I'm a yoga student, teacher and the creator of the YOGAFUNC fitness yoga class, which has been used in many fitness studios in Estonia, for over three years already. My path in yoga started over ten years ago, with a fitness yoga product I practiced and taught in the health and fitness studio I was currently working at. A more serious approach to yoga happened when I found ashtanga yoga around nine years ago. For the past nine years, that has been a major focus in my personal life and for the past eight years I have been sharing this practice with others in the classes I taught (and still teach) in my yoga school.
YOGAFUNC has been a very fun creative project for me and I'm happy to be able to bring something back to the health and fitness industry, where I started this path from. YOGAFLOW is a big step towards a more authentic yoga practice, and I'm very excited to bring this practice to everyone, no matter what their background might be. YOGAFLOW is a great practice but the main reason why I decided to bring it to the world is related to my personal growth process. My philosophy in life is that it shouldn't be taken too seriously and that the essence of us human beings is that we are creative beings. When we learn to listen to our inner wisdom, what it is that we are here to do, and when have the courage to act upon the knowing, great things will happen. YOGAFLOW is part of that knowing for me. So shortly said, it's not just a fun yoga concept, it's much more and everyone who becomes connected with this program, will be introduced to that "philosophical" aspect as well.
The practical concept (asana and pranayama) is based on the ashtanga yoga practice, but it's more free and flexible. This flexibility of the system ensures everyone, no matter what the background is, can get a very effective training for the body, mind and (spiritual) heart. Opening the body is good, opening the mind is even better, but when you open the heart, everything changes. The best way to get an understanding of the practice is to join one of my classes in our school. To find out when I'm doing YOGAFLOW, write to jocke[at]funcitup.com.
YOGAFLOW is dynamic and physical like a regular ashtanga yoga practice, but because the freedom we will mix the sequence a bit. Those who are doing YOGAFUNC know the structure of the class, but it still not quite the same. We don't use music in this class other than some relaxing yoga music to help people relax. The class can be modified to suite the needs of each group. If there are a lot of beginners, you can leave out some of the strength parts and add more of the easier stretch parts, and vice versa. It's truly a yoga class for everyone, no matter what your level is.
Base course for future YOGAFLOW teachers
Many things regarding this new concept are a little different from the conventional way of looking at things. We are living in a world which is changing very rapidly. The old way of doing business, where everything is controlled is the way that, sooner or later, has to be left behind. Doing business where the goal is to make more and more profit, to constantly grow, to be bigger and stronger than the competitors, is based on a fundamental idea of survival of the fittest. This is a very outdated way to do anything, and contrary to most peoples belief, this is not how nature works. Nature thrives in cooperation, not competition. Because of this knowing, I have had some difficulties getting the YOGAFLOW concept started. I wanted to start educating trainers in the end of summer, but when I was doing some planning, I realized that I ended up in the old way of thinking, which meant control and restriction and not what I was looking for, cooperation, sharing, freedom, flow. The difficulty is to get the best of both worlds. Control does have some benefits as well. Creating certain boundaries can ensure everything is done correctly, so that it will benefit all. If there is no control, which would be nice, the outcome could be chaos. Finally I found a solution that most probably works very nicely.
The YOGAFLOW teacher course starts with a four day education where you learn the basics, which has a set price of 220€ (200€ when you pay before 6.10). This four day education is understandable just a scratch on the surface and if you really want to learn this thing properly, you will continue your studies with me after it. When the base course is finished, you continue your studies with your own daily practice (by yourself, guided by me) and by connecting with me personally, in almost like a mentoring type of relationship. This means that you can always get together with me, for couple of hours, or even couple of days and work with the themes that are most important for you. I prefer a personal connection with everyone, so that the themes taught can be more specific, to really meet each individuals needs. I feel that YOGAFLOW is not just a class that you teach, rather it's a multifaceted tool that you use to change your own life. When you go deeper into yourself, you start to notice changes in your daily experience of life. This is actually the good stuff you can teach in your classes, not just the asanas. In addition to the personal sessions you have with me, you can also use my experience to arrange yoga events where I will come to teach together with you or with some of my own assistant teachers. These events are a great way to build up your own groups and to give some extra inspiration to the people who already practice with you.
