Just putting the finishing touches to the Application of Āsana Module Two manual as I prepare to teach its contents for the four day Course for a small group starting this weekend. Currently running to 90 pages it complements the 60 page Application of Āsana Module One two day workshop manual.
These 150 pages of student training manuals sit within the Āsana section of the Arts of Yoga and Chant Practice Modular Programmes. The Āsana module sits within the five linked aspects of practice which, taken as a whole aim to reflect the Yoga practice and theory teachings of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar.
These five aspects of practice are the arts of Āsana, Mudrā, Prāṇāyāma, Dhyāna, and Adhyayanam or Chanting. This approach to transmitting the teachings of Desikachar as individual threads arose from the choice to make a complete restructuring of all my training programmes, the first major overhaul in 25 years of teaching courses to students and especially training teachers within group class situations.
It has taken five years from conception to completion and follows a conscious choice to go back to the fundamental learning methodologies following an accumulating dissatisfaction and frustration with my existing models of group student teaching Introductory and Foundation Courses and especially teacher focused training Practitioner and Postgraduate Programmes.
For me the processes of running courses, each offering a range of topics where different selected aspects of Yoga practice and Yoga teachings were packaged alongside each other within one workshop, increasingly exposed me to the difficulties around the student learning a little about a range of topics and its not being the same as the student learning a lot about a single topic.
Plus I find that this ‘little about a lot’, mixed within larger groups and with students different learning strengths and strategies left me increasingly feeling that I was teaching a ‘viniyoga soup’. It tasted nice and its wholesome and filled you up, but really lacked the intensity of depth and individualised student based learning that is the essence of this approach.
Added to this was the modern inclination of leaving the ‘advanced’ practice and theory elements inaccessible, unless the student undertook a Yoga teacher training course, increasingly prompted a review of my own feelings around fulfilling the Paramparā that I was privileged to be apprenticed into.
Hence an entire dismantling of all elements of my teaching and training programmes and a return to the priorities of in-depth, single topic, small group based, student focused, personalised learning.
This was realised firstly by removing all the Yoga practice and textual study content from the teacher training structures to allow access within non-teacher training structures and secondly by dividing all this content into two primary areas, one around Yoga practice techniques and theory and the other around associated Yoga and lifestyle textual study.
The final step was separating all this accumulated content into individually threaded modular based learning topics under two broad headings, that of the study of Yoga Practice Techniques and Yoga Practice Theory and the other Study of Associated Yoga and Lifestyle Texts.
Thus here I am currently working on the modules within the Āsana section of the Yoga Practice Techniques and Yoga Practice Theory. These modules, all accessible without any obligation to undertake a teacher training course to access the depth of learning they contain, are shown below.