“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.”
Developing this further I feel it is the student in us that must, through an appropriate Sādhana received within an auspicious context with a teacher, realize ‘Avasthānam‘ in that the ‘Svarūpa’ or the ‘own character’ of the inner student ‘takes up its place’.
From there the inner student will flower perpetually, sustained by the rooting of the transmission from the external teacher to the external student.
Amongst the ideas that can offer a developmental structure for the content and process of Sādhana, or ‘means’ for the student to explore with the teacher the notions of self and non-self, are:
Integrative development through Study and Practice of the following components:
- Adhyayanam (chanting as learning or meditation)
Integrative development through Textual and Oral Study in the following fields:
- Experiential application of the principles in the Yoga Sūtra through guidance in chanting and personal study.
- Experiential application of the principles in the Haṭha Yoga texts emphasised by Krishnamacharya.
- Guidance with linking Indian texts emphasised by Krishnamacharya with Yoga study and practice.
- Guidance with linking Krishnamacharya’s own writings and compositions with Yoga study and practice.
- Experiential study of the core energetic, constitutional, diagnostic and lifestyle principles in Āyurveda.
However I also feel that realistically our ‘apprenticeship’ into the transmission of this sacred lore requires a decade or so of supervised practice and study with a primary teacher for its deep rooting and subsequent flowering.
Furthermore if we choose to add a professional Yoga teaching aspect to our inner student’s relationship with Yoga, our outer teacher will flower, perpetually sustained by the deeply rooted transmission from the external teacher to the internal student.
However, it can also be here that the inner dynamics of the student process and the teacher process can become mixed up or even the ‘outer teacher’ becoming substituted for, or overriding the ‘inner student’ without our realising.
For example, the process of training and teaching offers a learning situation where, as a trainee or teacher, I can pursue and learn from many sources within and without Yoga, including once teaching, students.
However in contrast, the process of transmission is primarily a one way channel as it’s the Yoga teachings and practices that are being ‘poured into’ the student in stages appropriate (Vinyāsa Krama) to our current situation, short and long term interest and potential according to life state, energy available and deeper tendencies.
This is Satviniyoga or the real-time placing of practice and study of Yoga before the student within a real-time pacing of the students integral Yoga development.
In other words I feel that, in terms of Sādhana, the process of learning as a student through teacher training or teaching is not the same as the process of learning as a student through transmission from a teacher.
This is the spirit of Paramparā (transmission from one to another, as in a pouring from a jug to a glass).