Seva Yoga Teacher Training

8 weeks / 15 classes / 108 hours

Location: Swan River Yoga Arabi (7011 St. Claude Ave.)

Dates & Schedule:
September 27 – November 15, 2019

Meetings 2 times per week: Friday evenings 6:30-9:30 pm, Saturday afternoons 1:00-5:00 pm

To join the Seva Teacher Training, click on the button to register thru Mindbody: Register Today

Overview & Requirements

>>>Seva Swan School is designed to provide you the ability to offer yoga as service, by donation only, to your community, so that yoga can be more accessible to all and exist beyond typical yoga studio settings. This training will provide you with the basic structure, quality, and direction for teaching and is the minimal training that we feel is needed to reach out to “others” sufficiently.

Since we recognize that those teaching yoga as Seva, or service, will have a greater likelihood of encountering diversity in economic status, age, lifestyle, religion, health, body ability, body size, culture, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender identification, Seva School will specifically address more accessible forms of yoga that encompass all levels and abilities. You will learn to offer an all-level Seva class, but also have the opportunity to specialize in a particular type of yoga class, including the following: Slow Flow, Beginners 1 and 2, Restorative Yoga, and our signature prop-focused class, Mad Props & Alignment.

If you are already a 200+ hour certified yoga teacher but wish to learn how to serve a more diverse population, this can also be viewed as valuable continuing education and allow you to refine and specialize your teaching capabilities.
This training will include:
● How to make the practice of yoga accessible to all beings, regardless of age, income, size, physical ability, or setting
● Training in the most approachable calming exercises for diverse populations such as simple breathing exercises, simple devotional prayers and philosophies
● Extensive use of props such as bolsters, chairs, blocks, walls, straps
● Extensive understanding of modifications of many basic poses for all body types and for those that do not have access to props
● In-depth observation, breakdown, mechanics, safety & accessibility of standing poses, forward folds, back bends, twists, and inversions
● Universal principles of alignment that can be applied with clean simplicity
● Group discussions on what selfless service is and creative ways to be available to offer it to others
● Transcripts, conversations, and suggestions about potential class outlines to use in various non-studio settings when props, yoga mats, etc. are not available
● If you are desiring a specialization in one of the classes listed above, guidance will be given on how to do so.

With a base of 108 hours of training, we ask that you agree that you will not charge others for any yoga classes that you offer as service. Seva’s reciprocity to you is that you learn to have no expectations for the fruit of your actions. Seva is also thought to assist us all in any temptation for being caught up in our own personal conflicts by instead assisting and connecting with others.

Seva is Sanskrit for “selfless service.” Swan River Arabi is run by a group of individuals committed to seva. Seva is providing service and asking nothing in return. It is a powerful path that involves the process of balancing one’s responsibilities while setting one’s intention. We practice seva through mindful service with consciousness.

Anyone who graduates from the Swan River Arabi Seva Teacher Training will receive the following discounts: $1008 off 400-hour Swan School; $504 off 200-hour Swan School.

Required Assignments during Training:

● 2 classes per week must be attended and signed off in the Swan River Yoga Arabi Community Center, the Swan River Yoga Mandir, or the Uptown Shala. At least one of the classes must be taken at the Arabi Community Center.

● The 2 classes that will count each week are any of the following: Seva Swan River Yoga Open (Arabi), Swan River Yoga Open Level (Mandir/Shala), Slow Flow, Restorative Yoga, Pure Beginners Level 1, Ongoing Beginners Level 2, Adaptive Yoga (Mandir), Mad Props and Alignment (Arabi), Yin Yoga, and Quick Flow.

● Required Text: Yoga: The Path To Holistic Health by BKS Iyengar

● From your required text, choose a specific class type from your Seva Swan School Flight Manual training material. Write out a 1 hour sequence of an all-levels class with the specific transcriptions that class requires. Include word-for-word verbiage, modifications, props incorporated, anatomical theme aimed towards physical, mental and emotional benefits.

