Registered or Certified Yoga Teacher?



Yoga Alliance Australia Registered Teacher

Marina Brooking in Yoga Prayer Pose-Yoga Alliance Australia Registered Teacher

Many aspiring Yoga teachers, are left confused as to the purpose and difference between certification and registration of Yoga teachers.

The purpose of the Yoga teacher certification is to make sure that instructors have an excellent knowledge of all Yogic aspects and safety issues. Yoga teachers should be certified for their own protection. With liability law suits being so popular these days, it is wise to have a Yoga teacher’s diploma on the wall. Yoga is not considered to be as dangerous as some of the other activities in health clubs, but some Yoga classes can be surprisingly vigorous, to say the least.

The purpose of being a registered yoga instructor is to make sure that individual/s have met the requirements set out by the Yoga Registering Body through an educational program with a yoga teacher training school. A minimum of 200 hour contact (face-to-face training) and 500 hour teaching experience is required by most reputable Yoga Organisations in the world to be considered a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT).

On the National and international levels, Yoga is a self-regulated practice. Many certifying bodies such as  Yoga Alliance Australia (also known as Yoga Alliance International)  the Yoga Alliances around the world, The International Yoga Federation (recognised as the supreme Yoga Organisation in the World)  work toward a standard of excellence in teacher knowledge, ethics and, student’s safety.

Liability insurance companies look favourably upon policy holders who are qualified in the field in which they provide services, and Yoga is not an exception. The general perception is that a credentialed policy holder, is professional, experienced, mature and the odds of claims are reduced.

What about established Yoga teachers who don’t have a diploma? They should seek advice from Yoga Certifying bodies on how to gain recognition, based on their studies, practice and teaching experience.

The majority of studios now require you to be a registered Yoga teacher. In North America, South America, Australia, Asia, and most of Europe, Yoga teachers although Certified (qualified) are not required to be registered but if you are, the chances of finding employment are much higher. Over recent years Yoga organisations have worked together to ensure that Standards are continuously revised and that Teacher and School can demonstrate they meet those standards.

NOTE: Although some Countries offer government accredited training courses, there is no such thing as a government-accredited Yoga teacher.


Breath of Fire (Agni-Prasana)


hero-poseBreath of Fire is without a doubt the most sophisticated Pranayama (breath control) used in yoga. It is an amazing tool that fights against anxiety, nerves, fears, pain, and depression.

Master Yogis said that a person has been granted a predetermined number of breaths from birth till his death, and breath of fire is ONE (from the moment you start until you end). This means that you can prolong your life span by doing Breath of Fire!

The way we feel is directly related to the way we breathe. When dealing with challenging or stressful life situations, our body has an unconscious tendency to pull the diaphragm in. This is the area of the Solar Plexus, where the body keeps all of its emotions.

There are seventy-two thousand nerves in our body. Out of the entire seventy-two thousand , seventy-two are the most important. Out of these seventy-two, ten are vital. In India, they say that if the third Chakra (one of the focal points where all the seventy-two thousand nerves meet), is not in balance, a person cannot be healthy no matter how much medicine he/her is taking. A way to balance this out is by doing Breath of Fire in “lotus pose or hero pose”.

Breath of Fire is done through the nose (further down the page are the basic instructions) and the inhalation and exhalation are of equal duration. The body stays relatively still and relaxed, only the naval point is vigorously working.

In BOF it is essential that the navel point is pulled in only on the exhalation. Some people have developed the habit of pulling in their stomachs on the inhalation. This is called “reversed” breathing.

To check your breathing to make sure that your BOF is not reversed, lie on your back with your hand just below your belly button. As you exhale, be sure that your belly moves inward (your hand should ink toward the floor).

As you relax your naval to inhale, your hand will rise. Be aware of the movement of your hand: it rides toward your spine on the exhalation and away from your spine on the inhalation. Once you became comfortable that your breath is correct while lying down, sit up and again use your hand to make sure that you are using your naval point correctly.


