Viniyoga Foundations Program

An immersion in the Viniyoga tradition.

AVI’s™ Viniyoga Foundations Program for Teaching and Yoga Therapy is an immersion in the Viniyoga tradition with an emphasis on personal practice and a comprehensive study of āsana, prāṇāyāma, chanting, meditation, tantra, teaching methodology and yoga philosophy.  It is the first step on the path to Viniyoga Therapist certification, as well as a 200, 300 or 500 hour comprehensive yoga teacher training program.

Whether you are a serious yoga practitioner, aspiring yoga teacher, current yoga teacher, or health professional interested in Viniyoga, we offer options to advance your studies in the Viniyoga methodology for personal development, teaching or to enter the AVI Viniyoga Therapist Training.

The Viniyoga Foundations Program begins again in 2020 at the Ancient Yoga Center in Austin, Texas.


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Program tracks

The Viniyoga Foundations Program for Teaching and Yoga Therapy provides the opportunity for students to select a program track based on their prior training and career path. The program offers:

  • 500 hr Viniyoga Teacher – Sessions 1, 2, 3 & 4, final project
  • 300 hr Viniyoga Wellness Instructor – Sessions 1, 2, & 3, final project
  • 200 hr Viniyoga Instructor – Sessions 1 & 2, final project

The program has received Yoga Alliance approval at the 200 hour, 300 hour and 500 hour level.

PROGRAM CONTENT

  1. Introduction to Yoga Philosophy
  2. In-depth study of Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra text
  3. Breath-centric Āsana
  4. The Art & Science of Sequencing
  5. Principles of Adaptation
  6. Guided Relaxation
  7. Human Energy System
  8. Prāṇāyāma: Threshold, Directional Flow of Breath, Breath Adaptation in Āsana, Ratio, Technique
  9. Chanting and Mantra
  10. Meditation: Dhāraṇa, Dhyānam, Samādhi
  11. Tantra and Inner Transformation
  12. Development of an integrated personal practice: weaving together all elements of practice
  13. Teaching Methodology and Ethics: group, private & specific class demographics
  14. Teaching & communications skills
  15. Application of yoga methods in different teaching contexts

MAJOR CONTENT AREAS BY SESSION

Session 1: Viniyoga and Breath-Centric Āsana

  • Introduction to Viniyoga & Biomechanics of Movement
  • Introduction to Yoga Philosophy – the Yoga Sūtra-s of Patañjali
  • Breath-Centric Āsana in your Personal Practice

Session 2: Prāṇāyāma and Chanting

  • Introduction to Prāṇāyāma & the Human Energy System
  • Bandha-s and Kriyā-s
  • Teaching Breath-Centric Āsana
  • Ethics for Yoga Teachers
  • Integrating Prāṇāyāma, Bandha-s and Kriyā-s into your Personal Practice
  • Yoga Philosophy – the Yoga Sūtra-s of Patañjali

Session 3: Meditation and Sound

  • Introduction to Sound, Chanting, and Mantra
  • Introduction to Meditation
  • Teaching Prāṇāyāma, Bandha-s and Kriyā-s
  • Yoga Philosophy – the Yoga Sūtra-s of Patañjali
  • Integrating Sound and Meditation into your Personal Practice

Session 4: Tantra and the Cakra Model

  • Introduction to Tantra and the Inner and Outer Orientation of Practice
  • Cakra Model, Self-Inquiry, Ritual, Bhūta Śuddhi, & Devatā Yoga
  • Teaching Sound and Meditation
  • Advanced Teaching Methods
  • The Business of Yoga
  • Yoga Philosophy – the Yoga Sūtra-s of Patañjali
  • Integrating Tantra into your Personal Practice

PROGRAM FORMAT

The Viniyoga™ Foundations Program offers two to four sessions (depending upon your educational goals) during which you immerse yourself in the learning experience in a supportive yoga community of fellow students, teachers, and mentors.

Each session includes lectures, yoga practices focused on session content, teaching demonstrations, small group work, and guided independent study.

Sessions are spaced approximately six months apart to allow time for integration of the material through personal practice, home study assignments, and telephone calls with mentors.

MENTORING

Mentoring and consultation are important aspects of the development of the Viniyoga™ Foundations Program. Each student develops an ongoing relationship with an experienced faculty mentor to guide their development in personal practice and Viniyoga skills. Mentoring includes homework review and consultation at each program session, plus telephone meetings between sessions.  More extensive individual mentoring is available over the course of the program and on an ongoing basis after certification. Additional fees will apply.

