Ecology of Yoga
Yoga Teacher Training
Deepening intimacy with ourselves and Earth
September 23 – October 1, 2016
9 days, 100 hour module for yoga teachers & others interested in facilitating ecological yoga offerings for others
- integrate deep ecology with yoga philosophy & practice
- connect your yoga leadership to environmental issues
- tap into your creative imagination to enrich your facilitation of yoga experiences
- enjoy the peak of Vermont’s autumn color in the mountains
- revel in the beauty of a magnificent yoga sanctuary
- learn about healthy, organic foods at an ecologically sustainable farm
- recharge your passion for life and earth
Yoga is rooted in the understanding that everything is interconnected – earth, water, fire, air, space, soil, animals, plants, cosmos, and all beings. Through sensory awareness and embodied consciousness, yoga strengthens one’s ecological awareness and highlights the interdependent nature of the relationship humans have with the Earth.
This Ecology of Yoga YTT has significant components that deepen the practitioner’s awareness of this interconnection. Exploratory work with Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga – yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi – brings forth the ecological dimensions within each of these. When these yogic practices are experienced as integral with nature, they create enlivening pathways for healing our relationship with the planet.
This training also integrates the very vital work of Yogagaia, where our evolutionary story becomes a practice, sourcing the pivotal work of Thomas Berry, Brian Swimm, and other deep ecologists. Hasita Nadai is the originator of this practice, integrating her professions as a biologist and geologist through a long journey with yoga and deep ecology. Her zest as an 83 year old grand dame is contagious and instructive.
This yoga teacher training is for yoga teachers and others who would like to bring forth an ecological perspective to teaching, facilitation, and other forms of leadership, as well as those who simply want to deepen their experience of ecology of yoga. Through the exploration of principles and practices of yoga and ecopsychology, participants learn how to practice, teach, and live from a grounded and heart-centered place. This process is cultivated by attuning to the senses and the environment, tapping into creativity, and practicing presence.
This training is strengthened by core practices of yoga and meditation, farmstead living skills, leadership processes, the arts, and a multifaceted approach to activism. The rich medley of these realms is offered intentionally to provide an enhanced vibrancy to our daily living and to stimulate possibilities for social and cultural renewal.
The program takes place at Metta Earth Institute, where participants are immersed in communal living with the resident team who care for the farm, gardens, and retreat spaces. Many opportunities for learning about ecological sustainability and intentional community happen within this environment.
- Program, meals, and accommodations
- Three thirty minute life/leadership coaching consults after the training to help participants sustain change.
- Financial assistance may be available to those in need.
- Credit with your university or college is usually available as independent study. We will offer assistance, as needed, for this process.
Cancellation Policy: Full payment is required to reserve your reservation for the program. You may receive a full refund minus a $45 processing fee up to one month prior to the program. Any cancellations after that are not eligible for a refund. If the student finds another participant to take his/her spot at the same cost, a refund may be available. Please contact email@example.com for questions.
Meals & Accommodations
Metta Earth is nestled in the quietude of the mountains, the stunning headwaters of the New Haven river with abundant waterfalls and pools for swimming, wilderness trails to walk or bike, and 158 acres of Metta Earth land to explore.
Meals are vegetarian and lovingly prepared with seasonal, local and organic foods, much of our food comes from our own 3⁄4 acre organic garden and farmstead. Participants assist and have the opportunity to learn about harvesting, cooking, putting food by, and other aspects of organic, local food.
Options for sleeping accommodations include peaceful rooms in the main Metta Earth house, shared space in one of the yurts, or space to set up your own tent.
The Metta Earth main house provides bathrooms, laundry, phones, wireless internet, library, kitchen and dining facilities, and teaching, study, and practice space.
6:00 – 7:00am
Yoga (self guided practice)
7:00 – 7:30am
7:30 – 8:30am
Experiential Learning Activities
12:30 – 1:30pm
Lunch Community Meeting
1:30 – 2:30
Experiential Learning Activities
5:00 – 6:15pm
Metta Earth Yoga Class
6:30 – 7:30pm
7:30 – 9:30pm
- Metta Earth Yoga: Contemplative Ecological Practices for a Sustainable Future by Russell Comstock
- Quantum Community ~ The Archetype of Communion & Community, An Interdisciplinary Inquiry by Gillian Kapteyn Comstock
- Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice on and Off the Mat by Richard Faulds
- Ecovillage Living: Restoring the Earth and Her People by Hildur Jackson
- Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World by Wendy Johnson
- Moving Like a Gardener by Deb Soule
- Radical Simplicity by Jim Merkel
- The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Radical Ecology by Thich Nhat Hanh
- The Soul of Nature: Visions of a Living Earth by Michael Tobias
- The Way of Council by Jack Zimmerman
Principles & Practices
Ecology of Yoga: Social Justice Theory & Practice
Environmental awareness and action is inexorably linked to social justice issues. Hence, leadership and communication processes, along with theories of oppression, become essential to eco yoga. Also, forms of activism enrich the possible dimensions for the expression of change.
