SOUL SCHOOL: 200 HOUR TEACHER TRAINING

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Next Session: October 2017 – April 2018

Learn more about Soul School in our August Info Meeting August 27th, 2:00 – 3:30pm at the downtown studio. Meet Sean and Mitchel who will describe the program and answer any questions, and hear Soul School alum describe their experience. Applications will be available at this meeting, and at both studios afterwards. Applications are due no later than Tuesday, September 12th by 6pm.

Soul School is an annual one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary teacher training program facilitated by Sean Johnson and Mitchel Bleier that offers depth, fun, community, and an opportunity to transform your life through committed practice in yoga and teaching. The program is designed for dedicated yoga students who wish to enhance their connection to yoga and spirituality, aspiring yoga teachers, as well as current teachers who are seeking to bring more depth to their practice and teaching through continued study. Soul School creates an opportunity for trainees to deepen their spiritual path through self-exploration and build a strong foundation for teaching yoga in a soulful, imaginative, and integrative way. We will explore the connections between yoga, art, mythology, poetry, music, philosophy, and the world’s spiritual traditions with a strong emphasis on Bhakti, Tantra, and Vinyasa yoga.

Please email soulschool@wildlotusyoga.com if you have any questions, and scroll down for the dates and more details of our 2016-2017 Soul School session.

To get a feel for Soul School you can also watch these informal videos (1-4) of The Fall 2013 Soul School Information Meeting.  

The first half of the training is called “Ignite Your Soul” and includes 100+ hours of spiritual practice, self-exploration, meditation; pranayama; mantra and chanting; harmonium; play; dance; mythology; poetry; yoga’s history: Veda, Buddhism, Bhakti, and Tantra; anatomy and kinesiology; and study in the alignment and forms of over 60 asanas. The second half of the training is called “Share Your Passion” and includes 100 + hours of practice and study in: Teaching Skills, Art of Teaching, Language, Constructing and Sequencing Classes, Adjustments, Sanskrit for Yoga Teachers, and more.

Graduates who fulfill all requirements of the program will receive a certificate and be eligible to register at the 200 hour level as a yoga teacher with The Yoga Alliance, the national education and support organization for yoga in the United States.

Mitchel Bleier is known for his immense knowledge on all yoga topics, especially asana, philosophy, therapeutics, and adjustments. He teaches with passion and offers a kind, generous, humorous, easy, and sophisticated approach. Mitchel’s classes are an inspiring vinyasa flow incorporating clear alignment direction, deep breathing, and a playful narrative of Indian philosophy and myth.

Mitchel integrates years of his studies and experiences into his classes. He began yoga with Jonny Kest, and quickly deepened his study of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga with Tim Miller and Richard Freeman. At 23, Mitchel lived in India studying asana with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and Sanskrit with teachers from the Sanskrit University in Mysore. Mitchel left India to study with John Friend and his newly formed Anusara Yoga®. He was one of two students with the privilege to travel with John as his apprentice and assistant for 3 years. In addition, Mitchel lived in Rochester, NY for 4 years studying closely with Douglas Brooks both at the University of Rochester and privately with him. For the last 11 years, Mitchel has traveled the world teaching workshops, trainings, and retreats. He is known as a teacher’s teacher and has taught at the Yoga Journal, Midwest, and Southeast conferences as well as annual teacher trainings nationally and internationally in the United States, Central America, Europe, and Canada.

Sean Johnson, founder of Wild Lotus Yoga and Soul School, is a nationally respected yoga teacher whose passion is merging the heart of bhakti yoga with the sensuality of hatha yoga to bring more love, creativity, and depth to our lives. His classes focus on opening the heart through ecstatic chant, storytelling, mythology, creative vinyasa flows, mystical poetry, and enchanting music. Sean and the Wild Lotus Band are celebrated as one of the leading voices in western kirtan music, known for their dynamic sound that merges mantra, rock, funk, and world grooves. The band is a favorite headliner at yoga festivals and conferences worldwide, including Yoga Journal, and they are also the first kirtan band to ever play The New Orleans Jazz Festival. Their music has appeared on Nettwerk/Nutone Records, home of Krishna Das and Jai Uttal, and their songs have been featured on Putumayo World Music’s compilation Yoga and World Yoga, and Sounds True’s album Kirtan Nation.

