Prajna Yoga Teacher TrainingA rare opportunity in Europe!
It is now four years since I got to know Tias Little and Prajna Yoga. I had been practising yoga for 14 years already, had passed a 3.5 years / 1’000h teacher training, had given classes for 8 years and attended lots of workshops and immersions with various teachers. But the very moment when Tias began to speak changed almost everything. The way Tias teaches yoga was remarkably different from what I had experienced before. “Prajna” means wisdom, and this wisdom was perceptible in each and every Prajna Yoga session I had the opportunity to attend. Very soon it had been clear for me that I would take a whole 500h teacher training with Prajna Yoga; so I did. I have been flying to Santa Fe (NM, USA) a lot since then. Long travels indeed, but I always returned nourished, enriched and inspired. Yoga in its true sense, intertwined with the teachings of the Buddha — this is what Prajna Yoga means to me.
Prajna Yoga has become my ‘yoga home’ — it has changed my life.
I am deeply honored to host a Prajna Yoga teacher training in St. Gallen, to make it available for a broader audience in Europe. And it is a particular pleasure that Djuna Mascall will be teaching Sessions I-III. Djuna has been working closely with Tias and Surya Little since years, and she is one of ‘the’ Prajna Yoga senior teacher. And Linda Spackman will be here, too! Together with Surja Little, she runs Prajna Yoga’s Woman’s Health program and co-teaches the 200h training at Prajna Yoga in Santa Fe.
The training will not only scratch the surface; see the details below. In my perception, this training is quite unique. Sure, the weekly modules demand for some planning and commitment. But this setup allows for real retreats from daily grind and to dive deep into the teachings, without distraction.
You will have the opportunity to further deepen your studies with Prajna Yoga later on, with the 300h or 500h programs. As a senior student, you will also benefit from the apprenticeship and mentorship programs.
Last but not least, Prajna Yoga has established an incredible Sangha. It really feels like coming home each time when I arrive in Santa Fe. Prajna Yoga is home to so many interested, interesting and loveable people. Uncomplicated intercommunication and joint studies are just invaluable, also after formal completion of a program.
Missed the «Prajna Yoga Immersion»?
Here is an excerpt of Djuna MASCALL’s introductory talk about «Strong, Open Shoulders & Easeful Neck», to give you an idea:
Is this for you?The training at a glance
What to expect
Prajna Yoga offers one of the most in-depth, comprehensive and transformational yoga training programs available today.
We start with the premise that a dedicated yoga practice involves not only physical discipline, but a combination of scientific rigor, profound contemplation, developed sensitivity and penetrating practice. The aim is not to set up a yoga system that churns out students in a specific style or methodology of practice. In this sense our program is akin to models of higher education; for our aim is to educate not indoctrinate, and to that extent, Prajna Yoga offers a rich and varied curricula that is appropriate for aspiring teachers or dedicated students who wish to deepen their practice as well as for seasoned teachers wishing to advance their studies.
This training is for both seasoned and aspiring teachers, as well as for students who wish to deepen their practice and further their understanding of yoga. A two-year minimum consistent yoga practice is a prerequisite.
Students who complete the program will receive a Prajna Yoga 200-hour Teacher Certificate and are eligible to be registered with Yoga Alliance as a RYT 200, Registered Yoga Teacher.
The regular price is CHF 4’300,–. If you cannot pay in full, please ask for an installment plan.
Early bird registration until May 31, 2017: CHF 3’950,–.
Not sure yet?
Then just give it a try and sign up for Session I only (September 12-17, 2017), for CHF 980,–.
If you then decide to take the full training, the second installment is CHF 3’520,–. Again, if you cannot pay in full, please ask for an installment plan.
ScheduleThe timeline in brief
Session ISeptember 12-17, 2017 (Tue-Sun)
From the Ground Up
This session explores the foundational teachings of the yoga practice with an emphasis on how the feet are “the foundation to the temple of the body”.
