Certification & Curriculum

Certification & Curriculum
 

A Comprehensive Look


The YUJMU Certification Curriculum

 

Framing • Attuning • Synthesizing

 


The aim of our program is to make the best Yin Yoga Teachers possible, empowering you to be confident and equipped to teach Yin Yoga anywhere, anytime. The YUJMU Certification sets new global Yin Yoga Teaching standards via two pathways:

  1. Continually analyzing the current global meta of Yin Yoga Teaching and Yin Yoga Trainings so that we stay ahead of new developments in worldwide concepts & understanding in the field.

  2. Stripping everything down to find the bones of Yin Yoga. While keeping on top of changes in the global knowledge-base is of a high priority the essence of the practice is always returned to.

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YUJMU 12 Key Standards

Our curriculum is designed to ensure students at minimum achieve these 12 standards but many students may develop a much deeper understanding during the course. This is due to the difference of previous experiences the students come in with when they first arrive, the emphasis on personal exploration in the practices presented and the cumulative experience of the training as a whole.


Trainees Will Demonstrate:

  1. A foundational level of understanding of the body, bones, joints, fascia and muscles.

  2. An ability to understand and implement practices related to the Subtle Body.

  3. A foundational level of academic understanding of the philosophy relating to Tao and Zen.

  4. An ability to apply some of these philosophical concepts to the practice of Yin Yoga.

  5. A foundational level of academic understanding of meditation.

  6. An ability to implement a meditation practice, particularly Zazen.

  7. An ability to implement a self observant state of mind or to slow down and be more observant of what is happening in their body.

  8. A foundational level of Yin Yoga lineage knowledge and an understanding of cultural context for Yin Yoga in particular and their own thoughts/feelings in general.

  9. An ability to self implement and refine practice techniques presented throughout the training.

  10. An understanding of some styles for guiding practice as demonstrated in the guided Yin sessions.

  11. An understanding of the nuance of Yin Yoga and how to explain it to others from their own experience of the practice.

  12. An ability to safely teach and manage the experience of students while guiding a Yin Yoga session.

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8 Elements Of Excellence

To achieve and maintain our 12 Key Standards we have developed, refined and integrated certain elements throughout the training curriculum.


  1. 46 Asana • We include a lot of asana and that is because we include upper body, lower body and smaller muscle targets. Plus we highlight variation poses due to their importance in refining tissue targets.

  2. Immersion Only • We have been asked to offer shorter trainings and while it is possible to do we don’t feel the end result is as deeply informed a Yin teacher as we have the potential to manifest.

  3. Meditation & Subtle Body Fully Integrated • We feel yin yoga is a practice of the subtle body and meditation and so must include a heavy emphasis on each to fully comprehend this style of yoga

  4. Indepth Anatomy • We feel anatomy is something that is always helpful to refresh so even if students have some anatomy training we provide additional and have been told that in some cases we go more indepth than some 200 hour trainings

  5. Student Centered • Our decades of teaching has taught us that dialogue helps process information tremendously and so we take a multiple intelligence approach to learning (read more about that soon)

  6. Top Shelf Materials • We have an art background so we spare no expense when it comes to crafting materials of the highest professional aesthetics and attention to detail

  7. The Tao Te Ching • We only have one required reading for this training because to us everything is in the body experience but the philosophy is central and best understood by the pinnacle of Taoist discourse which is this book by Lao Tzu.

  8. Advanced Yin • We are cautious of this term but feel that it is best embodied in teaching yin so we let students know even they dont plan to teach it is here that they will find their advanced practice


 

Deconstructing Curriculum

Geeking Out On Educational Methodology

 

The ins & outs of structuring learning objectives, how we continually study the ways others are doing it and how we go about integrating all of that.


 

Analysis

Our business operations happens to bring us into contact with an enormous spectrum of studios and yoga communities around the world. This lets us keep a finger on the pulse of the global Yoga scene. One thing we learned from school teaching that we have carried over to developing Yoga curriculum is that you always need to evolve, once you set yourself on a particular way of teaching content the field passes you by and you are no longer providing what is relevant to contemporary students. Granted the ancient traditions have accumulated wisdom and practices that are time tested so we are not necessarily talking about changing that. However humans in every era are unique in how we understand and absorb knowledge and this is what a curriculum is: a delivery system for content. By this standard we are always looking at what lands with our students, what resonates with them and with ourself. We look at what feels intuitive and what needs to be deconstructed and put into a new vehicle. Some students will connect when the content is delivered in a pickup truck while others will only absorb it when it is delivered in a Lamborghini. We take tremendous efforts to find what vehicle to drive up in and present the time tested content to students with.