  • Releases all of the built up anxiety and nervousness. Breath of Fire forces the diaphragm in and out and this has a direct impact on the Navel centre, releasing the emotions as well.
  • Readjusts and strengthens the nervous system.
  • Helps to regain control over stressful mental states.
  • Helps the heart and circulation by flushing the toxins out of the blood stream.
  • Massages the internal organs.
  • Releases toxins and deposits from the lungs, mucous lining, and blood vessels.
  • Expands the lungs capacity

 How to do it

Breathe in and out through the nose (or mouth). Pull the abdomen in towards the diaphragm during the exhalation and out during inhalation. This is very fast, as fast as 2 or 3 times per second, and also very loud. The people next to you should be able to hear you. When perfected, the rate should be 120 to 180 times per minute!!


Seek medical approval before practising breath of fire if you suffer from any of the issues below

  • breathing problems such as asthma
  • dizzy spells
  • epilepsy
  • heart conditions
  • digestive problems such as ulcers or colitis
  • regular headaches

 How many times should be done?

From 5 to 15 minutes every day, it is the best way to keep the blood purified. (start with 3 minutes and work up)31 minutes of Breath of Fire every day will regulate the pituitary. Pituitary will regulate the entire glandular system. Glandular system will change the nervous system. BOF is a breath which burns away all disease and karma. It is a conscious voluntary breath.

Quickly oxygenates your blood, thus helping the body detoxify itself and remove waste more effectively. Builds lung capacity and helps purify the respiratory system.

Generates heat and increases your level of energy by activating the energy flows in your body.

Synchronizes your entire system under one rhythm, thus promoting greater internal harmony and health. Balances and strengthens the Nervous System.

Magnifies the benefits of exercises done in conjunction with this breath.

When done forcefully, the pulsating of the diaphragm massages the internal organs, thus improving the digestive system.



Vibrational Healing





In this article we will explore some of the various aspects of healing that correspond to the teaching of the east and the metaphysical ideology of the west. Both these approaches rest on the foundation that all of material creation is ruled by an invisible substance that animates the physical level. This is the Prana of the yogis, the Chi of traditional Chinese medicine and the vital force of the metaphysicians.

In one of his modern-day fables, The Little Prince, the French philosopher Antoine De St. Exupery states that “what is essential is invisible to the eyes.”

At the subatomic level of reality, material nature loses all its solid reality to reveal a constant dance of particles and waves that fluctuates in a swirling field of light and Electro-magnetic energy. Most spiritual seers of different traditions, from the druids to African shamans, pranic healers to twenty-first century Reiki practitioners have attested to this other dimension where they can feel, manipulate and work with the light and energy. Today this level is being acknowledged as vibrational medicine.

The quantum theory teaches us to respect the non-material aspect of nature and the dynamic quality of the invisible realm, which has been considered as empty space. According to quantum physicists, this is an invisible matrix of interaction between elements that are so small, we need very powerful microscopes to see. In fact, some of these particles, with fancy new names like quarks, bosons, leptons etc are so small that we cannot even see them.However, they leave a trail of light which is characteristic of their presence. How amazing is such a concept, that at the microcosmic level of reality we appear as fairy dust.

Indeed, research into the properties of natural remedies brings a new dynamic to the forefront of our perception. Many of these modalities deal with this substratum of reality, where matter takes a back seat to the vibrational level, where all the changes in body and mind really happen. Let us take homoeopathy as an example, in which the remedies used are so diluted that the active chemical elements can be considered inoperative, yet this is when the remedy becomes effective. The homoeopathic principle claims that the more the physical component gets reduced, the more the energetic aspect becomes potent. In the past there has been confusion and downright cynicism, but today the evidence of quantum physics helps us understand the dynamic nature of the invisible force field that underlies, interacts and sometimes overrules the material realm.

Healing modalities like homoeopathy are therefore using the vibrational level, which is fast becoming the new frontier of scientific exploration. It is indeed a great leap forward in medicine that science is now able to interpret this concept in a way that our modern, rational intellect can understand. The whole folklore, mythology and mystical teachings of humanity throughout the ages have been about such a non-material level, and light and vibration have been the characteristics described by seers, healers and prophets. These new scientific paradigms will enable us to validate and feel confident in using therapies that were perceived as useless superstitious relics from the past.

It is also this subatomic, quantum level of reality that is the whole basis for the teaching of meditation. The main teaching of esoteric, mystical circles is that the essence of the material world is non-material. Therefore to know the real nature of reality we have to look deeper than the surface appearances. Indeed, most meditation techniques help us distance and detach from the external environment, then, when we start to move inwards, to focus and face our inner being. Those who have taken that inner journey have left mountains of descriptions and explanations, yet such things can only be perceived by oneself.

