Yoga Teacher TrainingBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

When we hear the phrase, “train the mind,” what comes to mind? Do we think of a change in behavior, morality, or intelligence? Higher forms of Yoga, such as Raja, Bhakti, Karma, and Jnana, can help us train the mind. Within all forms of Yoga are meditation techniques to develop the mind, as well.


When considering behavior, there is always room for individual improvement. Unfortunately, none of us is perfect. Our perception of the objects around us has much to do with our personal behavior. Our inherent reactions to objects, or events, are different from one person to another. Two people hear the same message, but the mind’s unique level of awareness brings perception into clarity.

No matter how hard we try, we cannot translate the same message, in the same way, as the person beside us. One example of this is being a member of a book club. The members read the same book, but the club organizes meeting sessions to discuss various interpretations and increase the membership’s scope of intellectual abilities.

Diversity in interpretation also happens within groups, which read and examine scriptures. In the United States, the Supreme Court consists of one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. With nine extremely educated justices to interpret the law or the U.S Constitution, there is almost always a difference of opinion.

Enhancement of Intelligence

The enhancement of intelligence is a result of training the mind through study. This may happen in any form of Yoga, but Jnana Yoga encourages the aspirant to attain unity, through self-analysis and the investigation of speculative thought.

To study will increase one’s intelligence about a subject, but to study the Yogic system will bring about enhanced intelligence with regard to life. Yoga is a science of life. The more time one devotes to the study and practice of Yoga, the higher the odds are for accomplishing one’s intended purpose in life.

To be “book smart” is not enough to reach success in life. It is the application of knowledge toward all phases of life that tests a theory. Yoga and Yogic philosophy have moved far beyond theory. Yoga therapy has been successful, but a scientist wants to know: “why.”

Scientists, and some skeptics, argue that Yoga must now be tested on the other side of the Earth in order to collect enough data as to why it works. With every little step, Yoga has eventually been embraced by science and medicine as a system that works.

Moral Codes

The most neglected part of Yoga teacher training courses is a closer look at Yama and Niyama. In the Yoga Sutras, Maharishi Patanjali names Yama and Niyama as the first two limbs of Yoga. Yet, Universal moral codes are often over looked. Advanced students, especially Yoga teachers, should know differently. If each person reflected on the Universal principles of Yama and Niyama daily, we would suddenly have world peace.

© Copyright 2010 – Paul Jerard / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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