This Session covers foundational asanas, mainly standing poses and introduce the therapeutic work of SATYA (Sensory Awareness for Yoga). We emphasize both “mobilization” and “stabilization” techniques to open the body. We study the body’s fascia by outlining Five Sheaths of connective tissue that extend the length of the body. The anatomical work is taught together with the Postural Study. We study the key anatomical structures that relate to the arches of the feet and detail how the feet are “the foundation to the temple of the body”. While developing an understanding of the bio-mechanical function of the feet and legs, we also study nadis, meridians (from Chinese Medicine), Ayurveda marma points and chakras. We emphasize the importance of the sacrum relative to the lower two chakras, muladhara and svadhisthana chakras. From the Ground Up undertakes an in-depth study of the ilio-psoas and its preeminent position in the body relative to mula and uddiyana bandha.
This course looks at the ways that traditionally, yoga involves training of the mind/heart. We investigate the foundation of the three pillars that enable transformation on the path – the Buddha (Awakened Mind), Dharma (the Teachings) and Sangha (the Community). We read and interpret passages from the Buddhist tradition and include selected poetry to invoke the essence of the yoga path. We explore the Eightfold Path of the Buddhist teachings and the Four Foundations of Mindfulness in combination with the Ashtanga Yoga system from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. We introduce the power of chanting and the power of vibration.
You will receive a complementary Prajna Yoga training manual on the first day of this Session. Please see Recommended Reading for a list of recommended texts. It is not necessary to bring these texts with you to the Session. However, being familiar with the content prior to arrival will facilitate a greater understanding of the material covered in class.
Teacher: Djuna Mascall, 45h
Session IIFebruary 20-25, 2018 (Tue-Sun)
The Fluid Body
This session is an in-depth study of the hands, arms and shoulders relative to the diaphragm and pranayama. We reflect on myths from the yoga tradition that relate to rivers, the ocean and the fluid body.
The Fluid Body begins at the third chakra and the kidney/adrenal region. We investigate the importance of hydration and fluidity within the body. This course is an in-depth study of the upper trunk including the sternum, shoulders, arms, diaphragm, brachial plexus, heart/lung and carpal tunnel. We include mobilization techniques to free the ribs, spine, shoulders and hands in the SATYA training. Asana sequences emphasize arm balance preparations and shoulder openers. We teach back bends, inversions and arm balances. Much time is devoted to the shoulder girdle and practicing poses that serve to align the shoulders and reduce strain in the rotator cuff area. In addition, we continue our study of the Five Sheaths of connective tissue that spiral around the trunk and pass through the arms. We study the nadis, meridians (from Chinese Medicine), Ayurveda marma points and chakras that relate to the arms and upper trunk.
This week we introduce the foundation of pranayama practice, while introducing ways to sensitize the diaphragm, ribs and lung tissue. The primary theme for the week is water and the fluid systems of the body. We look at the fluid pulse (spanda) that animates the cosmic cycles of creation/destruction, particularly through the powerful metaphors of ocean and river. As we explore the cosmic themes of water and life, we detail the circulation of blood, lymph and cerebral-spinal fluid through the body. We investigate the power of myth (from the mythology of Vishnu) and in particular the teachings on maya, or the illusory nature of the visible world. We read chapters from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha while investigating the teachings on karma, inter-dependency and nonjudgmental awareness.
Teacher: Djuna Mascall, 45h
Mastering the BasicsMarch 20-24, 2018 (Thu-Sat)
Mastering the Basics
This module provides the essential teaching skills in order to teach a yoga class following the principles of Prajna Yoga. This mini-intensive guides, inspires, and motivates you to confidently and competently begin to teach yoga classes.The curriculum includes: defining and refining teaching skills, class planning and organization, directing students through effective use of voice, verbal instructions and demonstrations, observing students’ poses and common pitfalls that beginning teachers encounter. We provide individual feedback through group teaching exercises in order to help trainees hone their skills.
