Buddhi Vana Curriculum

Buddhi Vana Teacher Training Curriculum

  Buddhi Vana is an innovative approach to yoga studies with an emphasis on meditation, Buddhist philosophy, Tantric subtle body anatomy, embodied anatomy, and drawing upon classical Tibetan and Chinese yoga traditions.
“Buddhi”, in Sanskrit,  means “mind” in the sense of our human intellectual faculty for reason, discernment, judgement, and understanding. “Vana” means forest in Sanskrit, but it is also a feminine Indian name suggesting deep silence and ultimate bliss.  The  name of the training reflects the intersections of nature, subtle energy, and mind rather than an attempt at the creation of a new style of yoga.  The program offers an emphasis on meditation and the spiritual aspects of practice.

Buddhi Vana program graduates will be able to design, practice, and teach a spectrum of various levels of yoga and meditation classes including asana, pranayama, meditation, chanting, and mindful movement.  We draw upon Chinese and Tibetan energetic body anatomy, elements and light of the subtle body, classical Buddhist philosophical and instructional texts, and apply these to the physical postures (asana) and breathing practices (pranayama) of yoga.

Click HERE for 2018-2019 Program Information Package

Buddhi Vana is an innovative approach to yoga studies with an emphasis on meditation, Buddhist philosophy, Tantric subtle body anatomy, embodied anatomy, and drawing upon classical Tibetan and Chinese yoga traditions.

Buddhi=Sanskrit for “mind” in the sense of our human intellectual faculty for reason, discernment, judgment, and understanding.

Vana=Sanskrit for forest, but it is also a feminine Indian name suggesting deep silence and ultimate bliss

Buddhi Vana is a spiritual-based teacher training program that is idea for adults who want to learn how to teach mindful yoga practices from the Tibetan and Chinese traditions, meditation, Buddhist philosophy, and Tibetan subtle body anatomy. Embedded in the training curriculum is a focus on the elements, nature, and techniques for balancing qualities of Universal energies, such as prana, with internal energy.  A significant component of the program is reading Buddhist sutras (in English translation), discussion, introspection,  and exploring the application of the ethics of yoga in daily life.

The program is rooted in my love of nature and dedication to outdoor education and many of our training sessions will take place outdoors or in protected natural indoor environments. This is a Registered Yoga School (RYS™) with Yoga Alliance and graduates who meet all requirements can register with Yoga Alliance as Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT™) at the 200-hour level.  Yoga teachers who are already registered with YA can take the course for CEU credits as Sharon Fennimore, the training facilitator, is also a YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider).  Adults who are interested in spending a year of mindful practice of yoga and meditation, studying Buddhist philosophy, and developing a home practice and yoga-infused lifestyle are warmly welcome to participate.

Together, we will create a sangha (community), of aware and mindful adults, who wish to increase our capacity for compassion and peace and ability to bring this gift to those who are open to our teachings.


nature and outdoor education
  • Training includes instruction in walking meditation, pranayama, and visualization using outdoor hiking trails, indoor botanical gardens, and natural environments
  • Emphasis on the impact of the health of the environment and the health of humans and living beings and how yoga practices and techniques can bring us into a state of balance when we focus on the elements 9air, space, earth, fire, water, metal, wood) and exchange of prana with all living beings including plants and botanicals.
  • Learn about herbs, essential oils, and the use of plants in the diet to support energy and yoga practices
philosophy and ethics
  • An introduction to the Yamas and Niyamas and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
  • Read and discuss essential Buddhist sutras and commentaries including: The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing (Anapanasati Sutta), The Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness (Satipatthana Sutta), The Heart Sutra (Prajnaparamita Hrdaya Sutra), The Sutra on Happiness (Mangala Sutta).
Meditation and Visualization
  • Learn and practice Tibetan sound meditation
  • Learn and practice a Chinese yoga meditation on organs and healing light
  • Learn three unique Buddhist meditation practices including: metta (loving kindness), tonglen (give and take), and Tibetan jewel tree
  • Learn and practice mantra meditation techniques
 Asana, Movement, and Anatomy
  • Practice and training in Hatha yoga asana (poses) techniques and pranayama
  • Introduction to the physical practices of Buddhist yoga exercises and Tibetan movement meditations
  • Practice and training in hand mudra (poses for hands), using sound in physical practices, and sequences of poses (kriya) to create transformation in mind, body, and spirit
  • Intimately explore embodied anatomy through movement, breath, and touch including the use of Chinese energy anatomy and contemporary energy theory
  • Learn key aspects of Tibetan subtle body anatomy including the three diaphragms, central channel, matrika, and the life vase
  • Anatomy of the physical body including skeleton, organs, muscles, and kinesiology in the tradition of Body Mind Centering that provides an embodied knowledge that can be applied for safe asana and pranayama practice
Professional Skills for Teaching Yoga
  • Alignment for safe physical yoga practices and techniques for modifying asana for students of all ages, body types and abilities
  • Creating lesson plans and adjusting plans for various levels
  • Professional expectations for yoga teachers in studios, gyms, and other teaching environments
  • Business and ethics of yoga and meditation including insurance, professional organizations, and how to build a career and client base
  • Special techniques for physical modifications and verbal modifications of postures
  • Specializations and unique opportunities for continuing education
  • For students in the 200-hour teacher training program who wish to be eligible for registration with Yoga Alliance™ as RYT™ (Registered Yoga Teacher at the 200-hour level), opportunities will be provided for practice teaching and observation requirements.

