YTT-200: Questions from students deciding about taking our training

Hey, William, I had a question come up I’m just curious about. Since Yoganand uses the Pradipika (sp) in the 500-hr, do you also use it in the 200-hr training, or do you use the Sutras or both?

Answer:  Swami Kripalu studied all the ancient texts, but taught many times referring to either the Bhagavad Gita or the HYP.  SK considered the sutras an advanced training manual for students who had already acquired certain levels of understanding and mastery. Yoganand teaches mainly from BG & HYP because of SK’s teaching,  HYP is a technical text, the ‘nuts & bolts’ of the external practice with the body.  BG is a devotional text, exploring the inner feeling and luminance of the practice.  Added 24Jan2012


Is there a way I can see what Yoganand’s teaching style is like before I commit to the training?


Yes, there are two options:

Approximately a month before the training starts, Yoganand teaches a 90-minute class at Jai Shanti Yoga and stays afterward to answer questions people have about the Pranakriya training. Dates for 2012 still TBA.

When a 200-hr training is in progress, members of the yoga community are invited to take the Friday Night 6:15p class that starts off that YTT weekend.

I’m not that flexible, but I’m really interested in taking a teacher training. Can I still do the Pranakriya teacher training?


I can assure you flexibility will not be an issue for you in this program. However, I would like to give you two points to consider. Both are true and I present them for you to consider. If you chose to take the training I will welcome you fully.

To be a teacher of anything requires that we have some mastery of the topic. I have met yoga teachers in whom I could see none of the benefits of yoga practice. Looking at these teachers I did not see much that I imagined they could impart to me as their student. It is easy to be attracted to the benefits of yoga and feel that becoming a yoga teacher will give them to us. Teaching is not a substitute for personal practice.

Some of the most powerful yoga teachers I have ever studied with (or trained) were folks who did not have “normal” healthy bodies. They were folks with MS or people who had been severely injured in automobile accidents. They were folks who had used yoga to help them heal and improve the quality of their lives. Yoga was real and powerful for them. You could feel it when they spoke and sometimes see it when they moved. They may not have been able to do many of the postures or look aligned in them but they illustrated the power of practice.

When we find yoga’s power and learn the skills to pass it on, we have a power to help others who are like us. Whether it’s other athletes; those living with diseases; or mothers of small children, struggling to hold on to peace of mind and physical health.

What if I need to miss a weekend during the training?


We can usually work with scheduling conflicts if you don’t have to miss more than one weekend.

Making up a weekend will require extra work on your part and perhaps extra expense. Where possible, I will ask you to cover material and work with another student or students to do exercises you missed. Sometimes I need for students to make up a session with me or another teacher who can give feedback and support. I or the other teacher may charge their rate for private classes for this service.

If you miss a weekend, you have from the day after that weekend ends until the next YTT weekend to make up the material.

Is there any yoga-experience prerequisite? I’ve been practicing a little over a year, but in that short time, I’ve been profoundly impacted by the benefits of yoga (hence my interest in the teacher training).


The general request is two years of yoga practice, so you have both a fundamental understanding of asana and breathing, but also so you have acquired some physical strength and body awareness. Teacher training is a great way to increase your knowledge base and, more importantly, how to language and sequence a yoga practice for a variety of body types and abilities. I invite you to talk further with Yoganand about your level of experience and intention for the training. In addition, I would like you to come to a few of my classes over the next few weeks and, after we meet and I see your practice, I can better advise you on whether or not you would benefit by taking the upcoming training.


William gave you an excellent answer regarding requirements for the program. I would like to offer one more point for your consideration. If you take a class with William or with me, we will say ‘yes’ to your participation if we see you have a strong practice and sensitivity to your body.

That said, please consider that when you become a professional yoga teacher, it will change your practice. I have seen many folks who fell in love with yoga and quickly became a teacher. Teaching then ate up their practice. There are a lot of yoga teachers out there who do not practice. They started with a strong practice and in becoming a teacher couldn’t maintain it. My intention in asking two years of practice before YTT is for you become strong in your practice. See where it can take you; integrate it into your life. I believe that the longer you practice before you begin to teach, the easier it will be for you to stay a practitioner who teaches, which benefits not just you, but also your students.

I wish you the best in practice and, if it’s right for you, to see you in YTT.

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