Yin Yang Yoga Teacher Training (January 2011)

In January 2011 I had the opportunity to participate at a Yin Yang Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand. At that time I published a few articles about the training on the Blog of the Yogaplace Salzburg (where I gained later my first teaching experiences). As a start for forthcoming articles about yoga, find here my report from that time, brought to light again.

14.1.2011 – Live from the Yoga Teacher Training

Since almost a week I am now in Koh Samui Thailand at a Yoga Teacher Training from Simon Low. More precisely a Yin & Yang Training. This is a training which incorporates dynamic and flowing movements (Vinyasa or Yang) on one side and a more silent practice with long held asanas (Yin) on the other side. You can find more information about the training here.

The first five days are over and I feel physically and mentally wonderful kneaded – which does not prevent me from taking a massage on my day off – but I wander from the subject.

We have five intensive course days at a time and then a day off, which enables to finish a training of 200h in a bit more than three weeks. It is a complete immersion in yoga: every day in the morning over two hours of practice, with loads of references towards teaching. This is followed by three sessions of two hours each around the topics yoga philosophy, teaching practice and anatomy. The evening is filled with reading, repetitions and lots of discussions.

Philosophical discussions about secular spirituality alternate with detailed explanations about the motion range of the spine or the question how to teach downward facing dog exactly – just to name an example.

Soon more to come. Watch out!


16.01.2011 – Dragon Dance and more!

Yang yoga is the dynamic active practice, where muscular strength plays an important role. Beautiful flows are part of the game here. For Simon Low, our teacher, yoga is not about mastering even more sophisticated asanas or to bretzel yourself perfectly. Rather he thinks, that the constant refinement of asanas (yoga postures) and the adding of new aspects represents an advanced practice. Also in India there are famous  teachers, who told their students, they would not need more than 40 asanas.

For me – a very interesting approach and I really learn a lot about the single asanas – sometimes overwhelmingly.

But back to Yang Yoga.  To acquire a taste of it -here  the dragon dance, beautiful….


22.1 – Half time

How time flies, I just started and now it’s already half time in the teacher training. The good is that the fog starts to lift. It is really like this: when you spend at the beginning enough time for the basics, everything falls into place nicely later.

In the last week I not only learned how to draw little yoga matchstick men (well, I still have to practice this), – in yogaphilosophy , next to the Yogasutras we were introduced to the the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads.

We collected first impressions from the subtle but strong impact of Yin Yoga. We heard a lot about fascia in this context – which are all somehow interconnected and change all the time and reflect therefore our living conditions. Yin Yoga is less about the muscles and more about the connective tissues – addressed via asanas, which are longer held. Find more about this in a small video – in case you search for more arguments to bring yoga closer to your surroundings.



Beside that I am looking forward to new flows, I will bring back and a quite interesting shoulder sequence. We discussed lots of asanas in detail and “deconstructed” them, while thinking in the same time about the sequencing of a yoga lessen. The home work for this week was a lesson “yoga for skiers” – unbelievable, when you think, that the training takes place in Thailand and the course is lead  by a British. Anyway this is an interesting one and at least for the forthcoming winter, we can offer something in this direction.

To finish for today a reference to the toilet asana. No this is not a specific asana, but the one where you always want to go to the toilet. You know that one?

6.2. – the end is the beginning

And then it was suddenly over. The second half time of the training passed at least in double speed, compared to the first.

On one side the topics were even more multifaceted – although the yoga philosophy was only in the first half part of the training. Most of my 28 co-trainees were not sad about that. But I found it really nice to be confronted each morning after the asanas with two hours of philosophy and lots of Sanskrit terms. During the written assessment I will summarize the Bhagavad Gita in a fit of chutzpah with ” A man or women has to do, what a man or a women has to do” – but I wander from the subject again.

Instead of philosophy during the second part of the training we had the opportunity to deal with concrete questions of lesson planning and with the detailed analysis of single asanas. For known asanas this went quite well but with the (for me) new yin asanas (who need an impressive amount of props like cushions, blankets, towels, blocks etc. etc.) it was really a challenge -especially as I had one of the most elaborate yin asanas as part of the assessment. ..

Next to the planning of a concrete lesson we also had to find our personal definition of yoga, and therefore think about our personal approach to yoga and to discuss the attributes of good and not so good yoga lessons and teachers.

On my day off I leave the resort and the yogabubble and take a long walk at the beach. Just shortly I realise there is a world outside the yogabubble, but a few hours later I am going to a cafe to review my anatomy and to rethink the process of the last weeks.

And in the last week the place is rocking. We teach ourselves – 29 trainees teach 29 asanas, recapitulate the lessons and then there is a written and a teaching assessment.

And then it’s all over. The goodbye ritual moves lots of us to tears, and we go away as group with the desire to stay in touch and to support each other in teaching, while the four principles of spirituality, which Simon read to us in the last round, resonate within in us…..


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