Tantric Alchemy Institute is a Modern Yoga School exclusively for 300 hour (RYT 500 Level) advanced yoga teacher trainings implementing the classical yogic sciences to provide students with a broad and deep perspective for aiding growth and transformation.
The Course Curriculum:
Asana & Pranayama Sadhana
We begin each day with a transformational 2 hour asana practice designed to inspire you. You will experience an awareness-based practice that includes fluid, dynamic asana, kriya, pranayama, mantra and meditation for health and awakening. This practice is a revitalizing laboratory for experiencing and expressing our unique Self while mindfully honoring all that exists in each present moment. We use the mat as a metaphor to understand what holds us back so that we can eliminate all that is not effective in the unfoldment of our own unique evolutionary process. Some practices are challenging, vigorous and will require self-discipline. Some practices are slow and juicy with therapeutic space for rest and relaxation. Both styles are valuable, both are important. This is the place where sweat, tears, untethered wildness and fun meet softness, quiet, introspection and self love.
These yoga classes will give you unique tools as a teacher to expand your offerings. Our practice cultivates mental, physical and spiritual strength so that we are able to recognize and transform habits, patterns and conditionings that cause suffering in any way. Benefits include grace, flexibility, strength, balance and well-being in the body and mind. You may also feel a sense of purpose, clarity, creativity, focus, connection, inner peace and confidence.
Physical and Energetic Properties of Bandhas
We will discuss mula bandha, uddiyana bandha, jalandhara bandha, maha bandha, hasta bandha and pada bandha within different context; including the anatomical details, physical benefits, and also the energetic aspects of each. This will take place in lecture format and will be integrated into our asana, pranayama and meditation practices as well.
To understand and experience the gross and subtle properties of these bandhas. To direct and focus Prana in different places of the body. To apply these principles to a personal practice and also to develop a proficiency in using them as teaching tools.
Dhuni Ritual: Mantra and Pranayama Sadhana
Students will experience classical Yogic ritual to expand their consciousness and deepen their awareness using a specific series of mantras, pranayama and bandhas. This ritual enhances intuition, insight and imagination while incinerating karmas and samskara.
An ancient Tantric ritual from the Nath lineage incorporating mantra, pranayama, meditation, Vedic astrology and cross-cultural symbolism.
Our days will begin with a 30 minute seated meditation practice. Students will have the opportunity to maintain any practice technique that they already work with, or to experiment and try something new. We will go over japa, trataka, mala and several other techniques to focus the mind, balance the nervous system, expand awareness and allow students to experience the benefits of meditation first hand.
To support students in the development and deepening of their own personal practice.
Yoga Nidra is a guided relaxation and meditation practice that allows one to experience complete mental and physical relaxation. It is also a way of empowering affirmations so that they can begin to transform our lives. In Yoga Nidra, this is called “Sankalpa”, a short intention that will be impressed onto the subconscious mind. This is done by remaining awake while cycling the awareness through different parts of the body. This allows the body to become fully relaxed and also provides a focus for the mind that allows it to settle into a deep state just between waking and sleeping. One typically arises from Yoga Nidra feeling refreshed and light, comparable to a full night’s sleep.
To experience the practice of Yoga Nidra and unlock its benefits for one’s own life. Also, to allow a deeper awareness of body and mind through strengthening one's ability to maintain focused concentration. Another objective is to understand the different components of a Yoga Nidra Practice and how you yourself can guide students through this process for their own growth, healing, and well-being. This will give the TAI student more tools to work with when planning classes, workshops and events.
The Viraja Homa
A “Homa” is a fire ceremony. The Viraja Homa is a meditative practice where there is no external “fire”, but instead the Yogi takes a meditative journey of transformation and reconstruction. It promotes good health and positive change, as well as preparing the Yogi for some of the deeper processes of meditation and raising Kundalini. There are more simple and more involved variations that are possible and each will be introduced so that the student has options for their own practice and for teaching this practice to different levels of students. The most complete variation will synthesize the concepts and practices that have been introduced in the study of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita, and the introduction to Svara.
Be able to effectively practice and teach this powerful meditation
Gheranda Samhita is a slightly later text that is another famous treatise on Hatha Yoga. We will focus on the Dhyana Chapter of this text, which has a particularly elegant breakdown of the range of different types of meditation that we can employ in our practice. This breakdown is especially useful for the teacher, who may want to use variations on these practices as guided meditations in classes that they teach.
Understand Gheranda’s divisions of the different types of Dhyana, or meditation and be able to apply these concepts to meditations the student can utilize in a Yoga class.
