Options for Yoga Dance Teacher Training

Tracey Kelley
female dancer practicing yoga

If you like the dynamic combination of dance and yoga, then maybe you'd like more information on yoga dance teachers' training. There are many variations to consider, and some have more instruction options than others.

Training to Teach Yoga Dance

A number of yogis and yoginis have come up with innovative yoga dance practices that many people enjoy. One of the most popular instructors of yoga trance dance is Shiva Rea. Sarina Condello is "The Barefoot Dancer". Beth Rigby is another recognized instructor, as is Daniel Leven.

Some of these instructors offer workshops for all levels of experience, as well as yoga dance teachers' training. Options to learn, much less teach, Natya Yoga are somewhat limited in-person. However, a few organizations offer other yoga dance classes and DVDs you may find helpful.

  • Shiva Rea's Samudra School of Living Yoga is a comprehensive 200- or 500-hour teacher training. The root of this education is in Prana Flow, but Rea also offers teaching intensives in yoga trance dance.
  • Sarina Condello has a series of yoga dance DVDs, including Yoga Dance: Water and Yoga Dance: Earth. She hosts a variety of workshops, too, but not teacher training.
  • Let Your Yoga Dance is also known as YogaDance, a program by Megha-Nancy Buttenheim. It combines classical yoga with breath-fueled movement and dance steps, also known as Kripalu YogaDance. Teacher training is available at Self-Awakening Yoga and twice a year at the Kripalu Center.
  • The Leven Institute for Life Movement offers a Kripalu YogaDance program called Shake Your Soul and another yoga dance therapy program called SomaSoul. At press time of January 2010, only workshops and classes were available for yoga dance, but the Web site indicated that creative dance teacher training would be available later in the year.
  • Yoga Meets Dance was created by Beth Rigby, a graduate of the Kripalu Center and former teacher there. She offers many Yoga Meets Dance teachers' training opportunities.

About Yoga Dance

At its foundation, yoga dance stems from the traditional Indian dances of Natya Yoga, also sometimes referred to as Bharatanatyam Dance, which is a compilation of the main yogas: Bhakti, Karma, Jnana, and Raja. It's traditionally a reverent practice designed to lift the body literally into a higher spiritual state by enacting devotional music and chants through dance. A full Natya recital is comprised of 108 specialized movements, known as karanas, as well as other Hatha Yoga asanas, mudras, and pranayama aspects.

There are many interpretations of yoga dance, especially in the Western world. Purists of Natya Yoga frown upon most of them. Performers of Natya do not associate the practice with yoga trance dance or other dance yoga programs, stating that Natya in its true form is of divine origin, not human, and the dance is in service of God.

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Options for Yoga Dance Teacher Training