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Teacher Competence Standard - Level 2

18 Mar 2018   Shanti Gowans
Certification of Yoga Professional: Adv Diploma 
SYTA's Certification of Yoga Professionals needs to have a set of requirements as criteria against which candidates shall be evaluated in order to being certified. This competence criteria to be used for evaluation of Yoga Professionals is also termed as Competence Standard.
The objective of laying down the competence criteria or Standard is to provide a framework for the examiners to assess the competence of candidates for validating their competence as Yoga Professionals.
This document is a competence standard for assessing the competence of the Yoga Professionals desirous of seeking Certification under SYTA.
This document is applicable to all categories of Yoga Professionals including Yoga Teacher, Yoga Master and Yoga Guru.
Limitations – The standard is exclusively intended to recognise the Competency of applicant with respect to the various levels as defined in the scheme and makes no claim at the therapeutic competence of the Yoga Professional.
5.1 Competency Levels
The use of the specific levels (e.g. familiarity) indicates the level of competency expected 
See following page.
5.2 The details are given in the subsequent paragraphs.     
There shall be three (3) levels of understanding as described below
In-Depth Knowledge
Possess introductory knowledge of a subject sufficient to bring the aspirant’s awareness to the existence and central essence of that subject and for the aspirant to know when further knowledge is required for the practice of Yoga.
Possess an understanding of all aspects of a subject and its specific applications to the practice of Yoga.
In-Depth Knowledge 
Through study and practicum, possess a confident, in-depth understanding of a subject and its multiple applications as well as its potential limitations in the practice of Yoga.
There shall be two (2) levels of understanding as described below
Demonstration Ability
Demonstrate the ability to undertake particular tasks associated with the work of a Yoga Professional.
Ability to Apply the knowledge
Demonstrate the application of knowledge to specific Yoga practices.
SECTION 1: Principles and Fundamentals of Yoga
1. Yoga Teachings and Philosophy
1.1. Familiarity with the evolution of the teachings and philosophy of the Yoga tradition 
and its relevance and application to the practice of Yoga.
1.2. Familiarity with the teachings of Vedas, Principle Upanishads, Shad-darshana, Agama and Purana.
1.3. Familiarity with the four schools of Yoga: Jnana, Bhakti, Karma and Raja Yoga
1.3.1 Jnana Yoga
• Four stages of Jnana (viveka, vairagya, satsangata, mumukshutva
• Stages of Jnana Yoga practice (shravan, manana, nidhidhyasana)
• Seven major chakras, and its correlation to states of consciousness
• The concepts of ida, pingla and the sushumna the central channel of energy running along the spine.
1.3.2. Bhakti Yoga
Navavidha Bhakti
• Qualities of a bhakta
• The pronunciation, chanting, knowledge, benefits of Sanskrit chants, hymns, bhajans.
Satsang and the uplifting meaning of the chants helping to thin the activities of the mind
Mantra chanting, and their effect on the nadi and the chakras 
• Demonstrated ability to create a bhakti bhava during the chanting and singing
1.3.3. Karma Yoga
• The concept of karma 
• Yoga Prerequisites for a sthita prajna 
Sthitaprajna lakshana
• The law of karma
1.3.4. Raja Yoga
• Concepts and principles of Patanjala Yoga
• Concepts and principles of Hatha Yoga (by Swatamarama)
1.4. Familiarity with the fundamental principles of Yoga (pancha kosha, pancha bhuta, pancha prana
1.5. Familiarity with examples of concepts and models from the above teachings and philosophy, 
relevant to the practice of Yoga.
1.6. Gurus and Masters
1.6.1. Familiarity with the concepts of teacher, guru, master, lineage
1.6.2. Familiarity with the contribution of the yogis such as
• Patanjali
• Adishankaracharya
• Aurobindo
• Swami Vivekananda.
