This system of yoga is a science that unifies most western sciences into a universal view of the energy world. Starting at the core of quantum physics, moving up into atoms and the molecules of our own biology, from there into body and brain chemistry, and into glandular and organ functions, we learn to understand and experience ourselves at a base level of an energetic reality called Chakras. Learn to control your body functions, the art of complete deep breathing, psychological detoxification and visual concentration in a step by step way that leads to the development of inner vision and heightened meditation abilities.
What are the Chakras exactly?
Yoga’s ancient system of the Chakras dates back thousands of years, yet elaborates on the various frequencies of energy which are only now being re-discovered in Quantum Physics. With Yoga it is more than a theory filled with equations; rather, it is a science with techniques for observing these energies and working with them, so as to enhance health of body and mind, while expanding the boundaries of the conscious observer.
This leads to an expansion of conscious awareness; it adds a confident, peaceful optimism to one’s state of mind, and, the methods of working the energies through the body produce an impeccable state of health. while the emotions come to rest in a state of peaceful happiness.
Sample Daily Schedule
5:30 AM: Mantra in the Sound Temple*
6:00 AM: Hatha Flow*
7:00 AM: Morning Yoga Class
9:00 AM: Breakfast and short break
10:30 AM: Morning Class i.e., Anatomy, Psychology of the Chakras, Physiology, and so on
11:30 AM: Practices in relaxation, contemplation, concentration & meditation.
12:30 PM: Lunch and long break
3:00 PM: Afternoon Class i.e., Nutrition, Pranayama techniques, Mantra Laya, and so on.
4:00 PM: Movement, posture and Breath.
5:00 PM: Break, Optional Chanting Time.*
6:00 PM: Dinner
7:30 PM: Evening Class i.e., Documentary, Mantra, Conscious Movement, Sound Journey, and much more.
* Optional Classes
The settings in both Thailand and the Philippines are residential and ashram like, providing a peaceful and safe nurturing environment in which to learn and grow. Students are provided with a 250 page manual specifically written for the course; this is the study guide and reference material for future teaching. Also there is a 150 page book with the asanas described and photographed, alignments for each, modifications and cautions. The third month of the course has an added manual with advanced theory and practice in Chakra development.
A step-by-step approach to learn through experience
Starting with the Chakra Yoga fundamental of deep, complete breathing...
In the Chakra yoga system the art of deep breathing is the first thing taught, as it was with Swami Gitananda in India 1971-72. The few days of the course is dedicated to teaching the three parts of breath and follows with integration of those parts of the breath into what is referred to as complete yoga breathing - Mahat Yoga Pranayama.
With these parts of breath are over 20 asanas and kriyas used along with the movement of body and breath to enhance lung capacity. Complete yogic breathing is then applied through the rest of the course in all postures (an additional 80), movements, relaxations, concentrations and meditation.
Chakra Yoga teacher training goes to the core of the entire Science of Yoga, from the energy wheels called Chakras to the foundation of quantum physics stated in Samkhya Philosophy. Beyond the asana teacher trainings taught in most places, Chakra Yoga uses the asana training as a grounded foundation upon which the energy world is sitting. The other 80% of the education is about mind, emotions and consciousness, transcending the physical realm to create liberating experiences in universal consciousness – the original purpose of Yoga.
If your interest in Yoga is just about teaching asanas, there are many other schools for that. The asanas have traditionally been a small part of the yogic education, there is so much more, really. We do cover 108 asanas, with physiological benefits and mind/body connections through the chakras, as well as the emotional and psychological actions and re-actions involved.
Anatomy & Physiology
Anatomy and physiology classes focus on the locations and functions of the breathing apparatus - nose, lungs, bronchial passages, alveoli etc. as well as the cardiovascular system and its major role in oxygen distribution and carbon dioxide elimination. As students come to understand the role of oxygen in the metabolism of virtually every cell in the body, we follow up in the coming weeks to a deeper study of all body systems - with the practical application of yogic practices to rejuvenate each one.
While examining the necessity of oxygen to our body functions we look at diet, nutrition and detoxification, applying cleansing techniques such as Shanka Prankshalan (salt water flush), and Jala Neti for body purification at the physical level. For those who find the salt water flush too demanding there are alternative cleansing diets like the Master-Cleanse. We discuss the various techniques and make individual recommendations.