PRE-TRAINING HOME STUDY AND RESOURCE LIST

To register, please contact our Student Advisor.  Pre-training assignments and a resource list to guide your preparation for the program will be sent to you once you complete the registration process.

Participants in the program complete approximately 200, 300 or 500 hours of study, depending upon their educational goals. Completion of all four sessions is required for entry into the Viniyoga Clinical Applications Program.

300 HOUR PROGRAM

Viniyoga Studies – Yoga Alliance RYT-300 eligible

  • Attend Sessions 1, 2 and 3 of the Viniyoga Foundations Program and complete any assigned home study
  • Complete a final project (develop, teach and evaluate a Viniyoga class series)
  • Complete 20 hours of study in human anatomy (hours from 200 or 500 hour prior trainings are acceptable)
  • If you enter the program with a prior 200 YA certification, you may be eligible to apply to YA for 500 hour certification when you complete the AVI 300 hour training.

500 HOUR PROGRAM

Viniyoga Teacher – Yoga Alliance RYT-500 eligible

  • Attend Sessions 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Viniyoga Foundations Program and complete any assigned home study
  • Complete a final project (develop, teach and evaluate a Viniyoga class series)
  • Complete 20 additional hours of study in human anatomy (hours from 200 or 500 hour prior trainings are acceptable)
  • Upon completion of the 500 hour program you are eligible to enter Viniyoga Therapist Training.

ANATOMY REQUIREMENT

Twenty (20) hours of study in human anatomy must be completed which could be an applied anatomy course through a local college, a yoga anatomy workshop or one-on-one mentoring. Prior training in anatomy may fulfill this requirement. This can be completed at any time over the course of the training. You will be asked to provide evidence of completion of 20 hours of study in human anatomy.

VINIYOGA ELECTIVES & TEXTS

Viniyoga electives and sangha participation are highly recommended and include: in-depth Viniyoga workshops, retreats or privates with Gary Kraftsow, AVI Faculty, and Viniyoga Teachers and Viniyoga Therapists.

Gary Kraftsow’s two books, Yoga for Wellness and Yoga for Transformation, are among the texts required for the training and you may enjoy becoming familiar with them if you are considering entering the Viniyoga Foundations Program. They are available in print and electronically from Amazon or your favorite bookstore.

All students are encouraged to deepen and broaden their understanding as well as exploring their area of special interest by taking additional studies.

Typical Training Schedule

Each program session begins with an evening orientation followed by five training days, a day off and then five and one-half more training days. Each training day is full and includes 8 – 10 hours of lectures, practice, and small group experiences. A typical day begins with an early morning practice followed by breakfast, a three-hour morning session, a lunch break and a three-hour afternoon session and a 1 – 2 hour early evening session.

2018-2019

Held at Ancient Yoga Center in Austin, TX

The Viniyoga Foundations Program for Teaching and Yoga Therapy is held at Ancient Yoga Center in Austin, Texas in residential retreats (12 nights, 11 days), approximately six months apart.

  • Session #1: April 22 – May 4, 2018
    Arrive Sun, April 22, 2018 by 4:00 pm, Depart Fri, May 4, 2018 after lunch. Program is finished by Friday, May 4, 2018 at 12:30 pm.
  • Session #2: November 4 -November 16, 2018
    Arrive Sun, November 4, 2018 by 4:00 pm, Depart Fri, November 16, 2018 after lunch. Program is finished by Friday, November 16, 2018 at12:30 pm.
  • Session #3: April 28 – May 10, 2019
    Arrive Sun, April 28, 2019 by 4:00 pm and Depart Fri, May 10, 2019 after lunch. Program is finished by Friday, May 10, 2019 at12:30 pm.
  • Session #4: October 6 – October 18, 2019
    Arrive Sun, October 6, 2019 by 4:00 pm and Depart Fri, October 18, 2019 after breakfast. Commencement is finished by Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 9 pm.

TUITION

Tuition is $3150 per session and is due 1 month in advance of the start of the session. Tuition paid at least 3 months in advance of a training will be discounted by $250. Lodging is booked directly with AVI. The cost of lodging depends upon the choice of room.