Equipment & Required Reading

Equipment and Supplies

  • Three ring binder with a package of lined loose leaf paper and one package of blank printer paper.  Handouts can be placed in the training binder.  This is a suggested method for maintaining what will become a training manual that you can use as a resource in your professional career as a yoga teacher.  If you have an alternative method for organizing and saving your training handouts and worksheets, it is up to each participant to protect their investment and work in the way that makes the most sense to them.
  • Yoga mat and bolster and/or meditation cushion for home practice.  Trainees are encouraged to own two-blocks of equal size, a strap, yoga blanket, and bolster for restorative yoga use at home and when traveling to teach in the future, but these are not required. A yoga mat is the minimum required.
  • Students will be encouraged to purchase essential oils for their own use and to learn how to use with clients and students.  It is expected that these oils will cost less than $100.  Oil purchase and use is not mandatory for program participation and sensitivities of participants will be taken into consideration.  Please communicate sensitivities or concerns around using oils on your application form or, if you develop sensitivities while enrolled in the course, let the trainer know.
  • Trainees must obtain the required reading (14-books total). The cost of purchasing required books is not included in the tuition.  Trainees can reduce their cost by reserving available titles from the library, borrowing from friends, purchasing used copies from Amazon or sharing with other trainees.  The texts selected for the course are intended to be the start of a yoga teacher’s home library for regular reference in planning classes, working with clients, and deepening personal practice.  Trainees are encouraged to buy for their collection to the extent that this is financially possible.  There is also a list of suggested books that will be referred to and an additional bibliography of Tibetan and Chinese yoga resources that would be of interest to trainees.
  • Training includes walking meditation, hikes, and nature instruction that will take place outside and students should have shoes and clothing that are appropriate for walking outdoors in all weather and seasons.  Students with disabilities or illness that prevents participation in these outdoor hikes should discuss their situation with the facilitator prior to enrollment.
  • Some sessions will be held at gardens, conservatories, museums, and parks with the cost of admission not included in tuition.
  • Students will need to bring their own mala beads to all training sessions.  These must be purchased to own prior to the beginning of training. Sharon suggests that you start with a 108 bead mala.

Required Reading


The Subtle Body
Cyndi Dale

Yoga of the Subtle Body
Tias Little

Training the Wisdom Body
Rose Taylor Goldfield

Awakening the Sacred Body
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

The Tibetan Yoga of Breath
Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Choying Zangmo

Yoga for Meditators
Charlotte Bell


The Mind Illuminated
Culadasa (John Yates) and Matthew Immergut

Awakening the Luminous Mind
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Loving-Kindness in Plain English
Bhante Gunaratana

The Wisdom of No Escape
Pema Chodron


Awakening of the Heart
Thich Nhat Hanh

The Radiance Sutras
Lorin Roche

Yoga Beyond the Mat
Alanna Kaivalya

The Yamas and Niyamas
Deborah Adele


Who is this program for

All adults who have a minimum of one year of yoga or meditation experience (group classes, workshops, home practice) who are interested in developing a home practice and yoga lifestyle or deepening their spiritual practice.