Sean’s unique yoga education began with intensive, experiential, interdisciplinary study of yoga and related spiritual traditions in college and in graduate school. He received a Master’s Degree in Creation Spirituality from The Naropa Institute where he apprenticed with South Indian teacher and yogi-musician Russill Paul. Sean is also gratefully inspired by his friendships and study with many heart-centered yoga teachers including his college mentor and first yoga teacher Doranne Crable; Dana Flynn and Jasmine Tarkeshi founders of Laughing Lotus Yoga; holistic yoga teacher Saul David Raye; kirtan singer Jai Uttal; and Soul School co-facilitator Mitchel Bleier. Sean has taught at conferences and centers worldwide including Yoga Journal, The German Yoga Conference, Bhakti Fest, Kripalu Center For Yoga and Health, The Telluride Yoga Festival, Midwest Yoga Conference, Art of Vinyasa Conference, The International Ojai Yoga Crib, and more. Sean is a Yoga Journal contributor and is the co-curator and writer for Putumayo World Music’s music for yoga series.

To get a feel for the approach to yoga that Soul School inspires, we highly recommend that you take classes with Sean. Other Soul School graduates on Wild Lotus’s teaching staff include: AC, Farah, Andra, Vera, Lauren Best-Shapiro, Lauren Sloan, Jessica, Libby, Kelley, Roger, Charlotte, Nichol, Karen, Martin, Zach, Madeleine, Coleen, Aubree, Amalie, Colin, Dena, Jamie, Kerrie, Marion, and Stephanie.

2017-2018 Soul School Schedule:

Opening Weekend: Residential Retreat at Flowering Lotus Meditation Center, Magnolia, MS, Friday morning October 20th – Sunday afternoon October 22nd.

Regular Weekend Sessions: Nov 3-5Dec 15-17 / Jan 19-21 / Feb 23-25 / March 23-24 / April 6-8/ April 20-22

Meeting Times: *Friday nights 6:30-9:30pm, Saturdays 9:30am-6pm with lunch break, Sundays 9:30am-4pm with lunch break. (*Please note: on the last Friday April 20th, we will meet 9:30am-6pm, instead of 6:30-9:30pm.) All sessions will be held at Wild Lotus Yoga Downtown in The New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St Claude Ave at St Roch.

Enrollment in a minimum of 2-3 yoga classes a week, completion of 6-12 hours of homework each week, 100% attendance at all sessions, and completion of take home, open book final exam is required to receive certificate.

Tuition:

$3600 includes retreat, all weekend training sessions, teacher training manual, and unlimited classes at Wild Lotus Yoga over the duration of the training. A $500 non-refundable deposit is due upon acceptance in the program and full tuition is due by Mon. Oct 2nd.  Payment plan, and a limited number of need-based work study scholarships, and diversity scholarships for people of color are available. Cash, check, and credit cards accepted.

Payment plans are available on signed contract with automated payment: Details- $500 deposit to confirm enrollment. In addition, a $700 deposit paid by October 7th, 2016. The remaining balance of $2400 will then be divided into 6 monthly payments:  Each payment will also include a $15 surcharge to cover service fees. Monthly payments will be scheduled as follows: $415 automatically withdrawn from credit card on file: Nov 7th, 2017: Dec 7th, 2017; Jan 7th, 2018; Feb 7th, 2018; March 7th, 2018; and April 7th, 2017.

“Soul School has added a new and essential dimension to my practice, my teaching and my life. Anyone who is making yoga part of their life will benefit deeply from this experience!” – Stuart LeBlanc, 2012

“Soul School is a special and sacred experience for anyone looking to broaden their horizons in asana,philosophy,art, music, and life in general. The journey positively changes the way you see yourself, others, and the divine. Along the way, old ways of thinking and moving are set free, setting the stage to welcome new opportunities and even the unknown…Then suddenly one day you wake up and find that you can teach that which has inspired and taught you, in your own voice and in your own way. ” – Priya Dey-Sarkar, 2012

“I had no idea how transformational Soul School was going to be for me.  I’d like to do it AGAIN!  Sean and Mitchel provided insights that I was craving and not getting from my regular classes.  It really helped me gain a deep understanding and strengthen my own practice.  The group learned together and we practiced teaching each other along the way.  It was beautiful.  We learned poses & alignment, philosophy, did asanas, sang mantras, learned some sanskrit, did asanas, read lots of great books, had homework, did asanas and learned teaching techniques.  There was even ‘story time’!  It’s a big commitment but it was FUN and certainly worth it.  I had unlimited yoga classes during the whole time I was enrolled in Soul School which encouraged me to do yoga pretty much daily.  I feel great!  The thought, care, patience and kindness is evident in this multi-disciplined program they have created.  Even if you don’t plan on teaching and you’re considering attending, take that leap of faith and go for it!  Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.”  –Tom Harvey, 2012

