OUR TEACHER TRAINING FACULTY

 
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SARAH ZANDBEEK

Main Facilitator
Teaching: Traditional Chinese Medicine meridians, yoga asana, teaching methodology. 

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Maybe this sounds odd, but my hope is that people leave the program not ready to teach, but ready to Seek. I want people to graduate with an unrelenting curiosity for Life that is met with a deep contentment for the momentary reality. To not need more than what is available to them now, yet not to become comfortable in one way for too long, as this is the cause of stagnation, which is the cause of mostly all dis-ease.

I have learnt that my resistances (mind/body/emotional) come from my opinions of something being right or wrong, which means I have an absolute certainty about something that I have either learned or was programmed to believe as such. These resistances or opinions we hold of how things are “suppose” to be, limit us and create an unimaginable amount of tension in the mind, in the body, and in the heart. So, yoga to me is about freedom and steadiness; it’s about finding the path that allows your self to widen or expand offering you a greater capacity to receive and meet life with.

Rumi says, “There are a 1000 ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a 1000 ways to go Home again.” Yoga training is the start or continuation of finding your way home, back to your true Self.

In this training we utilize Traditional Hatha techniques: kriya, asana, pranayama, meditation, and yoga philosophy, anatomical and Anusara alignment, Traditional Chinese Medicine meridians, Ayurveda, group discussion and journaling as the tools to dive into Who we are. We will look at the main purpose of yoga asana and how to create sophisticated sequencing to harmonize the body and prevent illness. This is a foundational training, so you will learn all you need to know about how to observe bodies, hold space, and set clear intentions.

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STEPHEN THOMAS

From: Zurich, Switzerland
Teaching: Technique and alignment, pranayama, mantra, kriya, and mudra

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Stephen Thomas has been a dedicated student of yoga since 1998. He has practiced, taught and lived in Asia and Europe for the past decade studying various traditions, which he incorporates into a unique yoga practice influenced and made possible by the grace and support of his central teachers.

Stephen’s background includes studies in Buddhism, Ayruveda and traditional Hatha yoga in India. In Asia, he continues an in-depth study of traditional Pranayama and Kriya through his master, O.P.Tiwari, which he combines with his love for the Asana practices that stem from his experience with Krishnamacharya’s work and influence on the Ashtanga Vinyasa and Iyengar systems of yoga. He also brings in elements of the Chinese and Tibetan systems where appropriate.

Stephen is an avid reader and student Eastern philosophies and a lifelong lover of the arts and music. His ability to re-frame various viewpoints and to simplify things without sacrificing depth and integrity has helped him develop a unique, non-dogmatic but deeply rooted teaching style. His works spans Meditation, Pranayama, Asana and the commitment to seeing the practice off the mat. He uses these methods as tools for health and wellbeing and to support the spiritual pursuit of living life courageously and compassionately from one’s heart.

Stephen teaches classes from his base studio in Zurich, Switzerland as well as spending a part of each year traveling as a guest instructor and teaching retreats throughout the world. He also dedicates energy each year to directing Teacher Intensive Trainings and ongoing education and works one-on-one with many students and teachers in his community.

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NEIL DALAL

From: Edmonton
Teaching: Philosophy

Dr. Neil Dalal is Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Religious Studies. His research interests include Indian philosophy, history of Indian religions, Yoga, Vedanta, meditation, religious experience, and contemplative theory.

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Dr. Neil Dalal is Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Religious Studies. His research interests include Indian philosophy, history of Indian religions, Yoga, Vedanta, meditation, religious experience, and contemplative theory. He was co-director of Gurukulam (a feature length documentary on Vedanta); Co-editor of Asian Perspectives on Animal Ethics: Rethinking the Nonhuman. He is currently working on a book manuscript titled “Contemplative Practice in Advaita Vedanta;” and articles on “Sudden and Gradual Enlightenment in Advaita Vedanta;” and “Imagination and Meditation in the Early Upanishads.”

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IAN HAYWARD

From: Edmonton
Teaching: Ayurveda

Ian was initially instructed in the practice of Vedic mantra meditation and over the next ten years he attended countless Meditation Retreats and Vedic Science Courses at home and abroad.

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Ian's first introduction to Vedic knowledge was in 1984 on there commendation of a close friend. At that time he had duodenal ulcers from an unhealthy and stressful lifestyle and the Western health system could only offer medication with undesirable side effects, so he was open to alternatives.

Ian was initially instructed in the practice of Vedic mantra meditation and over the next ten years he attended countless Meditation Retreats and Vedic Science Courses at home and abroad. Eventually, in the summer of 1993, he emerged from the Maharishi Vedic University in Valkenburg, Holland (Deepak Chopra’s training was in the same lineage) fully trained as a Panchakarma therapist offering an extensive range of bodyworks and elimination therapies and as an Ayurvedic Wellness Consultant offering pulse diagnosis and lifestyle solutions.

After graduation in 1995 Ian spent the next two years in clinical practice applying these techniques under the supervision of medical doctors in London, England. He mainly treated very sick people and although he saw amazing results, he realized his passion was to prevent rather than cure illness; he also wanted to provide the Ayurvedic therapies in a more relaxing environment. So for the next three years, with the financial support of some client/investors, he developed the first residential Ayurvedic Centre in the UK, based in a Meditation Academy within a large stately home in a beautiful rural setting.

During this time, with the encouragement and guidance of his teachers, Ian adapted the presentation of Vedic knowledge to suit people living in a modern Western society and named this European Ayurveda. This made Vedic knowledge more accessible and self empowering with an emphasis on practical application in everyday life.