The Sivananda Teachers' Training Course (TTC)
- Four-week theoretical and practical training in all aspects of yoga composed of 401 training units of 45 minutes' duration
- International certificate from the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre organization (ISYVC) is awarded on successful completion of the course. The diploma is entitled "Yoga Siromani" and recognised by Yoga Alliance for the 200 hours Registered Yoga School Standards
- This course was established in 1969 by Swami Vishnudevananda as the first yoga teachers' training course taught to Western students and now has over 32,000 graduates.
- A sincere desire to learn and openness to yogic techniques is required – a basic knowledge of yoga postures and philosophy is preferred, but not essential. Students will develop the skills to teach yoga asanas and improve their own personal practice.
The Course Instructors
The course is taught by Yoga Acharyas (spiritual teachers), personally trained by Swami Vishnudevananda, as well as other experienced Swamis and yoga teachers. They regularly participate in special further training in India to deepen their Yoga knowledge and practice.
The Gurukula System of Education
The course is based on India’s traditional Gurukula teaching system, where by direct contact with the teachers, the student’s day-to-day life during the course is transformed into an integrated learning experience.
The Sivananda Yoga Approach
Yoga teachers are not just trained in the asanas. While asanas are an integral part of classical Hatha Yoga, it is the combination of the asanas with ethical values, pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation that enables a comprehensive experience of Hatha Yoga.
The Sivananda approach to training yoga teachers believes that students should understand and experience the four main systems of yoga: Besides the focus on Hatha Yoga, the Sivananda yoga teacher training programme introduces students to the theory and practice of Raja Yoga (control over the mind), Karma Yoga (selfless activity), Jnana Yoga (yoga philosophy) and Bhakti Yoga (transformation of emotions into devotion).
Yoga Alliance Certification
Sivananda Yoga Teachers' Training Courses are officially certified by the worldwide Yoga Alliance in the USA for the 200 and the 500 hours standard for registered Yoga Schools (RYS).
International Guest Speakers
Guest speakers and artists from around the world enrich the Teachers’ Training Course experience. Lectures on medicine, ayurveda, diet, physics, psychology, religion, etc. reveal fascinating connections to yoga.
The curriculum is based on the five points of yoga which can be understood as the practical application of the four traditional yoga paths:
- Proper Exercise (Asanas)
- Proper Breathing (Pranayama)
- Proper Relaxation (Savasan)
- Proper Diet (Vegetarian)
- Positive Thinking and Meditation (Vedanta and Dhyana)
Daily: two meditation sessions, two yoga classes, two lectures, one hour of service to the ashram community. One day a week is lecture-free.
The daily in-depth practice with individual corrections comprises:
- Sun salutation and the12 basic yoga postures
- 100 asana variations, from intermediate level to advanced
- Postural alignment
- Deep relaxation with auto suggestion
- Release of blocked energy
- Training sessions for all age groups
Benefits of asanas:
- Control of emotions and improved power of concentration
- Rid the body of excess fat and enhance physical fitness
- Relieve chronic ailments such as constipation, rheumatism and digestive problems
- Stimulate circulation and stabilise thyroid functions
- Keep muscles youthful and supple into old age
- Expands capacity of the lungs
- Relaxes the nervous system
- Balances the two hemispheres of the brain
- Purifies the nadis (subtle energy channels)
- Awakens the inner spiritual energy
- Kapalabhati (lung cleansing exercise)
- Anuloma Viloma (alternate nostril breathing)
- Samanu (mental cleansing of the nadis)
- The 8 main pranayamas: Ujjayi, Surya Bheda, Bhastrika, Plavini, Moorcha, Sitali, Sitkari, Bhramari
- Tratak, Neti, Kapalabhati, Dhauti, Nauli and Basti: six classical purification exercises for the eyes, nose, air passages, oesophagus and stomach, abdominal organs and large intestine. Explanation and demonstration of the exercises and their effects. Individual instruction
Anatomy and Physiology
- Introduction to the major body systems. The effects of asanas and pranayama on the cardio vascular, respiratory, digestive, skeletal, muscular and endocrine systems
- How to teach the 12 basic postures and breathing exercises to beginners and intermediate students
- Detailed correction workshops
- In the second half of the training course, participants will teach each other under the guidance of an experienced instructor
- Vegetarianism – for ethical, spiritual and health reasons
- How diet affects the mind
- Proper balance of the main nutrients
- Ayurvedic principles of nutrition
- Healing effects of fasting
- Physical and mental meditation
- 12-step daily practice
- Effects of and experiences in meditation
- Mantras – spiritual energy in sound
- Mantra initiation (if desired)
- Ethical and moral principles
- Body – prana (life energy) – mind
- From control over the body to control over the mind and meditation
- Ashtanga – the 8 steps of yoga
- Antahkarana – functions of the mind
- Concentration and meditation
- The Absolute and how it manifests itself in nature
- Macrocosmos and microcosmos
- The 7 Chakras
- The awakening of cosmic energy
- Kirtan: chanting of classical Sanskrit mantras
- Indian gods and their cosmic meaning
- Arati and Pujas (traditional Indian rituals)
- The law of cause and effect
- Samsara – the wheel of birth and death
- Karma Yoga – selfless service: one hour daily in the ashram community
- Basic concepts of Vedanta philosophy
- The 7 Bhoomikas or planes of consciousness
- Space, time, causation
- The 3 bodies
- The 3 levels of the mind
- Conquest of death
- Study of both the text and the commentary of this classical yoga scripture
lecture or silent walk
yoga (helping out with chores)
Gita or chanting class
mantra chanting, lecture
|Attendance at all activities is mandatory.
