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True Freedom Yoga Teacher Training

with Jeff Emerson E-RYT- 500


This training is ideal for those who want to teach yoga to others who struggle with substance abuse.


Contact Jeff if you want the details now:


Be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Gandhi


The yogic power of restraint brings one closer to freedom than the usual and destructive liberties that are mistakenly glorified. -Unknown 




Next Training Begins 2024

January 14-15th







Investment: $1,500 payment arrangements are possible Fee must be paid by Graduation

 Scholarships are available 



For this training you will need to have at the minimum 20 classes of Mysore and Meditation throughout the training. You do not have to do them during a training weekend if you do not want to. There will be a paper that you can keep track of the times you were there. However Mysore is a great place to practice what you learned and explore yoga in a very organic way by listening to your body needs. It is also a great place to learn how to adjust and be adjusted. It is also a wonderful place to practice sequencing! 


You will be required to take a minimum of 30 classes outside of the training weekends, which is 3 in between modules. 15 of those classes has to be with Jeff or Joy and the rest should be as many different teachers as you can fit in. You can take more if you want but at least 3 in between modules. If you take the classes at the yoga school there will not be a charge for the classes, while you are in training. The yoga teachers you take classes from have to be at least a 200 RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) and should be an E-RYT (Experienced) 200 RYT or above. It is encouraged that you take as many styles of yoga that you can. You must have 5 hours of teaching practicum. Part of this can be teaching meditation on Sunday mornings and teaching practice in class.  


As part of the Karma Yoga aspect you will also need to do at least 10 hours of service of some kind during the training. It could be any kind of service including teaching mediation or any recovery or yoga thing that you would like. 1 Hour needs to be of service to the yoga school in any way you wish.


There will also be a few homework assignments.


Required reading: Bold for pretty much need, others you should get if you can but get others first


The Yama & Niyamas - Deborah Adele


The heart of Yoga Developing a personal practice -TKV Desikachar

Yoga & Ayurveda - David Frawley

Anatomy of Movement - Blandine Calais-Germain

Yoga Sequencing - Mark Stephens

Bhagavad Gita - Eknath Easwaran (unless you have another copy)

Unfolding the Lotus: Working the 4th step Through the Chakra System - Jeff Emerson

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Sri Swami Satchidananda

The Wisdom of Yoga - Steven Cope 


Suggested Reading:


Yoga Skills for Therapists - Amy Weintraub

 Living Your Yoga - Judith Hanson Lasater

Living the Gita-Sri Swami Satchidananda


Light & Vibration - Swami Sivanana Radha

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior - Dan Millman

Raja Yoga - Swami Virkananda

The Tapping solution - Nick Ortner

Food Rules - Michael Pollan

Your Reiki Treatment - Frans Stine

The Sevenfold Journey - Anodea Judith & Selene Vega

Healing with Form, Energy, and Light: The Five Elements - Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Yoga Body - Mark Singleton

Peace is Every Step - Thich Nhat Hanh

Recovery 2.0 - Tommy Rosen 

Yoga and the Twelve Step Path-Kyczy Hawk

 Meditations from the mat-Rolf Gates-Kenison




Other Books of Interest:


Hatha Yoga Pradipika - Swami Muktibodhandana

The Mirror of Yoga - Richard Freeman


A Return to Love - Marianne Williamson

Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

Yoga and Body Image - Melanie Klein & Anna Jelley

One breath at a time-Kevin Griffin


And so many more....





Module 1


Asana fundamentals/ honoring different bodies Anatomy of the skeletal system/Into in Sequencing a yoga class/Intro into Sanskrit


In this module we will learn different asana with emphasis on safety. We will watch part of a DVD by Paul Grilly that demonstrates that all bodies are different in the skeletal makeup. We will talk about the spine and the different ways it moves and different asanas for moving the spine in the many directions. We will take that into our first look at sequencing a class and what you want to accomplish in a class.



 The Yoga Sutras

We will take a look into one of the original text on yoga philosophy, the yoga sutras of Patanjali and how it relates to our yoga journey and recovery process. 


