Spirit of Programme
A Unique Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Programme in Ibiza (Spain), Morocco and Thailand with a Buddhist Heart.
“Still Flowing Yoga Teacher Training is a Somatic Approach to the Ancient teachings of Yoga & Meditation, skillfully leading students through dynamism to awakened stillness by weaving together and integrating somatic flowing Yoga, Yin & Scaravelli Yoga, Buddhist Meditation (Insight (Vipassana)/Mindfulness/Metta), Asana Technique and Enquiry, Teaching Methodology, Yoga & Buddhist Philosophy, and Applied Yoga Anatomy & Physiology :- Preparing our students to teach Yoga from the heart with integrity, skill, and understanding”
Broadly speaking Still Flowing Yoga Teacher Training is an integrated approach, offering students an accessible, direct, modern interpretation of Patanjali’s Classical Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga interwoven with the Buddha’s Teaching on Mindfulness, firmly orientating students towards a state of embodied awareness within daily modern life, where these practices are ultimately employed as tools for personal liberation.
Still Flowing works to integrate the Buddhist Insight Meditation practices of concentration, enquiry and loving kindness into the practice and teaching of modern Yoga (particularly asana).
Still Flowing Yoga Style
Employs elements of Vinyasa, Scaravelli, Iyengar, Sivananda and Yin. It is an integrated, fusion, free form style that honors the vital balance of fluidity and stillness within an internal container of deep core integration and within a more global container of mindful awareness.
Still Flowing is a fusion and therapeutic approach, drawing heavily on the essence of Vinyasa Yoga (foundation, core/bandhas, breath, breath synchronised movement, progressive sequencing, natural flow and timing) and then integrating Scaravelli for unwinding and deep awakening of the spine, Yin for cultivating sensation and parasympathetic arousal, Iyengar for technical and progressive construction, and Restorative for renewal, regeneration and surrender.
Still Flowing integrates both constructive and deconstructive elements within it. Its about working fluidly in order to have more creative means by which to get into our bodies in order to encourage internal balance. The yoga postures support the wider practice of embodiment and are employed therapeutically in order to bring us more intimately into a somatic experience of the body.
Asana is a tool we use in order to embody more deeply, in order to feel more deeply, in order to have more options or more templates within which to enquire.
The thread that unites all the practices however diverse in their appearance, is the somatic focus. Thomas Hanna defined Somatics as “…the field of study dealing with somatic phenomena, i.e., the human being as experienced by himself (or herself) from the inside.” He defined soma as the body experienced from within.
NB. Our approach is non – performance based, and as yoga teacher trainers we aim to facilitate a programme where students cultivate a deep understanding of simplicity and foundational asana rather than an immediately gratifying experience of “advanced” asana which can result, particularly over time, not only in physical injury but also in dysregulation of the nervous system.
The programme encourages students to be dilligent, engaged, and enquiring to benefit most from this programme, this highlights the fact that learning prescriptive routines and flows by heart will not form part of the teaching methodology.
If you want to learn organically and intuitively with an emphasis on the resolution of suffering from the inside out, through the practices of Yoga and Mindfulness – this programme is for you.
For 200 hrs graduates from different schools: – Due to the unique non mainstream approach integrating some cutting edge healing work – If you have already done a 200 hr programme and wish to do an advanced training with a therapeutic bias.. this programme could well be for you.
The first practice of the day will be dedicated to developing a self practice which will be the foundation of your teaching life. 45 mins daily will be allocated to self practice, this period will also serve as an opportunity to integrate what you are learning in the other sessions into your own practice.
Morning Led Practice
You will experience and be introduced to different tones, speeds and intensity of flowing sequences (dynamic, gentle, deep, enquiring and mindful) drawing on the differing approaches of Vinyasa, Scaravelli, Yin and Sivananda. The morning classes will emphasise the different families of postures and how to construct a sequence around a particular family of postures. The fusion approach allows for accessibility to all abilities and ages, students will learn how to adapt and modify the flow both in structure, tone and sequence in order to reach a wide audience. The focus is always on establishing solid, clear, safe foundations.