  • Adults who are interested in a spiritual based, meditation and yoga teacher training program with an emphasis on nature and meditation.  This program is registered with Yoga Alliance as Buddhi Vana Yoga Teacher Training as an RYS™ and graduates may be eligible to register with Yoga Alliance as RYT™ (Registered Yoga Teacher).
  • Yoga instructors looking for continuing education in ethics, philosophy, subtle body anatomy, Tibetan yoga, Buddhist philosophy, and embodied anatomy.  Sharon is a YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider) and existing RYT at all levels can arrange for CEU credits for their participation in this program.
  • Professionals such as medical professionals, alternative healthcare providers, massage therapists, teachers, coaches, social workers, attorneys, or, really, anyone who wishes to bring meditation and yoga into their workplace, use for their own self-care, or to be able to teach techniques and practices to students, clients, and patients.

Introduction Workshop
Saturday, September 8
Introduction to Buddhi Vana 200-Hour Teacher Training at Zenbarn Facilitator: Lead Trainer, Sharon Fennimore
1:00 to 3:30 pm
FREE, but please register so we prepare materials

In this workshop, Sharon we will practice yoga and meditation together and then Sharon will introduce the philosophy that informs the curriculum for the teacher training. A yoga teacher training program is a significant financial and energetic investment and this workshop is an opportunity to explore this transformative ten-month program to make sure it meets your personal and professional development goals. There will be time to ask questions about the training schedule, graduation requirements, required and suggested readings, or anything else you wish to ask or discuss.

Please download the training information package for details, required and suggested reading, and tuition payment plan information: Buddhi Vana ZenBarn 2018-2019 Information Packet


“Sharon of Matrika Yoga offered an insightful, thought provoking training program that far exceeded my expectations. I was challenged to examine my ideas and beliefs about pregnancy and culture, and I now have a much better understanding of pregnancy and the obstacles a pregnant woman faces. I feel that I am now much better equipped to lead prenatal yoga, and I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone looking to learn more about pregnancy or prenatal yoga.” ~Nicole

“I maintain nothing but absolute gratitude to you and Matrika Prenatal Yoga.  At the outset of training, I yearned for a missing link, in between 42 years of obstetrical nursing experience and 51 of yoga practice!  How I found your program and that “link” was nothing short of miraculous!  Your insight into the wonder and miracle of birthing is in itself a spiritual gift.  Your compassion and love for the pregnant client is apparent as well as intuitive empathy for the pregnant psyche. The reading list was comprehensive and the webinars fun and informative.  I respect your genius fully.” ~Ambika

“Sharon was an excellent instructor and an amazing sounding board. I loved that she so clearly articulated her personal opinions and beliefs without forcing them on us, her students. This is a unique skill and, from my experience, one many instructors struggle with. Sharon did a great job at sharing information, offering feedback and discussing alternative/contrary thoughts/experiences/beliefs without ever seeming critical or offended. She offered a ton of excellent information and I left the program prepared to lead others through a prenatal sequence.”~Megan

“The training was very in depth and challenging. I feel that after completing the program, I am well prepared for teaching prenatal yoga.” ~Kate

“I really enjoyed the option of online learning as well as personal time. Sharon’s approach is a flexible alternative for trainees looking to expand their learning while continuing with their responsibilities. The pranayama and meditations were my favorite part.”~Natalie

“Yoga Matrika provides more than just a great educational journey on the basics of Hatha Yoga, Yoga Matrika expands on the typical 200 Hour course offerings by ensuring that the course material is delivered and received in a way that is most beneficial and valuable to the student and the path they are on for their life, teachings, and personal yoga journey. Yoga Matrika shares their unique insights and personal mentorship on every topic and does so for every student so that no one is felt left out or passed over. Yoga Matrika truly helps each student tap into their true potential and identify with what they want to offer the world as a person, a continuing yoga student, and a yoga teacher.” ~Brandi


Prior to enrolling in ANY of my online courses, Please be aware of my NO REFUNDS FOR ANY REASON policy.  online courses are my intellectual property and you will have instant access upon making a payment.  Upon payment, you have received the service.  If you have any questions, please send me an email BEFORE enrolling in a course or making a payment to avoid problems.  all payments made on payment plans are non-refundable.  Some payment plans allow for cancellation with a $50 early cancel fee.  Before you create a payment plan, please make sure that you agree to the cancelation policy for that plan.