Piedmont Yoga Studio News April 2010 | iHanuman


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Piedmont Yoga Studio News April 2010

It was my great good fortune last Fall to attend a small yoga conference at beautiful Cavallo Point, just on the Marin side of the Golden Gate. One of the speakers there, Anne O'Brien, a local teacher, gave a fascinating talk about state of yoga teacher training here in the US, presenting in the process some innovative ideas about how such a program should be organized. I naturally began to think about the training program here at PYS, which was just beginning its third cycle in September 2009. Our two previous programs together graduated about 40 students, several of whom are now teaching here in one way or another. We have, I believe, an extremely strong faculty, each with something unique to offer: my program co-director Baxter Bell is a medical doctor which gives us a leg up, so to speak, in the anatomy course; Anne Dyer is a trained musician, who can call down the angels with her Sanskrit chants; Vickie Russell Bell is certified by Judith Lasater to teach her highly effective brand of restorative yoga; Yoko Yoshikawa brings remarkable intelligence and insight to the philosophy course; Mary Paffard is unequaled in her teachings of the subtle body and meditation. The program also includes a one-of-a-kind training in yoga for disabled students with JoAnn Lyons. Considering too the program's on the lower end of the fee scale in Bay Area schools, and I think I can confidently say we have one of the better programs around.
But Anne's talk stirred something up, and challenged me to take another look at the training program we call Deep Yoga. I wondered: Could we make this program even stronger, even "deeper"? Rather than rest on our laurels then, I gathered our redoubtable faculty together and presented a plan to make the world a better place for yoga training ... which was immediately quashed-in a nice-way by the group. And thank goodness too, because the ideas that emerged in the wake of my presentation were far superior. We have met now a couple of times to talk things over and plan our revolution, and while nothing concrete has yet been established, each and every one of the teachers contributed invaluable suggestions that will form the basis of our next program, which will be begin in the Fall of this year.
What will the new program be like? As I've said nothing much has been decided yet, except we intend to make it 25 hours longer for those students on the teaching track, to allow them time to demonstrate for us their newly acquired teaching skills. Yoko and I also have been talking outside the larger group about the philosophy component, and what we have in mind is getting the students a good deal more involved, and I have to add-kicking myself for getting this whole hornets' nest stirred up, making the teachers' job a lot harder.
Sound interesting? We'll keep you posted on our changes and the broad outline of the program, which should be taking shape toward the end of March. There will be two separate tracks to follow, one for yoga-curious students only, the other for students with teaching aspirations (becoming a teacher always reminds me of the joke my paratrooper friends in the Army used to tell about their 3-week training: the first week they separated the men from the boys, the second week the men from the fools, and the third week the fools jumped). Look out too for our Open Houses, one probably in May, the other in July.


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