● Oral Exam: Near the end of the training, you will be asked to lead part of your sequence in the practicum portion of the training and receive feedback from your teachers to pass.

● Teach your entire transcribed class you created to a 1 designated peer and take a class from your peer, writing out a review and receiving feedback

● You are encouraged & welcome to observe classes at Swan River Yoga Arabi as to watch how classes are taught at any point throughout the training. Instructions will follow as to how to communicate with the teacher you’ll be observing.

● Optional: if wanting to specialize in teaching Slow Flow, Beginners 1, Beginners 2, or the use of props, an additional vinyasa krama will be required of the type of class you want to specialize in; observe one of these classes and write a 1 page paper on you what you observe; and attend five classes of that type.

In order to graduate:

1. All assignments, including completed class calendars, turned in
2. Oral Exam approved
3. Miss no more than 2 lectures
4. Be on time for all lectures
5. Sign a code of ethics, which also states that you will not charge money after the completion of this program

Graduation: November 16


Module 1: (Sept 27)  Welcome, Requirements, Intentions. An all-levels flow Class.  Offering a balanced physical yoga asana class sequence for a Seva population. Transcription guidelines & sequencing it safely.  Break down with emphasis on accessibility and focus on modifications, including modified warm ups and sequencing. How to create a class that serves multiple levels.  Laura + Haiyan (3 hours)

Module 2: (Sept 28) Tadasana & Shavasana. Teaching Restorative Poses.  Standing on our feet; mountain pose. The withdrawal of the senses. The physical benefits of slowing down. The use & specific purpose of props. Becoming familiar with a few key restorative poses. Laura + Haiyan (4 hours)

Module 3: (Oct 4) Asana Labs: Standing Poses for Every Body Understanding the gross form, metaphysics and physical benefits & break down of  key basic Standing Poses.  Energetic effects.  Eagle eye, clear articulation and verbal cues. Emphasis on modifications, accessibility, props, contraindications/cautions, basic safety to stand on one’s 1, 2 or 4 feet. Conversations about how to bring standing poses to different settings and population.  Laura (3 hours)

Module 4: (Oct 5) Asana Labs: Chair Yoga and Forward Folds For Every Body

How to use the chair as a prop and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the poses. (Sabrina, 2 hours) Understanding the gross form, metaphysics and physical benefits & break down of  key basic Forward Folds. Energetic effects. Eagle eye, clear articulation and verbal cues. Emphasis on modifications, accessibility & props, contraindications/cautions, basic safety for forward folds. Conversations about how to bring forward folds to different settings and population. Laura (2 hours)

Module 5: (Oct 11) Asana Labs; Backbends, Twists & Modified Inversions For Every Body

Understanding the gross form, metaphysics and physical benefits & break down of  key basic Standing Poses.  Energetic effects.  Eagle eye, clear articulation and verbal cues. Emphasis on modifications, accessibility & props, counter- indications/cautions, basic safety for 2 prone backbends, 1 Bridge Pose, 1 Supine and 1 upright twist,  3 variations of  Down Dog, L-Shape,  & Modified Shoulder Stand.  Laura (3 hours)

 Module 6: (Oct 12) Margas in a Yoga Class & Teaching Beginners

Basic Marga overviews of Key Margas 1. Offering a Philosophical Theme 2. Offering 2 simple Devotional chants 3. Offering 1 simple Meditation  4. Offering 2 basic Breathing exercises. Laura (2 hours)

Beginner Level 1: Understanding where a Beginner is at. Beginners environment. Beginners Eagle Eye. Beginners articulation and language.  Safety, sequencing reasoning, template of do’s and don’ts.  Props. Teaching an Ongoing Beginner Level 2 Class with further use of modifications, tools and depth. Haiyan+Laura (2 hours)

 Module 7: (Oct 18) The Universal Principles of Alignment 1 Intro to anatomical terms, alignment for neutral spine and neutral pelvis, refining tadasana  Kelly (3 hours)

