Here is a summary of what’s brand new in Level 1 Ananda Yoga Teacher Training for 2013:



We wanted to inject more variety into the selection of asanas. We already had 31 asanas and didn’t think that trainees could handle more than that, so a few had to move aside to make room for the new ones. Here are the details:

Vasishthasana-ParighasanaHello to Baddha Konasana, Parighasana, and Vasishthasana. These poses nicely round out the selection of asanas in Level 1: Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) offers a different kind of forward bend, challenging a different set of muscles. Parighasana (Gate Pose) adds a sideways bend, so Ardha Chandrasana won’t be so lonely. And Vasishthasana (Vasishtha’s Pose) adds an arm balance (and strength pose) to the mix.

Goodbye to Halasana, Siddhasana, and Dandasana. The first two are moving to Level 2, since they’re not really beginner poses. We’ll still use Dandasana as a preliminary position for, say, Paschimotanasana, but we won’t treat it in the same depth as the other asanas.


Hello to a class that focuses on how to increase flexibility. It will be to help the YTT students with their flexibility as well as to prepare them to help their own students gain flexibility

Hello (once again) to an actual sample yoga class, the kind that graduates are more likely to teach than a sadhana.

Goodbye to the “Choosing Warm-Ups for Your Classes” class, part of which will be covered in the flexibility class.

Goodbye to the “Learning to Teach Other Asanas” class, which is giving way to the sample yoga class.



Hello to a new version of Section 2 of the YTT manual. Some of you have seen the extremely helpful asana graphics that Melody has used for some of the morning asana classes: blown-up images with callouts, as shown in the rough draft for Utkatasana at left. The new version of Section 2 will include those drawings for all the asanas.

Each asana will now occupy the front and back of one sheet (or 2 sheets, in a few cases), so students can easily rearrange the pages of their manual — for example, to extract just the pages for the asanas they’re going to teach on a given day.

Finally, the manual will include a single sheet of paper with all the asana drawings, names, and affirmations.


Hello to more challenging sadhanas.

Goodbye to sleepy sadhanas. That’s not Ananda Yoga. We realize that sometimes we have sleepy sadhana attendees, but we’re going to wake them up!


Hello: Melody (West) Hansen now has lead responsibility for the entire asana portion of YTT: morning classes, practice and team teaching sessions, etc. She won’t have to teach it all — you can breathe again now, Melody — but she will be applying her considerable creativity to take Ananda YTT to the next level.

BadriHello: Badri Matlock (pictured at right), who has been teaching for a number of years, will teach some of the main classes. October-November AYTT grads already know Badri — and his boundless enthusiasm —because he began helping out then.

Goodbye to, well, nobody. All of the current staff will continue to participate. Maitri will also continue leading the Assistantship, and Gyandev will continue as overall director of the program.

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