For yoga teachers who want to gain a higher level of knowledge about the original wisdom texts of yoga, acquire a deeper understanding of why these teachings still matter, and learn simple techniques for bringing these teachings into classes and workshops. This short course includes an overview of essential concepts, Sanskrit terminology, and categories of knowledge in the Vedic tradition.
Here’s how the course is organized:
Yoga-sutras, Part 1: Conceptions of Identity in Yoga Philosophy – covers the psychology of yoga in terms of spiritual identity and material mis-identity. Includes a detailed description of the three qualities of material nature, impressions on the mind, and the essential tension between modern western culture and traditional yoga philosophy.
Yoga-sutras, Part 2: Yoga as a Moral Philosophy – covers the values, ethical imperatives, and moral actions associated with living a yogic lifestyle as well as the relationship of morality to the acquisition of knowledge.
Keys to Understanding the Bhagavad-gita – includes a summary of the back-story of the Gita, the literary structure of the Gita, the five topics of the Gita, an overview of the four systems of yoga described in the Gita (karma-yoga, astanga-yoga, bhakti-yoga, and jnana-yoga), and the Gita’s hierarchical conception of reality.
Life Lessons from the Bhagavad-gita – Includes key verses and passages that offer specific insights into Arjuna’s moral dilemma, our own personal challenges, applying yogic values to social issues, how navigate relationships, and living a purpose-driven life.
The Perfection of Yoga – Covers the central position of devotion in both the Yoga-sutras and the Bhagavad-gita, why devotion is the indispensable element for the success of any system of yoga, and how Bhakti-yoga incorporates and subsumes all of the other methods of yoga. Includes discussions on the definition and attributes of Isvara, the concept of Krishna, spiritual plurality and inclusion, and the intersection of yoga and religion.
Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the ancient philosophical foundation upon which modern yoga stands.
**This is a component of Faith Hunter’s 300hr Yoga Teacher Training Program.**
Investment: $525 or $475 (early bird by June 28)
Yoga is both a process of turning inward and a process of engaging with the world. As such, yoga offers us a set of principles for both personal and social action. The defense of dharma– truth, justice, and harmony with nature – is entirely in keeping with the tradition of yoga.
Spiritualizing our activism elevates our response to injustice to a level that harmonizes the fight for righteousness with the spiritual conception of equality upon which the American conception of justice is actually based. It also links the advancement of progressive values to the advancement of spiritual consciousness.
A satsang is a gathering of seekers of the truth who come together to discuss the nature of the truth and the means by which one makes progress in spiritual life. In this satsang I’ll offer thoughts and ideas, based on the teachings of traditional yoga wisdom texts, about why spiritualizing our response to adharma– injustice and disharmony – is so important, how the values of yoga philosophy provide a solid foundation for progressive social action, and what we can do to imbue our actions with spiritual power.
We’ll also address a false dichotomy that creates obstacles for spiritualizing our activism and participate in brainstorming about how we can spiritualize both individual and a specific collective social activism project. Participants will acquire new insights into the nature spiritual activism, learn how their spiritual practice can energize their participation in progressive activism, and feel inspired to take their activism to a higher spiritual level.
6:00 – 8:00 pm Satsang & kirtan (devotional singing)
10:00 am – 12:30 pm Workshop 1: The Bhagavad Gita & Bhakti Yoga
1:30 – 3:00 pm Workshop 2: Spiritual Activism
INVESTMENT: $80 for all 3; or $30 per session
Conventional wisdom tells us that the paradoxical language of yoga’s ancient spiritual literature signifies Absolute Oneness; that despite any appearance to the contrary, we’re all One.
The speculative metaphysics of Neuroscience suggest that human psychology is just an autonomic meme machine with no one at the controls; that despite any appearance to the contrary, we’re all none.
Western religious traditions claim that an all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present God created the world and us along with it; that despite any appearance to the contrary, we’re all loved.
Contemporary seekers looking for a coherent resolution to these conflicting messages need look no further than Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s radical concept of acintya-abheddābeddha-tattva: the truth of inconceivable simultaneous oneness and difference.
At the dawn of the 16th century, the Bengali saint and spiritual activist Śrī Caitanya introduced a profound insight that brings clarity to the paradoxical verses of the Upaniṣads, persuasively refutes the notion of ‘no-self,’ and firmly establishes the philosophical basis for bhakti-yoga as a comprehensive science of self-realization. In this talk, I’ll unpack Caitanya’s revolutionary thesis, give his revelation some historical context, and explain its enduring significance for contemporary spiritual seekers.
This is a free 60-minute talk preceded by a joyful kirtan and followed by a sumptuous and equally free vegetarian lunch (donations of any amount gratefully accepted).
This workshop will address every one of these concerns. You’ll learn a simple five-part structure for giving a Dharma Talk that will make it easy for you to:
- Tell a story that your students can relate to
- Speak authentically from both knowledge and experience
overcome feelings of ‘imposter syndrome’
- Tell a complete story in just 5 minutes
- Develop a theme you can riff on for a month so you don’t have to think of something new every class
- Make your stories so engaging that your students will show up as much to hear what you have to say as for their physical practice.
After this workshop you’ll know how to consistently share your personal realizations about yoga philosophy with your students in a way they’ll enjoy and appreciate, have a system for preparing your presentations that will deepen your own experience of living the yoga you’re teaching, and feel confident in your ability to offer your students genuine wisdom from the yoga tradition no matter how much or how little you’ve studied yoga philosophy.
If you already open your classes with a Dharma talk, you’ll pick up valuable tips and tricks for deepening your relationship with the yoga wisdom tradition, expanding your thematic repertoire, and delivering your message in ever more compelling ways. Everyone will leave this workshop with tools that will help you to deliver your message with a higher level of ease and confidence.
Two things differentiate yogic meditation from mindfulness meditation: an emphasis on a transcendental object of meditation, such as a mantra, that has the power to elevate consciousness and a systematic approach to concentration and contemplation on objects of meditation that brings one to the state of spontaneous absorption in a trance of self-realization. This workshop is an experiential presentation of techniques of yogic meditation for yoga teachers who want to introduce both individual and guided meditation (Yoga Nidra) into their classes and workshops and for serious practitioners who want to expand their knowledge of yogic meditation and deepen their experience of meditation as an integral part of their yoga practice.
The Bhagavad-gita describes three paths of yoga – the yoga of action, the yoga of mystic perfection, and the yoga of knowledge – that are informed by and find their ultimate fulfillment in a fourth path: the path of devotional service. This workshop combines lecture, discussion, and experiential learning exercises that will illuminate the teachings of this foremost of ancient yoga wisdom texts. Suitable for both yoga teachers who want to integrate the wisdom of the yoga tradition into their classes and serious yoga students who want to deepen their understanding of and appreciation for the philosophical foundations of their physical practice.