Hanuman Academy’s Five Elements Online Immersion with Saul David Raye, Sianna Sherman, Juan Pablo Barahona, Janet Stone & Sree Devi Bringi
The Five Elements of Yoga is a six-month advanced online immersion created by the directors of the Hanuman Yoga Festival in Boulder, Colorado. The course, which begins in October 2016, features master teachers who have presented at the Hanuman Festival, each focusing on one of the five elements of yoga: Saul David Raye on earth, Sianna Sherman on water, Juan Pablo Barahona on fire, Janet Stone on air and Sree Devi Bringi on ether.
It’s a stellar line-up and a fascinating theme. Yoshi Aono, a founder and co-director of the Hanuman Festival, said, “We wanted to offer a deeper dive into the practice of yoga – more of an immersive experience for teachers and students. The Five Elements seemed like such a great jumping-off point; they are foundational: when we consciously work with the elements, that is when shifts occur in our lives with our families, with our friends, when we’re communicating out in the world.”
On choosing which teachers to teach which specific elements, Yoshi said it came together very quickly. “We looked at Saul David Raye,” he said as an example. “He’s very grounded to the heart, to nature, to mother earth.” He continued, saying, “Each teacher has such wisdom individually, but this convergence makes for a very powerful course. We are able to get multiple perspectives.”
The Five Elements syllabus, Yoshi said, includes the practices of yoga asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra and mudra. The philosophy portion will explore topics including the gunas, the koshas, the chakras and discussions of archetypes.
“All the teachers we’re bringing into the academy are showing up big time, really wanting to share their wisdom in a practical, educational way,” Yoshi said. “And they are getting a little more personal in this course. They weave in personal stories. They share what the elements mean in their lives and their practices.”
On his choice of an online platform, Yoshi said, “People are busy, and we wanted to create something that was accessible. All of us in the practice of yoga hunger for more knowledge.” But he wanted to maintain a sense of community, too. “We have a deep community of people with the festival, and we understand the importance of that, the knowledge that there are other people out there with the same values, interests and passions. We want to make sure that people taking the course don’t feel alone.”
To address that concern, Yoshi said that the course will include online forums with moderators. “And we have a live event,” he added. “All these teachers are Hanuman teachers – you can take the course online, and then you can go to the festival and experience the teachers live. Or you can go on a Hanuman Adventure. We have a Peru trip coming up in October with Juan Pablo Barahona.”
In summing up, Yoshi said, “This is all passion. It’s about really spreading the love for the practice with the community.”