 
 

Essence

These techniques and teachings of these practices come from a long line of humans studying the experience of the body. Sometimes these long histories can burden the knowledge with superfluous baggage that accumulated over decades and centuries. We like to bring things back to the roots of these ancient studies as much as possible; the infallibility of each individual’s experience of their own body is timeless. There is nothing wiser or more accurate than that singular tapping in and testing knowledge against one’s direct perceptions in the moment. We repeat this throughout the training for our students and are constantly bringing ourselves back to that as we evolve the curriculum. What is the point of this endeavor, what are we trying to create or present to our students and what is getting in the way of that. It is with this approach that we are able be confident in our curriculum as we are not trying to sell some trendy new style, an out of the box ideology or technique of the week. We are presenting the students with themselves through a uniquely structured experience of a particular training. What the students add on to the content during or after the training is up to them but we always bring it back to the essence of experience so that the bell we keep ringing rings true for each student.

 
 

Yoga Alliance

But what about certifications, what about Yoga Alliance and other regulatory bodies that tell us we are now officially a Yoga Teacher? These organizations provide an incredible framework on a global scale which is very impressive and useful to us as yoga teachers and teacher trainers. What we learned however is that it is still just all based on someone’s ideas about what is best. We are proud to be Yoga Alliance certified and YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Providers) so that our students can trust that we are vetted and provide safe and contemporaneous courses. All graduates receive YA Continuing Education credits or CE credits (a.k.a. - CPD - Continuing Professional Development). We study Yoga Alliance standards for 200 hour trainings and cross-check them against our 100 hour program (Yoga Alliance does not require us to do this but we want to meet and surpass the highest standards in the land). From there we ask ourselves how can we do more and we utilize our decades of prior teaching experience and training as a New York State Certified Public School Teacher to refine and advance our own standards, YUJMU standards.

We just weren’t satisfied with that alone though, what more could we do to ensure the highest standard for our program and students? We sent our full curriculum to our teaching Bernie Clark and asked him for his blessing and feedback on our program. He approved our curriculum even saying that our 100 hour program had enough content for a 200 hour program. This is something we are very proud of not only out of our respect and admiration for Bernie but also in that through our decades of teaching in various fields we can deliver a dense amount of content to our students while keeping them engaged and receptive.

What does this mean for our students? It means they are on the receiving end of a curriculum that meets Yoga Alliance standards for higher level trainings and provides accreditation plus the stringent standards for teaching required by government regulated school systems. So they are presented at graduation with a certificate that is approved by YA but sets a new YUJMU global standard in yin yoga teaching.

 
 

The Meta

The Yin Yoga world is growing year by year and it is picking up momentum. We have seen firsthand this development since we began sharing YUJMU with the world and are so excited by people’s embracing of Yin. This growth is in part facilitated by the fact that more and more studios are creating Yin Yoga Teacher Trainings and more teachers are creating their own to share their knowledge of this sublime, transformative practice. So what are some of the differences in all of these trainings and how does it effect our program.

For one it is important to note that we have ourselves attended 3 Yin Trainings in our own development so we have seen experienced 3 approaches to offering this kind of program. Those 3 trainings formed the core of our own way of sharing this as we consider it our Yin lineage (YINeage? hehe). We experienced 2 intensives (an 8 and 10 day training) and a 3 day weekend training all on Yin Yoga. We found the main takeaways from each were, anatomical depth, scientific practicality and playful grooviness so these were naturally incorporated to varying degree into our program.
But what of the countless other Yin trainings out there? Well that is trickier to analyze but we are always looking at other training pages to see what is emphasized, other teacher videos to see trainer styles and checking out books on Yin (and overlapping topics) to understand what aspects of the content are being focused on or how it is being presented. We love the diversity of this growing Yin universe (YINiverse, I just can’t stop with the Yin puns))) and are always looking to engage and learn more but also to keep it growing and connecting. We want to be at the head of the curve when it comes to stringent Yin standards so where do we fit into all of this? —> Check back as we add more articles on what education methodologies influenced us early in our career and still today…—>