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Vedic Yoga Teacher Training
The Foundations Of Vedic Yoga Teacher Training – Principles Of A Vedic Yoga Class

Principles of a Vedic Yoga Class

  1. Focus your students’ attention on what is happening within their body – the purpose of yoga is to go within. This will help attain health, harmony and spiritual awakening.  Asana is an outward act with an inner motive, which leads to health, peace and inner awakening – love, compassion, patience, understanding, and forgiveness all arise from here.  While ever you stay on the ego dimension, focusing on what is happening in the room, this won’t happen.
  2. Include all categories of asana – Sandi Chetana (joint and muscle warming), Prana Spandan (dynamic movement) and Sthyriam (stillness postures).
  3. Focus initially on the breath, then the breath together with the movement – rhythmic, conscious breathing; observe the sound of So Hum and ujjayi Holding the breath is a technique used to awaken the inner nature – this comes through practice.
  4. Focus on sound – mantra to ground awareness.
  5. Bring the focus from the gross to the subtle dimension – from muscles, joints and bones, to releasing tension, breathing, movement of energy, and energy centres. Remember that students are at different stages of awareness so you must find a way for each one of them to access this, e.g. the use of mula bandha and squeezing the lower part of the abdomen in asana practice helps to train the senses, balances energy, and helps alignment in the posture.
  6. Samyak Kriya – traditional practice for the purpose of healing, health, peace and inward awakening. Incorporate some of these practices into your asana class so that students can learn to feel the prana moving within their body, and they start to acknowledge the chakras.
  7. Practice of Jnana Yoga – awareness of what is going on in the head, in order to draw attention from thoughts to the process. Remind students that there is no point in focusing on problems which they can’t do anything about in this  Since they have dedicated this time to yoga, they should try to remain focused.  If the mind is affected by some emotional issue, they should apply mula bandha during the posture to ground the awareness.  You can bring them back with the following commands, which plant a seed as well as bringing their awareness into the moment:
    • Where is your mind?
    • Where are you feeling this posture?
    • Bring your awareness back to the breath.
  8. Attitude of Bhakti – making the ego aware of the One Reality through prayer, and learning to understand that there is a higher power that is always with them. When students understand that they are more than their physical existence they will realise that they are never alone.  When things happen that they don’t understand or they don’t know how to function, then bhakti helps develop the attitude that something good will come of the situation.  The Creator knows what is best for them.  Suffering comes from the inability to accept things as they are.  Through daily prayer they can become aware of this force that will help them function.  Through surrender to whatever life brings, they will learn gratitude.


If students object to chanting AUM, then explain the concept of the sound as a vibration, which is simply energy.  Becoming aware of the vibrations makes you aware of the energy within you, and this helps to bring the mind from your thoughts into the present, making you more grounded.  Instead of AUM they could just make the vibrative sound mmmmm… 5x, followed by five deep breaths, and then sit and watch the effect on their body and breath.  Ask them to do this every day for two weeks at one fixed time, and they will see the effects.

  1. Attitude of karma yoga – mindful actions. They should develop an attitude of mindfulness in everything they do.  Then their whole life becomes a spiritual practice.   They should learn to act selflessly, serving others unconditionally, and asking how they be helpful or useful in all situations.
  2. Keep smiling – be positive. In every situation, manage your mind; don’t let negative experiences affect you, and be sincere.
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