CANCELLATION POLICY (for tuition with AVI)
The tuition payment is returned minus a $250 administration fee.

PAYMENT PLANS
In you are interested in a payment plan for tuition, please contact info@viniyoga.com.

LODGING AT ANCIENT YOGA CENTER
Room and Board is dependent on the type of lodging reserved. Lodging fees vary based upon room selection:  $1090-$1730. Commuter fees and meals:  $700.

Learn more about Ancient Yoga Center.


2020-2021

Held at Ancient Yoga Center in Austin, TX

The Viniyoga Foundations Program for Teaching and Yoga Therapy is held at Ancient Yoga Center in Austin, Texas in residential retreats (12 nights, 11 days), approximately six months apart.

  • Session #1: March 22 – April 3, 2020
    Arrive Sun, March 22, 2020 by 4:00 pm. Depart Friday, April 3, 2020 after lunch. Program is finished by Friday, April 3, 2020 at 12:30 pm.
  • Session #2: September 27 – October 9, 2020
    Arrive Sun, September 27, 2020 by 4:00 pm. Depart Friday, October 9, 2020 after lunch. Program is finished by Friday, October 9, 2020 at 12:30 pm.
  • Session #3: April 18 – 30, 2021
    Arrive Sun, April 18, 2021 by 4:00 pm. Depart Friday, April 30, 2021 after lunch. Program is finished by Friday, April 30, 2021 at 12:30 pm.
  • Session #4: November 7 – 19, 2021
    Arrive Sun, November 7, 2021 by 4:00 pm. Depart Friday,  November 19, 2021 after breakfast. Commencement is finished by Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 9 pm.

TUITION

Tuition is $3250 per session and is due 1 month in advance of the start of the session. Tuition paid at least 3 months in advance of a training will be discounted by $250. Lodging is booked directly with AVI. The cost of lodging depends upon the choice of room.

CANCELLATION POLICY (for tuition with AVI)
The tuition payment is returned minus a $250 administration fee.

PAYMENT PLANS
In you are interested in a payment plan for tuition, please contact info@viniyoga.com.

LODGING AT ANCIENT YOGA CENTER
Room and Board is dependent on the type of lodging reserved. Lodging fees vary based upon room selection:  $1090-$1730. Commuter fees and meals:  $700.

Learn more about Ancient Yoga Center.

Faculty

Gary Kraftsow

Founder & Director

Gary is the Founder, Director, and Senior Teacher of the American Viniyoga Institute.

Kathy Jamison

Teacher Training Faculty

Kathy is currently the Training Coordinator and Senior Faculty for the AVI's VFP Training.

Juris Zinbergs

Teacher Training Faculty

Juris serves as Senior Faculty in AVI's Viniyoga Foundations Program (VFP).

Laurie Lopesio

Teacher Training Faculty

Laurie is faculty for AVI's Viniyoga Foundations Program.

Tom Anderson

Faculty Assistant

Tom joined the VFP18 group as a Faculty Assistant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who attends the AVI Viniyoga Foundations Program for Teaching and Yoga Therapy?

Students with a wide range of yoga and yoga teaching experience attend the Viniyoga Foundations Program. Some students have never taught yoga and attend our program to deepen their knowledge of Viniyoga and to begin their teaching careers.

Many of our students are experienced yoga teachers who have completed other yoga teacher training programs and wish to complete the 300 hour Advanced Studies Option to become RYT-500 eligible or prepare for the Viniyoga Therapist Training. Experienced teachers attend the program to immerse themselves in the Viniyoga approach, deepen their knowledge and experience of yoga and refine their teaching skills.

Students who are interested in the program for deepening their personal practice and knowledge of Viniyoga attend the 300 hour Advanced Viniyoga Studies option. If an interest in teaching develops during the course of the training, complete all training requirements and Session #4 to be certified as a Viniyoga Teacher and be RYT-500 eligible with Yoga Alliance.

Who are the main teachers?

The primary teacher is Gary Kraftsow, AVI Founder and Director, who has extensive experience in Yoga and Yoga teacher training and has Yoga Alliance ERYT-500 designation.

Gary Kraftsow, MA, E-RYT 500, has been actively training Yoga teachers since 1984, and has been offering the AVI Yoga Teacher Training Program since 1999. He is a master level teacher and a trainer of Viniyoga Teachers and Yoga Therapists. He has been actively involved as a practitioner of Viniyoga for over 30 years.

