Here’s a letter I received today
I have talked to you before about the possibility of completing teacher training with you (which would be amazing for me!) Timewise, though, Stephanie Keach has an opening this summer that works for me. I don’t know her at all. How would you characterize her style compared to yours(if I may be so bold as to ask?)
Thank you so much,
And here’s my response:
I realize it is difficult to find the right program to fit your needs in all ways. And I only offer my program currently as a 10 or 11 month extended training.
Actually there are a few different teacher trainings in Asheville, not to mention all over the country! But I think it would be inappropriate for me to analyze other programs.
I do think my program is unique in many key ways. I think the whole purpose of doing yoga is transformation. And I don’t just use the word “transformation,” because it’s catchy, I actually provide a clear and effective process for it – my whole program centers around it.
I focus on helping students open to subtle understandings that form a bridge between mundane and spiritual knowledge. This includes a strong emphasis on epistemology – understanding how we know about ourselves, the world, and about yoga and how that knowledge can help expand us.
I conduct the training over a longer period in order to allow the cultivation of a personal practice — and this centers around developing a strong, daily meditation practice. Asanas and other practices serve to support this intention and to help facilitate personal growth and transformation. The shorter term program has some limits in the sense that there is less time for integration – however I will be teaching a 3 week training in Copenhagen in August – so if you feel like coming to Denmark…;->
Additionally my program is carefully, progressively designed – the knowledge builds on itself and results in a broad and deep understanding of the yoga tradition, history and practice. I delineate a solid rationale and techniques for using yoga to help balance the neuro-endocine system and through it, the mind, in order to facilitate personal transformation. So the teaching always revolves around this central understanding and purpose.
Another point is that the program emphasizes the group process. I keep the group small – generally 12-15. This facilitates the solid development of satsaunga (spiritual company).
I also have a therapist on staff to help during our monthly group processing sessions. And we periodically take on seva/service projects together (like helping out at the community gardens in one of the projects or visiting a nursing home).
The service projects serve both as karma yoga and also as a wonderful way for the group to experience their collective power. I actually spent a lot of time on the phone convincing Yoga Alliance that our projects are “real” yoga. When they finally did understand my rationale, I set a precedent for yoga trainings all over the country to begin to teach karma yoga or seva as part of an authentic yoga training. These sessions continually prove to be some of the most powerful personal experiences for students in the program (and certainly highlights!).
I hope this is helpful!