This is because the whole experience is subjective and personal. The poet Kahlihl Gibran puts it this way:


Paramahansa Satyananda, the leader of the modern yogic renaissance explains, “there is nothing to be understood, everything has to felt and experienced”. Therefore we go back to the motto for this course, “an ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory”, which by now is permanently imprinted on your brain tissue and mind circuits – well at least that’s our intention.

Most natural therapies have up to now been rather misunderstood because they often mention the aspect of synergy of their potions and lotions. This is based on the principle that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. For example, we all know that the body is so much more than a mass of flesh, blood, bones and chemicals. This understanding was a very real foundation in the making of remedies, being very much apart from the chemical constituents of the actual herbs, oils, metals or other medicinal agents that were used.

So, apart from these there was also an inherent acknowledging of the inner, mystical or magical properties, imparted by the healer’s own intuitive awareness, which led to the knowledge of achieving the right balance and combination of formulas, blends and concoctions. Many healers and wise men considered their role as a sacred duty; they spent time in quiet contemplation, during which their power to heal and help was enhanced.

Tibetan priests bless the herbal preparations to impart added energetic potency, Pranic healers chant healing mantras on and for the people that ask for their help, Ayurvedic medicines were revealed to sages in states of deep meditation, and metaphysical healers such as Edgar Cayce placed themselves into trance states before giving healing sessions to many patients who attest to his cures.

Underlying this unknown or X-factor in healing is the energy, or Prana, or Chi that is imparted by the healer to the remedy and the person. Of course this would have been dismissed as pure superstition, but in the twenty-first century the research and study in quantum physics have revealed the amazing fact that the observer interacts with the observed at a subliminal, subconscious level.

This has overthrown the whole idea of scientific objectivity and has made us more aware of the powerful invisible forces that form the substratum of reality. As a modern race relying on technology, we accept the existence of electro-magnetic rays, cosmic rays, x-rays, gamma rays, infra and ultra-violet rays, which we cannot perceive with the human eye. Before the age of microscopes and other gadgets that helped us peep into the inner levels of matter and space, only seers gifted with insight and inner wisdom interpreted what our outer senses could not detect, and in the light of modern discoveries their accuracy in some fields of knowledge is quite amazing.

Vibrational medicine today comprises those modalities that are far from purely physical in their effect. It is the premise of such therapies that the person needs to heal on an inner level as well for the benefits to be long lasting. Many of these remedies also act on the psycho-emotional nature. These therapies are based on the fact that the vital energy in the body can be accessed in many different ways, and therefore we can tonify, pacify or balance, according to how the energetic system presents itself. Some of these modalities that act on the subtle vibrational level of the body are:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Kinesiology
  • Homoeopathy
  • Reiki
  • Herbalism
  • N.L.P.
  • Yoga
  • Tai-chi
  • Chi-gung
  • Bach flower remedies
  • Crystal Healing
  • Colour therapy

There are of course many more that we may not have mentioned here. Indeed, our aim is not to get into any details on these subjects. We only want to point out their relevance in the field of healing, especially on an inner and subtle level.

Meditation is one of the most precious tools in vibrational medicine, and is at the forefront of mind/body medicine today because it puts us in touch with our own self-healing mechanisms.

Psycho neuro immunology, or mind/body medicine, tells us that our body produces all the chemicals it needs to balance and heal itself under ideal conditions. The research into transcendental meditation shows that the perfect operating conditions for body and mind are the meditative, contemplative states. The physiological changes that happen during meditation are indicative of optimum health. The body is always performing thousands of chemical reactions, involving complex inter-reaction between hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters to achieve homeostasis (the condition in which the body’s internal environment remains relatively constant, within physiological limits).

Doctor HIROSHI MOTOYAMA, a Shinto priest and healer, explains in his book Karma and Reincarnation that the evolution of man is being limited by spiritual ignorance, and meditation is a way of awakening the deeper layers of consciousness. One very simple method, which is recommended for daily routine to keep the mind calm and clear, the emotions stable and the spirit attuned to higher wisdom, is the practice of observing the breath. When our whole attention is on the breathing process, the constant restless wanderings of the conscious mind or beta level gradually settle down, and this silence and stillness brings the mind inwards.