Following the physiology connected to the breath, we go into detail about the physiological functions of the various body systems connected to each chakra. Beyond the theory are practical applications of a series of exercises, breathing techniques, concentration techniques, sound formulas etc., which bring the prana and oxygen to each system of the body for a tune-up and rejuvenation, while establishing a strong mind-body relation. Going beyond the theory of physiology with its inherent understanding - we move into experiential exercises that actively promote healing.
Parallel to this we employ a pranayama technique for clearing of the mind and begin a psychological review of memory and emotional content of one's life to date (Ekadasi Kriya). Counselling and consultation are available anytime throughout the course. The asana practice at this time involves a fair amount of flow and movement in a methodical way that relieves stress, tension and emotional blockages while providing mobile assistance to the physical detox. The principle teacher, David, studied with Dr. Swami Gitananda who was very well versed in the science of Pranayama. He taught over 50 different breathing and pranayama techniques during a six month intensive TTC, (which ran 8 hours a day, 7 days a week for 6 months. no escape or time off.) These techniques are progressive and need to be done in sequence, one after another, leading the student through an evolutionary phase that becomes on-going. For this process it is advisable to have a guide who has some years of experience rather than google information that has no sequence or structure.
Meditation and relaxation techniques to calm the nervous system and rejuvenate the body and creating space for deeper contemplation. Detailed methods of studying how mind and emotion affect us, leading to self-knowledge and wisdom.
Practices in spinal manipulations and therapies applied to others, somewhat similar to Thai massage and chiropractic methods. The therapeutic methods applied here lead into more advanced healing techniques to become part of the Rejuvenation and healing part of the course.
An in-depth look at Sacred Geometry as it applies to the structure of the universe and its reflection in our molecular biology. Also the exploration of the ancient yantra calendar system to determine and utilize cyclic chakra energies and understand our biorhythms, as we flow through the influence of these energies month by month, day by day...
During the third part of the course we go deeply into the physiological functions associated with each chakra, looking at the mind/body connection to find and correct any problems that may potentially be lurking in us. The scientific aspect of our neuro-biology is studied through energetic relations to our body chemistry, with methods to change problems and potential problems in our health. We go in to a fairly elaborate study of physiology at this point, to establish better understanding of how the mind and emotions influence body functions.
The exploration of sound vibration and its effects on mind and body, including scientific documentaries on sound and experiences in Quantum Sound Therapy. Daily practices in melody, intonation, pronunciation, rhythmic chanting and singing.
The cultivation and development of the mind through concentration, creative visualization and mandala gazing paired with sound and light. Here we focus our ability to use mind as the pro-creative force to unfold our potential abilities. This is the Royal Yoga for the development of the mind, as practiced by the elite rulers of the ancient society in India. This cultivation of enlightened beings to rule the country was very much part of India, Egypt, and Tibet -> the only remaining society led by an enlightened being instead of a politician.
Tantra & Kundalini
Creating balance and dynamic flows between the masculine and feminine energies of the nervous system. A physical, mental and spiritual discipline for empowerment, developing strength, awareness, character, and consciousness.
Discussions surrounding the Philosophy and Science of Yoga and comparative studies of the Chakras. We view Scientific documentaries on modern research in connected fields of quantum physics, neuro-biology, psychology, to develop better understanding of our own brain and body chemistry. Along more conventional lines, listening to or reading traditional texts while reflecting, discussing, assimilating and meditating on their meaning, is part of the program.
Yamas & Niyamas
The Yama - Niyama: morals and ethics of yoga, are introduced and discussed early in the course, and then elaborated upon throughout the weeks, with several hours dedicated to the subject of human behavior in modern society. This leads into discussions on the morals and ethics of various cultures, various religions, while comparisons are made between the spiritual practices from the religious side of life to the more psychological realm of yogic living. The philosophy of ancient texts like the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras, are woven in to the talks with discussions on how to apply the universal realities to this busy world.
The Nervous System and yoga "nadis"
As the course continues one week is specialized in a deeper study of each chakra and its physiological connections, with appropriate asanas and pranayama techniques to energize each of these - one chakra to one body system at a time. The nervous system, nadis (energy pathways like meridians), are explained in their parts and as a whole system. The explanation is not only based on the traditional view of Ida, Pingala and Shushumna but also explained in the modern view of electromagnetic energy and quantum physics, bridging this into our biology and back to body and brain chemistry. Also with the concept of kundalini: we look at the traditional view of a coiled serpent - tracing it through a variety of cultures, including the serpent in the tree of life in Eden, then equate it back into the biological reality of the coils of our own DNA. Science and spiritual realities were not separate in India nor in Egypt, so in our yoga programs we make the connections (yoga means uniting), and students are given a good foundation in the complementary perspectives of each. Various documentary videos are shown and shared to support the concepts.
