What is Still Flowing Yoga?
A Unique Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Programme in Ibiza (Spain) and the UK (Devon/Scotland) with a Buddhist Heart.
“Still Flowing Yoga Teacher Training is a Somatic Approach to the Ancient Wisdom Teachings of Yoga & Meditation, skilfully introducing students to how the Buddhist Meditation Practices of Mindfulness and Metta can be integrated into the practice of Yoga and its teaching in order to facilitate a clearer sense of direction, precision, care and depth”.
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.
The somatic focus on Still Flowing is the thread that connects and integrates the complementary forms we explore – such as Scaravelli Inspired, Slow Flow Gentle Vinyasa, Mindfulness Based, Trauma Sensitive, Therapeutic and Restorative, guiding our students towards a gradual embodied awakening both in stillness and in movement.
Broadly speaking Still Flowing Yoga Teacher Training is an integrative 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 awakening within daily modern life, where these complementary practices are ultimately employed as tools for personal liberation.
Still Flowing Yoga TT is non – performance based and as yoga teacher trainers we aim to facilitate a programme where students cultivate an understanding of the depth and beauty of simplicity within 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.
Please note that learning prescriptive routines and flows by heart will not form part of the teaching methodology – our methodological approach is enquiry based.
If you want to learn organically and intuitively in an intimate, safe, well held and familial atmosphere with quality individualised tuition then this programme is for you.
NB:- For 200 hr graduates from different yoga schools as we are a unique non mainstream programme as integrate some cutting edge work around regulating the autonomic nervous system through yoga asana, movement and mindfulness practices and as such you may find the content at the level of an advanced training with a clear therapeutic bias so do sign up!
You can gain CPD advanced training credits for this with the UK Yoga Alliance.
Our Totem – The Heron
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.
You will experience and be introduced to different intensities of fluid and thematic sequences that are focused around foundation and ground, core unwinding, breath, undoing tension and release, awakening different anatomical and physiological structures.
The flows are often creative, exploratory and intuitive drawing on complementary approaches to asana such as Slow Flow Gentle Vinyasa, Scaravelli Inspired, Somatic, Mindfulness based and Trauma Sensitive approaches.
The morning classes emphasise and show case how to structure a class, how the different families of postures work together and how to form intelligent sequences.
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 and Metta) 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 Mindfulness Practice : Sitting / Enquiry / Dialogue / Embodiment.
Teaching and Practices on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. Continuous enquiry into the breath, the physical body, feelings and emotions, thinking and the cognitive mind, and consciouness itself.
Teachings and Practices 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
What is Yoga?
Teachings and Enquiry into Patanjali’s Classical Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga
Teachings on the Bhagavad Gita
Appropriate Attitudes for Practice and Teaching Yoga
Asana Technique & Areas of Enquiry
Overview: Enquiry into Foundation, Core, Bandhas, and Breath Synchronised Movement in Side Bending Postures, Extension Postures, Flexion Postures, Rotation Postures, Balancing and Sitting Postures.
Unlocking the process of enquiry and open invitational exploratory yoga
Working with the gravity/rebound response in order to cultivate release through the spine along with stability, spaciousness and lightness through the body
Unwinding the core, ongoing focus on unwinding and awakening the responsive deep core (psoas)
Bandhas – subtle bandha work – exploring how the body is supported from the inside out and experiencing how to contain energy in the body, directing the energy ever more deeply into awakening the core and spine
Cultivating Felt Sense – working with asana as a feeling practice and one that accesses reptilian and limbic circuits in the brain and establishes regulation at the level of the autonomic nervous system
Understanding how to balance the sympathetic, parasympathetic and social engagement parts of the autonomic nervous system through asana, movement, mindfulness, metta and complementary relational practices
Deep Listening – working with the body’s language and internal dialogue in order to work individually with practice. Learning how to listen to another persons system – cultivating yoga practice and teaching for the individual
Languaging and Witnessing – Learning how to use skilful, open, enquiry based language in order to empower students. Working with listening, witnessing, sharing and relational exercises.
Creative Arts Process – Exploring our felt sense and internal landscape through contemplative writing and expressive arts practices.
Integrating all of the above
Embodied Yoga Anatomy Physiology
This part of the programme is approximately 30 hours and takes up most of the 1st or 2nd week depending on the programme.
It involves teaching Anatomy and Physiology through guided sensory experiences to let you learn about your body from the inside-out.
It teaches you about the internal workings of the body through physical explorations: These movement experiences will let you connect with the structures you’re learning about in a richer context than from books alone.
You will journey through the nervous system, the core (diaphragm/psoas and spine), the bones, the fascia, the muscles, and the structures that support breathing.
We use anatomical and physiological awareness as a powerful tool to keep the body safe and the mind grounded, and as a way to hone our meditative somatic awareness as it flows deep into our own body exploring 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 your guide for teaching
- Setting up and structuring a class
- Delivering an intelligence sequence
- Demonstrating and assisting
- Understanding the energy dynamics of teaching Yoga – containing the class
- Teaching a class practicum and many opportunities for teaching practice spread over the month
- How to use language for enquiry based teaching
(The specific mix of complementary subjects are taught depend upon the combination of teachers, for example: chanting, esoteric anatomy will be part of the programme should Nora Belton be teaching)
- The History and Origins of Yoga from Shamanism until the present day (compulsory)
- Adjustment Clinic: Shiatsu and Somatic Bodywork for developing assists (compulsory)
- Partner Yoga (depends on teaching faculty)
- Restorative Yoga (depends on faculty)
- Chanting and Voicework (depends on teaching faculty)
- Esoteric Anatomy: Chakras and Subtle Energetic Systems (depends on faculty)
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)