ABOUT INSIGHT YOGA INSTITUTE
The Insight Yoga training program brings together various complementary streams to create a comprehensive and heart-centered experience. This program is designed to empower each participant in cultivating a daily home practice that nourishes the body, heart, and mind through a blend of yogic, Buddhist, and psychological teachings and practices. It encompasses professional trainings, residential practice retreats, and mentorship for individuals interested in practicing and/or teaching a Yin and Yang (flow) style of yoga with a contemplative approach. Additionally, the program integrates Mindfulness meditation and psychological inquiry.
These programs are open to anyone seeking to attend a practice retreat, as well as those who wish to pursue advanced studies in order to obtain IYI Certification, IYI Endorsement, and/or Yoga Alliance 500+ hour Teacher Training.
IYI PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
Insight Yoga encompasses four interconnected aspects of personal development: the body (both physical and subtle), the heart, the mind, and relationships.
• For the body we engage in regular receptive and active (Yin/Yang) asana practices that are designed to develop and maintain pliancy in the muscles as well as the joints, to increase strength and vitality in all the systems of the body, and to cultivate a sensitivity to and refinement of the energy body (the breathing body), as the gateway to an ease of being. Yin yoga is a meditative physical practice that stimulates the balancing of the energetic pathways (meridians) through holding floor poses, while Yang yoga involves a slow mindfully based movement practice. Pranayama is an integral feature of most sessions as well.
• For the heart, we skillfully and non-judgmentally turn toward any aspects of our psyche that is needing attention;this can help heal any sense of estrangement, anxiety or fears that we may be carrying. This process also delightfully uncovers hidden insights and gifts that can blossom into genuine self-love and compassion. This has a direct and lasting impact on our relationship to ourselves, as well as with others.
• Mind Training involves practices of visualization, contemplation, concentration, mindfulness, and open awareness drawing from Yogic, Taoist, and Buddhist teachings.
• Relational awareness practices and community foster kindness, deep listening, meaningful exchanges, and learning to appropriately trust and reveal vulnerabilities with others. Practices include generating loving-kindness and compassion, as well as engaging in contemplative dialogues with others on specific subjects.
• We offer weekly hour-long online sessions led by endorsed teachers for IYI students to stay connected to each other, for the growth of one’s own practice, and to enjoy the skilful offerings of kind teachers.
• We also arrange cohorts of current IYI students in small groups to connect together on a regular basis.
We suggest completing the program within four years, with no pressure if you need more time. You can view our schedule and read more details about each course here.
1. Foundations of Yin/Yang Yoga and Mindfulness: A Yin/Insight Yoga Primary Level 60 hours
2. Brightening the Inner Skies- Yin/Insight Yoga Secondary Level 30+ hours
3. Residential Practice Retreat 150 + hours
4. Anatomy and Yin Yoga Training 30+ hours
5. Psychological Training 30+ hours
6. Group Mentoring with Sarah 16 hours
7. One on One Mentoring 26 hours
8. Insight Yoga Online 12+
9. Elective retreats/workshops/trainings 50+
1. Foundation - Insight Yoga Primary Level 60 hours
Essential teachings on Yin Yoga and Mindfulness mingled with active Yang Yoga sequences.
This course is intended to deepen one’s understanding of the experiential, philosophical and practical application of yoga and meditation. This intensive will deepen one’s ability to teach/practice both a receptive Yin style and an active flow or Yang style of yoga combined with detailed instruction for the teaching and practice of Mindfulness Meditation.
In this Primary Level training we will explore:
- Yin Yoga: how, why and when to practice this style safely and effectively
- Meridian Theorything
- Organ and hormonal health
- Sequences for the kidneys, liver, spleen, lung, and heart
- Balancing the Yin style with a Yang practice to support structural strength and stability
- Proper physical alignment in active postures
- The primary focus of ujjayi breath in asana: length, depth and direction
- Mindfulness in asana
- Sequencing of postures for various levels, from beginner to intermediate student
- How to assist those with injuries
- The use of touch and hands-on adjustments
- Skillful verbal communication
- The teacher/student relationship
- View upcoming programs
2. Brightening the Inner Skies - Insight Yoga Secondary Level 30 + hours
Teachings and practices for developing and integrating the energetic and psychological domains within us.
After we have established a clear understanding of how and why to practice Yin yoga (studied in the Primary Level training), we can begin to look more closely at the pranic and mind training aspects available to us while in the practices, the inner methods of Yin Yoga. In this course, we will NOT focus on where the meridians flow in each pose and how to get into the shapes safely, INSTEAD we will explore the contemplative inner experiences that are available in each pose. Sarah will teach various breath patterns and retentions, visualisations for the health of the organs, contemplations in the poses, as well as the essential themes and practices of a Buddhist view for Yin Yoga.
Each session will include a lecture, yin yoga session, seated meditation practices focusing on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, as well as interactive discussion time. This course is for Yin teachers who want to use the Yin yoga class as a doorway for developing the subtle body, Mindfulness practice and psychological inquiry.
Secondary level training is 30 hours when non-residential, and 40 hours in retreat settings.
3. Residential Practice Retreats 150 + hours
Entering the Silence with Psychological Inquiry – Bringing clear, kind attention to our inner and inter-personal life
IYI residential practice retreats bring together the dynamic and receptive aspects of yoga, (Yin and Yang Yoga postures) with teaching from the three schools of Buddhism (Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana) along with skilful methods of psycho-dynamic personal and relational work, often drawn from the Internal Family Systems model. These retreats are held in social silence. You do not need to be in our IYI program to enjoy coming on a retreat with us.
