This description was given to me in the course material during 300hr Shamanic Yoga Teacher Training. I highly recommend the training with the Shamanic Yoga Institute
Yoga is the scientific inquiry of the self. It is a method by which using various techniques
including asana, pranayama, meditation, we are able to research who we are and why
we are here. This practice requires direct experience and therefore, discipline which in
turn develops self-mastery. The ultimate goal of yoga, if there is in fact one goal, is to
still the mind. This quiet brings us back into relationship with ourselves and the world
Shamanism is a large umbrella term used to describe several different techniques and
methods used by indigenous peoples since antiquity for personal and collective healing.
Often there is singing, chanting, dancing, but the aspect unique to the shaman is the
journey. Journeying is process of moving into altered states of consciousness and
travelling across time and space. By using these shifts in perception, one can often
facilitate healing because there is the ability to see the same story in a new light. This
change in perspective can often empower the individual to choose a different ending. In
the journey we are also informed by rich symbolism which facilitates an investigation
into the unconscious mind. This can empower someone to observe and be informed
about what drives their personal behaviour but how to transcend being led by an
unseen force and start to choose consciously their own life. This type of healing then
supports a movement of healing from the individual to the collective. The personal
healing then equips one to be of service to others.
Shamanic Yoga is the ancient practice of yoga placed in an opening of shamanic
sacred space, inviting and invoking personal growth and transformation through
pranayama, asana, energy work, song and journeying. By weaving these rich traditions
together, the student is offered an experience steeped in indigenous, collective
consciousness that aims to guide one back to the path of their homecoming; to
themselves now in the present moment and who they dream themselves to be.
In order to hold the seat of the teacher, we must first have walked the path. Only by
having a lived experience are we able to transform knowledge and understanding into
something we can share, wisdom. By living the truth of personal, direct experience,
teachers are able to hold a sacred, safe and loving space for their students to unfold, let
go, and discover their power.
Nature and landscape are primary themes of the shamanic yoga practice and are
woven into dialogue, invoking the students and the natural world to co-create their
relationship with one another. Breathing techniques, asana, mantra, song and energy
work are all used along with journeys and visualizations to invite a conversation with the
unknown throughout class. Classes are also sequenced with intent to open certain
areas of the body, facilitating a release, a reclaiming or a remembering. In this way, the
student is supported to inquire, excavate and discern what needs to be changed and
what needs to be retained. By consciously creating one’s body and reconnecting with
one’s form, the student is encouraged to nourish themselves in a fundamental way.
The vision of Shamanic Yoga is to take the power of both yoga and shamanic practices
and knit them together to create a strong venue for personal transformation and healing.
Several tools are offered that facilitate an intimate connection with one’s both inner and
outer world. Being heart centred, this connection helps one move from fear to love.
This powerful shift creates the opportunity for one to forgive, reclaim personal power,
step out of old stories and begin to create a new story, dreaming their world into being
and living the life they were born to live. To participate fully in one’s life is the promise of
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