The Traditional Yoga Apprenticeship is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the sacred practices of yoga with a focused group of dedicated yogis in an intimate environment. It involves an in-depth study of the practice and philosophy of yoga, studies in the non-dual wisdom of Advaita Vedanta, and a profound engagement with your own spiritual unfolding.
The Traditional Yoga Apprenticeship is a Registered Yoga School with Yoga Alliance at the 200 (introductory) and 300 (advanced) levels. This is also an internationally recognized Vijnana Yoga Teacher Training (please see more details below).
The yoga apprenticeship is open to yogis wishing to advance their studies and understanding of yoga; to keen and dedicated students devoted to a life of sacred practice and self-inquiry.
A serious commitment to the yoga is required for the duration of the apprenticeship. A regular personal sadhana (a daily home practice) is an important aspect of this apprenticeship; as are weekly readings, research and contemplative written papers, and/or creative projects, and presentations. Your life will take its shape around the yoga practices and study, your body, mind and spirit will become immersed in yoga, surrendered to your true nature — sat-chit-ananda.
Cathy Valentine is a dedicated yogi with special interest in the practices and philosophy of Hatha Yoga and the wisdom of Advaita Vedanta. Cathy has been teaching yoga and philosophy since 1999. She teaches weekly classes, private classes, workshops and retreats. Cathy completed 800+ hours of training (as an apprentice) with Gioia Irwin, and continues the practices and study of yoga. She is a certified teacher with Vijnana Yoga International and registered with Yoga Alliance as an experienced and educated teacher (an E-RYT 500).
The Traditional Yoga Apprenticeship is a 1 to 5 year process; years 1 and 2 offering a complete program each on their own, and also being available as part of the longer 5 year process:
In the first year the student establishes her/his yoga sadhana (meditation, pranayama, asana and study), attends weekly yoga classes, becomes familiar with basic structural anatomy and anatomy of movement, reads widely on Yoga history and theory, studies a traditional Hatha Yoga text, such as The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, learns to observe one’s mind through observation of personality, behavioural tendencies, and thinking patterns, studies and discusses yoga philosophy, and Non-Duality (Advaita Vedanta), and begins sharing one’s insights with the group. Year one meets the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training requirements of Yoga alliance:
In the second year the student looks more deeply into the first year subjects of oneself, anatomy, yoga practices, and electives such as Ayurveda, Sanskrit, and/or Yoga therapy. Students in year two may begin to assist in weekly yoga classes and offer lessons to friends. The practices deepen and one may begin to feel some fruits of the effort of dedicated practice, such as a quieter mind and a more peaceful outlook on life, one may begin to have insight into the nature of reality or their relationship to God. The text studies continue with other Yoga scriptures, for example, The Gheranda Samhita, The Shiva Samhita, The Yoga Sutras, The Upanishads. Year two meets the 300 hour advanced Yoga Teacher Training requirements of Yoga Alliance: https://www.yogaalliance.org/Credentialing/Standards/300-HourStandards
In the third year the student can enjoy a familiarity with Yoga sadhana — the sense of the yoga being a dear loyal friend, something to rest in. The sharing or teaching can then come from a place of ease and humble confidence. Study continues on the subjects of eastern and western anatomy, Yoga practice, Yoga philosophy, self-inquiry and teaching Yoga. There will be more opportunity for teaching. Upon completion of the three years, including required homework, attendance at weekly classes, home yoga practice, and passing the Vijnana Yoga International evaluation, students will receive a diploma of Teacher Training from Vijnana Yoga International. https://www.vijnanayoga.org/Standards.html
In the fourth and fifth years and ongoing for students who have completed three years of the Yoga Apprenticeship and/or grads of a Vijnana Yoga International Teacher Training course, I offer a four hour weekly class consisting of a long yoga sadhana – sitting, pranayama, asana and text study. I can also be available for check-in meetings (guidance and support regarding practice and teaching) a few times per year. We can also meet regularly for retreats.
Practices / Sadhana
Asana: the asana sadhana is based on the intermediate syllabus of the Vijnana Yoga Practice Manual. This begins with and draws ongoing support from the Tensegrity Repair Series and the Standing Pose Series. One’s asana sadhana can develop to include poses and cycles from the advanced practices of the Vijnana Yoga Practice Manual.
Pranayama: we will practice, each to his or her own abilities, bandhas and mudras, ujjayi, kapallabhati, bhastrika, nadi shodana, and the vayu breathing practices.
Meditation: we will practice “just sitting” every class, with suggestions and guidance.
Mantra: we will practice prayer and chanting of traditional mantra and japa.
Mudra: we will practice hand mudras.
Self-inquiry: learning to discriminate between what is true and not-true (sat and asat), and letting the truth guide one’s life.
Study: We will study the principles and ideas that underlie and inform the subjects of asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, mudras, text study, and self-inquiry. This will include the eastern wisdom of yoga on the energy body
(the prana-maya-kosha) and the mind, and western contemporary ideas of the moving body and psychology.
We will study Hatha Yoga texts from the 16th century and ancient Vedanta wisdom, considering old and new ideas of yoga practices and philosophy, God, the mind and the body.
We will look at concepts such as tensegrity and how they help us to understand the forces of ease and tension in this body-mind-sense complex and the world. We will study structural anatomy and the mechanics of movement, including the Anatomy Trains work of Thomas W. Myers.
We will study the principles of Vijnana Yoga – relaxed body, quiet mind, intent, rooting, connecting, breath and expansion – and apply these principles to our yoga practice and our lives.
We will study Yoga as a transformational practice of realizing the Self – our true nature of being-consciousness-bliss (sat-chit-ananda), and yoga as therapy and wellness.
Please contact Cathy for more information and to apply.
Space is limited. You are not.