Upcoming Trainings

Sign up now for our 2017/2018 Fall/Winter 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training

Early Bird Special until August 9th, 2017

Saturday, September 9th 2017 – February 18th 2018

 

Every other weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 11 am – 7 pm

Trainings held in Woodbridge and Ashburn, VA locations

 

Overview

Drishti Yoga Teacher Training Institute (DYTTI) is built upon a Vinyasa Flow style of yoga. Our teacher training is an RYS 200 hour teacher training recognized by the yoga alliance. Upon completion of this course, you will be a 200 hour RYT. Our qualified well-versed staff will take teacher trainees on a journey like no other. Drishti is a Sanskrit term meaning “A focused and concentrated gaze” and that is just what DYTTI is made up of. We provide trainees the opportunity to focus on and understand the magic of teaching yoga and enhancing one’s yoga practice.

 

Our training team comes from a myriad of backgrounds including leaders in the fitness/yoga industry, medically based professionals, teachers, and curriculum developers, all with strong yoga practices. DYTTI allows participants to explore all the possibilities that become open to them as they embark on the new profession of becoming a 200 hour qualified yoga teacher.

The DYTTI is made up of a 12-week program held on the weekends with one day a week available for make-up classes. In addition, we also offer a 6 week intensive training held on Monday, Wednesday, Friday evenings, Saturday, and Sunday.

Our goal is to allow as much flexibility as possible in order to participate in the program with ease and comfort. Our studios are large and beautiful with full locker rooms and showers, juice bars, plenty of free parking, and a blissful environment to ensure a productive and comfortable learning experience.

DYTTI will take you to a new level in your yoga/fitness career and show you the way to become the best you can be as a teacher and/or practitioner. The training will explore:

  • Your own practices each and every session
  • Becoming an expert instructor with hands on teaching
  • Learning all applications for outstanding assisting
  • Understanding the anatomy of yoga
  • Learning the art of sequencing and developing flow
  • Developing professional and flawless language and delivery skills with authenticity
  • Understanding all aspects and types of yoga practice
  • Becoming familiar with the business of yoga
  • Learning all aspects of having one’s own yoga studio
  • Developing confidence to teach a strong, professional, and mindful yoga class
  • Realizing the benefits and joy of “being in” yoga not only as a practice, but also as a way of life
  • Developing the essential lifestyle tools to live in Drishti Bliss

In addition DYTTI is the sister to Drishti Beats, a live music Vinyasa Flow experience. Learn the amazing aspects of a music to movement connection. Gain strong skills in incorporating music flow to your yoga flow in a mindful and energy driven way, delivering an amazing yoga class journey.

The DYTTI is the “now” yoga training, giving a clear understanding of traditional yoga, as well as, where the industry is today.

Become a Drishti….. Where Your Drishti Goes, Your Energy Flows

Teacher Training Inquiry Form

Our Instructors

Lori Lowell, RYT 500

Co-Owner

Jeremy Lowell, RYT 500

Co-Owner

Jeanne Custard

Trainer

Yoga Education

Drishti

Drishti (dṛṣṭi), translated from Sanskrit as “a focused or concentrated gaze”, is a means for developing concentrated intention.  We humans are predominantly visual creatures. Our attention is the most valuable thing we have, and the visible world can be an addictive, overstimulating, and spiritually debilitating lure.