Teacher: Gisela Wilming, 24h
Introduction to SATYAMarch 25, 2018 (Sun)
Introduction to SATYA
One of the primary aims of Prajna Yoga is the heightening of perceptivity in the body-mind connection. The SATYA (Sensory Awareness Training for Yoga Attunement) experience encourages sensory awareness and inner listening. SATYA are movements that complement asana training. The exercises are non-weight bearing and involve techniques to reduce myo-fascial holding in the body. They are gentle techniques done on the floor and involve sliding, gliding and circular movements. The exercises help mobilize the joints, remove fatigue from the body, balance asymmetries and align the right and left sides of the body. The SATYA training, along with yoga postures, involves neural-muscular re-education.
Teacher: Gisela Wilming, 8h.
Fundamentals of SequencingApril 23, 2018 (Mon)
Fundamentals of Sequencing
To design a yoga sequence is an art. It requires skill in action to adjust a practice to the needs of the students. A sequence should be inspirational in the sense that students are taught new pathways of learning, sensing and discovering. It should give energy rather than taking it away.
The aim of Prajna Yoga is to teach poses not for the sake of the pose itself, but in order to enhance “knowing”, the sensing or embodied wisdom (‘Prajna’) that is a result of this inward journey.
Women's HealthApril 24, 2018 (Tue)
In the yoga world, many students as well as teachers ignore the need to honor and adapt the practice for the rhythms and phases of women’s life cycles. This class is designed to inspire teachers and empower practitioners to explore how to adapt the practice and support women in all life phases. We will move through sequences of asanas in order to demonstrate beneficial actions and contraindications for menstruation, pregnancy, peri-menopause and menopause.
The Language of YogaApril 25, 2018 (Wed)
The Language of Yoga
For yoga teachers, a basic understanding of proper Sanskrit pronunciation is an important aspect of consistent and clear communication to students. Basic orientation to the Sanskrit alphabet, techniques of proper pronunciation and how to read transliteration will be presented through chant as well as printed material. Our focus will include chants from the yoga tradition and asana names.
Teacher: Linda Spackman, 8h.
Yoga Sutras of PatanjaliApril 26, 2018 (Thu)
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define the subject of yoga and describe in detail the purpose and potential effects of on-going practice. This rich and illuminative text is inspiring to students and teachers alike in its thorough compilation of the vast subject of yoga.
As continuing students of yoga, study of the sutras encourages us to expand, refine and deepen our relationship to practice. As teachers, we can introduce these sutras in ways that invite our students to explore the broader aspects of yoga practice.
The content of the course will focus on some of the most relevant sutras. Through presentation and discussion we will examine how the ideas they bring forward apply to daily life, as well as to yoga practice.
Coming out of an oral tradition thousands of years old, the sutras were traditionally first taught through the medium of chant. To honor this process we will learn the basics of Yoga Sutra chanting.
Areas of study:
- The history of the text and background of all four chapters
- Basic sutra chanting
- Introduction of important concepts
- Applying yoga sutras in asana, pranayama, meditation, and daily life
- How to further develop and deepen your personal studies of this key text
- How to present relevant sutras to students of all levels
Teacher: Linda Spackman, 8h.
Session IIIMay 1-6, 2018 (Tue-Sun)
The Subtle Body
This session studies the neck, skull and brain and the importance of inverted postures and pratyhara as well as in-depth study of the emotional body and the effects of trauma on bodily tissues.
The Subtle Body course is an in-depth study of the neck and cranium along with the throat chakra and the chakras inside the skull. We review the bones of the cranium, cranial sutures, jaw and sensory organs. We detail the practice of jalandhara bandha and its effects on the throat chakra, and the thyroid gland. We study pratyahara (the softening of sensory awareness), particularly in relation to the eyes, ears, mouth, and throat. We emphasize the importance of the organ of the tongue and introduce khechari mudra to release the upper palate and throat. We practice mobilization techniques to release strain in the neck and shoulder region. The asana practices emphasize the study of inversions including headstand, shoulder stand and plough.
