Stretch logo

History and Philosophy of Yoga

In this course we study both the history of Yoga in India in it’s many incarnations, as well as read and write about Yogic philosophy and contemplate how it can be applied to our daily lives. We will have fascinating discussions on the Eight Limbs of Yoga from the Yoga Sutras. Vidya generously brings her depth of experience from her years spent in ashrams doing spiritual practice to the table in these discussions.


During your stay at Suryalila, we do half an hour of meditation first thing in the morning. Vidya provides a lot of guidance on the practice, and there are a number of discussions on the practice as we progress through the course with Carl. You will practise Meditation throughout the course, on your return to London.

Intensive Study and Practice of Asanas (postures)

There is a two hour Vinyasa Flow Practice with Vidya every morning during your stay at Suryalila, which is assisted by her co-teacher and assistant, ensuring all students receive help with their practice. This will continue throughout the course back in London. There is also opportunities during the course to work on and receive help with, specific poses of your choice to progress and further your own practice.

Sanskrit Names of Yoga Postures

During the course you will learn all the Sanskrit names for the poses studied as well as the Sanskrit names for philosophical concepts. Because you learn a few words every day and we review the Sanskrit on a regular basis, by the end of the course you will be surprised how much Sanskrit you are able to retain.

Alignment and Modification of Poses

During the course we go through all the poses in our Teachers Training Manual and discuss the alignment and form of each pose and how to teach it. We also will show you how to modify for students with injuries or lack of flexibility or strength.


Our course has a very comprehensive anatomy section lead by Paula Mitten, which is fun and engaging. You'll be taught applied anatomy, so that you will understand how to use it wisely in your teaching. During this section you will assess and learn how to understand limitations in your own body, as well as learn how to look at someone else, and body read. You will be amazed at how much you learn about anatomy in this part of the course, and how much you will enjoy it!

Yogic Diet

You will learn about a traditional Yogic Diet & why it's recommended.


You will practice different pranayamas or breathing techniques, and learn how to teach them safely and effectively.

The Business of Teaching Yoga

There will be a workshop on how to go about finding work as a Yoga Teacher and how to market yourself. There will be time during this session to ask questions.

Class Sequencing and Planning

You will learn how to create an effective and intelligent sequence and slowly build your class during the training. By the end of the training you will have sequenced, planned and taught two full classes and have the confidence to go forwards on your own.

Hands-on Assisting

We will also show you how to make hands on adjustments & assists, for every pose we study and you will practice these throughout the course with a partner.

Practice Teaching

From the very beginning of the course you will start to practice teaching poses one by one as you learn them. We will slowly and intelligently build up to teaching sun salutations and keep adding a little more material until you have built a full class and will feel comfortable teaching it. Throughout this process you are given a lot of support, feedback and encouragement to give you the tools to become a great teacher.

Deepen and Further Your Own Yoga Practice

As well as practicing for two hours every day you train, you will get plenty of personal assistance and help with your poses and encouraged to deepen your practice and to set and achieve goals within it.

Reading List

The Key Muscles of Yoga: Scientific Keys, Volume I by Ray Long & Chris Macivor Yoga: A Yoga Journal Book by Linda Sparrowe (paperback edition) Inside the Yoga Sutras Reverend Jaganath Carrerra **please read this book before attending The Perfect Chaturanga by JenniLee Toner You will also be required to bring a copy of our training manual by Vidya Jacqueline Heisel. Information on where to obtain the manual will be given to you on registration.