Module 8: (Oct 19) UPA 2 Kelly (4 hours)

Module 9: (Oct 25) Yoga for Large Bodies

Intro to Large Body dharma; why it matters to be able to accommodate bodies of all sizes in yoga class. Learn basic dos and don’ts. Experience a 75-minute Large Body Yoga Class with Jacqui. Jacqui (3 hours)

Module 10: (Oct 26) Inclusivity: Teaching in Seva Spaces, Language, & Yoga

How to teach in non-traditional, non-yoga spaces. Basics to remember about teaching outside of a studio setting and how to structure classes for different groups, such as at offices, in jails, at juvenile detention centers, in parks, at churchs, and so on. Haiyan, 3 hours How to be inclusive and mindful of a diverse population and wise in our language so that we don’t isolate or exclude. Laura, 1 hour

Module 11: (Nov 1) Seva: What is Seva? Karma Yoga. Ethics. Community and Satsang.

Intro to the root texts of yoga. Bhagavad Gita and service. What is service and what is it not? History of Swan River Arabi. Intro to Karma Yoga. Discussion on the 3 pillars of Swan River Arabi: service, practice, and community. We will discuss the importance of each of these components and practice them together. Haiyan + Laura  (3 hours)

Module 12: (Nov 2) The Yoga Sutra. Discussion of Books 1 and 2 of Yoga Sutra. Laura (4 hours)

Module 13: (Nov 8) Practice lab #1: Stillness. Centering, breathing exercises, meditation, warm ups, tadasana, Shavasana (3 hours)

Module 14: (Nov 9) Practice lab #2: Movement. Leading each other in an all levels Seva class (Michelle, 4 hours)

Module 15: (Nov 15) Practicum Oral Final Exam: In this final symposium, you will be asked to put together everything you have been taught and lead portions of an entire classes and teachings as requested by Laura & the Seva Faculty.

Graduation! Nov 16

Investment & Work Exchange


$1008 for the full 100 hour training

Drop in for 1 weekend: $108

Seva work exchange options are available.

Seva School Work Exchanges

Total Tuition Cost for the program is $1008

In keeping with the mission of Swan River Yoga Arabi, it is our hope and highest intention that this training be accessible to all beings, regardless of financial status or ability to pay. We aimed to make the starting price point of this training one that is accessible and affordable and honors the time and efforts of the highly skilled teachers who will come to share their knowledge throughout the training.

Our hope is to make this training financially accessible in two general ways. We ask that you check in to see what is truly a good fit for your unique situation and take only what you need, so others may also benefit. Your situation very well maybe a mix of the two.

Flexible Payment Plans: One way we make training affordable is by offering a flexible payment plan.  These plans are beneficial for those that can afford the training but may find that they don’t have all the finances upfront. Here are the options we offer

1. Upfront Full Payment $1008
2. 50%, or $504 upfront, and the remaining $504 by the end of training
3. A custom payment plan that suits you. (For this option, please contact Laura + Haiyan)

Work Exchange: The intention for this option is for those who cannot financially afford the training. Beings that cannot afford this training may apply for these work exchange options for part or all of the training. While we do not place a limit on the amount of work exchanges offered, we do ask that you consider this option with deep care and thoughtful consideration. Since the beings who receive this opportunity will not be offering an exchange in the form of money, we ask that there be a different kind of exchange in its place in the form of service to the community and the training. To Apply please read the requirements below and then apply using this form here.

1. 25% off the training cost (a discount of $252, meaning you would owe $756), 15 hours of work exchange at the studio
2. 50% off the training cost (a discount of $504, meaning you would owe $504), 30 hours of work exchange at the studio
3. 100% off, 45 hours of work exchange at the studio

To apply for one of these work exchange roles, we ask that you do the following:

• Submit a 2 page / 800-word essay on why you want to take the training, how it will benefit you and others, and your reflections on providing seva / selfless service for the community.
• Honor the studio with either 15, 30 or 45 hours of Seva time in 2018, depending on which option you apply for. We will provide you with a description of roles at the studio that you may choose from in order to provide your Seva.