One of the primary themes of The Subtle Body is the emotional body. Stemming from our anatomical study of the throat, skull, and brain, we study the central nervous system with its sympathetic and parasympathetic branches and the flight or fight response. We investigate the impact that trauma has on both mind and body, and we look at how anxiety and stress become embedded in the body’s soft tissues. In light of the effects that stress and trauma have on the body, we study the kleshas or afflictions from both the Patanjali Yoga Sutras and the Buddhist teaching. We compare the kleshas as enumerated in the ancient yoga texts to current theories of stress and emotional holding given in Western psychology and somatic practices.
Teacher: Djuna Mascall, 45h
Djuna MascallSenior Prajna Yoga Teacher, E-RYT 500
Djuna Mascall is a rare teacher who illuminates yoga through intelligent sequencing to allow the body, mind, and heart to open. She is a Prajna Yoga Senior teacher and gracefully integrates her extensive knowledge of anatomy, alignment, and the wisdom of yoga. She was featured in Yoga Journal in August 2012 and graced the cover of the October 2012 issue.
Her primary influence comes from her ongoing work with Tias and Surya Little, and Mary Paffard. She offers Prajna Yoga in the U.S. and internationally.
Djuna’s teaching is inspired by her connection to nature and the sea; she sailed across the Pacific in a small engine-less sailboat and is the first woman on record to circumnavigate the Alaskan Kenai Peninsula by kayak.
Please find further information about Djuna on her website, illuminatingyoga.com.
The Body Awake, Ep 3: Djuna Mascall
Linda SpackmanSenior Prajna Yoga Teacher, E-RYT 500
Linda Spackman began practicing yoga in 1984 and began teaching in 2000. Linda’s classes include asana, pranayama, Yoga Sutra and Vedic Chant. She teaches with Surya Little and Prajna Yoga, at the Vedic Chant Center and Yoga Source in Santa Fe, NM. In each class, Linda imparts her joy and underlying reverence for all aspects of yoga. Her teaching style is accessible yet challenging for all levels of practice, from beginner to lifelong practitioner.
Linda is a devoted student of Sonia Nelson, with whom she regularly studies the Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, Vedic Chant, Pranayama and Meditation. Sonia, a certified teacher trainer and yoga therapist, and a long time personal student of TKV Desikachar, is a rare teacher whose gift is imparting an understanding of both the tradition and depth of yoga, and how these teachings apply in everyday life.
Linda also treasures the opportunity to study asana with Patricia Walden, one of the most senior teachers of Iyengar yoga. Linda is continually inspired by Patricia’s dynamic teaching and the devotion and refined elegance of her practice. A longtime prenatal and postpartum teacher, she specializes in yoga for all phases of a woman’s life.
She conducts the Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training Intensive, and co-teaches with Surya Little, the Yoga and Women’s Health Program for Prajna Yoga.
In addition to public classes and intensives, Linda enjoys working one-on-one with students in private settings. With a keen eye for alignment and broad understanding of yoga practices, Linda supports students progress step by step through structured self-practice.
Kayena Vaca (excerpt)
Gisela WilmingPrajna Yoga Teacher
Gisela Wilming began practicing yoga around 2000, and she never wanted to become a yoga teacher. She started her teacher training only to deepen her own practice. (Un)fortunately, the training curriculum required to give classes. So she did. She regularly teaches since 2006, with great enthusiasm and joy. She founded ‘Yogahlada’ in 2013 to establish a Yoga Sangha in St. Gallen.
Gisela studied with various well-known teachers all over the world. In 2013 she met Tias Little. She knew from the very first day that he is her teacher. She is a devoted student of Tias and Surya Little and Prajna Yoga since then. Prajna Yoga became her path, and everything it represents. Prajna Yoga also gave her a different approach to meditation which is a fundamental part of her life since then. She is going to study meditation with renowned teachers Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield in 2017/18.