“The soul school community is one filled with the most incredible teachers and students; a group of people who helped me find happiness and harmony with not just my yoga practice, but my entire world. Truly a life changing experience that i am SO GRATEFUL to have been a part of.” –Becky, Class of ’12

“Soul School positively changes the way you see yourself and others. Along the way, old ways of thinking and moving are set free, setting the stage to welcome new opportunities and even the unknown, and you learn to teach that which has inspired and taught you, in your own voice and in your own way. ” – Priya, Class of ’13

“So magical, life-changing, heart-opening, worldview-expanding. Those 7-8 months taught me so much, and I’m grateful every day that I was somehow guided to take this training.” – Lisa, Class of ’13

What are the upcoming dates for Soul School 2017-2018?

Soul School will run from October 2017 – April 2018.

Applications due: September 12th by 6pm.

We will meet on the following weekends. Please note that the first and the last weekend are 3 full days, and start in the morning on Friday.

Opening Retreat: Oct 20-22nd.

Weekend 2: Nov 3-5
Weekend 3: Dec 15-17
Weekend 4: Jan 19-21
Weekend 5: Feb 23-25
Weekend 6: March 23-24
Weekend 7: April 6-8
Weekend 8: April 20-22

When will applications be available, and when are they due?

Applications will be available at the Information Meeting with Sean and Mitchel which will be held in August (date TBA).  Applications will also be available at both locations after the info meeting and will be due no later than September 12th at 6pm at either location. On the day you submit your application, please also email your contact information and a photo of yourself to soulschool@wildlotusyoga.com

When will I find out if I have been accepted into the program?

We would like to be able to accept all applicants into the program, but spaces are limited to ensure a healthy teacher-student ratio and supportive learning environment. After you submit your completed Teacher Training Application, emailed photo and contact info, and $25 non-refundable application fee, you will be contacted via email or phone by the evening of Tuesday September 19th. If your application is approved, your payment will be processed upon acceptance. If you are not accepted into the program, we will make suggestions for you to continue a path that will help you prepare for future teacher training.

How proficient in yoga do I have to be to participate in the program?

The Soul School Teacher Training program includes rigorous asana practice. We strongly recommend that applicants have one year of consistent asana practice. If you are newer to yoga, this would not necessarily disqualify you from being accepted into the program. However, if you have a regular yoga practice and are looking for a deeper understanding of the practice and history of yoga, its postures, alignment, the ability to create and convey a comprehensive, safe sequence to others, and capacity to teach in a soulful and imaginative way – this program will be a good fit.

Is a payment plan available for tuition?

We have a limited number of spaces in the program and ask for the full commitment of each participant for the duration of the training. For students with financial constraints that prohibit them from paying full tuition up front, we do offer a payment plan with a contract.  Payment plans are available on signed contract with automated payment: Details- $500 deposit to confirm enrollment. In addition, a $700 deposit paid by October 7th, 2016. The remaining balance of $2400 will then be divided into 6 monthly payments:  Each payment will also include a $15 surcharge to cover service fees. Monthly payments will be scheduled as follows: $415 automatically withdrawn from credit card on file: Nov 7th, 2017: Dec 7th, 2017; Jan 7th, 2018; Feb 7th, 2018; March 7th, 2018; and April 7th, 2017.

Do you offer scholarships or work-exchange programs?

Wild Lotus Yoga offers a limited number of need-based partial work scholarships for each training program to low-income students with exceptional circumstances.  Please indicate on your application if you would like to be considered for a need-based work scholarship and explain your circumstances.  Space is limited and not guaranteed to be available. Recipients of these partial scholarships will be asked to make a reliable time commitment to help assist the studio and the training in various ways throughout the duration of the program.

We also offer two diversity scholarships for people of color.  Please indicate on your application if you would like to be considered for a diversity scholarship.

Are books and materials included in the price of the training?  Are there other costs?