Hatha Yoga Pradipika
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika is one of the most famous texts on the practice of Hatha Yoga. It presents the modern student with many insights into the more timeless aspects of the practice of Hatha Yoga. First, we will read the basic advice that the text presents for those who wish to undertake a Hatha Yoga practice, including the qualities of the Yogi which lead to success in practice. We will then explore the Mudras, practices which work with both mind and body to unlock our inner energy and potential. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika also has an excellent section on meditations on the Nada, or inner sound, which will be reviewed and practiced.
Understand Svatmarama’s advice for those undertaking Yoga practice, learn the theory and practice of the Hatha Yoga “Mudras”, and the practice of “Nada” or the inner sound.
Mudra can be translated as “Gesture.” The third chapter of the Hatha Pradipika is devoted entirely to the practice of Mudra. These are not merely hand gestures, but often full body techniques that integrate āsana, bandha, breath, and focused awareness. The different categories of Mudras will be discussed and learned, such as Hasta (Hand), Kaya (Body), and Mana (Mental). Mudras are a powerful tool for shifting energy and elevating consciousness.
Students will understand the practical application of Mudra in Yoga Asana, Pranayama and Meditation and how to teach them.
The foundation of working with Pranayama will be taught, which includes the four phases of the breath: puraka, antara kumbhaka, recaka, and bahir kumbhaka. Basic techniques of proper breathing will be learned as well. Then classical Pranayama practices will be introduced which include: Nadi Shodhana, Bhastrika, Kapalabhati, Anuloma Viloma, Agni Sara, Bhramari, Ujjayi, Sitali, Sitkari, and Udgita. These practices constitute a wide range of tools for therapeutic effect as well as spiritual advancement.
Be able to assess the quality of someone’s breathing and breath patterns. Demonstrate the practice and teaching of each of the classical pranayamas as well as understanding their benefits both for health and spiritual advancement.
Advanced Sequencing Techniques
Creating an interesting and complex sequence is the next step in developing yourself as a Yoga teacher. By weaving movement and intention together in a unique and purposeful way, you will allow your students to get out of their heads and into their bodies. You will take them off of auto- pilot and into the present moment, which is the only place that Yoga actually happens.
You will come away with an understanding of the concepts of Theme and Variation within asana, building a class around more than one "peak pose", layering on philosophical themes to deepen the experience for your students, and how to use music in a very intentional way.
We will explore the physical and energetic anatomy and physiology of the core, spine, pelvis, hip, leg, knee, foot, shoulder, arm, wrist and hand including major bones, muscles, vessels, connective tissue, acupuncture and marma points, meridians and nadis.
These modules will deepen your wonderment and fascination of how the body works. This understanding will enhance your own asana practice and will give you more tools so that you can help your students bring their Yoga to the next level.
Working with Private Students
Learn how to be an effective teacher when working one on one or in small groups with clients, whatever their needs may be. We will also discuss the business aspect of this avenue of teaching.
We will use case studies to prepare you for nearly any scenario. You will acquire valuable information about hands on adjustments and maintaining relationships to keep your students returning for more.
Teaching Workshops, Series and Master Classes
Another opportunity to become inspired to teach more than just studio classes. For your final project, students will work in pairs to create and teach a two hour workshop during the final week of the training.
This will give you something to take home and teach. You will have more to offer as a teacher and guide.
Samkhya philosophy is one of the metaphysical backdrops of the practice of Yoga. The basic premises of this philosophy will be introduced as well as the cosmological principles that are enumerated in it. Then we will delve into how these principles fit into a Yoga practice and how they have been understood and presented in the Yoga Sutras themselves. This includes looking at the Gunas, the inner faculties of the mind, and the different kinds of states the mind can take. We will also explore how Tantric philosophy expanded and developed upon Samkhya Philosophy.
Learn the basic premises and components of Samkhya philosophy and understand its application to the practice of Yoga and Tantra.
Ayurveda for the Yoga Practitioner
This will be an introduction to the theories and practices of Ayurveda. Beginning with the fundamental concepts of Ayurveda, such as Doshas and Prakriti. It will move on to how we can use this knowledge to live our lives with more balance and insight into our own health. Daily practices for maintaining health and balance will be explained in detail. Ayurvedic Nutrition will also be discussed, how to use food as medicine to address individual concerns as well as general Ayurvedic tips for crafting healthy and delicious meals. Emphasis will be placed on how this knowledge and these practices can supplement and support the practice of Yoga.
Understand basic concepts of Ayurveda and be able to put them into practice in their own lives as well as their Yoga classes.