Students at the training benefit from his presence and many years of experience as a teacher, Yoga Therapist, trainer of teachers and Yoga Therapists in the Viniyoga methodology and author of Yoga for Wellness, Yoga for Transformation, Viniyoga Therapy for Low Back, Sacrum and Hips DVD, Viniyoga Therapy for Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders DVD, and Chanting Live with Gary Kraftsow CD. Gary is directly involved in the training on a daily basis and is the main lecturer. He has certified over 180 teachers and has many more students who are currently in the training process. For a complete list of AVI certified Yoga teachers, Yoga Therapists and students in training, please check the Teacher and Yoga Therapist directory

What is the experience level of the faculty?

Individual assistance to students is provided through mentors who are experienced AVI-trained Viniyoga teachers and Yoga Therapists carefully selected by Gary because of their skill, expertise and experience. Mentors teach some portions of program sessions, lead small groups, meet with students about their home study, and maintain contact with students between program sessions.

How can I prepare to enter the Viniyoga Foundations Program for Teaching and Yoga Therapy?

We strongly recommend that students new to the Viniyoga approach attend a seminar or retreat with Gary Kraftsow before attending the first program session.

How to Get Ready for the Training:

  1. Commit to a personal practice. It’s the most important way to begin to integrate what you will learn in the training.
  2. Attend a seminar or retreat with Gary Kraftsow
  3. Attend classes or workshops with a Viniyoga teacher or AVI Yoga Therapist
  4. Work one-on-one with a local Viniyoga teacher or AVI Yoga Therapist
  5. Read Yoga for Wellness and Yoga for Transformation by Gary Kraftsow
  6. Review the lectures and do the practices (if it is appropriate for your body) on Gary Kraftsow’s DVDs: Viniyoga Therapy for Low Back, Sacrum and Hips and Viniyoga Therapy for Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders, or try a digital workshop:  Pranayama Unlocked or Meditation Unlocked.
  7. Visit the Viniyoga Facebook page to listen to audio and video from Gary Kraftsow lectures.
  8. Check our website on a regular basis for new events in your area and availability of audio lectures and practices.

What is the structure of the AVI Viniyoga Foundations Program for Teaching and Yoga Therapy?

The program includes three or four 11 day residential sessions over 18 months. In addition, there is guided home study between program sessions.

The structure of our training is different than many other 300 or 500 hour Yoga teacher training programs. A new training group begins approximately every two years.

Most students who enroll in a training program stay with the same faculty and student group for the three or four-session program. In our experience, a cohesive training group forms and students actively work to support each other’s learning process, both during and between program sessions.

Lifelong friendships and professional relationships form over the course of 18 months. Students also develop relationships with mentors who can continue to be a source for additional study and support as their teaching or personal development path unfolds.

Can the program sessions be taken out of order?

Our program sessions build upon each other and we recommend that you try to take the sessions in the order they are offered. Students who cannot attend a specific training session generally make up the program session the next time the missed program session is offered. We may recommend some additional work or study to be adequately prepared if a session is missed.

What is a "typical" day in a program session?

The program includes three or four 11 day residential sessions over 18 months. In addition, there is guided home study between program sessions.

Each program session begins with an evening orientation followed by five training days, a day off and then five and one-half more training days.

Each training day is full and includes 8 – 10 hours of lectures, practice, and small group experiences.

A typical day begins with an early morning practice followed by breakfast, a three-hour morning session, a lunch break and a three-hour afternoon session and a 1 – 2 hour early evening session.

We have one scheduled day off in each 11 day session. Students use the days off to rest, study and complete training assignments.

Is the AVI Viniyoga Foundations Program registered with Yoga Alliance?

Yes. The VFP programs are approved by Yoga Alliance at the 300 and 500 hour level.

The Venue

The Ancient Yoga Center, a beautiful, serene and inviting retreat center, just a short drive from Austin’s airport, is the setting for this deep inner experience and study of the inner practices of yoga. This center for spiritual nourishment is the ideal location to support you in this inner work and renewal as a practitioner, yoga teacher and Yoga Therapist.   We have been invited to enjoy the beautiful landscaped gardens, find quiet places for personal retreat, walk the grounds (200 acres), enjoy nutritious vegetarian cuisine and enjoy Saṅga in communal areas.