Changes in the programme may occur from time to time. One day a week is given for personal activities and study. On this day students are required to attend morning and evening satsangs as well as to complete their Karma Yoga.
Situated in a quiet residential area in Putney in South West London, the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre with its beautiful peace garden and spacious halls provides an ideal setting for relaxation and Yoga practice. Teaching groups are kept small and the main emphasis it put on individual guidance and detailed instructions.
Within short walking distance the gardens of Bishop park and the riverside trails along the River Thames offer a variety of scenic nature walks while Central London with all its famous sights can be reached by tube in just 30 minutes.
Nutritious and delicious vegetarian food will be served twice daily in the annex of Saint Mary's Church just a short walk away. Please note that the meals offered are lacto-vegetarian. We cannot cater to special dietetic needs during the course.
- The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnudevananda, Three Rivers Press
- Bhagavad Gita with a commentary by Swami Sivananda, the Divine Life Trust Society
- Yoga - Your Home Practice Companion by the Sivananda Yoga Centre (Dorling Kindersly)
Please note: These books are not included in the course fee. They can be purchased at the Sivananda Yoga Centres or via the online shop.
International Yoga Day
The 21st of June has been declared as the International Yoga Day by the United Nations. The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres will be celebrating the first International Yoga Day on a grand scale in London. The event will take place on a boat that will sail on the Thames from Putney, the borough where the Centre is located, to the heart of the city. Festivities include an Indian concert, meditation, talks and an Indian meal eaten onboard. The boat will dock in the city where a special yoga class will be held. All participants of the Teachers' Training Course will be part of this grand, international event.
Yoga Teacher Training Graduates
Upon successful completion of the Sivananda Yoga Teachers' Training Course, the yoga teacher receives a yoga certificate confirming that they have sufficient knowledge and practical experience to teach Hatha Yoga (asanas, pranayama and relaxation) to beginners and intermediate yoga students.
In addition to the four-week basic training course, Swami Vishnudevananda developed the Advanced Teachers' Training Course (also 4 weeks) and an advanced practice course (Sadhana Intensive, 2 weeks). Weekend and week-long further training programmes for yoga teachers are also available. The further training programmes and the Advanced Teachers' Training Course are useful for acquiring further yoga teacher certification.
Qualification for Admission
The intensity of the training programme requires a high degree of discipline and commitment but mastery of yoga practices is not necessary. Yoga is about inner growth. Prior practice of asanas and meditation is preferable.
Yoga of Synthesis
The course is based on the yoga of synthesis as taught by Swami Sivananda. This includes the practice of Hindu devotional rituals which are also part of the daily programme.
Attendance at all programmes is mandatory. In order to maintain the spiritual atmosphere, no meat, fish, eggs, coffee or black tea are allowed. No smoking, alcohol, or drugs. Their use may lead to dismissal from the course. Appropriate modest clothing is required.
The price for the 2016 courses will be confirmed shortly (In shared accommodation).
Included are the examination fee, administrative costs, teaching, room and board, two sets of yoga clothing and a teacher's manual.
Please call the Sivananda
Yoga Centre (020 8780 0160) for full details
of the course and
an application form, or download an application form
Please note that space is limited and early booking essential.
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