SECTION 2: Introduction to basic Yoga Texts 
2.1 Familiarity with the following Yoga texts
2.1.1 TheYoga sutras of Patanjali
a) Yoga anushasana
b) Concept of citta
c) Citta vritti
d) Citta prasadana
e) Panch Klesha
f) Ashtanga Yoga
2.1.2 The Bhagavat Gita
a) The context of the Bhagavat Gita
b) Principles and concepts of the streams of Yoga as per the Bhagavat Gita
c) The concept of karma, sthitha prajna, bhakti in the Bhagavat Gita
2.1.3 HathaYoga theory
a) Introduction the Hatha Yoga parampara
b) General introduction to Hatha Yoga texts
c) Concept of mitahara, pathya, apathya, types of Yoga aspirants
d) Badhak tatva and sadhak tatva, principles to be followed by Hatha Yoga practitioner.
e) Shatkarma, asanas, pranayama, bandhas, mudras, pratyahara, dhyana and Samadhi 
as described in Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
SECTION 3: Applications of Yoga (Human Anatomy, Physiology and Psychology)
3.1 Human Anatomy Physiology
a. Familiarity with the major systems in the body: skeletal, muscular, respiratory, nervous, 
cardio-vascular, endocrine, excretory, digestive and reproductive
b. Familiarity with the effects of Hatha Yoga as compared to other forms of exercise - on the joints, bones, muscles, heart, brain and so on, and therefore on health and well-being.
c. Familiarity with the benefits of various asana on different parts of the human body
3.2 Obstacles
a. Familiarity with obstacles in Yoga practices
b. Familiarity with limitations and contra-indications of specific Yoga practices
3.3 Yogic diet
a. Familiarity with the Trigunas
b. Familiarity with an Ayurvedic approach to diet and nutrition; and the ethical and spiritual reasons for a saatvik vegetarian diet.
c. Familiarity with the different diets, and its effects on the anatomy and physiology, 
Yogic diet – a lacto vegetarian, saatvik approach to food.
d. Familiarity with the benefits of Yogic diet on the physical and mental well-being and as an enabler 
for further practice of Yoga
3.4 Psychology
Familiarity with
a. Concepts of cognition, perception.
b. Theories of cognition and non-cognition
c. Personality traits and classification
d. Familiarity with the Indian Psychology
Psychology as per Bhagavat Gita 
Psychology as per the Yoga sutras of Patanjali
SECTION 4: Communication
4.1 Teaching environment
a. Knowledge and demonstration ability to prepare the class room with cleanliness, proper laying of 
the mat, sufficient spacing, decorum
b. Knowledge and Demonstrated ability
    i. To prepare the course schedule giving due weightage to various aspects of the practice of Yoga
    ii. To teach to a pre-defined script through a standard teaching process
a. Describing the practice (name, meaning, justification, category, type, counts, complementary postures)
b. Demonstration (silent demo, demo with counts, demo with counts breathing and explanation)
c. Benefits and limitation
d. Single group practice
e. Practice in pairs
f. Explanation of subtle points
g. Whole group practice
h. Question answers
    iii. To teach as per the daily plan and the course schedule
    iv. To keep records of aspirants enrolled, their attendance and their progress report during the 
    v. To obtain feedback from the aspirants and make course correction as appropriate
c. Knowledge and Demonstrated ability to use the four teaching techniques of observation, 
instructions, touch and demonstration.
SECTION 5: Sukhshma Vyayama and Shat Karma 
5.1 Shat Kriyas (cleansing techniques)
a. Knowledge of Shat kriyas the six classical exercises for purifying the body and mind 
and demonstrated ability to perform the same
i. Kapalabhati
ii. Neti (Jal neti, with water and Sutra neti with a catheter)
iii. Dhauti which includes vatasara, agnisara and kunjal kriyas
iv. Trataka and pratyahara by gazing at a candle flame, or a specific point of concentration).
b. Knowledge of the shat kriyas to cleanse the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual body as a way to move from gross experiences to more subtle experiences
5.2 Sukshma Vyayama
a. Knowledge of movement of key joints of the body and the demonstrated ability to perform the same
i. Neck
ii. Shoulder
iii. Trunk 
iv. Pelvis
v. Knee 
vi. Ankle
b. Knowledge of the benefits of each of these practices and their compounding effect on the 
gross bodies.
