500-Hour Program

This program is for students who wish to become a Yoga Alliance 500-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT500), a Certified 500-Hour Prajna Yoga Teacher, or for devoted practitioners who wish to deepen their practice and study to “cultivate insight” or “prajna.”

You can apply and register here.

PATHWAY 2:

CULTIVATE INSIGHT

The 500-Hour Prajna Yoga Teacher Training Program is an in-depth yogic studies course and offers comprehensive continuing education in the areas of yoga therapeutics, nutrition, the emotional body, the organ system, the chakras, the vayus, sutra study (from both Patanjali and the Buddhist canon), lymphatic yoga, sequencing, manual adjustments and more.

Students can take any combination of the following courses to become a Certified 500-Hour Prajna Yoga Teacher:

  • The Art of Sequencing 

  • The Art of Healing: Yoga Therapy 

  • Cultivating the Mindful Teacher 

  • Anatomy of the Vayus

  • Prajna Yoga’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 

  • SATYA 1

  • The Art of Self Practice

  • Anatomy of the Chakras

  • Healing the Organic Body

  • Silent Retreat

OVERVIEW OF CONTENT:

THREE MODULES (CAN BE DONE IN ANY ORDER)

Cultivating the Mindful Teacher

  • Taught by Tias & Surya Little
  • 50 hours

THE ART OF SEQUENCING

  • Taught by Tias & Surya Little
  • 50 hours

THE ART OF HEALING | YOGA THERAPY

  • Taught by Tias & Surya Little
  • 50 hours

CULTIVATING THE MINDFUL TEACHER

The aim of this session is to provide the student with the practical skills and creativity to teach a well organized, clear, and inspiring class. We help teachers who are already teaching bring greater depth and variety to their classes.What makes Prajna Yoga unique is how Prajna instructors weave together asana, mindfulness, internal alignment, and wisdom. We help teachers develop the skills to teach a class that is not simply a physical workout but a class that is multi-layered. This session provides you with the practical skills and creativity to teach in a way that is physically rewarding, mindful, and spiritually uplifting.

When teaching guided classes, we encourage teachers to command a class through both intensity and gentleness. Considerable time is spent on teacher practicum and for trainees to receive feedback on how to use clear and precise language, to teach through tone of voice, and to “hold the space” within a classroom. We provide the foundation for how to integrate anatomical study into the classroom setting, including how to use anatomical images and how to teach living anatomy. In addition, we cover the ways a teacher can integrate sutras, poetry, chant and teachings from the yoga tradition and buddha dharma into the classroom experience.

Course of Study

  • Yoga anatomy: experience myofascial through movement and map the body’s five myo-fascial sheaths
  • Bio-mechanical function of the feet, knees, and legs
  • Nadis, Traditional Chinese Medicine meridians and Ayurveda marma points
  • The sacrum and poses relative to the lower two chakras – muladhara and svadhisthana chakras
  • The Three Jewels: the Buddha (awakened mind), Dharma (the teachings), and Sangha (the community)
  • The Eightfold Path of the Buddhist teachings and the Four Foundations of Mindfulness

THE ART OF SEQUENCING

Careful and intelligent sequencing creates an authentic, skillful yoga class. Without proper sequencing, a class can leave you ungrounded, imbalanced, and potentially nauseated! Like a good chef who knows how to skillfully combine food, the mindful yoga teacher blends poses to create a feeling of wholeness. This course helps teachers design safe, intelligent, and creative sequences.

The Art of Sequencing is a prerequisite for students assisting Tias or other Prajna Teachers in workshops, trainings and conferences.

Course of Study

  • Design intelligent sequences involving themed classes, pose combinations, class pacing, and duration of holds
  • Master the “Entry and Exit”, learning how to open and close a class by weaving together mindfulness, meditation and restorative yoga
  • Use props
  • Avoid posture combinations that cause strain and aggravation
  • Teach with a theme and design classes for the hip joints, shoulders, low back, etc.
  • Combine symmetrical and asymmetrical postures
  • Integrate the “Central Axis” – sequencing toward and away from the mid-line of the body

The Art of Healing | Yoga Therapy

In-depth training on how to modify the poses to address the limitations of your students and how you can use the poses therapeutically. In the first half of the course, we cover principles of how to adapt poses for beginners. We will address how to work with inflexible students, elderly students, and beginning students with structural limitations. The second part of this course covers how to use the poses therapeutically.