In conjunction with the exploration of human physiology and the subsequent influencing of organ and glandular functions through yoga practice, Chakra yoga looks deeply into the mental and psychological side of life. Mental thought patterns and emotional states are linked and interrelated to each chakra week by week; this leads to greater clarity of how the mind works, and how emotional states are woven in with thought patterns as well as how much influence both of these have on our physiology and health. Here also we look at very recent scientific documentaries about discoveries in brain function, and where thoughts are transformed into brain chemistry.
During this time we teach a gentle progression of asanas with modifications and adaptations so that everyone can do them. Not only are they taught but clearly defined so that students are aware of how to go from the gentle postures with movement, to more intermediate poses, without stress or strain in such a way as to allow the body to adapt, release and stretch out. Added to these classes are at least 34 hours of specific details of alignment - how to observe a person's alignment, how to help and adjust when it may be required, and how to interact with students without overstepping boundaries. The language of teaching and guiding students through some of these processes is well detailed and when practicum time is at hand the RYT is listening and correcting the language as the need arises.
Swadhiyaya is applied as self observation in the hatha classes (asana) in such a way as to direct each student's awareness inward and make them more conscious of their body feelings. Conscious feeling is the safeguard in postures, one which makes students notice the body feedback and prevent overdoing any posture. Through this method, as taught at the ashram in India, David has taught 46 years without causing any injuries in his classes. As we progress through the chakras and observe the psychological aspects of each, the swadhiyaya method becomes a more sophisticated system of analyzing the directions of mind and all of its functions.
The methodology of doing, practicing and teaching are demonstrated in each class, and there are many discussion sessions where we elaborate on appropriate methods of assisting, teaching, verbalizing and explaining clearly what we are doing and why we do it in specific ways. Questions and answers come together at these times. Students are taught how to analyze their own students when they are the teachers by observing each individual in a class, looking at their posture in general, and the way they do the asanas. Those who are struggling may need some private sessions to gain the most benefit, and in such a case that should be suggested. If the group is small and people know each other, then time can be taken for individual adjustments and modifications. People are not all the same and their bodies have different limitations; we make it clear that yoga can be of great benefit for all, so finding the right poses and breathing techniques for each person is important.
Movement is a vital part of asana practice in Chakra Yoga, taking the postures from forward bends to back bends, the breathing method for each movement going in and out of the postures is incorporated. Similarly with twists, when to take in the breath and when to exhale are specifically instructed in a way which is in harmonic flow with the compression or expansion of the thoracic cavity and lung capacity. In this system of yoga the health of internal organs is considered more important than flexibility, so breath and movement which help oxygenate these organs and glands is a priority. Postures are always counter balanced with complimentary poses, maintaining the equilibrium of body and mind. As we become more proficient with the flows, music is brought in so that it becomes more like a dance - connecting posture with movement with breath and the rhythm of music, creating a more enjoyable practice.
Hatha Yoga Dandhal is an ancient system of body building which seems to be still unknown in the west. Reference: "Yoga and Health" by Yesudian & Haich - 1946 publication. This aspect of Hatha has been developed and elaborated upon by David since 1976, and has become an integral part of the course. It is taught in the traditional method with specific breathing methods and slow motion exercises, and as students gain the required abilities, we discuss the ways of teaching it, and for whom this method is most appropriate.
The practical (practicum) aspect of student experience is woven through the course, for example, once we have completed the breath training, each student must design and instruct a class for their peers in this phase of yoga. Instruction must include explanations of oxygen, prana, and body chemistry. Evaluation is done by E-RYT and all students attend the critique. For the 500 hour certification there are added hours of volunteer teaching to the local community, two hours of which are supervised by an RYT and another three hours as personal experience are done independently with individual, private classes. For all students there is a 1.5 hour practicum designed and taught at the end of the 300 hours. For the 500 hour certification then, three practicums are required.
