the vital conversation about inclusiveness and trauma-informed best practices to the table with skill, ease and personal experience, and shares many tools that both new and seasoned teachers can begin to understand the implications of language, boundary and the healing work of yoga for all participants. She is the founder of The Breathe Network, and teaches Trauma-Informed Yoga trainings all over the country. We are most fortunate to have her skill and wisdom here at The Bhaktishop. Read more about her here.