Students who are accepted into the training will receive a reading/listening list for the training. These books are not covered in the cost of the program. The Soul School teacher guidebook and much of the printed materials handed out are included. Students will also receive PDFs of portions of the manual to print out on their own.  To reinforce the experience of Bhakti yoga practice we also require all Soul School trainees to attend 2-3 kirtan concerts over the course of the training at a discounted rate of $10 for each concert.

When will my unlimited yoga classes begin?

As part of your tuition, you are eligible for unlimited yoga classes at both the uptown and downtown studios. This includes all ongoing classes, but does not include workshops or courses. Your unlimited classes will begin after we have officially accepted you into the program and your payment has been paid in full. The first day you can begin to attend unlimited classes will be Monday October 24th, right after our opening retreat weekend. If you have a current class pass with us, it will be put on hold until the end of training. The unlimited classes will end on the last day of training, and any class pass on hold will be re-activated. No refunds or extensions will be given on unlimited yoga classes.

How much time should I expect to spend on homework?

Prepare for Soul School to be a big part of your day-to-day life during the course of the training. Homework will be between 6 to 12 hours per week, which may include reading, written assignments, meetings with buddies, and class observations. The homework is designed to support the material covered in class and help you integrate what is presented into your own practice and teaching. At the end of the program you will be given a take-home, open book final exam to help you integrate and crystallize the content of the training. You’ll have a month to finish the exam. If you wish to receive your Certificate of Completion for the course, you must complete all homework assignments.

Absentee Policy

To get the most out of your Teacher Training Program, it is critically important that you attend 100% of the training. If you miss 1-2 days, you may still complete the program with your class, provided that you schedule a private session (or group session) with a Designated Trainer at some point during the program. A two-hour private session equates to one day of training. The cost of a private session is $100 per hour (in other words, $200 per day that you miss). The maximum number of scheduled training days you are allowed to miss (and still graduate with your class) is two. If you miss 3 or more days of training, you will not be able to complete the program with your class, and should you decide you would like to finish the training and earn a teaching certificate, you may only do so through making up the extra missed classes in a subsequent training. If you miss more than 2 days, you may choose to make up the first two days you miss with a private session during your training, but the additional days will need to be made up in a subsequent training.

What is Yoga Alliance?

Yoga Alliance is an organization that was started in 1999 as a way to create nationally recognized standards for yoga teachers and yoga teacher trainings. More and more yoga studios and fitness clubs across the country are requiring their teachers to be registered with Yoga Alliance, either at the 200 or 500 hour level. Yoga Alliance registration, however, is not a legal requirement for teaching yoga. Currently, there are no legal certification requirements to be a yoga teacher.Will I be qualified to teach yoga once I complete the 200-Hour Teacher Training Program?

Yes, with the successful completion of all the requirements of the program, including contact hours, homework and final exam, you will receive your Certificate of Completion evidencing your training at the 200-hour level. You may also register with the Yoga Alliance (www.yogaalliance.org) at the RYT-200 level. Graduates of the 200-hour program usually begin teaching in small studios, gyms, with private clientele (friends and family), etc. After completing Soul School, you will find the practice of teaching on a regular basis to be a great learning opportunity and another phase of your growth as a budding yoga teacher. Many new teachers also decide to continue their Teacher Training education in other programs as a way to further solidify their skills, knowledge and style as a yoga instructor. At the completion of Soul School, some of our graduates are invited to apprentice at Wild Lotus and participate in a process of becoming a teacher at the studio – please know this is not guaranteed.

Will I be qualified to teach yoga once I complete the 200-Hour Teacher Training Program?

Yes, with the successful completion of all the requirements of the program, including contact hours, homework and final exam, you will receive your Certificate of Completion evidencing your training at the 200-hour level. You may also register with the Yoga Alliance (www.yogaalliance.org) at the RYT-200 level. Graduates of the 200-hour program usually begin teaching in small studios, gyms, with private clientele (friends and family), etc. After completing Soul School, you will find the practice of teaching on a regular basis to be a great learning opportunity and another phase of your growth as a budding yoga teacher. Many new teachers also decide to continue their Teacher Training education in other programs as a way to further solidify their skills, knowledge and style as a yoga instructor. At the completion of Soul School, some of our graduates are invited to apprentice at Wild Lotus and participate in a process of becoming a teacher at the studio – please know this is not guaranteed.

If you have any other questions, please email soulschool@wildlotusyoga.com.