The purpose of the Kaivalya Yoga Teacher Training Program is to provide a safe, nurturing atmosphere for in depth study of the practice of yoga to enable the student to deepen their personal practice and find their unique voice and soul as a skilled yoga teacher. Alex Pfeiffer & Kaivalya Yoga will provide a quality educational experience that prepares graduates to succeed in the yoga instruction industry and strives to train our students to function as a professional member of the Yoga Instruction Industry.
Statement of Choosing This Program or Another
While no person shall be discriminated against for their worldview or beliefs, nor is the Kaivalya Yoga Teacher Training Program or yoga for that matter about any particular worldview or system of beliefs, we do take some orienting generalizations to heart. If too many of these orienting generalizations or principles (listed in the big section below) conflict with your beliefs, you may wish to consider that this is possibly not be the best program for you and are advised to look for a program that best fits your personality and values where you can get more out of it. Also, if the creation of an environment of non-discrimination conflicts with your personal beliefs – if you are uncomfortable fostering an environment which welcomes and celebrates people diverse in sex, race, age, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national orientation, & physical ability and you are not willing to work with your discomfort as your own personal issue in these matters – you are advised to look elsewhere for training. Actions that conflict with maintaining a nurturing atmosphere as outlined in the mission statement, and actions that conflict with fostering an environment of non-discrimination will not be tolerated. As there is a spiritual component to yoga, one that joins or “yokes” the depth of all parts of life together, students are advised to be able to address comparative worldviews (from Christian to Atheist & so on) in a respectful way. If you do not believe you can do this, you are advised to look for training at a school that better aligns to your orientation to life.
Acceptance, Respect, and Receptivity… never forced belief… never dogma
No one is expected to suddenly or blindly change their worldview to the Orienting Philosophy that follows. Yoga is about self discovery, not dogma. However, there are some orienting principles and philosophy to organize the meaning of yoga. All information has some kind of orienting philosophy behind it (even if it’s a “just the facts” philosophy, which works great for science, but not well for art – and yoga is – part art & part science). We embrace the path of overt awareness and put words to our orienting philosophy & principles …
Orienting Generalizations, Principles & Philosophy (keys in green)
The mission of yoga is to bring us back to ease and harness vitality in mind, body, and spirit. When we align ourselves with our natural blueprint, in natural rhythm, and remove the blocks to our most authentic self, there is great flow. After yoga we tend more and more to experience a spontaneous joy, goodness, beauty and ease. It is an ease that lets us know we are perfect just as we are. This condition may not last at all hours of the day, but this is what we refer to as our spontaneous and natural self. When we are disconnected from our natural self, we lose our spontaneity and authenticity.
Yoga is our tool to reconnect to what is most alive inside of us.
In one sense, we hesitate to say much about our most alive self. Some call it our soul or our humanity. Some call it being free, getting one’s groove back or being “in the zone”, but whatever you call it, our natural self is spontaneous and is the source where we feel our essence, our goodness, or greatness flowing out. It is our best self and when it becomes an idea, or worse, a hard belief, it dies, rots, and becomes destructive. But when we instead live from this alive space, creativity and loving life instantly happens – and this training’s purpose is to take us all deeper into that place. It’s who we are on a deep level. It’s who others are.
Because this is who we are on a deep level, we orient from a philosophy of inherent goodness & greatness. No one is born evil or less than another. All of us are equal – but different – different in development of our gifts, different in our capacity to deeply relate to ourselves & others, and different in our ability to live in the experience of our natural self. But we are all equal.
These truths of intrinsic goodness and inclusiveness for all [human] beings can be a bit esoteric and are therefore often expressed in a variety of culturally & developmentally influenced worldviews. Atheism, Christianity, and the countless other worldviews (when pursued deeply) all point to the same underlying truths. When held too tightly or in rigid perspective these same worldviews can and have created massive suffering. It is only a lack of perspective (like seen in fundamentalism & cases where there is a lack of introspection) that turns worldviews to destruction & conflict. This is how we get the paradox of religion being a force of deep truth, yet, at the same time it is perhaps the greatest cause of pain and even mass death ever conceived. Our world badly needs a marriage of sense and soul, and a movement from superstition to spiritual. Because truth, beauty, and goodness are part of our natural state – everything – including spirituality is under the scrutiny of the heart’s openness and the mind’s logic. It is unproductive to accept belief on authority. This training encourages truth based on experience, not blind adherence. We encourage openness to new experience, not endless deconstruction.
Perspective in our pluralistic world requires plasticity but strength in beliefs & reasoning.
As we grow in perspective, we can sometimes run into unpleasant facts about ourselves including that some beliefs we once held dear may, in fact, be wrong.
The KYTT will require no one to change any of his/her beliefs or “buy into this philosophy of inherent goodness”; nor will anyone’s personal views be related in any way to certification; we encourage skepticism. Everyone has a right to choose and create a model of truth that makes sense to them and enlivens them to love their life; however, be aware that worldview / religion / philosophical types of discussions and inner examination will be part of the training culture and the philosophy listed here will be [a small but underlying] part of the training curriculum.
Most of the training time is spent learning physical yoga and how to teach it, and these underlying principles – do not need to be believed, but should be able to be explored without shutting down in heart or mind.
If the principles, ideas, or philosophy of this section conflict in a large way with who you are and how you see the world, you may wish to consider a program that aligns itself more closely to what you value in a training or your beliefs in general. As always, you can direct any questions to Alex, the Training Director.