Karma Yoga / Mindful Silent Work Period
A daily karma yoga session or silent mindful work period is an integral part of the daily practice. 45 minutes is devoted to community tasks such as preparing the dinner, cleaning the yoga shala, taking charge of washing clothes, sweeping the outdoor spaces, washing up, cleaning the kitchen etc. An opportunity to work for the greater good, in community, in silence, also a change to discharge and integrate keeping connected to the daily aspects of life.
Insight (Mindfulness) Meditation
Please note that Buddhist Meditation forms an integral part of the 200 hr programme and our ongoing work into synthesising the Teachings of Yoga and Buddhism.
Daily Embodied Mindfulness Sitting / Enquiry / Dialogue Practice:
Continuous enquiry into the breath, the physical body, feelings and emotions, thinking and the cognitive mind, and consciouness itself, complemented by teachings on loving kindness (Metta) as the home base for the cultivation of all the Four Brahmaviharas (Immesurable Minds)
A general introduction to basic Buddhadharma with an emphasis on the Buddha’s Teaching on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path to complement and inform Patanjali’s Classical Yoga Path
Asana Technique & Areas of Enquiry
Using self enquiry and self practice as the source for soulful, inspired teaching using a somatic approach (working within the realm of felt sensation and the body as experienced from within)
Using the asana skilfully in order to establish a responsive relationship with the ground that provides internal support and stability through the deep core structures of the body – cultivating stability from inside out
Awakening the spine, in order to establish a sense of ease, space and connectedness in the body, and balance in the nervous system
Cultivating felt sense in order to be more aware of and touch more deeply into sensation and emotion and feel where the body is demanding, defending or distracting or where the body is tense, stressed, dissociated or frozen
The gathering of attention and focus internally, so the unwinding of constriction and holding patterns may take place
Attuning more and more to the body’s language, and the mind settling back into quiet
An ongoing and deepening integration of the body, heart and mind of functional, structural and energetic integrity
Honouring and working with the individual in all its diversity of shapes, sizes, cultures, ages, levels, conditioning, and restrictions
Finding ways to practice and teach that encourage both creative expression and containment in the body
Employing both classical and experimental yoga postures as the templates for exploration
Employing the practices to embrace normal every day life and be committed to a process of understanding ourselves and others
Applied Yoga Anatomy & Physiology
Asana technique and principles of embodiment and alignment are explored within the context of the ground/foundation, the core/internal dynamic and the breath/diaphragm.
We will study the mechanics of brokendown asana, in all the foundational classical yoga asana, and how asana due to the shape of each individuals’ bones will be expressed differently in each body, and from this understanding move students away from one size fits all technique, and towards realizing how their own bodies work, exploring their own range of motion so that they may help others do the same. By consequence, this will allow students to understand how to adapt and modify asana for different objectives, different needs, different bodies and different levels and how to use props appropriately to these effects.
An in depth exploration of the deep core muscular structures, of the breath and the spine and their relationship to gravity will provide the context for the study of Yoga Anatomy on this course. Through both formal study and practical enquiry into these systems we willl focus particularly on the function of the diaphragm, the psoas and the spine.
We will use anatomical awareness as a powerful tool to keep our bodies safe and our minds grounded in reality, and as a way to hone our meditative awareness as it flows deep into our own body exploring and breaking down the concept of alignment through felt sensation and discovering our own anatomy from the inside out.
The Art of Teaching
A great deal of the teaching methodology is dedicated to actual teaching practice
- How to teach honestly using your own practice as your inspiration and guide for teaching
- How to get off your mat and move around the class
- How to demonstrate and assist
- Enquiring into and understanding the intelligence and reasoning behind a class structure and a particular sequence and delivering an intelligent sequence
- How to use themes, language, voice, creativity and timing
(The specific mix of complementary subjects are taught depend upon the combination of teachers, for example: chanting will be part of the programme should Nora Belton be teaching)
- The History and Origins of Yoga from Shamanism until the present day (compulsory)
- Chanting / Mudra / Hindu Mythology
- Basic Thai Yoga Massage or Shiatsu for Adjustments or Adjustment Clinic (compulsory)
- Shamanic Meditations
- Esoteric Anatomy: Chakras and Subtle Energetic Systems
Trauma Senstive Approach
Still Flowing Yoga is a trauma sensitive approach. The programme is structured, facilitated and contained in such a way so as to bring about continuous regulation at the level of the nervous system throughout the month (aligning with Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing Therapy – body orientated trauma healing). The practices allow for the release of deeply held patterns of tension, stress, holding and constriction that may arise in body, heart and mind during the programme as subconsious and unresolved material may surface due to the length and intensity of such a programme.