This type of meditative exercise has been taught in many disciplines. In yogic Pranayama, there is this typical breathing routine:

The practice consists of deep, slow, breaths, inhaling for a count of four, holding for a count of eight and exhaling for a count of four. During the breathing process the centre of attention is on the abdomen. Abdominal breathing calms both the body and the mind. It also increases the Prana or vital energy, its circulation within the meridian pathways and its storage. Such energy is needed for the intense state of inner concentration as conscious awareness is turned within. The ancient Taoist teaching also recommends abdominal breathing to its adepts to still the fragmented manifestations of the mind. Some Christian texts, such as the “method of holy prayer and attention”, describe a similar Pranayama concept of focusing attention on the belly and the flowing of breath. Meditators in all times and conditions have found this an invaluable practice to get in touch with the source of peace, joy and equanimity.

Meditation has been used for centuries to find inner clarity and peace of mind. Druids often use it to achieve greater heights of focus and concentration, and to correct inner unbalances. For the best effect, one should meditate regularly in order to get the mind set to a proper level, after long years of practice, the meditative state can be reached without effort.

Mind can recollect past experiences, keeps thinking about the future and experiences the present with all its might and we do not have any control over our minds journey.
‘Dhyan'(meditation) is the study of deep concentration, calmness and tranquility of the mind. It is the study of attaining complete control over ones mind. Meditation takes the consciousness beyond conscious, sub conscious & unconscious states to super consciousness.

So, always keep this simple practice as a regular meditation exercise, whatever else you are exploring with. By itself or as a way to prepare you for more intense and longer practice sessions, abdominal breathing can be an easy way to get into a meditative state of mind.

Paris European Capital of Yoga



An exceptional event. MORE THAN 9000 PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED TO PARIS FOR THIS EVENT, 11, 12 and 13 October 2013.

An event that reflects the diversity of approaches and expectations of the public, with spaces ‘discoveries’, free courses, master classes, Workshops, demonstrations, conferences, roundtables, music, concerts, screenings , friendliness and a lounge space – 110 exhibitors on 2000m ², the ‘Yoga Village’. Presenters: worldwide renowned Gran Masters Yoga. For more information:

swami-maitreyanandaSwami Maitreyananda  

Darmachari Swami Maitreyananda, Yogacharya Fernando Estevez Griego (Swami Darmachari Maitreyananda) born November 11, 1956 in Montevideo, Uruguay, has lived up to this Bahamas, United States, Canada, Spain, France, Switzerland, Israel, India and Argentina.

Now considered one of the most important and prestigious master Yoga worldwide, it is an indisputable reference in this discipline at the international level. His training continues House nearby the best and most renowned Masters of Yoga, then known in India, is a direct disciple of Krishna Yogavatar Kisore Dasji Swami Vishnudevananda (Sivananda) and the venerable L. Ariyawansa Nayaka Mahatera.

He graduated as a teacher of yoga in the Sivananda Ashram, and obtained the title of Yogacharya and master Yoga in the Forest Vedanta University Institute, India. In addition to its specialization in Yoga therapy, he has a doctorate in psychology and professor of Ayurveda. He is a pioneer and co-creator of the Foundation for International and Continental organizations Yoga coming together now in the International Yoga Federation. His Integral Yoga International School, founded by Swami Asuri Kapila in 1932, is considered one of the top three schools in the world level, having trained over 9000 yoga masters or yogacharya, master, trainers, teachers and yoga instructors. He was twice elected President of the International Federation of Yoga 1990 -1992 and 2003 – 2005

paris-2013Swamini Lakshmii,
Invited by the European Union of Associations intervener Yoga Swamini Lakshmi is an internationally recognized master of yoga. His gentleness, wisdom, 
 its sensitivity and depth as well as his mastery of spirituality and meditation in addition to an extraordinary approach to the art of yoga techniques that carries and transmits with excellence. She is the Director of Aurobindo Sivananda Ashram and the International School of Integral Yoga in which it has trained thousands of yoga teachers. She has served as president of the International Federation of Yoga Sports, Pan American Secretary of the International Federation of Yoga and president of the Argentine Federation of yoga, she teaches and shares her knowledge in America, Europe, Asia and more specifically in India.

