RYT200 – Course Content and Ethos

Dr. Kumar’s lectures bring new perspectives to traditional teachings by drawing together contemporary science and ancient wisdom. The course offers us the opportunity to silence the intellect, the mind, the ego and absorb knowledge from an authentic Yogi, with a lifetime of experience, knowledge and insight to share.

The course will cover the full spectrum of Yoga and its underlying science. From Yoga exercise physiology to diet and nutraceuticals covering both macro and micro nutrients; translation and analysis of classical yoga texts and progressive teaching of meditation techniques.

There will be no published curriculum, modules or electives. The course teaches us adaptability, flexibility and responsiveness. In life we never know what each day will bring, similarly it is part of the training to approach each class without any preconceived notions or expectations of what will be covered. Dr. Kumar explain this approach in the 1stMay webcast.  The course is not a commodity and students are not customers. The course will be taught in the ancient tradition of going to a Guru to choicelessly learn whatever that Guru teaches.

We suggest watching these episodes and clips to get a sense of the teaching style and breadth of subject matter:

Webcast that includes discussion of discriminatory wisdom, followed by asana practice

YouTube player

The daily class will be between 2 to 3 hours, some days it may even be slightly longer so each student needs to have some degree of flexibility about time commitment.

As Dr. Kumar says in the video clip, the teaching style will be very strict, in line with the culture of Traditional Ashrams. Dr. Kumar often shakes up our conditioning in order to bring transformation and turn our perceptions upside down. Be prepared to hear teachings that may challenge your previous understanding, or that you may not yet understand. Learning to surrender to the Guru is part of the training in Yoga. This means putting aside one’s expectations, preferences and perceptions, previous knowledge and intellectual conditioning. The last of the Niyama’s of Patanjali is Eeshwara Pranidhanaha, surrender to an enlightened teacher. The course will uphold this essential aspect of the Yoga tradition in order for students to gain maximum benefit. The teachings of Yoga do not exist without enlightened teachers to convey them and the voice and teaching of the guru is transformative if the student is completely open minded and ‘surrendered’, i.e. keeping one’s cup empty in order to fill it with new knowledge.

There will be no reading list. Dr. Kumar may share research resources and other materials that are relevant to his classes because they provide a perspective on an issue that he wishes you to consider as part of a broader discourse on the topic. However books, especially translations of Sanskrit texts would usually not be recommended on the course. The translations of important scriptures will be given live by Dr. Kumar in the oral tradition. Yoga is to be learned orally and experientially, not intellectually or through reading.

The Yoga asanas taught will be those which are most beneficial for a broad public, the aim is not to teach complicated postures that exclude large sections of the population. What the world needs more than ever now is a balanced Yoga program that can be used to protect health and immunity. This will range from zero resistance to high intensity Yoga for a range of capabilities and temperaments.

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