In each retreat, in addition to many sessions of Yin Yoga and seated and walking Meditation, Ty and Sarah also share Buddhist/Psychological teachings throughout the day coupled with relevant inquiries that are meant to foster increased individual and interpersonal insights, as well as encouraging a growing capacity for compassion towards oneself and others.
To complete IYI requirements, students must attend a minimum of 3 retreats led by Sarah and Ty.
4. Anatomy and Yin Yoga Training 30+ hours
Learning a more in-depth understanding about the tissues, joints, and bones of the human body allows teachers to skillfully inspire practitioners about yoga’s benefits in a safer and more individualized way. This is particularly relevant when teaching Yin Yoga which veers from some of the common conceptions about how to practice a yoga shape, and for how long.
Here is a list of courses you can attend as Anatomy and Yin Yoga training. Minimum hours for this category is 30-50 hours.
Jennifer O’Sullivan: Level 1: Yin Yoga Asana & Biomechanics
Paul Grilley: Online Course
Bernie Clark: 50-hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training
Adam Stonebraker: Form & Function: Anatomy + Poses
Marije Paternotte: Yin Yoga teacher training with an introduction to the meridian system and mindfulness. (50-hour)
5. Psychological Training 30+ hours
Coming home to ourselves and taking up residence in our body/mind in a clear, kind way throughout the ups and downs of life requires an abundance of support and encouragement. Unhealthy intergenerational patterns easily imbed themselves in our psyche from a young age, at times interrupting our sense of internal balance and vitality. Spending time with skillfully trained compassionate people/psychological systems which help us deepen our understanding, holding, and healing of our personal story, patterns, and/or trauma, accelerates our capacity for living in a more fully alive, lucid way. Psychological teachings/methods are about continually growing up, while spiritual/meditative teachings help us wake up. On a dedicated yogic path, we will need to include both into our somatically based inhabitation. If we are teachers, the more personal shadow work we do, the better able we are to hold and help others.
Here is a list of courses you can attend as psychological training. Minimum hours for this category is 30 hours.
6. Group Mentoring with Sarah
As IYI students, you will receive a list of reading materials. Every three months, we will have a joint meeting with Sarah, during which she will discuss the readings and address any questions you may have about the materials you are working on. Each session will last for one hour and will be conducted via Zoom. The group mentoring fee, which covers the entire four-year program, is $320 and will be collected upon your acceptance into IYI.
7. One-on-One Mentoring 26 hours
Establishing connection to a mentor is the way in which we establish sangha – one of the Three Jewels on the Buddhist path.
Each student is assigned an endorsed IYI teacher as a mentor who is psychologically trained to assist you in any way you prefer: i.e. to clarify, inspire, and/or help you work with difficulties in your practice or your life during this program. In the first year, we suggest once a month sessions with your mentor, and in the following years, at least every other month.
Upon your acceptance of IYI, you will have free access to Insight Yoga teacher Sangha Online classes database where you can view endorsed IYI teachers’ teaching samples and choose the mentor that you’d like to work with. The payments for Individual Mentorship are made directly to your mentor. The average cost for a one-hour one-on-one Zoom/Skype session with an IYI Endorsed Teacher is USD$125. If you are assigned Sarah or Ty as your mentor, the cost will be USD$150. Sliding scale options may be available and can be discussed with your mentor.
8. Insight Yoga Online Community 12+ hours
IYI students must attend a minimum of 12 sessions of IY Teacher Sangha online classes within a span of 4 years. These sessions, led by IYI Endorsed Teachers, consist of a dharma talk and a meditation practice and often some yoga postures as well.
Upcoming sessions soon available
YOGA ALLIANCE CERTIFICATION
This program offers 500+ hours of Yoga Alliance Certification. We do not offer a 300-hour program. We often recommend that yoga teachers complete a 200-hour program before attending ours as we focus on specific themes for yoga teachers rather than on general teaching skills. And, you need not be a Yoga teacher to enjoy our program.
After you have taken all the courses/workshops and have enjoyed years of mentorship, in order to graduate you are asked to submit a one hour video of your teaching (in person or online) with details about what Yin Yoga on the physical and energetic levels is, how and why to practice it, while also offering teachings on The Four Applications of Mindfulness Meditation with Compassion methods included, both in Yin yoga postures and as a seated practice. If you teach an active Yang style as well, showing a few minutes of this can also be included. Your graduation video will be submitted to Sarah who will review and offer feedback. Upon submission of a video, everyone is offered a certificate of completion. Some people will be given suggestions for further study and asked to submit another video at a later date after more study and practice, while others will be endorsed to join the Insight Yoga Teachers Sangha (IYTS) and are authorized to teach Insight Yoga.
Please note that there is a certification fee of $180, which can be paid at the time.
As a skilled graduate, becoming an endorsed Insight Yoga Teacher (IYTS), whether you choose to teach or not, allows you to:
* Join our community (Insight Yoga Teachers Sangha, IYTS) of global endorsed teachers who gather online once a month to practice and share with each other, as well as retreating together in person once a year
* Teach in our global online weekly program, the Insight Yoga Online Community (IYOC), as well as offering your own programs which are included for IYI students to get credit in
* Become an online mentor to incoming students