Intro into Sanskrit


We will take a look at the how to speak in the languish of yoga. We will go over how to pronounce the Sanskrit alphabet, helping us to better to understand this languish of the Gods. Sanskrit is said to be the dance of the tongue. We will find out what that means.



Required reading: The heart of Yoga Developing a personal practice Chapters 3-4 for now. Yoga Sutras



Module 2


 Virtues/Values/Spiritual Principles/Yogic Sponsor/Ethics as a yoga teacher and Ethics in general


 In this session we talk about virtues and how they differ and are similar to values, spiritual principles, we will talk some about the Yamas and Niyamas and how they apply in our yogic path. We will also learn how to call people up to their highest self-using virtues. We will talk about how to set clear boundaries to find freedom of relationships and co-dependency issues. We will learn the five strategies of the Virtues Project and how they relate to our recovery process.  


One of those strategies we will learn is the art of listening and letting people empty their cup through spiritual companioning and how to be a yogic sponsor listening deeply without judgment or bringing in our own stuff during sponsorship. This will be invaluable for a sponsor or a yoga teacher. 



We will also have a long talk about having ethics as a yoga teacher, and what it means to take that role. 




Required reading: The Yamas and Niyamas -read the first two pages of each of the 5 Yamas and Niyamas and the highlighted parts in the chapter. Also read chapter 2 yoga skills for therapists if you can, not necessary but will give background for our spiritual sponsor section of the weekend.



Module 3


The Five Great Elements and Yoga Recovery/The chakra System and working 4th step through the Chakras


We will learn what the five elements are and how they work in our life on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. We will learn how to find harmony in our elements as they play out in our bodies and mind. We will see how the great elements are the basis of creation and how the elements go in reverse at the time when that creation goes away. We will learn what and where the meridians are that go with each element and the organs that they govern.


We will go into what it means to be a recovery yoga teacher, triggers that people may have in early recovery, what makes recovery yoga different than other types of yoga, we talk about and develop affirmations and the use of mantra in recovery. 


Partner Yoga/Giving Adjustments


We will do partner yoga as a way of showing how energy moves between two bodies. This will be a fun way of connecting to each other energetically and is something you can add to classes to make them more interesting and get people closer together. We will also look at the art of giving adjustments in a safe manner


Required reading: Elements portion of handbook, Required reading - Unfolding the Lotus - Jeff Emerson, Read first part we will answer some questions in class



Module 4


Myofascial release/ Prana and Pranayama/ Intro TCM


In this module we will Learn the Muscles of the body with myofascial release techniques, we will teach the muscles and how to work with them by working on the fascia that covers and connects the muscles.   


Required reading: Anatomy of Movement- Blandine Calais-Germain Just look through the book and notice especially how the muscles interact with each other. Try to remember some of the muscles names, especially ones used in different asanas, but don't worry too much about memorization look more into the function of the body and how it moves.


Module 5


Reiki Training/Subtle Energy Body


In this module you will be trained to give reiki. Reiki is an ancient healing modality from Japan. We will learn about the five pillars of reiki being developing spiritual & mental focus, techniques and meditations, hands on healing, symbols and mantras, and reju and attunements. You will get a certificate after this module showing that you attend the first level of three of reiki or the Shoden level. While doing this you will also learn about the subtle energy body and how energy or Prana moves through us. We will also go over the 5 pranas and how energy moves through our body



 Also in this module we will learn about and how to do a class in yin/restorative using the reiki skills we learned the day before in the class. We will see how energy moves in a restorative posture and the difference between yin and yang type asana.


Chair yoga 

We will do yoga on chairs in this session as a nice prop for those who cannot get on the ground, or those in an office setting. Chairs can also just be a good prop to deepen some asanas and help bring a different dimension to a yoga class that they can take with them and do at home using an Iyengar system of chair yoga.