Please complete an application

Work Exchange Available Roles

Sattvic Seva Cleaner (multiple slots available)
Approximately 1-3 hours per week.
*On some weeks, cleaning duties may be over 1 hour if helping with laundry, etc.

Duties include:
• Sweeping and mopping lobby and studio floors
• Dusting and wiping down all surfaces
• Organizing shelving
• Neatly stacking props
• Watering plants
• Cleaning the altar and the area around it, including refreshing the flowers, throwing away incense ashes, putting chant books into basket, organizing assists cards, etc.
• Restocking the bathrooms with toilet paper, paper towels, and soap
• Emptying trash
• Bringing blankets or mat-cleaning towels to get washed, preferably using a gentle, hypo-allergenic laundry detergent.

Sattva is the quality of wholeness, truth, clarity, balance, and peace. In order to create a sattvic energy around the studio, it is important that the person who cleans also do their best to cultivate inner sattvic qualities. We recommend using the cleaning time as an opportunity to practice pranayama, mantra, gratitude, and mindfulness. When the person who cleans is calm and grateful for their tasks, that quality is reflected in the results of their work and in the mood of the studio.

Bhava Events Manager (1-2 slots available)
Depending on frequency of events, 1-3 hours per week.

Duties include:
• Arriving at least 20 minutes prior to the start of weekend / evening events or occurrences that are not part of the weekly class schedule.
• Checking with the host and answering any questions they may have about the space. Show them where the bathrooms are and where they can put their things.
• Doing any tidying that you see necessary, including organizing props, throwing away water bottles, clearing the altar of any miscellaneous items, etc.
• Turning on the lights in the main studio and running the heat or air if necessary.
• Greeting students upon arrival. If there are individuals who are completely new to the studio, be sure to make them feel welcome. Direct them to the love box to sign a waiver and have a piece of chocolate. Show them where props and bathrooms are.
• If you are not staying for the event, be sure you give the host instructions on how to lock up the studio when the event is over, including giving them the code to get the key out, shutting off lights, and turning off the air.

As the events check-in, you are largely responsible for setting the bhav, or mood, of the studio when you arrive. Please be sure to, as best as you can, leave your personal “stuff” at the door when you arrive and be ready to listen and serve. Consider this an opportunity for mindful practice and gratitude. Your energy will matter a great deal to those who come to the event, including the  host and all participants.

If possible, please be sure you have done your personal practices of meditation, pranayama, and asana prior to arriving to event as part of preparing for your Seva.

Purna Office Manager (1 available)
Approximately 1-3 hours per week.

This position at the studio is for a qualified office manager with a commitment to seva, a dedication to the St. Bernard Parish community, and strong organizational skills to take on the purchasing and supplying responsibilities at Swan River’s Arabi Community Center.

As the Office Manager, you will primarily be responsible for buying office supplies and managing inventory for each month.

Duties include:
• Buying cleaning supplies (i.e. toilet paper, cleaning fluid for the mats, etc.)
• Buying office supplies (i.e. essential oils, incense, lighter fluid, etc.)
• Taking inventory and adjusting monthly orders accordingly
• Cleaning and energetically clearing the altar if needed
• Being available to assist with events check-in or studio cleaning as needed
• Printing all latest Event Fliers and posting them on walls
• Printing latest schedules and schedule pamphlets
• Organizing the office space
• Keeping our tea up-to-date

As Purna Office Manager, you will be involved with the overall care of the studio as well as the flow and efficiency of the space. Purna means whole, complete, full, perfect. When the studio is out of supplies, disorganized, or unclean, it can be felt by those who visit. Purna gives the opportunity to see all things as whole and perfect…… with the opportunity for improvement! Nothing needs to “fixed,” but all things can be treated with loving kindness in order to make sure all the pieces are there and fit together. We ask that this individual highly value organization and sees this practice as an opportunity for mindful observation of where the studio can use loving improvement, not from a viewpoint of “badness,” “lacking,” or “failure,” but as opportunities for greater smoothness and wholeness at the studio.