Throughout the course we will be using actual case studies (beginners and individuals with special needs) in order to authenticate the application of the work. The emphasis in this training is to show that correct positioning of the body–for a duration of time and within a specific sequence of related poses–can result in profound physiological changes. Students will learn how to use props in order to effect the flow of blood, lymph and nerve impulse. Included in this course on yoga chikitsa (yoga remedy) is the practice of specific meditations to help heal the emotional body and purify negative emotion.

Course of Study

Our aim is to review the most common afflictions that a teacher will be confronted with in the classroom:

  • Lower Back Pain
  • neck and Shoulder Limitations
  • Knee Pain
  • Sciatica
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • GI Tract Dysfunction
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Cancer
  • Surgery

As every case is different, we will emphasize the principles of healing through yoga postures and SATYA movements-using traction, compression, inversion, “rinsing” tissue, etc.

REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A CERTIFIED 500-HOUR PRAJNA YOGA TEACHER:

The 500-Hour Prajna Yoga Teacher Training Program consists of 300 hours of Yoga Alliance-approved content that, when combined with your Prajna Yoga 200-Hour Certification, will give you your Prajna Yoga 500-Hour Certification.

Please note: If you wish to become a Certified 500-Hour Prajna Yoga Teacher but you earned a 200-Hour certification elsewhere, you must take the Prajna Yoga 200-Hour Program in addition to the above requirements for the 300-Hour Program. 

500-Hour candidates are required to:

  1. Have a 200-Hour Prajna Yoga Certification
  2. Apply for and be accepted to the 500-Hour program
  3. Complete any combination of the following courses:
    1. Cultivating the Mindful Teacher
    2. The Art of Sequencing
    3. The Art of Healing
    4. Anatomy of the Vayus
    5. Prajna Yoga’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
    6. SATYA 1
    7. The Art of Self Practice
    8. Anatomy of the Chakras
    9. Healing the Organic Body
  4. Complete the remaining hours through a combination of the following:
    1. Attend any Prajna Yoga sponsored workshop, teacher training, class or retreat offered in U.S., Europe & Asia. (Please note: for 500-Hr candidates, up to 20 hours can be applied for workshops given by Prajna Yoga Teachers.) Can include hours received from Prajna Yoga Silent Retreats.
    2. Participate in the Apprenticeship Program (a requirement, see below).
    3. Private sessions with Surya or Tias
    4. Participate in the Mentorship Program with Tias
    5. Dharma Talks at Mountain Cloud or Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, NM
  5. Have 150 hours of teaching experience
  6. Provide one 2 X 2 color head shot photo in digital format
  7. Video Assessment. A 1-hr minimum all-levels DVD video of you teaching a yoga class. See Video requirements.
  8. Attend 2 silent meditation retreats in Vipassana, Zen, Dzogchen traditions, or Prajna Yoga.
    1. Total time for the retreats is a minimum of six days and one of those retreats must be attended at Prajna Yoga.
    2. To ensure that silent retreat hours not at Prajna Yoga are eligible for training hours, please contact the Prajna Yoga office to get pre-approval.
  9. Pass the Prajna Yoga take-home final exam

LOG REQUIREMENTS

All students seeking certification with Prajna Yoga are responsible for keeping track of their course work and hours completed. It is advised that students download (and print out) a Certification Log and keep it updated. Upon completion of all requirements, please send this log along with any other supporting documentation indicated above to the Prajna Yoga office: prajnaoffice@gmail.com. 500-Hour candidates must complete the core courses before requesting the final exam.

*Contact hours are the hours that you are in the presence of a Prajna Teacher in the classroom. *NOTE: Sessions taken outside of Prajna Yoga in Santa Fe, NM are shorter and give fewer hours. In this case, additional course hours will need to be completed to arrive at the number of hours necessary to receive certification.

OUR STUDENTS

“In Cultivating the Mindful Teacher, Tias and Surya lovingly pushed me out of my comfort zone and stretched my boundaries to free my voice and reach my students more deeply. After over 20 years of teaching, I now have more insight into habits that no longer serve me. Surya and Tias have helped me to trust in my wealth of knowledge and walk forward with wisdom and courage to serve my community.” 

– Sonya Luz | Taos, NM