This type of mentoring relationship is all based on donations. I have no set pricing for the work I do for you. My intention is to help you in your own path. To help you help others. It's not about me, it's not just about you either. There has to be bigger intention behind everything. It's about humanity. What can we each do to help everyone. The world is changing and many already feel it. The work we do with YOGAFLOW can be something that help people in these changing times. So all the mentoring I do, or the events regarding YOGAFLOW are based on donations. This is another example of the way of the future. We don't need price lists when we can just listen to our heart. If you feel someone is giving some value to you, you want to be in harmony with the energy change and give something back. Money, in these times, is just one way to exchange that energy. So why is the base course not arranged the same way? With a specific price, I want to ensure that the people who come to the course are seriously interested of what we are talking about here. 220€ is not a big amount of money for what you are becoming part of, but it probably leaves out those who just want to come and see what it is. If what I wrote about doesn't really resonate with you, then maybe YOGAFLOW is not for you. If you only want a piece of paper that says that you can teach yoga, then I believe this is not for you. On the other hand, if what I wrote about does resonate with you, and if you are interested of becoming involved with the process of learning this concept with me, and to share it to the world with me and growing team of other YOGAFLOW teachers, then this is for you. If you don't have any idea what this class might be like, please join my class before registering.
My dream is to get this program started with the people who start with me in october, and to gradually grow it into a movement of happy people. People who practice yoga with a smile on their face. People who practice it all the time, because they love the way it makes them feel. People who practice yoga on their way to the shala, not just inside it. To do it with a team of open minded and open hearted people who want to cooperate, who understand that if we do it together, we will all benefit. Not just us personally, but the people who we interact with and the people who they interact with, etc. I hope you feel the same as I do… exciting!
A few practical things about the education
So the education starts thursday morning and ends sunday evening. We have four long days and it is important that you take part of it all. If you have some classes somewhere or some other things to do, cancel them (or join the next possible YOGAFLOW base course). It is important that we take part in everything. Not just because of your learning, but because of the energy of the group. We need each person to be present all the time. Schedule will most probably be something like 9:00-18:00 each day.
The common question is that who can join. Everyone. Because of the way I explained how this program is learnt (base course + personal mentoring), everyone will eventually learn everything needed. Maybe you are not ready to start teaching right away after four days with us, but when you get going with your own daily practice and when we work together personally, you will get the skills and understanding needed to get started.
What do you need with you? Training clothes (many) and a notebook (a traditional one from paper:) and a good pen. Different colors if you like to draw flowers and other things on the corners. :) You don't need a personal yoga mat, we can borrow you one, but I do recommend one because I believe your mat should be personal. If you don't know what type to buy, contact us, we will help. I'm not selling them at the moment (too much hassle:) but I can tell you what to get. Please don't go buy those camping mats. They are meant for camping and are not very good for yoga.
Can I pay in parts? Try get the payment done in one part, so that you don't have to think about it anymore. If you know this course is for you, but you can only pay 50% now and the other half next month, then ok, you can do that.
So what are we actually learning during the four days? I will keep some freedom in the schedule because the participants also effect what we do. There are some basic things that we will definitely learn and those are listed below.
1) The structure of the class (The sequence is not 100% set, but I will keep some freedom and flexibility in it, so that you can adjust the intensity of the class based on your group).
2) The correct technique of each pose.
3) The physical hands-on adjustments of these poses.
4) Ujjayi breathing and a specific pranayama practice (breathing practice) you can (and is recommended to) use in your daily practice.
5) Verbal instructions.
6) Heart coherence. What it means and how to get your heart to run your brain. Heart coherence has been shown to improve access to your higher mind, including intuition and creativity. This is something we should all be interested of. Our mind is supposed to be connected with our heart, because that is where wisdom comes in. The mind can be clever and invent nuclear weapons, a mind that is connected to the wisdom of the heart, would never do that. Heart coherence can be measured and I actually purchased the device we can do that with. Heart coherence and the technology used to measure it, is based on the 20+ year work done by the Heartmath Institute. In this course we will see how breathing and meditation can influence the coherence levels to give us a better understanding of the techniques we use in yoga.
7) Philosophy. This is not a traditional yoga philosophy. The philosophy of the YOGAFLOW concept is based on many sources and it's nothing you have to believe in. Every time philosophy becomes a belief, it's a religion. In the more philosophical segments of the course (usually after we have enjoyed a meal :) I will share some ideas that I have experienced during my own yoga studies, combined with some interesting theories that are coming up in modern science, to give us a better picture of how we human beings and whole the universe might be working.
What language do we use in the course? I will do it estonian, but if needed I can also use english or finnish for those who need it.
Register to the course
If after reading this long post you feel that you want to get involved, please email me: jocke[at]funcitup.com and write a few words about yourself (in english, estonian or finnish). Who you are, what you do, age, and anything you feel you want to share with me. The more information I get, the better. Into the subject field of your email, write YOGAFLOW registration (in english, estonian or finnish). If you want to make the payment before 6.10, let me know about that as well.
That is all for now. I hope you have a nice day. Smile within and see if you can get someone else to smile as well. :)