When we get caught up in the outer appearance of things, our prana (vitality) flows out of us as we scan the stimulating sights. Allowing the eyes to wander creates distractions. When we control and direct the focus, first of the eyes and then of the attention, we are using the yogic technique called drishti.
The full meaning of drishti isn’t limited to its value in asana. In Sanskrit, drishti can also mean a vision, a point of view, or intelligence and wisdom. The use of drishti in asana serves both as a training technique and as a metaphor for focusing consciousness toward a vision of oneness. Drishti organizes our perceptual apparatus to recognize and overcome the limits of “normal” vision.
Our eyes can only see objects in front of us that reflect the visible spectrum of light, but yogis seek to view an inner reality not normally visible. We become aware of how our brains only let us see what we want to see—a projection of our own limited ideas. Often our opinions, prejudices, and habits prevent us from seeing unity. Drishti is a technique for looking for the Divine everywhere—and thus for seeing correctly the world around us. Used in this way, drishti becomes a technique for removing the ignorance that obscures this true vision, a technique that allows us to see the Divine in everything.
Patanjali pointed out that in viewing the world, we tend not to see reality clearly, but instead get deluded by the error of false perception. He says that we confuse the act of seeing with the true perceiver, the Self. He continues, further to say that this confusion about the true relationship between the act of seeing, the object seen, and the identity of the Seer is the root cause of suffering. His cure for this suffering is to look correctly into the world around us.
By maintaining a prolonged, continuous, single-pointed focus on the goal of yoga: samadhi.
There are, in total, nine drishtis that instruct the yoga student in directing his or her gaze. Each asana is associated with a particular drishti. They include:
  • Aṅguṣṭha madhyai: to the thumb
  • Bhrūmadhya: to the third eye, or between the eyebrows
  • Nāsāgrai: at the tip of the nose (or a point six inches from the tip)
  • Hastagrai: to the palm, usually the extended hand
  • Pārśva: to the left/right side
  • Ūrdhva: to the sky, or upwards is the most common, where the eyes are lifted, with the spine aligned from crown to tailbone.
  • Nābhicakra: to the navel
  • Pādayoragrai: to the toes
The source of dṛiṣhṭis in yoga is limbs five and six from the eight limbs of yoga. The fifth limb of yoga pratyahara concerns sense withdrawal. To avoid the delusion and suffering caused by preoccupation with sense objects, sense withdrawal is practiced in order to help the practitioner become “centered”. According to tantric philosophy, keeping “centered” madhya will eventually suspend the mind and prana, allowing recognition of bhairava, or device consciousness.
The sixth limb of yoga dharana (concentration), includes maintaining dṛiṣhṭi during yoga practice in order to ensure dhyana meditation will occur.
The Bhakti yogi uses drishti in a slightly different way, constantly turning a loving, longing gaze toward the Divine. This provides a kind of enhanced yogic vision that allows us to see past outer differences to inner essence or Truth.  If we remove ignorance through these practices, we can then see through deception and delusion. Where the focus goes, energy flows.

Raja Yoga

Defined literally from Sanskrit means Royal Yoga, or Royal Union, also known as classical yoga and aṣhṭānga yoga is a form of meditation in which the mind is trained to be focused at one point. It aims at the calming of the mind using a succession of steps, culminating in samadhi, or the quiet state of blissful awareness.  According to the samkhya-based Raja yoga-philosohy, this results in kaivalya, the recognition of the pure mind.

Since medieval times Raja yoga is regarded as one of the six schools of orthodox (astika) Hindu philosophy. The school declined after the 12th century, to be revived in the 19th century due to popular interest in Asian religions.
Raja Yoga received the status of orthodoxy due to a text written by Patanjali, know as “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali”.  The Yoga Sutras are a composite of various texts composed in and around the year 400.  Patanjali compiled various traditions and wrote a commentary on them forming “The Treatise on Yoga according to Patanjali”, which consisted of both Sutras and Byasa.
Patanjali took materials about yoga from older traditions and added his own explanatory passages, explaining the basis from two different traditions, Ashtanga yoga (8 limb yoga) and Kriya Yoga.
The Yoga Sutras were strongly commented on between the ninth and sixteen century, but after the twelfth century, the school started to decline, and by the 16th century, Patanjali’s Yoga philosophy had virtually become extinct.  Popular interest arose again in the 19th century when the practice of yoga, according to Yoga Sutras  became regarded as the science of yoga and the “supreme contemplative path to self-realization”.
Rāja yoga is traditionally referred to as aṣṭānga (eight-limbed) yoga because there are eight aspects to the path to which one must attend.
The eight limbs are:
  • Yama – code of conduct, self-restraint.  This consists of non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, sexual abstinence, and non-covetousness. Perfect harmlessness, as well as positive love. The five directives of yama lay down behavioral norms as prerequisites for elimination of fear, and contribute to a tranquil mind.
  • Niyama –observance of five canons: including internal and external purity, contentment), austerity, study of religious books and repetitions of mantras, and self-surrender to God and his worship. Niyama, prescribes mental exercises to train the mind to control emotions.
  • Asana – integration of mind and body through physical activity, means “seat”; the place where one sits; or posture, position of the body (any position). Asanas are said to derive from the various positions of animals’ bodies, which is where the names of the positions were derived. 84 asanas are considered to be the main postures, of which the highest are considered Shirshasan (headstand) and Padmasan (lotus).
The practice of asanas, which, in the sense of a posture that one can hold for a period of time, staying relaxed and with normal calm breathing (pranayama), or, as some sources say, “without effort”, affects the following aspects or planes of the human being including:
  • Physical (blood circulation, inner organs, glands, muscles, joints and nerve system)
  • Psychological (developing emotional balance and stability, harmony)
  • Mental (improved ability to concentrate, memory)
  • Consciousness (purifying and clarifying consciousness/awareness)
From the perspective, it is considered that the physical postures and pranayama serve to prepare the body and mind for the following steps: and (withdrawal of the senses, contemplation, meditation, and state of expanded or transcendental consciousness, where the activity of the mind ceases and “The Knower and The Object of Knowledge Become One”
  • Prāṇāyāma – regulation of breath leading to integration of mind and body, is made out of two Sanskrit words (prāṇa = life energy; ayāma = control or modification). Breathing is the medium used to achieve this goal. The mind and life force are correlated to the breath. Through regulating the breathing and practicing awareness on it, one learns to control prana.
According to Rāja yoga, there are three main types (phases, units, stadia) of pranayama, Purak (inhalation), Rechak (exhalation), and Kumbhak (holding the breath); which appears as:
         a.  Antara kumbhak (withholding the breath after inhalation)
         b.  Bahar kumbhak (withholding the breath after exhalation)
         c.  Keval kumbhak (spontaneous withholding of the breath)
  • Pratyāhāra – abstraction of the senses, withdrawal of the senses of perception from their object, is bringing the awareness to reside deep within oneself, free from the senses and the external world. The goal is not to disrupt the communication from the sense organ to the brain. The awareness is far removed from the five senses. Pratyahara cannot be achieved without achievement of the preceding limbs of yoga. The awareness comes to rest deep in the inner space, and during this time breath may be temporarily suspended. It is not just to be likened to concentration or meditation.
  • Dhāraṇā – concentration, one-pointedness of mind, yoga starts from concentration. Concentration merges into meditation. Meditation ends in samadhi. Retention of breath, pure food, seclusion, silence, being in the company of a guru, and not mixing much with people, are all aids to concentration. Concentration on the space between the two eyebrows (bhrakuti) with closed eyes is preferred. The mind can thus be easily controlled, as this is the seat for the mind.
  • Dhyāna – meditation, quiet activity that leads to samadhi), the meditator is not conscious of the act of meditation (i.e. is not aware that he or she is meditating) but is only aware that he or she exists and is aware of the object of meditation. Dhyana is distinct from Dharana in that the meditator becomes one with the object of meditation. This means that the meditator although aware of the object through meditation detaches him or herself from its existence in the physical world. Much like meditation focused on the breath Dhyana is rooted in the concentration of not being concentrated.
The final stage of meditation in dhyāna is considered to be jhāna. At this stage of meditation, one does not see it as a meditational practice, but instead merges with the idea and thought. One cannot reach a higher stage of consciousness without jhāna.
  • Samādhi – the quiet state of blissful awareness or a superconscious state, is attained when the yogi constantly sees Paramatma in his heart.  Meditation on Om with bhava removes obstacles in sadhana and helps to attain samadhi.
As opposed to this, Avidya (ignorance), asmita (egoism), raga-dvesha (likes and dislikes), abhinivesha (clinging to mundane life) are the five kleshas or afflictions.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

