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Yoga Instructor Competence Standard - Level 1

18 Mar 2018   Shanti Gowans
Certification of Yoga Professionals: Diploma of Yoga Teaching
Yoga Instructor Competence Standard - Level 1 
SYTA 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 the Scheme.
This document is applicable for Level 1 Yoga Instructor
Limitations – The standard is exclusively intended to recognise the Competency of applicant with respect to the competence standard 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 paragraph.
There shall be three (3) levels of understanding as described below
- Familiarity
- Knowledge
- 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
- Ability to Apply the knowledge
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.
Familiarity with the following
1.1 Introduction to Yoga and Yogic practices
1 Etymology of Yoga and definitions of Yoga in different Classical Yoga texts
2 Brief introduction to origin, history and development of Yoga
3 Aim, Objectives and Misconceptions about Yoga
4 General introduction to Shad-darshanas with special reference to Sankhya and Yoga 
5 General introduction to four paths of Yoga (Bhagavad Gita)
6 Principles of Yoga and Yogic practices
7 Guidelines for Instructors
1.2 Introduction to Hatha Yoga
8 Distinction between Yoga Asana and Non-Yogic physical practices
9 Introduction to important Hatha Yoga Texts with special reference to Hatha Yoga Pradipika 
and Gheranda Samhita
10 Concept of Yogic Diet
11 Causes of Success (SadhakaTattwa) and Causes of Failure (Badhaka Tattwa
in Hatha Yoga Sadhana
12 Concept of Ghata and Ghata Shudhhi in Hatha Yoga
13 Purpose and utility of Shat-kriya Hatha Yoga
14 Purpose and utility of Asana in Hatha Yoga
15 Purpose and importance of Pranayama in Hatha Yoga
1.3 Introducton to Patanjali
16 Definition, nature and aim of Yoga according to Patanjali
17 Concept of Chitta and Chitta Bhumis
18 Chitta-vrittis and Chitta-vrittinirodhopaya (Abhyasa and Vairagya) 
19 Concept of Ishwara and Ishwara Pranidhana
20 Chitta Vikshepas (Antarayas) and their associates (Sahabhuva)
21 Concept of Chitta Prasadana and their relevance in mental well being 
22 Kleshas and their significance in Yoga
23 Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali: its purpose and effects, its significance
Familiarity with the following
2.1 Introduction to human systems, yoga and health
1. The nine systems of human body
2. Functions of different systems of human body
3. Introduction to Sensory Organs
4. Neuromuscular co-ordination of Sensory Organs
5. Basic understanding of Exercise Physiology
6. Homeostasis
7. The benefits of various asana on different parts of the human body
8. The limitations and contra-indications of specific Yoga practices
2.2 Yoga for wellness- prevention and promotion of positive health
1. Health, its meaning and definitions
2. Yogic conceptions of health and diseases
3. Concept of Pancha kosha
4. Concept of Triguna
5. Concept of Panchamahabhutas
6. Yogic principles of Healthy-Living
7. Introduction to yogic diet and nutrition
2.3 Yoga and stress management
1. Human Psyche: Yogic and modern concepts, Behavior and Consciousness
2. Frustration, Conflicts, and Psychosomatic disorders
3. Relationship between Mind and Body
4. Mental Hygiene and Roll of Yoga in Mental Hygiene
5. Mental health: a Yogic perspective
6. Prayer and meditation for mental health
7. Psycho-social environment and its importance for mental health (yama, and niyama)
8. Concept of stress according to modern science and Yoga
9. Role of Yoga in Stress management
10. Role of Yoga for Life management
Even though not found in ancient yoga texts, Sukshma Vyayama and Surya Namaskar have been included because of their popularity.
SECTION 3 Sukhshma Vyayama and Shat Karma
Familiarity with the following:
3.1 Sukshma Vyayama
The 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
3.2 Shat Karma (only knowledge) 
Agnisaar Kriya 
3.3 Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
a. Knowledge 
b. Demonstration ability to perform Suryanamaskar
SECTION 4 : Asana
a. Knowledge of postures as below and demonstrated ability to perform (not teach) these postures.
i. Saravangasana (shoulderstand)
ii. Halasana (plough)
iii. Matsyasana (fish)
iv. Paschimottanasana (sittingf orward bend)
v. Bhujangasana (cobra)
vi. Salabhasana (locust)
vii. Dhanurasana (bow)
viii. Vakrasana (half spinal twist)
ix. Kakasanaorbakasana (crow)
x. Padahasthasana (standing forward bend)
xi. Trikonasana (triangle)
xii. Uttanapaadaasana (raised leg)
xiii. Pawan muktaasana (wind relieving)
xiv. Vajrasana (Thunderbolt) (only knowledge and no demonstration) 
xv. Mandukasana (Frog)
b. 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 and caution.
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.
Pranayama and Practices leading to Meditation
5.1 Pranayama
a. Familiarity with and Demonstrated ability to perform 
abdominal (and diaphragmatic), 
clavicular breathing, and 
the full Yogic breath.
b. Familiarity with and Demonstrated ability to perform (but not teach)
Anuloma Viloma
and knowledge of their benefits, limitation and applications.
5.2 Practices leading to Meditation
a. Familiarity with and Demonstrated ability to perform Dharana and Dhyana 
and to demonstrate allied practices such as Mudras, Mantra Japa.
b Familiarity with the concept of environment for meditation and the benefits of meditation 
on health and wellbeing and its practical application in modern life.
SECTION 6 Teaching Practice
6.1 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.
6.2 Demonstrated ability
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.
6.3 Principles and skills for educating aspirants
Familiarity with 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.
6.4 Principles and skills for working with groups
a. Familiarity with and Demonstrated ability to design and implement 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 include assessing the knowledge and skill of the Yoga Professional.
The weightage of knowledge and skills is proportionately 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 Instructor is presented below. This table indicates the distribution of marks in various sections under Knowledge and Skill.
Section      Subject Name                                     Weightage (%)
   1 Introduction to Yoga and Yogic practices        15
   2 Introduction to Human Body and Psyche       15
    3 Yogic Sukshma Vyayama, Suryanamaskar 
       and knowledge about Shat Kriya                  10
   4 Asana                                                             25
   5 Pranayama and Meditation                            15
   6 Instructing the students i.e. instructing skills 20


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