Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the art and science of yoga to produce thriving and health in individuals and society (http://kripalu.org/about_us/7). It is a health and yoga retreat situated in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, USA. With over 600 employees and space for more than 650 overnight guests, Kripalu centre is one of North America‘s largest residential facilities for holistic health and education. Kripalu was founded in Pensylvania in1965 by Indian born Amrit Desai, establishing it as a centre offering yoga classes and trainings for yoga teachers. Today, world renowned leaders in areas such as yoga, self-discovery and holistic health teach seminars at the centre covering topics ranging from bodywork to meditation, nutrition to counselling and anything in between.
Kripalu Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga using inner focus, meditation, standard yoga poses, breathwork, “development of a quiet mind”, and relaxation. Kripalu emphasizes “following the flow” of prana, or “life-force energy, compassionate self-acceptance, observing the activity of the mind without judgment. ( “The Kripalu Approach: Yoga for Everybody”. Yoga Therapy Ireland magazine. Autumn 2006.). . The gentle and individualized approach makes it a good choice for students who can benefit from an adaptive practice, such as people with arthritis, seniors and overweight people (http://yoga.about.com/od/typesofyoga/a/kripalu.htm). This makes it an attractive form of yoga for those who may feel intimidated by the often complex and complicated poses that can be found in more physically challenging styles of yoga such as ashtanga or jivamukti. With its emphasis on physical healing and physical transformation, it allows practitioners to take what they learn on the mat and apply it in their daily lives.
Teacher Trainings Offered
The Kripalu School of Yoga offers 200-hour non-residential teacher trainings in 4 locations around the Unites States and Canada – California, Connecticut, Ontario or Rhode Island. A 200-hour and advanced 500-hour residential teacher training offered directly at the Kripalu Centre are also available. These allow students to fully benefit from the retreat atmosphere of the centre and enable them to benefit from numerous facilities such as a whirlpool, sauna, vegetarian kitchen and meditation room, to mention but a few.
As with any yoga teacher training, certain requirements must be met for acceptance onto the course. Amongst others these include at least 2 years of yoga experience, with a regular practice in the past 6 months, previous exposure to Kripalu yoga, and emotional maturity. For the 500-hour course, further requirements are presented.
The programme of the training is rigorous, with the residential month long training days starting at 6.30 am and finishing as late as 9pm. The non-residential programmes run in blocks of anywhere from 3 – 6 days, spread out over a period of months. Scholarships are available for those in financial difficulty, allowing individuals regardless of their background to enhance their lives in a positive way through yoga. All the teacher training directors have at least 25 years of Kripalu yoga experience – both teaching, practising and living it.
Teacher Training Structure
As with other Yoga Alliance certified trainings, the Kripalu Yoga teacher training has certain hours reserved for various topics with Instruction in Yoga Asana, Pranayama, and Meditation taking up 50% of the course time. The remainder focuses on anatomy, physiology, teaching methodology, philosophy, ethics and lifestyle. Apart from the traditional themes covered in most 200-hour yoga teacher trainings, the Kripalu yoga teacher training bring in elements such as self-awareness, working with one’s growing edge, and prana-initiated movement.
The 500-hour training is open to teachers of any yogic tradition who already hold a 200-hour certificate. It consists of 300 additional hours, allowing participants to deepen and broaden their yoga knowledge and teaching skills. Areas covered included advanced asana practice, advanced pranayama and meditation techniques, application of ancient yogic philosophy to the modern day, and skills needed to teach specific populations (such as people with special needs). Transformational teaching tools such as chanting, ceremony and ritual are also covered.
The Kripalu School of Yoga is home to one the nation’s leading associations for yoga teachers – the Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association (KYTA). With over 2 400 members, this association offers spiritual and professional support for yoga teachers of various traditions. To benefit from additional support upon completion of the teacher training, Kripalu yoga teacher training graduates are given a complimentary one year membership to the KYTA. Benefits of being a KYTA member include scholarship opportunities, discounts on yoga related products and services, continuing education resources and many more.
The Kripalu Yoga teacher training is a well-rounded course, with the addition of interesting topics such as increased body-awareness and tools for personal transformation. If you prefer a style of yoga, that is not too physically challenging and accessible to a broad range of people, then this teacher training program may be for you. Additionally, if enrolled in the residential programmes, you are able to benefit from the facilities of one of North America’s largest holistic health centres. Upon completion of the course, you can profit from the free membership to the Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association, allowing you to rapidly grow your community. The courses are Yoga Alliance certified and the name Kripalu yoga is known and appreciated all over the United States, if not the whole world.
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