This style of yoga codified and popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois is often promoted as a modern-day form of classical Indian yoga.  Pattabhi Jois began his yoga studies in 1927 at the age of 12, and by 1948 had established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute for teaching the specific yoga practice known as Ashtanga, as mentioned in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

“Power yoga” and “vinyasa yoga” are generic terms that may refer to any type of vigorous yoga exercise derived from Ashtanga yoga.
The principles lie within:
1.  Vinyāsa – which refers to the alignment of movement and breath, a method which turns static asanas into a dynamic flow. The length of one inhale or one exhale dictates the length of time spent transitioning between asanas. Asanas are then held for a predefined number of breaths. In effect, attention is placed on the breath and the journey between the asanas rather than solely on achieving perfect body alignment in an asana, as is emphasized in Hatha yoga.
The term vinyasa also refers to a specific series of movements that are frequently done between each asana and also between each side (left and right  of each asana) in a series. This viṅyāsa ‘flow’ is a variant of Sūrya namaskāra, the Sun Salutations, and is used in other styles of yoga other than Ashtanga Yoga.
2. Breath – and the breathing style used in Ashtanga Yoga is referred to as “free breathing with sound” or “normal breath with free flow”. This breathing is characterized by a relaxed diaphragmatic style, producing an ocean sound, which resonates in the practitioner’s throat. Throughout a practice, this specific breathing style is maintained in alignment with movements. The steady cycle of inhales and exhales provides the practitioner with a calming, mental focal point. Additionally, viṅyāsa and this type of breathing together create internal heat, which leads to purification of the body through increased circulation and sweating.
Something to note is that in the past, many practitioners have thought this breathing method was called Ujjayi breath. However, in 2011, Sharath Jois, Director of the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute, cleared up this confusion; stating that ujjayi is a breath that is meant to be a pranayama practice and, “in our asana practice, we practice free breathing with sound.”
3.  Bandhas – the third major principle of Ashtanga Yoga is the muscle locking/contraction, which focuses energy in the body and is closely tied to the breath. Another way to state this would be to say, the bandha is a sustained contraction of a group of muscles that assists the practitioner not only in retaining an asana but also in moving in and out of it. There are three bandhas which are considered our internal body locks:
  • Mūla Bandha, or root lock, is performed by tightening the      muscles around the pelvic and perineum area.
  • Uḍḍīyāna Bandha, often described as bringing the navel to the base of the spine, is a contraction of the muscles of the lower abdominal area – this bandha is considered the most important bandha as it supports our breathing and encourages the development of strong core muscles.
  • Jālaṅdhara Bandha, throat lock, is achieved by lowering the chin slightly while raising the sternum and the palate bringing the gaze to the tip of the nose.
Ashtanga Yoga is different from many yoga classes in the west in that the order of asanas is completely predefined.Typically, a  practice will be comprised of four main parts; opening sequence, one of the six main series, a back-bending sequence, and a set of inverted asanas, referred to as the finishing sequence. Practice always ends with savasana.
The opening sequence begins with sun salutations and then several standing asanas. Following the opening sequence will one of the six main series
  • The primary series, yoga chikitsa; Yoga for Health or Yoga Therapy
  • The secondary series, nadi shodhana: The Nerve Purifier
  • The tertiary series, sthira bhaga: Centering of Strength
  • Advanced A (also called third series),
  • Advanced B (also called fourth series),
  • Advanced C (also called fifth series) and
  • D Sthira Bhagah (also called sixth series)
Ashtanga Yoga is traditionally taught in Mysore Style (supervised self-practice), named after the city in India from which Ashtanga originates). In this self-led style of practice, each student moves through the practice at his or her own pace and level, as directed by the instructor.