SECTION 6: Surya Namaskar and Yogasana
6.1 Suryanamaskara (Sun Salutation posture sequence)
a. In-depth knowledge and demonstration ability to perform Suryanamaskara
6.2 Yogasana
a. In-depth knowledge of 15 basic postures named below and demonstrated ability to
perform these postures, and/or modifications
The headstand
The shoulder stand 
The plough
The bridge 
The wheel 
The fish 
The sitting forward bend
The cobra
The locust
The bow,
The half spinal twist,
The crow
The peacock
The standing forward bend 
The triangle
b. In-depth knowledge of another five asanas chosen by the applicant and demonstrated ability 
to perform the same.
c. Knowledge of the Sanskrit names of the postures and breathing exercises, detailed benefits .
cautions and contra-indications
d. Knowledge of the five spinal movements – inverted, forward, backward, lateral twist and lateral bend and neutral positions of the spine
e. Knowledge of 360 degree, all round, Yogic exercise through the practice of asanas, proper relaxation, proper breathing, contra-indications, cautions and medical considerations; obvious and subtle benefits; and modification in basic postures to accommodate limitations
SECTION 7: Pranayama and Meditation
7.1 Pranayama
a. Knowledge and Demonstrated ability to perform 
abdominal (and diaphragmatic)
clavicular breathing 
and the full Yogic breath, 
anuloma viloma (alternate nostril breathing).
b. Knowledge and Demonstrated ability to perform advanced pranayama:
sheetali and seetkari 
sadanta and ujjayi
chandrabheda, suryabheda 
and the knowledge of its benefits, limitation and applications.
7.2 Meditation
a. Knowledge and Demonstrated ability to perform Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and
to demonstrate allied practices such as Mudras, Japa Mala, Mantras, relaxation.
b. Demonstrated ability to perform meditation
c. Knowledge of the environment for meditation and the benefits of meditation on health 
and its practical application in modern life
SECTION 8: Teaching Practice
8.1 In-depth knowledge of
a. The scope of practice of Yoga and how to assess the need for referral to other professional services when needed
b. Observed capacity for, well-developed communication skills: listening, presence, directive and non-directive dialogue.
8.2 Demonstratedability
a. To recognise, adjust, and adapt to specific aspirant needs in the progressive classes.
b. To recognise and manage the subtle dynamics inherent in the teacher - aspirant relationship.
8.3  Principles and skills for educating aspirants
a. In-depth knowledge of and demonstrated ability to 
- apply effective teaching methods, 
- adapt to unique styles of learning, 
- provide supportive and effective feedback, 
- acknowledge the aspirant's progress, 
- and cope with difficulties.
b. In-depth knowledge of and demonstrated ability to transmit the value of self-awareness 
and self- responsibility throughout the self-directed leaning rocess
c. In-depth knowledge of and demonstrated ability to develop and adjust appropriate practice 
strategies to the aspirant.
8.4 Principles and skills for working with groups
a. Familiarity with and Demonstrated ability to design, implement, and evaluate group programs.
b. Familiarity of group dynamics and allied techniques of communication skills, time management, 
and the establishment of priorities and boundaries.
c. Familiarity with techniques to address the specific needs of individual participants, 
to the degree possible in a group setting.
The criteria for evaluation of candidates includes assessing the knowledge and skill of the Yoga Professional. The weightage of knowledge and skills is equally distributed while evaluating all the levels of Yoga Professionals. The assessment of Yoga Professionals shall be based on the scores secured by them.
The mark distribution for Level 1 Yoga Teacher is presented below, indicating the distribution of marks in various sections of under Knowledge and Skill. For levels 2 (Master) and 3 (Guru) while the attributes of Knowledge and Skill shall remain the same the weightage will be adjusted as per the focus required in the level 2 and 3.
Section  Subject Name Weightage (%)
    1       Principles and Fundamentals of Yoga                                         20
    2       Introduction to Yoga Texts                                                           10
    3      Applications of Yoga (Anatomy, Physiology, Psychology & Diet) 10
    4      Communication                                                                            10
    5      Yogic Sukshma Vyayama and Shat Kriya                                    10
    6      Suryanamaskar and Yogasana                                                     20
    7      Pranayama and Meditation                                                           10
    8      Teaching Practice                                                                          10


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