Gisela teaches weekly classes and private lessons at Yogahlada. Her aim is that students experience yoga as a path — not just as a pose. Nevertheless, anatomy and alignment are a very important part of her teachings.
Gisela encourages students to appreciate every moment of their lives. Yoga is the greatest gift of her lifetime, she says.
Where to stayAccomodation in St. Gallen
We recommend Hotel Dom in the old town of St. Gallen. It offers workplace and apprenticeship training positions for 55 handicapped persons, and it’s just a cosy hotel. It is only a short walk to our studio, located directly at the UNESCO world heritage St. Galler Stiftsbezirk.
Please indicate the code «Yogahlada» when you book at this hotel, to benefit from favorable conditions.
Recommended Readingfor your consideration
For the overall training
Yoga of the Subtle Body: A Guide to the Physical and Energetic Anatomy of Yoga
Paperback – May 17, 2016 by Tias Little, available e.g. at amazon.com
Atlas of Human Anatomy
(International Edition) (6th Edition) Paperback by Frank H. Netter MD; available e.g. at amazon.com
Somatics: Reawakening The Mind’s Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health
Paperback – August 3, 2004 by Thomas Hanna, available e.g. at amazon.com
The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali: A New Translation with Commentary
(in particular the first and second chapter, Samadhi Pada and Sadhana Pada)
Paperback – April 1, 2003 by Chip Hartranft (Translator), available e.g. at amazon.com
For Session II
Rolfing: The Integration of Human Structures
Ida P. Rolf, available e.g. at amazon.com
Herman Hesse, available e.g. at amazon.com
Light on Prãnãyãma: The Yogic Art of Breathing
Paperback – June 1, 1985 by BKS Iyengar, available e.g. at amazon.com
Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization
Paperback – May 1, 1972 by Heinrich Robert Zimmer, Joseph Campbell (Ed.), available e.g. at amazon.com
Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Paperback – Laser printed, September 1, 1998 by Swami Muktibodhananda, available e.g. at amazon.com
FAQhere are the answers
I am worried that my English is not good enough ...
Don’t worry too much about the language. If you have a solid understanding of English, and e.g. if you can generally follow calm dialogues in a movie, that’s perfectly fine. And have a look at Djuna’s short film above: If you get the message, you don’t need to worry. And we will hand out a glossary with the most common terms of anatomy, to ease understanding. If still in doubt, touch base with Djuna on Feb. 4-5 at the Prajna Yoga Immersion at Yogahlada.
Sign up now!Application and Information Form
The (not so) small print
The regular price is CHF 4’300,– if you are signing up for the whole training right away.
Early bird registration until May 31, 2017: CHF 3’950,–.
Please fill out the form below. We will get back to you within a week and confirm your enrolment to the training. When we have confirmed your enrollment, a deposit of CHF 400,– is due within two weeks. The remainder is to be paid by no later than July 31, 2017. If you cannot pay in full, please ask for an installment plan.
The deposit is non-refundable except if the training is canceled for any reason whatsoever. You may cancel your reservation until March 31, 2017 and we will keep only the deposit. The full amount is owed if you cancel on or after April 1, 2017.
Places are limited! Min./max. participants: 12/25.
If you are not yet sure about taking the whole training, you might want to sign up for Session I only and give it a try. The price for Session I is CHF 980,– (due Aug 31, 2017). If you then decide to take the full training, the second installment is CHF 3’520,– (due Feb 15, 2018). Again, if you cannot pay in full, please ask for an installment plan.
Now, here you go
Perhaps the most convenient way to apply is the online form:
Application and Information Form
Don’t like online forms? Then please download the PDF and complete it the conventional way. You may send it back by Email or regular mail (Yogahlada, Unterer Graben 1, CH-9000 St. Gallen), whatever you prefer.
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«śraddhā-vīrya-smr̥ti samādhi-prajñā-pūrvaka itareṣām» — Yoga Sutra I.20
«The state of open illuminationis preceded by faith, strength, mindfulness, absorption and deep insight.» — Yoga Sutra I.20