Hatha Yoga

Is also called hatha vidya.  The word hathạ, meaning force, denotes a system of physical techniques supplementary to a broad conception of yoga. As a part of Hindu origin, Hindu tradition believes that Shiva, himself is the founder of hatha yoga.  In the 20th century, hatha yoga, particularly asanas (the physical postures), became popular throughout the world as physical exercises.

According to legend, Lord Shiva is credited with propounding hatha yoga, and it is said that on a lonely island, assuming nobody else would hear him, he gave the knowledge of hatha yoga to the Goddess Parvati, but a fish heard the entire discourse, remaining still throughout. The fish (Matsya) later became a siddha and came to be known as Matsyendranath, who taught hatha yoga to his disciple Gorakshanath and to a limbless man, Chaurangi.
In the earliest textual references, some of its techniques can be traced back to the epics and the Pali canon, contained in which three passages in which the Buddha describes pressing the tongue against the palate for the purposes of controlling hunger or the mind, depending on the passage.
In medieval times, with the onset of Islamic rule, teachings on Yoga were systematized in several texts.
Hatha Yoga includes information about shatkarma (purification), asana, pranayama (subtle energy control), chakras (centers of energy), kundalini (instinct), bandhas (muscle force), kriyas (techniques; manifestations of kundalini), shakti (sacred force), nadis (channels), and mudras (symbolic gestures) among other topics.
Many modern schools of hatha yoga in the West derive from the school of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who taught from 1924 until his death in 1989. Among his students prominent in popularizing yoga in the West were K. Pattabhi Jois, famous for popularizing the vigorous Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga style, and B. K. S. Iyengar who emphasizes alignment and the use of props.
Hatha yoga has some important principles and practices that are shared with other methods of yoga, such as subtle physiology, dhāraṇā (fixation of the elements), and nādānusandhāna (concentration on the internal sound).
Hatha yoga consists of six limbs focused on attaining samādhi. In this scheme, the six limbs of hatha yoga are defined as asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samādhi. It includes disciplines, postures (asana), purification procedures (shatkriya), gestures (mudra), breathing (pranayama), and meditation.

Kundalini Yoga

Coming from Hatha Yoga brings into light the concept of “cakras” or “chakras” or energy centers and the practice working to activate those centers.

Power Yoga

Power Yoga, taking from its Hatha Yoga roots, consists of both a standing and sitting sequences of movements linking the usage of physical movement, breath-work or pranayama, and meditation. Power Yoga strikes a balance between the originating values of yoga found in India and the North American societally driven demands for physical exercise.

Power Yoga is often practiced in a hot room held at a temperature approximate to 105°F or 40.6°C.  Power Yoga has been argued to be the fundamental style of Hatha yoga that allowed for cultural acceptance of yoga in North America. According to the North American Studio Alliance, 30 million people are practicing yoga in the United States of America. This includes practitioners not just of Power Yoga, but the entire practice of Hatha Yoga. Its popularity has led the sharing of sequences and movement across all of the following forms of Hatha Yoga.
Power yoga aligns with the Hindu Philosophy of Asana  (Ashtanga), a system similar to but distinct from the Eightfold Path (Raja) developed by the Pathanjali. (Baptiste)

Bahkti Yoga

Bhakti is a Sanskrit term that signifies an attitude of devotion to the Divine.  A spiritual path described in Hindu Philosophy as efficatious for fostering love of, faith in, and surrender to the Divine. It is the easiest way for the common person because it doesn’t involve extensive yogic practices.