- Co-Listening, NVC, and Conscious Communication
- Unconscious Communication
- Power, Privilege, Oppression, & Rank
- Eco Yamas & Niyamas
- Models of Activism
- Facilitation & Leadership Models
- Chaos & Creativity
- Sangha, Community, & Leader Ethics
Yogagaia is a synthesis of deep ecology, yoga asana, and evolutionary cosmology. As a potently embodied practice, participants discover a way of knowing science that taps into cellular consciousness and creative imagination in order to deepen a sense of care and reverence for Earth and its inhabitants. The natural activism arising from this practice promises a much deeper sense of commitment to sustainability than is normally achieved through reading or academic study. Each day of practice elucidates the grand evolution of the universe story and brings us to the experience of being human in relationship to this full ecological perspective.
- The Birth of the Kosmos
- The Birth of Tiamat (the Supernova)
- The Birth of the Sun
- The Birth of the Earth & the Moon
- Beginning of Life & the Birth of the Creatures
- Evolution of Desires: The Human
- Integration and Deepening of these Processes
- Preparation for Interbeing Celebration
Lunch & Community Connect
In an age when cell phones have begun to dominate the social landscape and meals are experienced as menus on a handheld mobile device, the reclamation of shared meals in community is nearly a radial experience and entirely necessary to reconnect with food and meal sharing as a potent dimension of culture awareness. Metta Earth meals, so often created from the foods on the farm, are an important opportunity for conscious exchange in food system thinking. Each day at lunch, meals are shared with conscious community practices to support awareness and learning.
- Mindfulness Meal
- Looking Deeply, I See
- Sentience of All Beings…Plant & Animal Foods
- Dharma Exchange
- NonViolent Communication
- Silent Meal
- Food Justice
- Seva Visions
- Gratitude Practice
Yoga Lifeways Practices For Ecological Sustainability
The ancient yogis studied and cultivated a holistic practice incorporating and valuing an interconnected relationship with nature. The Ecology of Yoga daily study is particularly focused on food systems, agricultural sustainability, ecological living, and a healing relationship with earth. We apply environmental resilience to survival by looking closely at soil health, restorative agriculture, and permaculture in order to have a healthy relationship with our food sources, processing techniques, and storage systems.
- Raw & Fermented Drinks & Foods & Plant Based Diet
- Tea Gathering & Tea Ceremony
- Plant Medicine
- Gardens:Vegetables, Herbs, Berries, Nuts
- Dairy, Kefir, Yogurt, & Cheese
- Breads, Sprouted Grains, Crackers, & Gluten Free
- Animals, Carbon Farming, Meat & Fiber
- Ayurvedic Foods, Nutrition, & Cooking
Metta Earth Yoga
These classes integrate the daily learning of philosophies, principles, and practices with an emphasis on supporting participants in the methodology/pedagogy required to create a whole systems educational experience.
- Asana: Natural Listening
- Asana: Elemental Body Scanning
- Planetary Asana
- Asana: Eco-Pranayama
- Asana: Silent Nature Walking
- Asana: Universal Drishti
- Asana: Earth Savasana
- Asana: Global Centering
The evening program progresses throughout the 9 day session integrating the learnings of the Yogagaia morning session to develop the notions of interconnection and a lived experience of sentient beings. The term “Interbeing” originates in the work of Thich Nhat Hanh and his teachings on the interconnection of all life. Continuing in the mode of artistic and imaginal sourcing, Yogagaia naturally unfolds the work of Joanna Macy and John Seed with the Council of All Beings, in which one is invited to deeply empathize with the myriad elementals and beings of nature to enhance the experience of love of Earth or Gaia. We culminate the creative exploration of these themes with a Council of Gaia and a Council of All Beings, honoring music, dance, theater, and the gifts of the earth.
- Tiamat (the Supernova)
- Earth & Moon
- Earth Creatures
- Council of Gaia
- Council of All Beings
For more information about Metta Earth Yoga, see our page on Green Yoga and relevant articles.