Welcome to the Art of Personal Studies Modular Programme Overview

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The Art of Personal Studies priorities are to reflect the fundamentals of Śrī T Krishnamacharya’s teaching, namely transmission occurs through direct experience of the teacher with the student’s Sādhana through their Personal Yoga Practice or Group Study within Projects limited to a small number of Students. 

What are the Developmental Paths for students interested in cultivating a Personal Sādhana?

So how to proceed with our journey into establishing our experience and skills in developing a uniquely personalised Yoga Practice and Study constantly adapting and developing within the ebb and flow of our life and its phases? Perhaps by firstly identifying the areas that could contribute to practice and study.

A Process for a Personalised Yoga Practice and Yoga Theory Study Sādhana involves exploring:

Supported by a related Yoga Textual and Lifestyle Study Sādhana involving exploring:

  • Experiential application of the principles in the Haṭha Yoga texts emphasised by Krishnamacharya.
  • Experiential application of the principles in the Yoga Sūtra through guidance in study & chanting.
  • Guidance with linking Indian texts emphasised by Krishnamacharya with Yoga study & practice.
  • Guidance with linking Krishnamacharya’s writings and compositions with Yoga study & practice.
  • Experiential study of the core energetic, constitutional, diagnostic & lifestyle principles in Āyurveda.

The Modular Studies Programme aims to facilitate the small group study project aspect of these priorities through Workshops and Courses offering an in-depth focus in terms of intensity, group size, progressive levels, relevance to personal situation, all within an exclusive learning environment.

“The viniyoga of Yoga is a process rather than just a collection of techniques.”

Complete in themselves they explore Yoga Practice, Theory, Psychology and Philosophy by focusing on supporting a developmental structure for our Practice and Study and, if relevant, future Professional Training.

The Modular Studies Programme offers Two Day Workshops followed by Four Day Courses

Each topic introduces the student, through a 2 day workshop complete in itself, to the selected area of practice or study. This can be followed by a foundational progression to refine and deepen our skills and experience via Course options comprising, either a single 4 day Module or two 2 day Modules over 3 months.

What is the relationship between training as a Yoga Student and training as a Yoga Teacher?

Firstly -

there are a comprehensive range of Workshop and Course Study Modules offered through which the student can progressively explore all aspects of Yoga Practice and Yoga Textual and Lifestyle Study.

Furthermore each module is complete in itself and they are all designed for Yoga students from any background or style, without any obligation or need to simultaneously train as a Yoga teacher.

“Training to learn how to teach Yoga is not the same as training to learn how to practice & study Yoga.”

This is unusual these days, as normally to access such a breadth and depth of Yoga training material a student would need to be a participant within a Yoga Teacher Training Course.

It also increasingly appears these days that around teacher training courses we are even seeing a burgeoning of ‘fast track’ priorities to accumulate prospective trainees, thus further reducing the options and especially time, amidst our many other life commitments, for a deeper learning as a student prior to undertaking training as a prospective Yoga teacher.

Secondly -

though the Yoga Practice and Study Modules would obviously enhance any Yoga Teachers professional skills there is no requirement to teach or to intend to teach Yoga. This is not their primary role. In fact not everybody wants to or actually needs to become a teacher to further their practice and study.

Hence the priorities here are towards personal development and thus teachings and questions are geared towards relating more deeply with our personal practice and study, rather than acquiring knowledge for use when working with others.

These days there is lots of talk on what is involved in training to be a Yoga Teacher,
however little talk on what is involved in training to be a Yoga Student.

Of course I accept, and have personally experienced in a number of situations, that there are those whose priority is on acquiring professional skills or qualifications to teach Yoga. It has even become a career option for school leavers these days, classified alongside Aerobics, Fitness, Personal Trainers, etc.

I also feel that having to simultaneously train as a Yoga teacher alongside moving into exploring Yoga for ourselves can even be detrimental to the development of the students personal relationship with Yoga. There is also the issue of the student often having to proceed into teaching before even completing the learning of the techniques and theory that comprise the different dimensions of practice.

“The more you teach the more you must practice.”
- TKV Desikachar

Added to this can be the burden of the pressure, or desire, around being out there whilst dealing with all the business and promotional aspects involved in drumming up students, amidst also having to engage with all the required specialist Yoga Teaching and Yoga Therapy training learning. This can create a situation where the students personal developmental and practice priority focus becomes blurred.

Especially these days with the phenomena of there now being many hundreds of Yoga Teacher Training Courses available, thus increasing competition for both aspiring teachers and available students.

Thirdly -

once we have learnt the skills required to be a student then we can consider, should we wish, adding the necessary teaching and therapy skills to offer Yoga intelligently to others. This is where the student interested in the professional aspects of teaching Yoga can undertake training in a Practitioner Programme specifically geared towards adding the application skills for Yoga Teaching and Yoga Therapy.

In other words the Professional Training Modules do not add on any further personal Yoga Practice or Yoga Study skills, instead they are purely focussed on the art of applying what you have learnt to the needs of others within a variety of situations and for a range of conditions. Further information for this Programme can be found on the Art of Professional Studies Practitioner Programme Page.

“It should be thought very strange if one’s hands and feet refused to behave, or behaved in a manner which showed that their owner had no control over them. Yet that is how too often human beings allow their most delicate instrument, the mind, to behave.”
Theos Bernard