Introduction to Jyotish (Vedic Astrology)
Jyotisha, or the Jyotir Vidya, is the Science of Light. More specifically, it demonstrates our interconnectedness within a holistic-cosmic paradigm where the aphorism “As of Above, So Below” is it’s consummate summation. Ancient Yogis studied the night’s sky in such depth and breadth that they intuited the qualities of the planets and luminaries and how they affect our individual karmic patterns which in turn produce calculable probabilities. Over millennia a plethora of data has been analyzed, codified, quantified and qualified allowing the Jyotishi, one who is possessed by the Jyotir Vidya, to use the individual’s birth chart to map potentialities to assist the individual on making her or his life’s journey that much more efficient, effective and fulfilling. This classic system of divination emphasizes that at times it’s better to sit and wait or at other moments to strike out quickly, seizing or avoiding certain currents of supportive or obstructing energies in order to make the best use of one’s time/energy during this lifetime and to be as successful as possible with whatever endeavor one sets out to achieve.
In this introduction to Jyotish, our YTT students will learn the basics of Jyotish by using their own birth charts as study material and learn how to apply this information to assist themselves and their students on their life’s journey.
Vaastu Vidya is India’s classical Science of Form and Space, or spatial orientation. Through understanding the energies of the four cardinal and four primary inter-cardinal directions, the five MahaBhutas (Great Elements) and the nine Grahas (the Planets), one can arrange any delineated structure to optimize the flow of Prana, or life force, within said structure. Vaastu’s utilization will breathe life into space to get the most positive benefits out of any physical construct.
Students will use their own home, office, or yoga studio as the template for learning about and applying this classic Indian Shastra to increase their spatial awareness resulting in better harmony and efficiency in one’s life and surroundings. Vaastu is a great complimentary science to Jyotisha and Ayurveda.
Understanding of Classical Sanskrit for a dedicated practitioner of Yoga is like a doctor of medicine studying Latin. Familiarity with this ancient language of the sages will enhance ones relationship with the wisdom held in classical texts, the significance of asana names and the deeper meaning of mantra.
This class will review the basics of Sanskrit pronunciation. The practical concerns of pronouncing pose names, terms, and chants will be addressed as well as the deeper esoteric elegance and power of the Sanskrit language. Key vocabulary for Yoga practitioners and teachers will be presented and analyzed, so that the students will understand the mythical significance of these terms. Students will learn to properly recite some of the basic and widely used chants of Yoga.
Introduction to Svara Yoga
Svara Yoga is the Yoga of the breath or, more specifically, the Yoga of attending to how the breath flows in the nostrils. By noticing differences in these flows, we can learn to attune ourselves to our physiology and we can also learn how to use our Yoga practice to create shifts in these breath patterns.
Understand the basic concepts of Svara Yoga and its application to the many limbs of Yoga.
Yogic Diet and Healthy Eating Practices
Students will gain true understanding of nourishment, ahimsa, food energetics and the importance of mindful eating from the perspectives of Yoga, western nutrition science, Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. Our lunches and dinners will be an experience in eating as an art form and as a spiritual practice.
I was taught in a Buddhist meditation program that if one can control their mouth, they can control their mind. This topic is a method for students to understand, experience and feel how food effects them on the levels of body, mind and spirit.
The Hanuman Chaleesa
The Hanuman Chaleesa is a 40 verse devotional hymn to the hero of the classic Indian poem the Ramayana, Lord Hanuman, written by the Indian poet Tusidas in the 16th century CE.
As a group, we will recite/sing the Hanuman Chaleesa three times in three different ways at the conclusion our daily morning asana practice. Our goal is to imbibe the qualities sung about in this hymn; strength, courage, wisdom, and devotion. Students will be encouraged to memorize the 40 verses by the end of the training.
Saturday Mauna Practice
As part of our Sadhana for Saturday, students will observe silence, called “mauna” in Sanskrit. This means that there will be no speech and only the barest minimum of communication on this day. Even gestures and eye contact are avoided. This serves a practice of Pratyahara, or interiority, as well as a practice of Brahmacarya, the control of energetic output. It serves to purify habitual thought patterns, awake an inner sense of self, and prepare for deeper practice. It can seem like a difficult restraint at first, but most students end up finding the expression refreshing and rejuvenating.
Understand the purpose and practice of ‘mauna’ undertaken for specific time frames. Practice with this on Saturdays during the day.
Final Project: Integrative Workshop Planning & Presentation
As a final project, students will work in pairs to plan and teach a two hour workshop to the YTT Kula during our final week. This Yoga workshop is meant to integrate the subjects covered in our advanced training. Upon graduation from this program, students will have a workshop ready to offer to the students in their respective communities.
True transformation requires ancient & verified processes combined with sincere discipline. Our teachers have designed a masterful program that maximizes your time in the jungle to achieve success.
Below is a sample schedule that will give you a great idea of what your weeks will look like while immersed in your training.
5:30 - 9:00am Meditation, Pranayama, Asana & Chanting
9:00 - 10:00am Organic, gourmet vegetarian breakfast
11:00 - 2:00pm Training Session
2:00 - 3:00pm Organic, gourmet vegetarian lunch
4:00 - 7:00pm Training Session
7:00 - 8:00pm Organic, gourmet vegetarian dinner