Purusha Seva Flier (2 slots available)
Approximately 1 hour per week.

Duties include:
• Bringing flyers of class schedules and other studio events to various locations around the Greater New Orleans / Arabi area. We have a map of locations already laid out for you to follow.
• Be available to answer questions people may have when you drop off flyers about the mission of the studio and how everything works.

Seva Yoga Teacher
1-1.25 hours per week
15 hours: we ask that you teach for 1 full schedule cycle, 4 months
30 hours: we ask that you teach for 2 full schedule cycles, 8 months
This position asks for your commitment to hold space at the yoga studio as a teacher after Seva School graduation.

Duties include:
• Reading, agreeing to, and honoring the seva teacher code of ethics (other requirements related to teaching, such as the energy you bring to class, showing up 15 minutes early, etc, are all described in detail here)
• Teaching a weekly class that is either 60 or 75 minutes long
• Being responsible for finding a sub for your class when needed
• Helping out when possible to sub other teachers’ classes when they need coverage
• Looking out for the care and organization of the studio props
• Communicating any needs with Sattvic Seva Cleaner or Purna Office Manager

As a teacher at Swan River Arabi, you are expected to uphold the dharma and integrity of the yogic teachings. This means that you provide a space for students that is nurturing, intentional, well-planned, clear, thoughtful, supportive, and nonjudgmental. We hope that all classes in Arabi provide a balance of Siva and Shakti: uplifting energy but also time for rest and reflection, either in the form of meditation, pranayama, or a spacious savasana; flowing movement but also providing concepts that are rooted in yogic philosophy; safe alignment as well as opportunities to learn and play. As a Seva teacher, you are constantly asked to remember that above all, your role in the studio is to serve and hold a welcoming atmosphere for others.

For all Seva job descriptions, we ask for the following commitments:

• Must be committed to the seva mission of the Arabi Community Center
• Must be an organized person who can also use a computer
• Must attend at least one class a week at Arabi

About Seva:

Seva is Sanskrit for “selfless service.” Swan River at Arabi is run by a group of individuals committed to seva.

“Helping out is not some special skill. It is not the domain of rare individuals. It is not confined to a single part of our lives. We simply heed the call of that natural impulse within and follow it where it leads us.” –Ram Dass

Seva is providing service and asking nothing in return. It is a process of balancing one’s responsibilities while setting one’s intention. We practice seva through mindful service with consciousness. For this reason, all roles at the community center are considered seva positions by which we actively embody the principles and values of seva.

Often, we are confronted with moments of hardship, weighed down by life’s demands. We encourage seva as a healing mechanism during life’s ups and downs; it is something we come back to with intentionality to reconnect to ourselves and our community. Seva asks you to provide service for others, while also asking you to turn your gaze inward to determine if you have also served yourself. Checking in with yourself before, during, and after offering selfless service is a large component of seva. We want to support you on your path to intentional seva. For this reason, we ask all Swan River at Arabi staff to participate in a periodic evaluation. By joining this team of like-minded individuals, we hope to create a community that not only shares the same values in seva, but who also build inner strength through the strong support provided by the community center’s staff.

Performing seva means that we offer service without expectation of result or reward. This is a way for us to remember our connection to other beings, to practice actions that are for the betterment of the whole rather than for a single individual, and perhaps as an opportunity to move past any small or narrow viewpoints we are stuck in. Often, dealing with our daily microcosm has a tendency to distract us from the big picture: our interdependence with others. This is a way of practicing expansive love for all of humanity, as well as humility.

“Living creatures are nourished by food, and food is nourished by rain; rain itself is the water of life, which comes from selfless worship and service.” – Bhagavad Gita, 3.14

To join the Seva Teacher Training, click on the button to register thru Mindbody: Register Today

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