Ultimately, it is these patterns that obstruct our capacity to inhabit our bodies in an undefended, undemanding and undistracted manner – so the larger container and structure of the programme mirrors the more microcosmic Still Flowing style that would be taught in a class context.
The ability to abide in present time awareness, and live from a place of embodied ease comes about from being able to meet and skillfully work with these stress patterns that can present in the nervous system and manifest through the body – otherwise the idea of presence remains just this.. an idea.
The Teacher Training in Ibiza was comprehensive, professional and structured. Considered timetabling enables the student to cope with each day without being physically overwhelmed which is no small feat given the 200 hours in four weeks. No shortage of food and water/tea/coffee ect and comfortable sleeping arrangements also augment the experience in this idyllic Villa setting overlooking the Mediterranean. The practice is varied and challenging and the approach is one that will definitely make you think and possibly challenge previously held assumptions about all things yoga, so there is variation and stimulation coming at you from all angles.
The combination of Yoga practice and Meditation complement each other perfectly and for myself this was a great benefit, however, for those with no experience of meditation this new concept might prove a challenge so I recommend that this aspect should be considered/investigated before committing to the course, however, the teachers can help to approach this new form of consciousness if you find it a struggle. Simply put; the teaching staff is excellent, considerate, perceptive and adaptable so that they can cope with and relate to every kind of student, which of course helps to harmonize what is realistically a group of people who have probably never met before and find themselves living together for a month. The experience for me was transformative and I feel that it has changed me very much for the better!
Philip Martin – Graduate, Ibiza, May 2014 (email@example.com)
I have found that the teachings that I have been introduced over the month are so pertinent and so valid; I am amazed that more people are not practicing in this way. It is so organic, and intuitive. The nature of the somatic approach seems to just make sense on every level.
It has been so wonderful to be in my body, properly connected and dialoguing with it…. I feel it in every cell, its saying thank you!!
To take time, and to not rush past the subtleties of movements is allowing me deeper access to the most fascinating thing on earth, my own self.
Katherine Gibb – Graduate, Ibiza, May 2014 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My understanding of yoga now is that it is all about getting into your body, not getting into poses! At times during the course, I wondered if I was good enough or if my self-practice was at a high enough level. This was great to work with and really challenged my thoughts on what yoga is about.
Previously I saw my yoga practice and meditation practices as quite separate, whereas now I am bringing mindfulness into my Hatha Yoga. I am more aware of my body while practicing yoga and feel more freedom to respond to my body. I think I have learnt to be more flexible in my Hatha practice and don’t feel the need to just follow sequences from a book or video. By listening to my body I am able to flow freely from one asana to another in a more fluid way. I see now that through Hatha Yoga I am able to enquire into my body, mind and emotions
Laura Jane Porter – Graduate, Ibiza, May 2014 (email@example.com)
A really exceptional course. The range of teachers — each with their own perspective, areas of expertise and unique individuality — made for a very well-rounded teacher training. I found the Buddhist Insight aspects invaluable, providing a useful complimentary perspective on the Yoga philosophy, provoking insights into one’s own personality and motivations, as well as developing calm, patience and persistence with the meditations.
The morning Asana class was inspiring, stimulating, challenging and fun; I really learnt a lot. Just the right amount of anatomy, and excellent insights into Yoga technique that I use daily when teaching. In general, a considered curriculum, that was broad enough to be comprehensive whilst still remaining manageable. The schedule, while intense, also provided enough free time to integrate, regroup and do self-study. Oh, and the setting was beautiful.
I’d highly recommend the course to any aspiring yoga teachers who not only want a technically solid course, but also one with real spiritual depth.
Simon Bekker – Graduate, Koh Phangan, April 2011 (firstname.lastname@example.org)