Q: How much yoga experience do I need to attend?
A: The course is In-Depth yoga training and is open to all levels of students. Although all the workouts aren't necessarily strenuous, the days are full and have more than one session. Participants should be in good physical shape, able to do 3 hours of yoga a day, sit on the floor for gatherings and talks, and live in a natural, mountain environment. We require at least two years yoga experience. Beginners may attend with instructor permission. A desire to teach is not required. Many attend for their own learning, health and growth.
Q: What kind of yoga is taught?
A: We draw the best from the leading systems as well as our own 35 years of teacher trainings. Our asana sessions tend to emphasize precision and alignment while moving in a graceful, flowing manner combining postures, breathing and meditation. We like our practice to be fun, energizing and complete. We educate teachers to fit the practice to the student instead of fitting the student to the practice. We train our teachers to use several styles of practice such as Vinyasa Flow, vigorous practices, gentle-healing practices, and various focused themes. We stress a non-dogmatic context for yoga that is growing, evolving, sensitive to the needs of the moment.
Q: How can you have different levels of students in the same class?
A: All classes really involve teaching at mixed levels. No bodies are the same. One of the advantages of the course is th opportunity to work with fellow students of different abilities and levels. The course starts with the basic fundamentals of yoga practice and theory. It is important, even for advanced students, to have a very strong foundation. We begin slowly and build on each day's work, teaching in a way that allows each person to work at their own pace. It is important for those learning to teach to develop the ability to handle different levels of students in the same class because student levels always vary.
Q: I think the course may be too hard for me. I'm not very strong or flexible.
A: We've had people of all ages and stages enjoy and successfully complete the training. Yoga is non-competitive and one of the major lessons is to go at your own pace. Yoga postures are tools we use to work on ourselves, not goals we must attain. Yoga's uniqueness is that the classes and postures can be adjusted to each person's ability. Call our office to discuss any concerns.
Q: What is a day like?
A: We start the day with an optional morning meditation, a light breakfast at 7:30 a.m. followed by an hour talk and discussion, and a 9:30 a.m. class that emphasizes a workout and take-home practice. A large, delicious vegetarian lunch is served at 12:00 p.m. Afternoons include outings, free time, small group work or discussions. Massages are also available. At 4:00 p.m. we have Pranayama (breath work) and a class in asana form, technique, breakdown, hands-on correction and practice teaching. Dinner is at 7:30 p.m. and evenings are either free or have lively, informative talks and discussions on many topics in yoga. The course is well paced and fun, with a nice balance between learning and rejuvenation.
Q: Can you learn to teach in sixteen days?
A: The course is very comprehensive. Each person is unique and some are ready to teach after the training while others mature after more study and practice. The course is a catalyst and gives the tools, knowledge and experience to become a good teacher in right timing for you. Hundreds of our graduates have successfully started classes and centers around the world. Ganga White conducted probably the first Yoga Teacher Training in the US in Los Angeles in 1968!
Q: I have your videos, is this what you teach?
A: Our videos teach varied levels including a challenging "Vinyasa," or flowing yoga workout. You will learn how to do this dynamic practice and how to adjust it to different ability and endurance levels. The sessions will also include other forms of practice so that you receive a well rounded training.
Q: How do I get there?
A: There are train, bus, and major airline connections to Santa Barbara. You may also take the Santa Barbara Airbus ground shuttle service from LAX. Yellow Cab and Rose Cab offer special low rates to the White Lotus from Santa Barbara.
Q: Can I Stay at Home or in Town?
A: You're welcome to stay in our retreat accommodations or to provide your own in town. Donations and Tuitions are for a place in the program, for meals, and course materials. There is no deduction if you choose to stay elsewhere.