Fathers of Modern Yoga




Though his name is perhaps less well-known than some of his famous students, it’s not an overstatement to call T. Krishnamacharya the Father of Modern Yoga. His development of a unique approach to hatha yoga, together with his tireless promotion and exceptional acolytes, led directly to yoga’s increased availability to Western students.

Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) was an Indian yogi and scholar. He received his training in hatha yoga during seven years spent with his guru, Ramamohana Brahmacharya, who lived in a cave in a remote region of the Himalayas. Krishnamacharya also spent many years studying, and then teaching, Sanskrit, Vedic rituals and philosophy. His style of yoga is the first known to have incorporated movement through a series of poses that are coordinated with breathing, a style that is known as vinyasa yoga.

From 1926 to 1946, Krishnamacharya ran a yoga school at the palace of the Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar in Mysore. During that time, Krishnamacharya had several students who would go on to play pivotal roles in popularizing yoga in the West.

Ashtanga yoga guru K. Pattabhi Jois was a devoted, long-time student whose vigorous style of asana was closely based on Krishnamacharya’s teachings. B.K.S. Iyengar, whose sister was Krishnamacharya’s wife, received his first yoga instruction from his brother-in-law before branching out to develop his own alignment-based style.

His Holiness Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati – Founder of The Divine Life Society, born, 1887. Alive today in countless names & forms.

Sivananda Yoga is a classical and holistic approach to Hatha Yoga that stretches and tones the whole body.

This style of yoga has not been modified or watered down. The teachings have survived intact and are practiced as originally presented in India by Swami Sivananda in 1936. Sivananda Yoga is an international practice which follows the same format worldwide.

Sivananda Yoga is a complete healing system designed to help the body maintain a natural healthy state. It was developed by Vishnu-Devananda who wrote one of the contemporary Yoga classics, “The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga,” first published in 1960 and still one of the best introductions to yoga available. Sivananda training involves frequent relaxation and emphasizes full, yogic breathing.

K. Pattabhi Jois 

Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois was introduced to yoga in 1927 as a twelve year old when he attended a demonstration by S. T. Krishnamacharya who had learned yoga in Tibet. Thus began Guruji’s 25 years of yoga study with Krishnamacharya. In 1929, Jois moved to Mysore to study Sanskrit. He married in Mysore and with his wife Amma had three children.

Twenty years later he established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute as a centre for the study and practice of Ashtanga yoga  a system of yoga which is often promoted as a modern-day form of classical Indian the specific yoga practice known as Ashtanga (Sanskrit for “eight-limbed”) Yoga. In 1958  Jois he began writing Yoga Mala. It was published in India but took more than 40 years before it was published in the west.

Jois’ yoga shala attracts thousands of foreign yoga students every year. The west was introduced to Ashtanga yoga in the early 1960s when an European student spent two months with Jois learning the primary and intermediate asanas of the Ashtanga Yoga system. He returned to Europe and spread the word, marking the beginning of westerners coming to Mysore to study Ashtanga yoga. Power yoga and vinyasa yoga are generic terms that may refer to any type of vigorous yoga exercise derived from Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.

 B.K.S. Iyengar was born Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar in 1918. As the founder of Iyengar Yoga, he is considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world and has been practicing and teaching yoga for more than 60 years.

He has written many books on yogic practice and philosophy, and is best known for his books “Light on Yoga,” “Light on Pranayama,” and “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.” He has also written several definitive yoga texts. Iyengar yoga is taught around the world.

Iyengar Yoga, is a form of Hatha Yoga known for its use of props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets, as aids in performing asanas (postures). The props enable students to perform the asanas correctly, minimising the risk of injury or strain, and making the postures accessible to both young and old. The development of strength, mobility and stability are emphasized through the asanas

B.K.S. Iyengar has systematised over 200 classical yoga poses and 14 different types of Pranayama (with variations of many of them) ranging from the basic to advanced. This ensures that as the students gradually progress by moving from simple poses to more complex ones and develop their mind, body and spirit step-by-step. Iyengar Yoga is firmly based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga as expounded by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras.