Lakshmi Yantra

Advanced Study

Island Yoga Center Advanced Yoga Study Program – next session begins September 2018!
Students will explore and embody the spiritual practices of Hatha Yoga in a 140-200 hour program. The course includes an in-depth study of asana (postures), meditation, pranayama (breath) and yoga philosophy – all presented with respect to the individual’s ability. For those wishing to pursue a teaching certificate, a teacher’s module is available.

Course Content
Traditional yoga study has evolved over thousands of years in lineage form.  Techniques and knowledge that have stood the test of time and scrutiny of each generation are passed on from teacher to student in a personal, direct and methodical manner. In this course, the lead instructors  have all studied in the Iyengar tradition, ensuring a consistent message that is critical to students who undertake a study as vast as yoga.  The course is structured and inspired by the Vijnana Yoga method, rooted in the lineage of Krishnamcharya, the teacher of BKS Iyengar. The methods of Vijanna yoga are described as the last main item of this page.

Asana, pranayama and meditation technique which includes an in-depth study of basic yoga postures, a step-by-step practice of  precise breathing patterns, and the opportunity to explore a personal meditation practice. In addition students will study Ayurveda as a means to understand their unique constitution and what it means to be human in the context of the Cosmos.  106 hours.

Anatomy and physiology are presented in relation to the postures in our study and has a focus on establishing a working vocabulary and ability to “see” the inner workings of the body. 17 hours

Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics includes an overview of yoga history, a practical study of source yoga texts and relevant modern-day teachings in the West. Includes chanting and translation from Sanskrit, yoga’s powerful and healing language of sound. 24 hours

Teaching Methods is part of the certification module and includes class organization, sequencing, use of voice, demonstrations and all the ins and outs of creating a class or private session. 18 hours, part of Teaching module.

Practicum includes practice teaching, class observation and mentorship. 17.5 hours, part of Teaching  certification module.




Advanced Study Program: 140 Classroom Hours – stay tuned for pricing. Estimated at $2,400

Teaching Certification*: 40 Classroom hours & 20 non-contact hours – stay tuned for pricing. Estimate at $600.

Other Expenses: Have a book budget of about $250. Course includes a practice manual, all handouts and unlimited yoga classes at IYC.

To register, e-mail Island Yoga Center for an application and one will be sent to you. A minimum of 10 students is required for this course to run. Should the course cancel before it begins, all money will be refunded. Should the course cancel at any point, an hourly rate in proportion the total hours will be determined for a fair refund.

Vijnana Yoga – Practicing From Inside®
Vijnana means ‘inner wisdom’, or knowledge that is intuitive, personal and fully aware.

The Four Pāda or the Four Cornerstones of Practice

  1. Vital Principles (see below) provide a framework for the Vijnana practice and support the mystery as much as the known.
  2. The extensive practice of pranayama is a central theme in Vijnana yoga. By adjusting the trajectory of the breath using specific locations in the body (bandha and vayu), the asana is light and the joints have space to move.
  3. ”Just sitting” meditation, or sitting without a goal, inspires deep listening, which is the core of the practice.
  4. The study of source yoga texts reminds us of the truths expressed by the ancient yogis. As truths they never diminish over time and reveal the deeper and hidden teachings of yoga.

The Vital Principles
The vital principles were first described in “Dancing the Body of Light”, by Dona Holleman and Orit Sen-Gupta. While knowledge is gained by reading about them, it can take many years of practice, contemplation and serendipity to derive their immeasurable benefits.

  1. The Meditative or Not-Doing State of Mind – The meditative state of mind is the basis upon which all yoga rests. Without the meditative state of mind the practice of yoga looses its deeper meaning. Meditative state of mind is not something you “do”, but something you “are”. It is total attention, a 360 degree view without selectivity.
  1. Not doing of the Body or Relaxation – Balancing one group of bones over the other produces a harmonious balance in the body on the gravitational line, resulting in fewer tensions. Therefore the mind is not disturbed and can rest easily in the center.
  1. Intent or “not-doing” of Visualization – Inherent in intention is trust – trust in ourselves, our bodies and the invisible connections all around us. In asana, many people want to have an intellectual control of everything they do, and have lost their ability to listen to the intrinsic intelligence in the body. If our only option is to recall “instructions”, we are focused on the act of remembering which is more of a goal-oriented state of mind that depends upon the past and avoids creativity.
  1. Rooting – When our bodies connect to the earth, and the weight sinks down a little bit more than usual, we receive a “rebound” effect that allows us to be light and stable in the poses.
  1. Centering –The human’s center of gravity is located in the belly, a control center called the hara or dantian in Asian cultures. As the center and main container for prana or chi, movement is initiated and directed to and from this center.
  1. Bodyscape or Connecting – Our body has an intrinsic intelligence to distribute the life force or prana over its bodyscape. In yoga we can guide the prana through the landscape of muscle chains and bandha in an economy of effort. The connections are made using the breath and awareness.
  1. Breathing –By mastering the trajectory of the breath and awareness together, we can shape, widen, stabilize and create space for the body to move in the ideal alignment for each moment.
  1. Elongation – Elongation of the muscles occurs when movement is in two opposite directions. This is a natural result of breathing, rooting, and connecting.

Vayu Breath Principle
The Vijnana yoga practice incorporates the wisdom of the ten vayu to align the body along the center of gravity and bring a subtle awareness of prana throughout body. We practice inner and outer vayu as described in “Vayu’s Gate” by Orit Sen-Gupta.

Kathryn Payne is the Director and Lead Instructor for this course. Elizabeth Freeman teaches the Yoga Sutra study and Irene Tokar teaches the anatomy and physiology portion of the course. For a full bio of each teacher, go to the Teacher Bio web page.


Pacific Yoga Teacher Training

Students gather to learn upward facing dog during a weekend at Pacific Yoga Teacher Training.