Read Chapter 6 of Yoga & Ayurveda /Suggested reading: Your Reiki Treatment - Frans Stine/ / The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga - Bernie Clark


Module 6


How to teach Recovery Yoga to different stages of recovery/Food Addiction/Practice Teaching /Yoga for Trauma 

In this session we will talk about teaching recovery yoga to especially new members and how we can apply the guna philosophy with our students and sponsees. we will also talk about maintaining our recovery through yoga


Food Addiction 


Also in this module we will talk about food and our many different addictions to food. We will talk about an optimum diet for yoga training and how food can heal many diseases with what we eat. Why we eat and when we eat, and what we eat will be in the discussion. We will also talk about body image and how we as yoga teachers help heal others body image that they may carried all their lives.


Ayurveda, dosha, gunas, and recovery


In this session we will find out what our dosha is and see how that effects our perceptions and constitution. What foods are good for each dosha. We will talk about how the gunas work around the clock and how the gunas affects our perceptions and recovery.


Practice Teaching

We will do practice teaching in groups and get/give feedback on style, flow, and speech while giving a few postures. In this time of the training you should be ready and able to hone some of your teaching skills.


Yoga & Ayurveda Chapter 4 and Chapter 12.




Module 7




Working with Defect, Samskara, and EFT

In this session we will be looking at samskara and how it relates to our defects and obstacles in living the life we want free from our patterns of living that keep us separate from our true self. We will look at EFT and explore tapping as a way of addressing defects and try to smooth out samskara.


Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy - In this session we will learn how to use yoga in a therapy setting using the Phoenix Rising model and also other forms of yoga therapy.


Required Reading: The Bhagavad Gita (read it off and on, taking in little bits at a time).



Module 8


History of modern yoga/Bhagavad Gita

Teaching Power yoga/Ashtanga/Vinyasa Flow

We will now look back to see where yoga started from going back to the origins of modern yoga and the many styles that came through Krishnamacharya and on and take a look at where yoga might be headed in the future. We will explore Delsarte method of understanding the connection between mind, body, and spirit and how that influenced modern yoga. Also we will learn how to teach power yoga, and difference between Power Yoga, Flow, and Ashtanga.


The Bhagavad Gita -  The hero’s journey and recovery story




In this session we will explore the Bhagavad Gita and how it models our recovery journey. We will look at the various yoga’s that Krishna told to Arjuna. The Bhagavad Gita is part of the epic Mahabharata and is often said to be one of the original books on yoga. We will also go into Joseph Cambell’s hero Journey and discuss how myths have always been used in all cultures to describe spirit and higher power.






Blind Fold Teaching

This session is how to use your voice to teach yoga. With the students blindfolded you have to put them in a pose using only your voice to do it. This is a very challenging exercise and it is a lot of fun to be taught like this and to try to teach like this, it will also show the need to use our voice effectively.


Read at least the first few pages of Pada 1, look through rest of book



Module 9


Bringing your light into the world

Just as the twelfth step states having had a spiritual awakening we tried to carry this message into the world in this session we will talk about our karma service efforts. We will talk about how we can keep what we have by giving it away and the importance of being of service to the world. We will look at the lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, and the founders of AA and NA programs and use them as inspiration for our own work.


Karmic Footprint

We will go over our karmic footprint in this session and how what we do effects the world as at large


Business of yoga

We will talk about the business of being a yoga teacher, insurance, finding spaces to teach, tax credits, and 1099’s


Marketing and advertising for yoga.

Making a class into a community how to build and keep a class going

With this session we will talk about how to start a class and keep people coming back. We will talk about developing a class, knowing who your students are. We will talk about the difference to what they want and what they need, how much to push and encourage. How to allow your class to evolve.



In this session we will go over the 5 page papers we wrote and say to the class what we learned from the homework assignment.


Module 10


Mindfulness Day - Graduation

Our final day we will sit all day in silence. We will meditate and do all our work in silence. We will share a silent meal together and do more sitting in the afternoon. Then on our final sit we will end it with our friends and family joining us to celebrate the ending of our training and get our certificates.