In Chakra Yoga there is a progression of asanas, kriyas and mudras that fit in to a system, one which leads into advanced sequences designed to enhance and tune up the endocrine glandular system for peak performance of body health while allowing a subtle re-configuration of hormones and neuro-peptides to help raise awareness to a higher level of consciousness. During the third month of training these practices are applied and brought to a high standard. They involve the three bandhas: mula, uddhiyana and jalandhara together with advanced breath retentions in and out, while holding certain postures such as the head stand; these are part of an ancient practice known as the "Oli Mudras". Consequently these are carefully taught with constant monitoring and feedback on the results. Since a gradual progression is required, allowing for body and cardiovascular adjustments, the mastery of these techniques generally requires three months of training.
The more esoteric concepts of the bandhas as internal energy controls is elaborated upon, while looking at the relation to the Grunthies. The three grunthies are explored in their psychological components and students are led to explore how the physical and mental resistances are important to overcome in order to facilitate spiritual development.
During the third month students are led into a deeper understanding of body chemistry and our ability to modify and adjust it as needs be for healing dysfunctions in any gland or organ. An advanced pranayama technique called Pancha Sahita is employed to rejuvenate each body system, while the mental and emotional aspect of the dysfunctions are brought up to be cleared through contemplation and concentration. The contemplative part requires a very introspective look at belief systems and attitudes.
The concentration part of the course is elaborate, involving step by step development of visual and verbal techniques from the realm of Raja Yoga.
The verbal techniques are taught as part of Mantra Yoga, in the first part of the course we introduce the concept of sound as vibration and go in to some of the ancient methods of "chanting" certain songs in Sanskrit while observing the calming effects this may have on the mind. During the third month this goes more deeply into more sophisticated sound formulas related to each chakra, used to clear and empower each one in a gentle awakening of the creative force known as Kundalini. Individual supervision is an important component in this phase and students are advised to work with these techniques in accordance with Swadhiyaya - the self observation methods which are practiced over the duration of the course.
Visual concentration begins with easy steps in eye gazing and works towards developing inner vision and opening up the third eye (Ajna Chakra). As one steps forward, sacred geometry is brought into the picture and during the second part of the training, as vision unfolds, the realm of Yantra Yoga becomes a greater tool for understanding the mathematics and structure of the universe. The knowledge gained can then be used to help oneself and other students through a mathematical and energetic analysis of individual chakras and the ancient calendar system of Yantra Yoga. Advanced visual concentration techniques are used at this time. Each chakra has its specific geometric form and color - used to deepen the experience and understanding in each realm of our human reality.
The reality of 'mind over matter'
The healing powers of yoga are discussed and explained in the light of modern physics, while the practical work with chakra energies brings in the actual experience of working with the energies that are only theoretical in the scientific world. As students experience this more profoundly in the third month they come to a greater understanding of the old yogic saying 'mind over matter'. Then with the new understanding, mind becomes empowered to bring significant changes to the state of the present world situation. This is the power of yoga, and it is taught from the inside out. Students are re-Mind-ed and encouraged to become the positive changes they want to see in the world and to teach by being a good example of yogic living.
The following books are not mandatory to read or bring to the training, however we do encourage our students familiarize themselves with the Yoga Sutras, preferred version is "Science of Yoga" by I. K. Taimni, The Bhagavagita by Christopher Isherwood,and other philosophical studies on Yoga such as the writings of Sivananda and Iyengar.
Most of the following books can be found as PDF documents online. If you wish to purchase hard copies we suggest Better World Books which is a progressive company that provides affordable options, free international delivery and generously donates to global literacy programs.
Atlas of Skeletal Muscles, Robert Stone & Judith Stone*
Anatomy of Movement, Blandine Calais-Germain
The Chakra System
Laya Yoga by Goswami(advanced)
The Serpent Power (rather advanced, on the Hindu Chakras.)
When the Body Says No, by Gabor Mate
Mysticism and the New Physics, by Michael Talbot
Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton
Yogic Philosophy and Mind
Autobiogaphy of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda*
Bhagavad Gita, Eknath Easwaran (or other authors)
Light on the Yoga Sutras, B.K.S. Iyengar (or other authors) The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - many interpretations available = suggested: Science of Yoga by I.K. Taimni
* Highly recommended reading prior to Teacher Training
Teacher Training Manual
To be used in conjunction with the Teacher Training Course, the manual has been carefully compiled and updated over the years to become a complete overview of the Chakra Yoga system. This manual is provided as part of the student program fees, but is also available for purchase in either hard or soft copy, you can get your hands on decades of knowledge and experience condensed into a single volume.